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AUTHOR’S NOTES FOR SOUL SIGN
The Roseberry Homestead is real and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. All the physical details of the house in the story are accurate. The association with Peter Kinney is also accurate. Kinney was a First Lieutenant in the First Regiment of the Sussex Militia of the Continental Army and owned the Roseberry Homestead in1787. Historical research has shown that he owned two slaves, but any association with Phebe, also a real historical figure, was fabricated for the story.
The Roseberry Homestead is located in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. If you would like to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of this historic home, please contact the Phillipsburg Area Historical Society to make a donation. http://phillipsburghistorical.org/join-us/
A fascinating phenomenon. How much of the world do we miss because of this?
Simons, D. (2012, September). But Did You See the Gorilla? The Problem With Inattentional Blindness. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/but-did-you-see-the-gorilla-the-problem-with-inattentional-blindness-17339778/
Mark, Phillis, and Phebe
Sigh. Mark, Phillis, and Phebe were real people who suffered greatly. Mark and Phillis’s stories are accurately told. They died as described in the story and Mark’s body did serve as a landmark for Paul Revere. Phebe really did testify against Mark and Phillis, and she was bound for the West Indies for her role in the murder. Her rescue at the last minute from the gaol and the hair-doll were created for the sake of the story.
If, like Cam, you Google “Mark Phillis Phebe,” numerous entries describing the trial and punishment of these three people will appear. The slaveowner is frequently cited as Captain John Codman; however, the article at the end of this entry is written by John Codman and cites John Russell as the slaveowner. I think there was some confusion in the records, and like all things internet, it just propagated. I went with John Russell for the slaveowner’s name.
For a map of the actual sites of Gallows Hill and where Mark hung in chains, go to
Royal Pizza & Subs is where Mark hung in chains. Walnut Avenue is the site of Gallows Hill.
Codman, J. (1891). A Story of Old Charlestown. The New England Magazine, 3(September 1890-February 1891). Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=G2bCEsxjtDYC&lpg=PA801&ots=qf5-sq8R8q&dq=phoebe phyllis mark&pg=PA796#v=onepage&q=phoebe phyllis mark&f=false
Lenape and Cherokee
On July 4,1866, the final treaty to remove the Delawares to Oklahoma was signed. The Trail of Tears, when the Black Cherokees were transported like chattel to Oklahoma, occurred in the 1838 and 1839. The Cherokee Nation generously accepted Lenape into their Oklahoma territory; they also owned slaves. I still don’t know who to root for.
Smith, R. P. (2018, March). How Native American Slaveholders Complicate the Trail of Tears Narrative. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-native-american-slaveholders-complicate-trail-tears-narrative-180968339/
Haake, C. (2002). Delaware Identity in the Cherokee Nation. Indigenous Nations Studies Journal, 3(1), 19–45. Retrieved from https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/5780/ins.v03.n1.19-45.pdf;sequence=1
Cooper, K. J. (2017, September 15). I’m a descendant of the Cherokee Nation’s black slaves. Tribal citizenship is our birthright. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/09/15/im-a-descendant-of-the-cherokee-nations-black-slaves-tribal-citizenship-is-our-birthright/?utm_term=.d42d9c69e1a1
This exact sign showed up in my Facebook feed some days after I wrote the scene where Zackie licked the elevator buttons. I couldn’t resist adding the sign to the story. If you want to see the picture, go to Reyna Favis Author on Facebook and search for “Trigger warning.”
Glasgow Airport Terror Attack
The event unfolded as described in the story. This is perhaps the most Scottish thing ever.
The real cairns are not roofed. For the sake of the story, I described Clava Cairns as being enclosed. Other Neolithic passage graves in Scotland are roofed, and I have crawled around inside a few of them. You can see an aerial view of the cairns here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR0GV_SiSIU
Search and Rescue
While many of the locations described are real, no actual case histories of searches are used in Soul Sign. Having been part of the search community for over 10 years, I am committed to protecting the privacy of the missing and their families.
Zackie (true name Zackie-O) was a real search dog. She served the Search and Rescue Teams of Warren County.
Many thanks to Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD for permitting use of the Roseberry House image with modification under Creative Commons licensing [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)].