Valley Forge Memories

Discussion in 'Past Life Memories' started by AlteSeele, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. AlteSeele

    AlteSeele Senior Registered

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    Hi everyone! I am new to this forum and thought I'd share some experiences of my Colonial American lifetime and how I became aware of it. This particular lifetime started with some faint memories and impressions of when I was a child in my current lifetime and centered around Valley Forge. Valley Forge was where the Colonial American Army camped during the winter of 1776-1777.

    So, here goes!

    Part 1
    My first visit to Valley Forge in this lifetime was when I was around 5-6 years old. My parents often visited friends in the area and we’d stop at the park to see the cherry trees that were growing there at the time. Those trees are no longer there because they succumbed to a blight a few decades ago.

    But it wasn’t the cherry trees I was interested in, nor the huge memorial honoring the soldiers who wintered there in 1776-1777 — it was a humble log cabin that got my curiosity. My father walked with me to the cabin so I could have a closer look at it. I poked my head inside and remember thinking to myself that this is where the soldiers slept and lived. I don’t remember how I knew that, I just did. I knew it before my father explained it to me.

    I also remember being fascinated by a statue of a man on a horse. Later I learned it was a statue of General Anthony Wayne. But there was something familiar about where that statue was located. I had a nagging sensation of there having been a large building in the woods not far from the statue. Those woods these days are referred to as “Wayne’s Woods”. Of course when you’re chaperoned by your parents you’re not free to go exploring in the woods on your own to go look for a building, so that had to wait. But I did get my answer decades later.

    Later that year in school we learned about George Washington and his wife, Martha. I was the only one in my class who had visited Valley Forge and was excited to tell my classmates all about my visit and about how the soldiers had lived.

    During that same class the teacher showed us a portrait of Martha Washington. I looked at the photo and recognized her. And, the first word that came to my mind was, “fusspot”. I could not shake the sense of how familiar this woman was to me. She was caring and kind, yet a bit on the overbearing side in a mother hen sort of way, hence the term "fusspot". I don’t know how I knew this. I just did.

    Throughout my school years I didn’t have a huge interest in American history. I thought it was all rather boring. I wanted to learn more about how the people lived, what they wore, the crafts they did, etc. But our American history classes dealt more with the political end of things and date memorization. Boring.

    But that would all change when I was an adult.

    To be continued....
     
  2. AlteSeele

    AlteSeele Senior Registered

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    Part 2
    We visited Forge numerous times when I was young. But I must tell you all up front that we never visited George Washington’s Headquarters. I never even knew it existed until much later. I thought the park was just a Visitors Center, cherry trees, some log cabins, a statue of a man on a horse, and a huge memorial arch.

    But boy, did my father like talking about Baron von Steuben! I always felt a certain warmth and pride whenever he talked about the Baron.

    So, fast forward to several decades later. I am now in my 50s and living in Bucks County, PA. Lots of Revolutionary War activity took place not far from there and in all directions. When I was laid off from my job I decided to go explore these places related to that war. Hey, I had the time. Well, I got hooked on history — American History, something I had found not very interesting in the past. I felt very much at home with all the Colonial living historians, as if I also belonged in that period. Eighteenth century kitchens felt “right”. The furnishings and decor of the historic homes I visited just felt “right”.

    I shrugged all this off until a return visit to Valley Forge as an adult. Decades had passed since I last visited there and the cherry trees were now all gone. We lived about 45-50 minutes away so it was an easy day trip to make.

    We drove through the park, admiring the scenery and eventually ended up at Washington’s Headquarters. It was in a part of the park I had not visited, so I was looking forward to seeing it. Behind the headquarters were soldier cabins that represented those where Washington’s Life Guards stayed during the encampment. I went inside one of them and immediately had a sensation that I could best describe as feeling like I belonged there and I no longer needed to go home. I shrugged it off.

    After we finished with the cabins we walked over to Headquarters and were greeted by a volunteer interpreter dressed in period clothing. This gentleman absolutely stunned me. I felt like I was looking at a ghost. He gave us a brief overview of the house and before he finished telling us where the kitchen was, I already had my hand on the door leading out to the kitchen and was attempting to unlatch it. The kitchen was not visible from the direction which we had first approached the house. But I seemed to know where it was. Later I learned just how unusual that was.

    However, the best part was when I went to the second floor. My husband was chatting with the interpreter and I headed upstairs, so I had it all to myself. I was near the room in which General Charles Lee had stayed and was wondering how much it must have smelled, given the fact that old Charlie had some serious personal hygiene issues.

    Suddenly I was overcome by that same sensation that I had in the cabin, that feeling that I belonged here and no longer needed to go home. However, it was more intense this time. I wanted to head to the attic to go rest. I shrugged it off but this trip was unusual enough that I thought I’d ask a friend with some psychic abilities what all this meant.

    I was not expecting to hear what she told me. She explained that this was related to a past life and that the reason I had these sensations was because I was there during the encampment. They were past life triggers.

    Say what?

    I figured I was probably some lowly private who barely made it through that winter. But then she proceeded to tell me that I was a female who worked at Washington’s Headquarters as a housekeeper. She had been waiting for a while to tell me about this but it needed to be at the right time.

    It took me a while to get over the shock. I was actually a bit pissed off, stunned, you name the emotion I felt it. The things I bore witness to, the people I knew and interacted with were all known to history. Except me. I didn’t have a name for myself just yet and my friend did not have any more information to give me.

    So now I needed to go and validate all this and to see if more triggers would pop up because this must have been one heck of a lifetime.

    To be continued....
     
  3. AlteSeele

    AlteSeele Senior Registered

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    Part 3
    After learning that those feelings I’d experienced at Valley Forge as an adult were past life triggers, I began thinking about those visits when I was a child: how I “knew” that soldiers slept in cabins, how I “knew” there was some big building in Wayne’s Woods, that feeling of pride whenever my father spoke of Baron von Steuben, and recognizing Martha Washington from a portrait. It all made sense now.

    But where do I begin finding out who I was? All I knew initially was that I was a housekeeper at Washington’s Headquarters at Valley Forge.

    I learned of all this around 2005-2006. There wasn’t much found on the Internet at the time with regard to housekeepers who worked for George Washington. So I asked my psychic friend if there was more information she could give me for my research. She was not able to give me any name but told me I was respected and beloved by both Martha and George and that I worked in a “supervisory capacity with regard to housekeeping duties” at headquarters. I also did some things that sounded rather unpleasant like “taking care of the old skunk”. I also got along well with someone named Charlie. The latter pointed directly to General Charles Lee who, as I mentioned earlier, had some personal hygiene issues, which have been well documented. So, it would appear that I had ties to this gentleman. OK, so that was a little more information but still not helpful with the resources I had available to me at that time.

    In subsequent research on Charles Lee, I learned that he got along better with commoners than with people in the same social strata as the one into which he was born. So, I guess that was some validation right there.

    Oddly enough, not long after that conversation I learned of a lecture given at Valley Forge with regard to the women who worked at Washington’s Headquarters during the encampment. I kid you not! Well, you know I signed up for that.

    The lecture focused on three women: Hannah Till, the cook; Margaret Thomas, the laundress; and Elizabeth Thompson, the housekeeper. Elizabeth Thompson intrigued me. Could I have been this woman? Or, could I have been someone to whom she delegated things like supervisory tasks? Perhaps her immediate assistant?

    The neat thing about Elizabeth was that she was 72 years old when she began working for Washington in 1776. She was living near New York when he learned of her and brought her on board. She also had family in Bucks County, PA with whom she spent a lot of time. Well, that latter piece certainly got my interest because of how familiar certain areas of Bucks County felt to me! But I wasn’t jumping to conclusions just yet. Besides, in my research, I learned that local women were often hired to help out with housekeeping duties, so I needed to rule out that I was someone local who worked at Valley Forge for just one winter. Elizabeth worked for Washington until 1781.

    Now I was on a mission to see if I would get more triggers and/or flashbacks. I lived within an hour of three homes that Washington used as his headquarters, so those went on my bucket list right away. I also needed to step up my game with meditations and dreams.

    To be continued....
     
  4. AlteSeele

    AlteSeele Senior Registered

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    Part 4
    I made a few more trips back to Valley Forge to see if any more triggers would pop up, but the only thing that came out of those trips was my signing up to become a park volunteer! I would work along with the park’s interpretive staff to tell the story of Valley Forge to park visitors twice a month. And, I’d get to dress in period costume. Since, I’d be working along with park rangers I could also pick their brains about things at the park I found familiar. Oh, and I’d be working at Washington’s Headquarters!

    I took to the period clothing like a fish to water. Eventually I made my own by hand and that too, felt right.

    One of the first things I wanted to get off my chest was to find out about this large building in the Wayne’s Woods section of the park that I felt was in those woods. This was going back to a childhood memory of the park. My ranger friend chuckled and then asked me if I was referring to the rest rooms and I said, no. Then I described the building to him: large wooden building made of logs. He thought about it for a bit and then mentioned there had been a hospital somewhere in those woods at the time of the encampment to care for sick soldiers. But the building was long gone. Holy cow! Another piece of validation!

    Whenever I’d walk back to my car and glance at Washington’s Life Guard cabins, something about the landscape didn’t appear right. There was a hill behind those cabins that looked out of place. I kept “seeing” the land as being more flat. Then I learned that when they built the parking lot situated behind the cabins, they needed a place to put the dirt they cleared away, so they piled it behind those cabins creating an artificial hill. Holy cow! More validation!

    Eventually the rangers knew I could handle the hoards of visitors to headquarters on my own so I got to be in that house all by myself quite frequently. What I learned from visitors was that when I told them they could head to the kitchen they didn’t know where it was or how to find it. I thought everyone knew that it was accessible from the inside of the house via a door next to the stairs. But on my first visit, I knew right where it was! Yep. More validation.

    Since I was in the house alone frequently, I’d venture upstairs to see if more triggers would happen. In one trigger, my left arm was in a sling and I seemed to be unhappy that I was not able to properly fulfill my duties there. Whilst sitting in the foyer alone I got flashbacks of activity and see people in Colonial attire milling about. I was not able to identify people in the flashbacks but I did know that headquarters was a very busy place, not to mention crowded because the house itself was not that big.

    One of the odd things that happened when I was speaking with people was that my accent would suddenly change. It would start to sound Scottish-British when I least expected it and caused a few embarrassing moments for me.

    I recall two dreams I had during the period of time I was a volunteer. In one I was wearing Colonial attire and adjusting the ties on my skirt. I was short and thin, and walked with a slight limp (I am tall, definitely not thin, and do not walk with a limp). The second dream was also from the Colonial period and in that one there were civilians (servants?) and soldiers lined up in front of a house thanking me and bidding me farewell. It was a ceremony of sorts. I seemed to have been someone who was highly respected in that time period. I stepped into a carriage and went off.

    Out of the blue one morning, I got a phone call from my psychic friend where she told me she had more information about my Colonial lifetime. Essentially, she validated a few things for me! Apparently my arm had been injured at Valley Forge when I was accidentally shot by a soldier doing target practice. The injury was not serious but Martha evidently fussed a great deal over me. She didn’t want me overdoing anything. So, there’s some validation right there to the fusspot/mother hen business from my early memories of Martha, as well as the trigger of my arm having been in a sling and feeling sad about not being able to fulfill my duties. My friend also mentioned that I walked with a limp. The limp was from an injury sustained when I was dropped as an infant. Of course none of this is documented anywhere. It’s just my personal validations to what was an exciting lifetime.

    But there’s more to come, which would confirm my suspicions as to my identity….
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  5. AlteSeele

    AlteSeele Senior Registered

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    Part 5
    I didn’t get triggers every time I did my volunteer job. Most days were just normal work days — greet people, tell them the story of the encampment, what went on at headquarters, etc. But the times triggers happened, they were completely unexpected.

    This lifetime intrigued me. I also meditated when I had the time to see if anything would surface. Often I’d see faces I didn’t recognize from different time periods. Most of my meditations were unremarkable with the exception of one. In this particular meditation a well dressed 18th century man was speaking to me. His hair was a dark strawberry blonde with strands of grey in it. He was sitting at a desk/table in a large room that was well illuminated due to the sunlight streaming in from some large windows. He was talking to me about dinner preparations. As I listened to him, I noticed that he looked familiar. As my conscious mind was attempting to figure out who he was, I lost track of the conversation. Who was this guy? Suddenly, it hit me! It was Washington. Later I learned that his hair did have a reddish hue to it when he was younger. I also described him to another fellow who claimed to have seen Washington in a meditation that he had and our descriptions matched, especially with regard to the hair. Most folks assume his hair was white like we see in portraits but that was not the case.

    That moment sealed the deal for me — it would seem that I really DID have ties to Washington. The room in which we had been conversing with him was not at Valley Forge due to its large size. The rooms in the Valley Forge headquarters house are small. So this was my first clue that I was present at other encampments. Now I needed to find which headquarters this room was situated in. But why look in books and on line when several homes he used as headquarters were located an hour’s ride from where I lived at the time.

    So here are the headquarters I visited and what happened (didn’t happen) when I visited.
    1. Rocky Hill, NJ (Rockingham) — visited there twice and no triggers or memories surfaced. This was Washington’s final headquarters used during the war. He was there in 1783, at the end of the war.
    2. Morristown, NJ (Ford Mansion) — big triggers here on the first visit and only visit. The room in which I had been conversing with Washington in that meditation was in this house! When I saw that room it was a real “holy $hit” moment for me. A piece of furniture in the house looked very familiar and evoked great excitement because I recognized it. Our guide remarked that it was original to the house and was there at the time of the encampment. Washington used this house as his winter headquarters in 1777 and again in 1779.
    3. Somerville, NJ (Wallace House) — a memory of sleeping arrangements came forth on the first and only visit. I remembered in which room Alexander Hamilton stayed. The room had some furnishings in it but was not set up to interpret it as a room in which Washington's aides slept. Our guide confirmed that I was correct. This house was used as winter headquarters in 1778.
    More documented information on Washington’s servants eventually surfaced on line as the years passed. The George Washington papers became available on line and a book written by Nancy Loane (a fellow volunteer at Valley Forge) called “Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment” was published. When I started reading this material I was stunned because it would appear that I, indeed, was Elizabeth Thompson, housekeeper at Washington’s headquarters during the war. Elizabeth retired in 1781 due to age, which does explain why Rockingham felt unfamiliar. She already was in her 70s when she came to be employed by Washington during the war. Indeed, as my friend had first mentioned to me, I had been beloved and respected by both Martha and George, which is substantiated in the documentation that surfaced. Elizabeth had been personally invited by Washington to come and live out her final days at Mount Vernon. Due to her frail condition, she opted to remain where she was living near New York. Best guess is that Elizabeth died somewhere around 1785. Her burial site is not known.

    These days when you google "Elizabeth Thompson housekeeper Washington" you get a lot of information but that was not the case when my journey started. Researching a past life is not easy and takes a lot of legwork.

    I no longer volunteer at Valley Forge and it wasn’t by choice. We moved and are no longer near the place. But I treasure the brief return I had as a volunteer some years ago.

    If you made it through all this, thank you for bearing with me.
     
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  6. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Great reading!

    Do you remember anything from Elizabeth's life before the age of 70?
     
  7. AlteSeele

    AlteSeele Senior Registered

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    Thank you so much for replying and bearing with the rather long-winded account of my discovery.

    I have had flashes of memories but nothing that I can substantiate with documentation. Yet.

    Elizabeth had ties to Bucks County, PA. I have found references to her having visited relatives in Newtown (Bucks County) and have read about a schoolmaster Thompson who lived in Newtown. Chances this may have been the relative with whom she stayed. There is also the Thompson-Neeley House where Washington's plan of crossing the Delaware was launched. So, the Thompsons were an old established family in Bucks County. In my current lifetime I lived in Bucks County for over 20 years, not far from Newtown so there were plenty of opportunities to get to explore the area. Presently I have feelers out to see what else I can learn about the Thompsons of Bucks County.

    In dreams I have seen a younger version of my Colonial self walking near the bank of a large river and I was in Colonial clothing. The setting was rural as opposed to urban (New York or Philadelphia). The central Bucks County area along the Delaware River still is rural, more or less. If I was in the right state of mind, I'd see flashbacks in my mind of what an area used to look like in the 18th century versus what my physical eyes were seeing. Talk about a weird sensation! Old roads began to take shape in my mind. Sadly, many of them nowadays go through private property so I was not able to explore everything I wanted to when I lived there. Also, in many areas of Bucks County there would be a conflict between what my physical eyes were seeing versus what my mind's eye was remembering.

    It's all still ongoing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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