Is this a “plausible” back story for my impression?

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GreenCheek44

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I am in the process of creating an impression of someone in the 1st Delaware regiment and wanted to make a backstory for myself. Part of my linage is Spanish/Latino and I have a bit of that in my complexion. I want to be accurate so PLEASE fact check me if anything is sus. Here it is:
”My mother was born to a Quaker family in the Delaware colony. After her family died she moved to the coast. There she met my father. A Spaniard whos pirate band frequented the bay. I never met him but my mother talked about him often. I beleive his violent and adventurous lifestyle Excited her as it contrasted so much to her upbringing. My mother tells me he was eventually captured and hung by the British navy. She also tells me I have his soul: dangerous, headstrong and explosive. My mother only knew him as Guerrero. So I took that as my sir name when I enlisted. My only connection to him is an old sea service pistol my mother used to keep in a chest in her room at the inn we both worked at. I grew up taking target practice with it. Mr. DeJong the owner of the inn taught me to aim. Once the war broke out I enlisted immediately. To kill as many bloody backs as possible to avenge my father and start a new life with my aging mother In a New country free from British rule.”
 

tenngun

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Sounds plausible. Seaman were at home in every port. Church records show than a majority of girls were pregnant on their wedding. Bastards were common.
ships tended to be very cosmopolitan. Even warships could have men of every nation on board.
piracy was greatly reduced by your persona birthdate, but it never would go away. A pirate/privateer/tramp merchant would be very likely to have a Spaniard inboard. And Brits would be quicker to hang another nationality and press any English
 

Loyalist Dave

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I am in the process of creating an impression of someone in the 1st Delaware regiment and wanted to make a backstory for myself. Part of my linage is Spanish/Latino and I have a bit of that in my complexion. I want to be accurate so PLEASE fact check me if anything is sus. Here it is:
”My mother was born to a Quaker family in the Delaware colony. After her family died she moved to the coast. There she met my father. A Spaniard whos pirate band frequented the bay. I never met him but my mother talked about him often. I beleive his violent and adventurous lifestyle Excited her as it contrasted so much to her upbringing. My mother tells me he was eventually captured and hung by the British navy. She also tells me I have his soul: dangerous, headstrong and explosive. My mother only knew him as Guerrero. So I took that as my sir name when I enlisted. My only connection to him is an old sea service pistol my mother used to keep in a chest in her room at the inn we both worked at. I grew up taking target practice with it. Mr. DeJong the owner of the inn taught me to aim. Once the war broke out I enlisted immediately. To kill as many bloody backs as possible to avenge my father and start a new life with my aging mother In a New country free from British rule.”
Um...,

How old are you now, and what year is it? There is a BIG difference in a "back story" for a person who is 40 in 1776 compared to a person who is 16 in 1776.

The odds of your mother having anything to do with a person involved in piracy, let alone the locals allowing a Spaniard in their midst in Delaware who might have been a pirate, is very very low. A "Quaker" was very pacifist in the 18th century, and a pirate would've not been considered for romance. Add to that the world's first true "international law" was the Jus Cogens, and a pirate is pursued on sight and hanged when captured. Period. The folks that went after foreign pirates were heroes..., not to mention that it would be the Royal Navy and they wear blue coats. ;)

You taking a Spaniard surname would also be unlikely (imho). Cultural practices in the 18th century were very different than today. Your mom would've likely been Protestant, while dad was highly likely to have been a Catholic. Advertising that you are part or all Spaniard and therefore likely a Catholic and so are a Papist..., 😱... that would never do. (In fact it was easier to be a Muslim or Hindu under British rule than a Catholic at this point in history). You would have a tough time doing business with your neighbors if they think that you're "one of them". The Innkeeper would not have had you working there as word would spread and people would not do business with him...,

I'll send you a scenario PM, that might give you some ideas for a lot of what it seems you're trying to do..

LD
 

rich pierce

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The wilder the back story, the less believable in my view. If you are swarthy then perhaps a Papist (Catholic) background where folks of different ethnicities marry because of common faith. So perhaps a Spanish man and a Northern European woman met in church in Maryland for example, and go from there.
 

tenngun

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I have to disagree with LD on that. We see cosmopolitan names on ships manifest.
A fact is that we find the unusual sexy. From Medea to Juliet the story of a girl going after the bad guy was old before the colonies. How many boys in the military did you know that caught Yellow fever
And lots of pirates did take the short fall and sudden stop, but no market no pirates.
Hamilton made a bundle one step shot of piracy, where’d his goods come from?
I can easily buy a Quaker girl and the unusual swarthy dangerous man
 

Loyalist Dave

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I can easily buy a Quaker girl and the unusual swarthy dangerous man
The Angel and The Badman is modern Hollywood tripe....
The problem is the Catholic Spanish pirate on land in a protestant English colony, waaaay north of East Florida and Cuba. If they didn't scoop him up on sight, the minute he tried speaking they'd pick up he was Spanish. Granted the accent then for Andalusian or Castilian for example is not as is today, but they'd know what it was.

As a Quaker a Catholic would be FAR away from anything she'd consider, let alone a pirate... she'd never hear romantic stories about pirates and such..., the Quaker community was very sheltered at that time. She'd a been taught that Papists were devils incarnate.... The Society of Friends you see has no actual clergy, and at "meeting" they speak as the Holy Spirit moves them, but Catholics worshipped in Latin, had a hierarchy of the priesthood, and had many established rites...and obeyed a papal prince.... quite the polar opposite of the Quakers.

So perhaps a Spanish man and a Northern European woman met in church in Maryland for example, and go from there.
There weren't any Catholic churches in the first 3/4ths of the 18th century in Maryland. 😶

In 1689, Maryland's Protestant Puritans revolted against the government, partly because of the apparent preferment of Catholics to official positions of power. An army of 700 Puritans staged a successful coup. The victorious Puritans set up a new government that outlawed Catholicism and arrested priests. 😲 A Crown-appointed governor was later installed in 1692. After Maryland's Protestant Revolution many wealthy Catholics had to worship in secret chapels in their homes as celebration of Mass was forbidden, and priests were to be arrested if caught. In 1704, an Act was passed "to prevent the growth of Popery in this Province", preventing Catholics from holding political office.

One must remember too that as the F&I grew close, again anti-Catholic sentiment was huge since Jesuits were French and Catholic priests, and in May of 1751 The Colony of Maryland passed an act that any land that was even suspected as being held in trust for a papist priest, would be seized. Full religious toleration would not be restored in Maryland until just before the AWI with Catholics being allowed to openly gather to worship, but with priests still not openly accepted this was rather difficult, until after the AWI and the restoration of Catholic clergy to the new State. OH one of the reason Catholic came out of the shadows and served in Maryland regiments on the Continental side..., they had just been allowed to openly worship, and were not about to go back to the hard line of the C of E if the British won...

There is a way he can work his scenario, but it does not involve the land. I've sent him a PM of what might be a more plausible back story.

LD
 
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tenngun

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The Angel and The Badman is modern Hollywood tripe....
The problem is the Catholic Spanish pirate on land in a protestant English colony, waaaay north of East Florida and Cuba. If they didn't scoop him up on sight, the minute he tried speaking they'd pick up he was Spanish. Granted the accent then for Andalusian or Castilian for example is not as is today, but they'd know what it was.

As a Quaker a Catholic would be FAR away from anything she'd consider, let alone a pirate... she'd never hear romantic stories about pirates and such..., the Quaker community was very sheltered at that time. She'd a been taught that Papists were devils incarnate.... The Society of Friends you see has no actual clergy, and at "meeting" they speak as the Holy Spirit moves them, but Catholics worshipped in Latin, had a hierarchy of the priesthood, and had many established rites...and obeyed a papal prince.... quite the polar opposite of the Quakers.



There weren't any Catholic churches in the first 3/4ths of the 18th century in Maryland. 😶

In 1689, Maryland's Protestant Puritans revolted against the government, partly because of the apparent preferment of Catholics to official positions of power. An army of 700 Puritans staged a successful coup. The victorious Puritans set up a new government that outlawed Catholicism and arrested priests. 😲 A Crown-appointed governor was later installed in 1692. After Maryland's Protestant Revolution many wealthy Catholics had to worship in secret chapels in their homes as celebration of Mass was forbidden, and priests were to be arrested if caught. In 1704, an Act was passed "to prevent the growth of Popery in this Province", preventing Catholics from holding political office.

One must remember too that as the F&I grew close, again anti-Catholic sentiment was huge since Jesuits were French and Catholic priests, and in May of 1751 The Colony of Maryland passed an act that any land that was even suspected as being held in trust for a papist priest, would be seized. Full religious toleration would not be restored in Maryland until just before the AWI with Catholics being allowed to openly gather to worship, but with priests still not openly accepted this was rather difficult, until after the AWI and the restoration of Catholic clergy to the new State.

There is a way he can work his scenario, but it does not involve the land. I've sent him a PM of what might be a more plausible back story.

LD
Would like to read it, can you sendvit to me too?
 

GreenCheek44

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Hey everyone! thanks for all the tips. I like how my post started a larger discussion as well. Let me clear a few things up. First, the only reason my mother was a Quaker was because in my research, I found that the Delaware colony had a lot of Dutch Quakers living there. That leads to my next point. I really do not look all too Spanish tbh I look like white. However compared to a someone who is Dutch I think I am a little more tan in complexion and facial structure. I really don't care if my father is a pirate or not I just figured that would be the most plausible explanation for me being in Delaware at the time.(Also I meant to clarify that my mother didnt take very well to the Quaker lifestyle and thus is why she moved to the Coast.)I also read that there was often a lot of prate activity in the Delaware bay and even up some rivers. Not to sure on the source though. I don't want this to be all to convoluted. In fact, I really like the idea of being just an average guy but I was a tad drunk when writing this originally so I left out of a few of those details.
 

tenngun

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Hey everyone! thanks for all the tips. I like how my post started a larger discussion as well. Let me clear a few things up. First, the only reason my mother was a Quaker was because in my research, I found that the Delaware colony had a lot of Dutch Quakers living there. That leads to my next point. I really do not look all too Spanish tbh I look like white. However compared to a someone who is Dutch I think I am a little more tan in complexion and facial structure. I really don't care if my father is a pirate or not I just figured that would be the most plausible explanation for me being in Delaware at the time.(Also I meant to clarify that my mother didnt take very well to the Quaker lifestyle and thus is why she moved to the Coast.)I also read that there was often a lot of prate activity in the Delaware bay and even up some rivers. Not to sure on the source though. I don't want this to be all to convoluted. In fact, I really like the idea of being just an average guy but I was a tad drunk when writing this originally so I left out of a few of those details.
Time frame is important. 1690-1710, the golden age of piracy themAmerican cost was rich with them. And because they brought in cheap goods well tolerated
After that it was tougher. Pirates were killed off or driven from the trade. They drifted in to ‘honest work’.
The coast was long and places to meet and sell cargo abounded. Smuggling, slaving,tramp work became common. Wrecking was a favorite pastime.
Pirates were hanged, lots, but most people could continue with our harm. Real pirates weren’t pirates. They made a voyage and then drifted into something else.
LD mentioned privateers, and most would have done that.
In the Novel kidnapped by Stevenson the hero is transported by an honest ship, even though he is illegal super cargo. By 1740s-50s such opportunistic activities were more common than true piracy
 

Ponderosaman

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What a great opportunity to be at the beginning of finding your historic story. I am not a historian, so I won’t comment on the historical accuracy of your back story, but since it matters to you. Look for letters and historical records relating to those important aspects of your character. Do some google searches and maybe a library visit to tweak your story into historical accuracy. Perhaps pirates were marked men. Part of the story. Perhaps catholics weren’t mainstream in the area. Part of the story. Catch your audience with plausible hooks, teach them about the day in day out of America in that time. Have fun.
 

Brokennock

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Full religious toleration would not be restored in Maryland
Even this is debatable. Maybe officially religious toleration was returned but anti-catholic/anti-papist sentiment was string even into modern times. After all, the KKK wasn't just anti-blacks, they hated Catholics too. Probably the reason you couldn't get a decent pizza or Italian food in the South until very recently, lol.
 

tenngun

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There was a lot of anti-Catholic bias. On the other hand we see a lot of live and let live. Not long after the revolution Boone would enter and be accepted in Catholic Missouri, after the Mexican revolution Americans gave up their country and, officially anyway, converted to Catholicism to get land in Tejas (Texas). Bowie would marry in to a Catholic family. Kit Carson too in New Mexico
In terms of this story seaman might not be the most religious bunch.
Irish freely gave up the church to integrate in to English society.
During the Napoleonic wars when the UK was allied with Italy and at times with Spain IK ships would pu in to Catholic ports. Warships would keep men on board while merchants got a chance to take liberty on shore.
The navy ships would go out of discipline and let bum boats come along side and girls came aboard.
I doubt the Protestant sailors and the Catholic girls had a lot of theological discussion
 

54ball

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I am in the process of creating an impression of someone in the 1st Delaware regiment and wanted to make a backstory for myself. Part of my linage is Spanish/Latino and I have a bit of that in my complexion. I want to be accurate so PLEASE fact check me if anything is sus. Here it is:
”My mother was born to a Quaker family in the Delaware colony. After her family died she moved to the coast. There she met my father. A Spaniard whos pirate band frequented the bay. I never met him but my mother talked about him often. I beleive his violent and adventurous lifestyle Excited her as it contrasted so much to her upbringing. My mother tells me he was eventually captured and hung by the British navy. She also tells me I have his soul: dangerous, headstrong and explosive. My mother only knew him as Guerrero. So I took that as my sir name when I enlisted. My only connection to him is an old sea service pistol my mother used to keep in a chest in her room at the inn we both worked at. I grew up taking target practice with it. Mr. DeJong the owner of the inn taught me to aim. Once the war broke out I enlisted immediately. To kill as many bloody backs as possible to avenge my father and start a new life with my aging mother In a New country free from British rule.”
Below is the story of Pedro Francisco. This is from Wiki so take that with a grain of salt but there are other sources.
I'll be honest, the pirate and revenge thing is a little over the top. With this said Francsisco's story is a little over the top but it's true.
One thing to note...Pedro spoke Portuguese. There had to be someone recognize this.
If you really study I think you will find much more diversity, especially close to the ports.

1632007557536.png


Pedro Francisco...

Francisco is shrouded in mystery. It is believed he was born on July 9, 1760, at Porto Judeu, on the island of Terceira, in the Archipelago of the Azores, Portugal. In the case of the origin of his identification with the child named Pedro Francisco, his parents, Luiz Francisco Machado and Antónia Maria, natives of mainland Portugal (then an empire under the government of the Marquis of Pombal), a relatively wealthy and noble family, settled on the Island of Terceira (where he was born), distancing themselves more from personal or political enemies in the continent.[clarification needed] According to the traditional version of his biography,[1] he was found at about age five on the docks at City Point, Virginia, in 1765, and was taken to the Prince George County Poorhouse. Not speaking English, he repeated the name "Pedro Francisco". The locals called him Peter. They soon discovered the boy spoke Portuguese and noted his clothing was of good quality.

When able to communicate, Pedro said that he had lived in a mansion near the ocean. His mother spoke French and his father spoke another language which he did not know. He and his sister were kidnapped from the grounds, but his sister escaped, while Francisco was bound and taken to a ship. Historians believe it is possible that the kidnappers intended to hold the children for ransom or that they had intended to sell them as indentured servants at their destination port in North America, but changed their minds. The Azorean legend says the Francisco family had many political enemies and set up Peter's abduction to protect him from accident or death by his parents' foes.

Peter was taken in by the judge Anthony Winston of Buckingham County, Virginia, an uncle of Patrick Henry. Francisco lived with Winston and his family until the beginning of the American Revolution and was tutored by them. When he was old enough to work, he was apprenticed as a blacksmith, a profession chosen because of his massive size and strength (he grew to be six feet and eight inches in height, or 203 centimeters, and weigh some 260 pounds, or 118 kilograms, especially large at the time). It was also noted that his hair may have turned silver at an early age. He was well known as the Virginian Hercules or the Virginia Giant.
 

54ball

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I am in the process of creating an impression of someone in the 1st Delaware regiment and wanted to make a backstory for myself.
Just relax.
I'm going to shoot straight with you. Do you know what another word is for a reenactor's persona or back story?
Bullshit. yep I said it...bullshit.
I tried it and guess what?
It was bullshit.
I love history too much to present bullshit.
When I did a presentation on the 1813 Tennessee Militia, it was they, they, they not I, I, I.

Now since I was in a unit I had the "persona" of the "miscellaneous early 19th Century Tennessean". Son of a Rev War Veteran (Overthemountainman), some native ancestry, grandparents came down the Great Wagon Road.....This fits the ancestry of just about all Old Southern Families.

The best personas I have seen are from people who do real historical figures. There was a fellow who did Andrew Jackson. At the first event I was with him I had to call my wife after hours and tell her about him. She said "Oh, ya'll have a guy doing Andrew Jackson?" I said "No you do not understand, Andrew Jackson is here".
At one event after hours a drunk Native American reenactor visiting from the Creek Nation from OK, pulled a knife on him and threatened to kill him. I asked Grant, the man who did Jackson, "What did you do?" He said, "Travis, I did the only thing I knew to do....be Andrew Jackson and I dressed him down and stood up to him like Jackson would have done. I believe if I would have backed off, he would have killed me."
Now I have done a real historical figure at an event. I was Captain Will, a Natchee Indian ally, son of a Scottish trader and ally to the US Army in the Creek War. That worked well but he.....was a real guy.
 

kyle_kalasnik

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It is amazing the amount of research that goes into forming a backstory for a persona.

And furthermore, the amount of polite/tactful advice and help that you all offer is commendable.

I don’t reenact, but I applaud all of you.

Respectfully,
Kyle Kalasnik
 

Brokennock

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It is amazing the amount of research that goes into forming a backstory for a persona.

And furthermore, the amount of polite/tactful advice and help that you all offer is commendable.

I don’t reenact, but I applaud all of you.

Respectfully,
Kyle Kalasnik
I don't reenact per say either. I do this for myself and mostly by myself. I might engage in the occasional period outfitted hunt or trek with other like minded individuals if the opportunity arose, but I don't go to events or reenact specific events or people.
But, in my quest to better experience and understand the people and their material culture, the conditions of their lives, of my period of interest, it helps to have at least the outline of a basic persona or back story. I wish I had don't it years earlier, or at least started thinking about it.
Why?
By have the answers to all the questions that make up, "who am I?" Such as, when was I born, where was I born and where am I now, when is it now this how old am I, what is my occupation or income/wealth level and social status? Where have I been between when and where I was born and the here and now?
These things can help one from buying or making a bunch of stuff only to find out later that much of it is wrong for what you are trying to do.

@54ball is right, a lot of it is bullshit, but gifted bullshit has gotten a lot of people a lot of places and out of a lot of jams.
Why does one have something of French influence when one is in or from New England in 1760? Might need a little b.s. to answer that.
Why do i have a silk scarf on my head even with a hat? Need a little b.s. to answer that.
As long as the b.s. is based on historically accurate facts, it's all good.
 
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