The UnPuritans - The Hanscome Trilogy Book I

Book Cover


17th Century or Earlier,18th Century

Dr. Joan Adsit Dickinson

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After secret lovers, feisty Alice Hanscome and irresistible Black Will, are flogged forty stripes for fornication and bastardy in 1690 Kittery, Maine, Alice escapes jail, flees to Charles Town and champions education for slaves, while determined Black Will raises their child and earns his freedom.


Action,Adventure,Drama,Epic,Family,Mystery,Political,Religious,Historical Fiction,Romance,Suspense/Thriller,Melodrama

Short Summary

Wayward Alice fears for her life and that of her third illegitimate newborn's in the Kittery jail when her soul is saved as she reconciles with her father and is inspired by his untold tale of survival as an orphan immigrant and indentured servant in 1629 Salem.

After the Stono Slave Rebellion and the Negro Act of 1740, school directress Ann (AKA Alice) becomes persona non grata. Charles Town's earlier Lockean view of tolerance is replaced by that “Peculiar Institution,” slavery. Fated, the forsaken Ann and her husband die in the flames of bigotry.


London, England; Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony; KIttery, Maine; Charles Town (Charleston) SC

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Overcoming Monster/Villain,Quest,Rebellion Against 'The One',Tragedy,Voyage and Return

Plot - Other Elements

Philosophical Questions,Twist,Meaningful Message,Coming of Age

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Alice Hanscome (Ann Downing)

Age: lifespan 1671-1740; focus young adult

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Desperate,Engaging,Flexible,Gracious,Heartthrob,Heroic,Educated,Leader,Sexy,Outspoken,Blunt,Skillful,Romantic,Seductive,Unapologetic,Aspiring

Additional Character Details

Name: Thomas Hanscome

Age: 11-78 1618-1696

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Engaging,Flexible,Heroic,Heartthrob,Masculine,Modest,Sexy,Skillful,Romantic,Seductive,Unapologetic,Desperate,Honorable,Blunt,Insecure,Leader,Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Aaron Hanscome

Age: b. 1685 d. 1760 child - adult

Gender: Male

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Greedy,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Flexible,Masculine,Sexy,Skillful,Outspoken,Heartthrob,Romantic,Insecure

Additional Character Details

Name: Black Will

Age: b. 1670? d. after 1720 young adult-adult

Gender: Male

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Engaging,Flexible,Heartthrob,Heroic,Honorable,Masculine,Sexy,Skillful,Romantic,Seductive,Gracious,Confident,Modest,Decisive

Development Pitch

Think ROOTs. Think true family saga. Think diversity, dogma, slavery, prejudice, privilege, love, loss and survival. Think important new historical contribution. Think current-day inequalities and timeless archetypes. Think feminist impossibilities in rule-bound patriarchal Puritan life. Envision kind-hearted, incorrigible and courageously resilient Alice Hanscome forging her own destiny - loving a slave, surviving 40 lashes, bearing three illegitimate children, out-smarting men who would use her, escaping death, fleeing to a Charles Town known for tolerance, adopting a new respectable identity and fighting for slave education. Think of the men who loved her. Envision her loving father Thomas fighting his own demons as an orphaned immigrant indentured servant in Salem and losing his first Indian wife; her true love honorable Black Will carefully gaining his freedom, land and raising their son; her savior wild brother John’s enticement by piracy; and her youngest sweet brother Aaron’s morphing into a greedy plantation and slave-owner in South Carolina. The UnPuritans challenges the historical stereotypes of the good puritans, the absence of northern slavery, the intolerance of the Carolinas and the narrowness of character in colonial America. Finally, imagine a four hundred year history film series continuing with one actor playing the strong women of Alice, AKA Ann Downing, mulatto Nancy Randall from The Lost Mulattos and matriarch Rhoda Hanscome Campbell from The WASPs.

About The Author

Joan Dickinson has worn many hats - history teacher, psychologist, professor, behavioral health director and international consultant, wellness columnist, public speaker, yoga and meditation instructor and author. She holds degrees from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, The University of Colorado-Boulder and The University of Northern Colorado-Greeley. She hails from Minnesota and kayaks with the dolphins near Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning

Group Specific

New England and South Carolina colonial history. Slavery. Indentured servants. Queen Anne's War, Extermination of native Americans

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: self-published

Year Published: 2018 1st edition, 2019 2nd edition

Hard Copy Available



ISBN-13: 978-1095797389 ISBN-10: 1095797387