To Talk is Treason
Edited by John E. Divine, Bronwen C. Souders, & John M. Souders
$13.65 (plus $3.50 S&H)
Order online or call the Foundation at 540-882-3018, ext. 117.
• Paperback: Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches
• Publisher: Waterford Foundation (1996)
This fascinating account of Waterford’s Quakers during the Civil War came from a box of old letters and journals that had belonged to Mary Frances Dutton Steer – generously donated to the Waterford Foundation by her granddaughter, Miss Phebe Haviland Steer of California. Inside this miraculous box were found Grandmother Mollie Dutton Steer’s wartime letters, and a large volume of other writings of family and friends from the early 19th century to the end of her life. Among those treasures was Rebecca Williams’s poignant diary of the war years.
These writings in turn provided clues to other sources. Dutton descendants in New Jersey graciously shared period photographs of sisters Lizzie, Lida and Mollie, as well as additional details of their times. In the Waterford Foundation’s archives were copies of The Waterford News, an underground newspaper bravely published by young Union patriots Lida and Lizzie and their friend, Sarah Steer. Several essays written to commemorate the centennial of the war years in Waterford by John E. Divine provide the historical context for these personal accounts.
What makes this narrative so compelling are Waterford’s remarkable Quakers vividly brought to life again in these pages. Thanks to Miss Steer and her family everyone can share in the turbulent past recorded by the pens of her ancestors. When disaster struck, these peaceful and capable people met the challenge without flinch or compromise. They remained steadfastly loyal to the Union in a hostile Confederate State but aided the hungry and wounded of both sides when they came through the village.