Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country? Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse. More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
About the Author
Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifteen fiction and nonfiction books. A popular speaker and teacher, she’s shared her theme of “Joy Through Trials” with more than half a million people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She’s passionate about music and Bible study and loves the gift of story. You can connect with Kimberley at: www.kimberleywoodhouse.com and www.facebook.com/KimberleyWoodhouseAuthor
Read an Excerpt
Thursday, September 22, 1774 Philadelphia
Matthew Weber sat hidden in the corner of Charles Thomson's study and waited for word from him. Charles was not only a good friend but the secretary of the Continental Congress as well. His appointment as secretary had been fortuitous for them all. The plan had been to meet after the Congress so they could discuss what needed to be done next. A tap sounded on the door, and Matthew ducked deeper into the dark shadows. His heart pounded.
It wasn't the planned signal.
Who would be coming to the secretary's home tonight?
Matthew couldn't let anyone loyal to the King know he was here. And no one knew for sure when they might run into a Loyalist. It made things exceedingly difficult as the weeks passed.
A familiar face entered. A broad grin stretched across his face, Benjamin Franklin shut the door. "Matthew, I presume that is you hidden over there?"
Relief rushed through his veins. Shaking his head and letting his breath out in a great whoosh, Matthew laughed and stepped into the light. "Yes, 'tis me, Ben. But you did not use the appropriate signal, and by the way, wouldn't that have been a tad risky — mentioning my name — when you were not sure 'twas me?"
"If I had not been sure, yes." The older man shook a finger at him. His gray eyes twinkling. "But Simpson acknowledged you were already here. And frankly, I wanted to see how you would handle the situation. Good show, had I not known you were here, I wouldn't have seen you."
"Ah, I see." Matthew moved forward to shake Franklin's hand still working to get his heart back to normal. "These days, we can be none too careful." The definite need to practice at hiding and controlling his anxiousness pressed into his mind. The job before him grew more stressful by the day.
"I agree." The older gentleman nodded several times and placed his hands behind his back as he paced the room. "'Tis hard to believe how things have changed over the years."
"How's Deborah?" Matthew hadn't seen Ben's wife in a while.
Ben smiled. "As lovely as ever."
"Please give her my regards. Have you spoken to William?" Matthew kept his tone low.
"No." The instant frown and gravity of the single word gave Matthew more than enough to understand the man's disappointment. William and Benjamin Franklin had been on different sides of the political spectrum for some time.
Matthew turned back to look at the bookshelves. "I am sorry to hear that."
"I appreciate your sincerity, but you know William. This is, I fear, what comes from a thirst for power." Franklin took a deep breath and then let it out in a long sigh. "Back to business, how are you, dear boy?"
A slight smile lifted his lips. Only Benjamin Franklin could think of him — a thirty-six-year-old man — as a dear boy. "I am faring quite well."
"Ah ... an answer that is vague." Light laughter came out of his friend's mouth as he shook his head.
"You taught me well." Matthew grinned back.
"We will get to the crux of it in a moment. ... Have you tried an air bath yet?"
"No." Matthew tried to keep a straight face. "I cannot say that I have. Nor have I had the privacy."
"'Tis quite invigorating. Stimulating to the system."
"I am sure." Goodness, the subject needed to change. Sitting in front of an open window in nary a piece of clothing wasn't his idea of healthy.
"Still no word from Thomson?" Franklin tapped his fingers on the back of the chair in front of him.
"Well, things are escalating quickly, and we must act." Franklin rubbed his hands together. "With the British troops occupying Boston, I believe they have drawn a line."
"What do you mean?"
"A line that will only lead to war."
Relations with Britain had been declining for a long time. The Tea Act giving the East India Trading Company a monopoly on tea trade made men in Boston so angry they dressed up as Indians and tossed over three hundred crates of tea into the harbor. In retaliation, Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts — laws denying constitutional rights, natural rights, and colonial charters to Massachusetts. Fear this denial of basic rights would spread through all the Colonies had pushed many in America to the point of revolution.
Loyalists still faithful to the Crown of England were in direct conflict with the Patriots and their quest for independence and relief from taxation.
Matthew pondered the quandary. What did the King seek to gain?
The taxations were getting out of hand and many of the colonists were tired of being ruled by a monarchy across the ocean and paying the debts of England through their taxes. Something wasn't right. And people knew it.
Now the British were keeping trade from other countries from coming to the Colonies, so of course, the Patriots were discussing boycotting all trade from Britain. All appeals to the Crown had no effect, so they were once again at an impasse. The Continental Congress was meeting to determine a way to appeal to the King. Again.
Matthew shook his head.
"What is ruminating in that fine mind of yours?" Ben cocked an eyebrow.
"Just thinking on how we arrived at this place in time. You are correct to say that we must act. Tumultuous times are upon us."
"But they are also exciting times, don't you agree? Our thirteen governments with their people cover a great deal more land than that of England. We have got fifty-six men from twelve of the Colonies coming together for the first time at this Continental Congress. We are going through growing pangs, are we not? Imagine what could be accomplished if we can persuade the Loyalists that we'd be better off independent of England?"
Matthew held up a hand and gave a slight laugh. "I admire your enthusiasm, my friend. And I do agree, but it has been almost ten years already, and we have a long way to go before we are free of British rule. Besides, the Loyalists are too afraid of the British military." He couldn't help the sigh that escaped his lips. Exhaustion pounded behind his eyes. It was a legitimate fear. England's army and navy were the mightiest in the world.
"I hear the weariness in your voice, my boy. This has taken its toll on you, has it not?"
Could he tell his mentor the truth? That any thoughts of a bright future seemed blotted out by the prospect of war? Matthew could manage a simple nod but couldn't allow his emotions to climb their way to the surface. "We'll do anything for our cause, will we not?"
"Yes, we have all made sacrifices, but this is me you're speaking to. You may not be my flesh and blood, but I can see what's lurking behind your eyes and I understand, even though you are working so hard to keep it hidden." Ben came forward and put a hand on Matthew's shoulder. "The future is hard to look forward to now, yes, but remember that all we are seeking to accomplish is for a better future for our children and grandchildren."
But what if he never had a family to give a brighter future to? Those children and grandchildren that Ben spoke of. He was already sacrificing his life and reputation for the cause of the Patriots — which was a truly great endeavor — but the thought of having not one soul to pass along that bright future to made a deep sorrow wash over him. At age thirty-six, settling down and starting a family in the middle of this turmoil were hard to imagine. In fact, they were quite unthinkable. And very selfish of him. Time to get his mind back on the tasks at hand.
Three taps on the door — the signal they were supposed to use — brought Matthew out of his thoughts and back to the present. He gave Ben a look and smirk. "See? That is how it works."
Benjamin just winked at him.
The master of the house entered the room with a smile on his face. "Good evening, gentlemen."
As Charles walked over to his desk, he motioned for them to sit. "A boycott will be in place the first of December."
"Of all British goods? That should shake things up quite a bit." Benjamin tapped his knee.
"It should, yes." Charles pulled out papers. Most likely his notes from the meeting. He perused them for a moment. "Each of the Colonies has been encouraged to develop and train their own militia."
Another hearty nod from Benjamin. "Good, good."
Matthew took a deep breath. Just what he'd suspected. At some point soon, war would be upon them. A reminder that it was a good thing he didn't have a family. This was no way to live — with no foreseeable, positive outlook for the future. Would this revolution ever end?
Another three taps on the door.
"Come in." Charles looked to the door.
George Washington opened the door and walked in with a nod. Matthew stood to greet his childhood friend. As a delegate to Congress, George would also have good insight into the meeting. "Good to see you, Matthew. I hope I have not missed too much." He smiled as he gave a firm handshake.
"Not at all." Matthew shook his head. "Charles had just begun to tell us of the boycott and preparations for militia."
George took a deep breath and then sighed heavily. "I believe the time has come." He ran fingers through his powdered hair leaving streaks of auburn in their wake. "We have much to discuss."
The group gathered chairs closer to the fire as George launched into his recall of the Continental Congress.
As the youngest in the group, Matthew sat back and listened to the insight from the men around him. While George was only a few years his senior, his longtime friend had much more experience in practically everything. The smartest and strongest man he'd ever known, George was steadfast and noble, and Matthew couldn't think of a man he respected more. Thomson was a few years older than George and had the distinguished appointment of secretary for the Congress. Then there was Benjamin Franklin. The eldest in the group was one of the most amazing men Matthew had ever met. Author, inventor, and statesman — and everything in between — Benjamin was his mentor and friend. Providence had blessed Matthew to be among these ranks.
Ben looked to him. "Matthew, I know you have been preparing for this for a good while, but the risks are high. Are you sure you are fully ready for what lies ahead?"
Knowing what his mentor spoke of, Matthew took a deep breath and nodded. "I am a Patriot and will do whatever it takes." He might have just laid his whole life and future on the line. But he couldn't be selfish. Not at a time like this. At least he could help provide a brighter future for those who would come behind him.
Several hours later, the group disbanded. While everyone else could go out the front door, Matthew had to wait and exit through a tunnel from the main house that came up into the barn. It had been dug for just this purpose, and now was the time to put it to use. Even though Philadelphia wasn't as tricky as Boston, there were still eyes and ears everywhere. He'd worked too long for the cause and built relationships to aid in it for him to be caught this early in the game.
As he pulled the black cloak around his shoulders, he made his way through the tunnel. Once in the barn, he tugged his cocked, felt hat lower over his brow. The sweet smell of the hay mixed with the strong aroma of manure. As he left the protection of the building, a crisp wind hit his face and gave him an even better excuse for concealment.
Lifting the stock around his neck closer to his chin, he moved forward. With a flick of his hand, he pulled his cloak's collar high up around his ears. Even though it was dark, he couldn't take the risk of being seen. From here on out Matthew must play the part of the Loyalist. He needed to entrench himself among the enemy. Abandon his friends and everyone else he knew, so that he could become the man he'd been creating for such a time as this. The only way to win independence would be to win the trust of those loyal to the Crown and gather every bit of information that he could.
It hadn't been easy forging friendships the past couple of years. Especially with his ties to George. Many had been hesitant to allow a childhood friend of a staunch Patriot into their midst. But since William Franklin — the Royal Governor of New Jersey — had vouched for Matthew, and William was known to be at odds with his own father — a Patriot — Matthew had finally found some footing among the men who had influence.
His secret advantage was Ben. The older man had incredible ties and relationships to England. In fact, he'd spent a lot of his time traveling back and forth and speaking on behalf of the Colonies. But the open lines of communication were failing. While deep down, Matthew knew that the elder Franklin was heartbroken the revolution was dividing him from his son, it still amazed Matthew how Ben didn't hesitate to share what he could about how to work his way into William's good graces. For the good of the cause.
And it had worked. Matthew found himself in the inner circle with the Royal Governor. But as tensions mounted, he would have to be on guard continually.
The depth of the situation hit him. No one could know he wasn't just another affluent Loyalist seeking to better his country.
No one could know the real Matthew Weber. Not anymore.
His life was now on the altar of the Patriot's cause. And he'd give everything — even his last breath — for freedom.
He was a spy.
* * *
Friday, October 21, 1774 Boston
Faith Lytton Jackson stood and smiled as her butler announced Mrs. White. "Thank you, Clayton." She nodded and rushed across the parlor to greet her friend. "Lavonia, what a pleasure to see you." The lavender silk on her friend was lovely. "Your dress is enchanting. Is it new?"
"The pleasure is all mine, my dear. Although I wish the circumstances were different." The white-haired woman smiled back and gave Faith a brief hug. "And yes, this just arrived from Paris, but I wasn't sure if the color suited me. I must say, that yellow silk taffeta on you is simply gorgeous. I knew it would be."
"You do have a talent for choosing the best fabrics, Lavonia."
"I might have an eye for the fabric, but you, my dear, you make them exquisite."
Clayton announced several other guests and kept Faith from responding although she shot Lavonia a smile. Even in the direst of circumstances, her friend always found something to compliment.
Warmth filled the room as women she adored and trusted entered. A crackling fire in the massive stone fireplace added to the cozy feeling as everyone spoke of the contrasting chill in the air outside.
Faith greeted each one and invited them to sit. "Clayton, would you ask Sylvia to serve the tea, please?"
"Yes, ma'am." Her stoic butler had been with her for more than a decade. He would do anything for her, she had no doubt. But she often wondered about his friends. Did he have any close confidants? Did anyone other than her staff care for the man? And was he always so stiff and reserved? The thoughts made her chuckle to herself. Why on earth was she all of a sudden so concerned with Clayton? He'd always puzzled her, but he was loyal and trustworthy.
She gazed around the room and shot a prayer heavenward. Lord, I need Your focus and divine wisdom. We need Your guidance now more than ever. Help us to do what we can.
Strengthened by her prayer and resolve, Faith quieted the women and stood before them. "We shall begin our meeting today by continuing through the reading of the Psalms." She picked up her Bible. "I believe we are beginning the 119th?"
Several murmurs of affirmation filled the room.
Faith began reading:
"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
The ladies looked to her when she was done reading. Where to begin?(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Patriot Bride"
Copyright © 2018 Kimberley Woodhouse.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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