Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where to meet and greet?

During the Revolution finding places to meet and organize a rebellion was a huge task.  There were men ""of a certain age" - say 40ish- too old to join the militia by refined standards, who none the less supplied troops with food, wagons, guns, ammunition and the documents of government. They also served the cause and their stories need to be included. The political war and the physical war go hand in hand.

This brings me to Wake County and to Johnson County. My relatives on Dad's side settled there around 1740.  By 1776 the Atkins' had a plantation called Swift Creek. Today there is a little town. I do not know if they know this part of the history. My father's second cousin told me a story about his family. John and Elizabeth Atkins had a son Jesse (John, Jr.), who returned from fighting at Guilford Courthouse in time to find Redcoats or Tories bivouac'd  on his parent's farm in Wake County.  "Jesse was shot off the porch". He made a will and later died.  The timing of this invasion by the loyalists fits with the kidnapping of the Governor Burke by that notorious David Fanning in September of 1781.  Jesse's will was probated in Dec. 1781 and he willed his land back to his father. His mother Elizabeth applied for a pension in his name; however, it was later denied. Somewhere in Fanning's writing there must be something about leaving his army in the field for a month while he kidnapped the Governor. It just hasn't been found.  My cousin's sister is still alive. She may know the story.

Anyway, this area of the county was one of the "quiet" areas the assembly met to plan respond to British aggression. After the war it became the Capitol through the proof by Joel Lane that it was a hospitable place with room for a hundred men and horsed to comfortably attend.  Joel Lane built a house there in the early 177os. You can visit it today, The Joel Lane House, and see a colonial manor which for the most part was out of the way of war, showing the promise of a peaceful, new land and yet which played a great part in the battleplans and political organization of the 4th largest state in the colonies.

Johnson County has Rev. history too I'm sure. It is a very old county. Today you can send your kids to Camp Flintlock to experience colonial life. This is already established.

Imagine what Wake and Johnson could do with our National Heritage Area.

Well, pottery calls, off to learn a new skill at Clayworks.

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