It’s the late 1800s, and John Ogilvie Stevenson, pastor of the Congregational Church in Waterloo, Iowa, believes women are equal to men intellectually, and superior to men morally and spiritually. During a sermon on temperance, wherein he advocates laws to shut down the saloons, he is struck with the irony that his audiences are composed mostly of women—that segment of the citizenry who cannot vote. Thus begins his campaign for women’s suffrage. A large portion of the public believes a woman’s place is in the home, that she has no business in politics, and probably isn’t smart enough to vote.

            Every two years the state legislature considers putting an amendment on the ballot for a public vote on the issue and time after time it doesn’t get that far. The Reverend John Stevenson never gives up. Through the triumphs and tragedies of his own personal life, he is determined to forge the path to progress.


My Historical Novel Charcoal and Chalk

America has just fought the Civil War and young John Ogilvie, fresh from Scotland, is captivated with the noble idea of teaching the freed slaves. Sent to Texas by the American Missionary Association he lands in the middle of trouble. Battling hate, a deadly epidemic, and shady politics, he is rewarded by devoted scholars and the love of a woman. A novel based on an actual teacher of the freedmen and his letters and documents, the story brings to life the sacrifices and challenges of these devoted and little-known missionaries.

A Little About the Author

Flora Beach Burlingame has traded her eleven acres in the central California foothills for the 55+ community of Trilogy in Redmond, Washington. There she is meeting new friends, continues her love of music by singing in the Trilogy Singers, keeps fit by walking with a vigorous group of ladies and enjoys exploring the Northwest. She is busy working on her second historical novel based on John Ogilvie’s continued passion for a worthy cause – women’s suffrage.