Heroine Interview from Gideon’s Call by Peter Leavell

» Posted on Nov 2, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview from Gideon’s Call by Peter Leavell

This week I’m hosting  Kathleen Y’Barbo with Her Holiday Fireman (U.S. only), Bonnie Calhoun with Cooking the Books, Gina Bovyn with Lady White and Peter Leavell with Gideon’s Call.  If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (November 4th) evening.

Interview with the heroine from Gideon’s Call by Peter Leavell:

1.  Laura Towne, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I love to teach. But everyone knows that. I think the most interesting thing is that I left my family and friends in Philadelphia in 1862 to teach the freed slaves in South Carolina. It isn’t easy, and the weather can be dreadful, but oh, how the children’s eyes light up when they read! I studied medicine and am a doctor. Holistic methods are my favorite. I make powders for everyone!

2.  What do you do for fun?

Flowers are about the most beautiful creation God has given us, wouldn’t you say? I decided to plant some at my new house my friend Ellen and I purchased, and they grow so well in South Carolina.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Cleaning and other chores. When I first came to South Carolina, the leader of the teachers and missionaries, Edward Pierce, decided I wasn’t to teach right away. Instead, he put me in charge of cleaning and cooking at his headquarters. Me! And I’ve been called a cosmopolitan woman! But I came to help the freed slaves, so if he wanted me to clean, I would. After several weeks, he decided to let me teach, so I didn’t have to care for the house anymore.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

At first I thought it would be awful never to marry. But then, when I came to South Carolina to help the freed slaves, I found a passion for them I could never replace in marriage. I feel now the worst thing that could happen is my school failing because no one in the North will notice us.

5.  What do you want out of life?

I just want to help the little children to learn to read. They are so adorable, and I fear I patronize them too much. But why should the black children go without an education that we expect the white children to have. It doesn’t make sense.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

If you were to ask me that when I was younger, I would say marriage. But now, my school, the Penn School, with its bell, calling children across the South Carolina islands to class, is the most important thing to me. Also, I think it’s important that I keep a diary, so that if anyone cares what has happened here in South Carolina, they can read it.

7.  Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

I love to read. At night I get some time, and I read letters from people kind enough to send them. There are a few good stories that I read occasionally. But I read books on medicine as well.

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

At first I thought I wanted to be prettier. But then I learned being pretty wasn’t all there was to life. Now I wish I could be a better teacher. I seem to do well at being a principal, but the children in my classes look bored sometimes.

9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

Is it bad to say my students are my pets? I love them all dearly. A young man gave me some mockingbirds, three of them. They chirp all day, and I enjoy watching them while drinking tea on my front porch.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I would go back to the first American Congress and insist they free the slaves. Because I hate slavery. I’m glad to have been alive to see it fall in America.