Fountain of Youth Background

The Disappearance of Theodosia Burr Alston and The Search for the Fountain of Youth

Written by calebbrettwygal

In the leadup to the release of THE SEARCH FOR THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, I wanted to introduce you to some of the backstories that go along with it. Like my previous novel, BLACKBEARD’S LOST TREASURE, I used real events and settings from the past and tied them into a present-day adventure.

After finishing Blackbeard, I knew I wanted to start my next novel at sea with a shipwreck off the coast of the Outer Banks. One of the most well-known and still yet unsolved mysteries is the disappearance of Theodosia Burr Alston, the daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr.

Theodosia’s life was on marred by tragedy and ill-health. Of her five siblings, she was the only one who made it to adulthood.

Alston was raised mostly in New York City. Her education was closely supervised by her father, who stressed mental discipline. In addition to the more conventional subjects such as French (the French textbook by Martel, Martel’s Elements, published by Van Alen in New York in 1796, is dedicated to Theodosia), music, and dancing, the young “Theo” began to study arithmetic, Latin, Greek, and English composition. She applied herself to English in the form of letters to her father, which were responded to promptly, with the inclusion of detailed criticism. Their correspondence numbered thousands of letters.

She married Joseph Alston, a wealthy landowner from South Carolina who would eventually go to to be governer. They had a child, a boy, in 1802. Following the baby’s birth, Alston’s health became fragile. She made trips to Saratoga Springs, and Ballston Spa, New York, in an effort to restore her health.

During the summer of 1812, her only son was diagnosed with malaria and died. He was ten. The resulting anguish affected her health.

This was her state when she boarded a schooner named Patriot in Georgetown, SC on New Year’s Eve in 1812 bound for New York City to visit her father who had just returned from his expatriation in Europe.

That was the last time anyone saw her or the Patriot.

Many rumors abound of the ship’s and Alston’s fate. How does this tie in with the Fountain of Youth?

Find out on 11/20/18 in THE SEARCH FOR THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, available on Kindle and in paperback from Franklin/Kerr Press.

You can pre-order the Kindle version here for just $.99 for a limited time before it goes to its regular price of $4.99.

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