Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am so English. Just the tiniest bit Scottish, a sliver of Welsh and one line of Irish grandmothers from about the 1450's.

When RG and I got married we had a wedding full of music from the different homelands. I think I told you about that. So, did I tell you I found a sterling silver spoon pin to wear on my dress to represent my Welsh ancestors?

Well, I have found a YouTube video from Wales on a blog from www.condron.com called http://alscotts.blogspot.com and it is the greatest!

Let me give you the words: fireworks, dogs, sheep, LEDs, whistling

Happy 4th of July preparations.

Stand by your man....

Major General Robert Howe was North Carolina's highest ranking officer during the American Revolution. Unfortunately as the leader of the southern department, he lost Florida and Georgia to the British and was relieved of command. The state of NC did thank him for his service and he was expected to take a place in the state General Assembly when he caught a fever and died.

James Iredell was a writer. Born in England and sent as a young man as a representative of the king to Edenton, Iredell first attained significant public attention when he, as a King’s servant, ironically promoted rebellion against the Crown. Although a reluctant revolutionary, he became a leading essayist in support of American independence. A dispute with the Crown over colonial court laws produced what was probably Iredell’s first political article and marked him as the literary leader of the North Carolina Whigs. His later treatise, “Principles of an American Whig,” predates and bears unmistakable consanguinity with the American Declaration of Independence. Similar to the Declaration, yet in less detail, “Principles” lists perceived Crown abuses against the colonies, including the Stamp Act, other duties and taxation, and the dispatch of British troops to Massachusetts. Democracy buds like flower.

Penelope Barker, the dynamic wife of Thomas Barker, Treasurer of the Province of North Carolina, organized a seemingly innocuous tea party (October 25, 1774, the year following the Boston Tea Party and induced 47 NC women.. to sign the following petition:
“The Provincial Deputies of North Carolina, having resolved not to drink any more tea, nor wear any more British cloth, many ladies of this province have determined to give memorable proof of their patriotism, and have accordingly entered into the following honourable and spirited association. I send it to you to shew your fair countrywomen, how zealously and faithfully, American ladies follow the laudable example of their husbands, and what opposition your matchless Ministers may expect to receive from a people thus firmly united against them.”
The petition continued: “We cannot be indifferent on any occasion that appears nearly to affect the peace and happiness of our country, and . . . it is a duty which we owe, not only to our near and dear connections, . . . but to ourselves. . . .”

The petition shocked the British and loyal colonists. London magazines labeled the Edenton women uncontrollable, and mezzotint caricatures abounded.

While visiting London, North Carolina Royalist Arthur Iredell was vexed after hearing the news of the tea party. In a letter to his brother James, (see above!) he sardonically asked:

“Pray are you becoming patriotic? . . . . Is there a Female Congress at Edenton, too?”
“If the Ladies, who have ever, since the Amazonian Era, been esteem[e]d the most formidable Enemies, if they, I say, should attack us, the most fatal consequence is to be dreaded. So dextrous in the handling of a dart, each wound they give is mortal . . . The more we try to conquer them, the more we are conquered.”

From England, in January 1775, Arthur Iredell wrote his brother, James Iredell, describing England’s reaction to the Edenton Tea Party... He sarcastically remarked, “The only security on our side … is the probability that there are but few places in America which possess so much female artillery as Edenton.”

During the 1770s, political resistance was common. But an organized women’s movement was not (common). So, the Edenton Tea Party shocked the Western world.

So, here is another example of the family squabble getting out of hand, James the patriot versus Arthur the loud-mouthed loyalist.

And you know, Penelope..up and at'em!!

Cute muppets...

SAM the Eagle from Youtube. See the American Revolution blog too. Happy 4th of July preparations.

Monday, June 29, 2009

AND so is Steve Earle!

Steve Earle is on Letterman too!! You need to hear RG and Extra Measure perform Steve's song "Copperhead Road". This is a moonshine song...

Those Scots-Irish mountain folks. Don't tread on them.

David Letterman's This Week's Topic: Top Ten Signs The Founding Fathers Would Say If They Were Alive Today Enter the contest. I'm thinking....


Zach Galifianakis is on David Letterman tonight!!

Well, I don't know him, but I know people who know him. He is staring in the Hangover. Being born in Wilkesboro, he represents the kind of people who saved America. No kidding! Read his biography: "life of contradiction ". See!

Well, I don't know about this...

And he's a blend - Greek and Scots-Irish, I'll bet...

His uncle was a Congressman.. remember N is for Nick, Nick Galifianakis, I is for his integrity, C is for Congress, K for keep him there, we need Nick in Washington, DC. I remember that after all these years. It was like a pop tune.

This is a Warner Brothers movie I see, so there's the link to golf, stars, wine and benefits for the eastern version of the Chrysler Tournament of Stars...

Remember that line in The Patriot where Mel Gibson says "These are exactly the kind of men we need..." Just rely on that.

PS. http://www.condron.us

http://www.condron.us/ is an interesting blog search web place. I have phoned and emailed many folks, but I think they have visited me once or twice now. So wanting more response, I found this site and reported my blog. In less than 15 minutes later, folks from Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Tunisia, and Switzerland were reading for half up to an hour and a half on my blog. I also had a notice from several US states and Ireland. I was very amazed and delighted to have visitors.

When our revolutionary assets are easy to access, we will have world class interest in NC and SC.

Animal Planet

Look, a bear in Durham county. I'm sorry he was hit by a truck. He was a small bear. Still, it points out that the animal population is growing and/or losing habitat. We have multitudes of deer, groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels in our yard. My dog is no longer interested in chasing them off. He does corner the oppossum that comes up at night to "share" his food. PJ got a good picture with his cell phone of the oppossum hiding in the dog house box. We put the dog up and let the critter get out of there.

I like to see them all, except for deer when they leap across the road. Sometimes in Wilkes county we see turkeys which I like and don't get me started on Canada geese. At least here, they stay appropriately in the Yadkin River.

The newest editions to Elkin are Bobcats. RG and PJ have seen the large kittens. I've heard them at night. Very scary. It explains the large deer bones the dog has found. I'm sure he did not do it.

I remember standing with my father years ago and looking out the plate glass window in the living room of the home I grew up in out into the front yard. He spotted three rabbits and a bunch of squirrels. He shook his head and said he used hunt in the woods all day, just to spot a squirrel. He was a little amazed. Well, we don't hunt so much anymore.

In fact, today in Cary, the law requires you to bring your car to a stop if the Canada Geese want to cross Kildaire Farm Road from the shopping center to the pond. That is interesting and I guess it is a safety measure. Why are they at the shopping center? It's all asphalt there. But those geese are just a nuisance. At my Mom's place, a woman has been hired to bring her herding dog to the pond and he runs around barking and carrying on to chase away the geese. They leave for the day. She collected all the eggs she could find in the spring. She missed a couple and we saw a pair with two baby geese head out to the center of the pond to avoid the dog. Good, I mean all babies are beautiful. And what would the dog do if he found them? Unfortunately, the pond is not the place for baby geese. Mom has seen hawks swoop down and steal them. We have those large birds here too. RG has spotted a bald eagle at W. Kerr Scott in the past, but not this year. I heard they nest at Jordan Lake though over between Chatham and Wake counties.

That brings in the Revolution because the bald eagle was chosen for our National Symbol. It is said the eagle was used as a national emblem because, at one of the first battles of the Revolution (which occurred early in the morning) the noise of the struggle awoke the sleeping eagles on the heights and they flew from their nests and circled about over the heads of the fighting men, all the while giving vent to their raucous cries. "They are shrieking for Freedom," said the patriots. The idea for the National symbol was first discussed at the second continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin however, preferred the turkey. He said it was". . . a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on."

This sounds to me like the Canada Geese. BEWARE. (However, the good thing- for re-enactors, you can collect the feathers that fall off and make the quill pens they used in the time of the Revolution. There are so many in Cary around all those ponds, you can probably give one to every kid in your class.)

This reminds me. Elkin will present a Revolutionary Day on Oct. 9th following the King's Mountain anniversary this year. It is expressly for students. This points out that after Joseph Winston mustered the Surry men in September, 1780, they came back though on their way to Bethabara with prisoners from King's Mountain. We have a grant to pay artisans and storytellers to present details of living in the late 1700s in a series of stations and money for gas for the buses. We will have the students visit each station for 10 minutes or so. RG and another OVTA member were able to discuss this in Abingdon, Va. last week. They have a very successful method for their Overmountain festival we will try to model this year.

Let me hint though that a very prominent writer is planning to write a story about the overmountain men. The Documentary channel is investigating us too as I already told you. I'm telling you, this emphasis on NC and SC and the Revolution is timely and going to be a great thing in the next two to three years for the whole state. Let's Roll. Up and At'em. Plan to find and promote your tourism assets.

Hey, WXII just announced an NC woman had pieces of antique jade which are valued at a price that beat the previous record on Antique Road Show. Told you. NC is a hotbed of antiques too.

PS. I have discovered George Moses Horton peet of Chatham county. His parents were slaves during the revolution in Northampton County. His master was William Horton. He was a poet and the first published african-american author from the south. You can still buy an antique edition of his work in Washington, DC for $4000. I wonder if William Horton was a Revolutionary soldier or his sons. Such a conflict, fighting for freedom and owning slaves... Was he a loyalist?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Art and Heart

The week went out with a bang. My sister and her children from Pennsylvania are visiting my mom. We have a brief break for Tom Dooley practice because Moonshine and Thunder has taken the stage. So, PJ and I zipped down to Cary to visit early on Thursday to arrive for the highlight of the morning for me, a presentation by Jerry Miller.

Jerry Miller is a renowned pen and ink artist. I have his view of the belltower at NCSU in my living room, signed by him and addressed to me which usually gets attention when its hanging in my offices in the textile world. He has thousands of drawings now. He made his living as an artist which is quite unusual. Anyway, I have told him about the park service and asked him to locate the drawings and paintings he may have created of revolutionary places in NC. It will be a monumental task, but one which is only a matter of marketing since he has probably already made them. I think his gallery is a tourist attraction in itself. And realism is coming back in fashion if it is obviously well done. It reminds us of the time before the camera when revolutionary artists were held in high esteem. It's not easy.

He is from Cary, was a great friend of my Dad's and is a supporter of the whole state of NC. His artistic content ranges from lighthouses on the sea to the barns and cabins of the mountains. Between images and stories, he also told jokes and suddenly I was transported to Roger's Restaurant in Cary and could hear my Dad telling those ol' jokes. Even the rhythm of his speech reminded me of Daddy. I think it was a "cultural experience" for PJ, though he fancies himself a cartoon artist and animator already. I thought he liked it, but I'm not sure he got the accent. Being from the mountains, sort-of, the old Cary sounds are not quite twangy enough for him, maybe they are round sounds from the early English and Scots. Anyway, he had to listen hard.

Equally important, Jerry Miller is a member of the Tyson-May family reunion I told you about earlier and was president of the reunion one year. This means he is my relative. In fact, Mom found him in our genealogy and informed him of this fact some years ago. Thursday, he informed me that Gov. Jim Hunt had been the president of the reunion one year, so I guess that means I am also related to the Governor.

Governor Hunt lived in Wilson and used to come to my aunt's house for Christmas teas. My first husband and I went too when we lived there. They were on opposite sides of the aisle so to speak. However, the Governor was ever gracious and my husband was polite. It was interesting because they found themselves on the same side of an issue unexpectedly. I think the Governor won that one. (It is also interesting that after half a lifetime one can have so many adventures and meet so many people.) I'd like to find Governor Hunt and inform him we are officially related to the revolutionary heroes Benjamin May and/or Cornelius Tyson. Maybe he can help the eastern counties with their petitions to the National Park Service study.

Wilson is a very nice town. The homes are beautiful and serene. Christmas there is all white lights in every window. This does not satisfy my Pennsylvania brother-in-law who misses the color crazys when he is here, but I must say it gives me the warm glow. Wilson also has a famous community chorus, the Wilson Chorale and is the home of Boone's Antiques.

If you collect antiques you must know Boone's. It is right off Interstate 95 and is one of, if not the largest antiques dealer on the east coast. Now I do not collect antiques. Bless me, I do not buy furniture. I am unfortunately decorated still in early college and inherited pieces - not antiques yet. BUT, I used to go there just to see. The dining room tables for twelve armchairs were the most impressive, but everything is just the best. They shop Europe, and the rest of the world, four times a year. If you can't find it there, they will find it for you. They sell wholesale and retail. Just going there is inspiring. In fact, as I type, this will be a great place for inspiration for my next round of jacquard fabrics... I've asked them to consider their 18th century pieces - remember the time of the revolution- and market them that way and of course I told them about the opportunity with the Congress and the NPS.

PJ's Pennsylvania cousins are the best young ladies, both very, very smart and they enjoy coming and visiting as we do too. We are just too busy it seems to see them more than once or twice a year. My surgery is interrupting a week together this summer which is disappointing to PJ so I'm debating sending him a week earlier to Philadelphia on the train by himself. Hummm.... Well, he is practically grown and a responsible young man. He won't get lost. He is 6'8" now.

By the way, in Asheville this summer, if you want to explore your artistic side intensively, sign up with the Fine Arts League of the Carolinas for Depot Street Summer Intensives. These are week long "summer camps" for artists or artists-to-be. And don't be afraid to learn the craft of fine arts (I say to myself). It must be helpful to learn some of the rules in order to creatively break them later. Why and How always makes a story more interesting to me. We can spatter-paint in free form later...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Whiskey War

The outdoor drama Tom Dooley, A Wilkes County Legend is whipping into shape with the veteran stars and those of us first timers. Yesterday, Karen Reynolds, the author of the play made a great point to us in a crowd scene that the community in Wilkes county was quite divided about the Civil War and asked us to react that way in the scene by choosing sides - Union or Rebel.

I think that was a bit of a surprise. North Carolina was definately a southern state and a slave state in the 1800s. In the western counties, there were fewer slaves and there were also many folks who supported the Union. However, even as North Carolina had many more casualties in that war then any other southern state, it is also true that Wilkes county supplied the bulk of those men lost. It was brutal.

This two-sided approach was equally noted in the Revolution and caused bitter disputes even between families. Our elementary school principal is a direct descendent of the Goforth family of whom two brothers, one loyal and one patriot, stepped out from behind trees at Kings Mountain and shot each other dead. It's hard to imagine...

So, come see Tom Dooley if you are curious about the effects of war on a community. It is likely to be similar to the Revolution. If you come the week of the Fourth, you can see Moonshine and Thunder about Junior Johnson and the birth of NASCAR on the 3rd and Tom Dooley on the 5th. Junior has been known to attend, so who knows, you might get a glimpse of him at Forest Edge Amphitheater. Junior's car is in the Wilkes Heritage Museum and there's a film to see there.

Most everyone knows that NASCAR the sport evolved from moonshiners engineering their stock cars to outrace the law. Here's a bit from Junior's website written in the 1960s for Esquire magazine by Tom Wolf that explains the NASCAR connection to the revolutionary war...

H'it was just a business, like any other business. Me and my brothers, when we went out on the road at night, h'it was just like a milk run, far as we was concerned. They was certain deliveries to be made and...."

A milk run-yesl Well, it was a business, all right. In fact, it was a regional industry, all up and down the Appalachian slopes. But never mind the Depression. It goes back a long way before that. The Scotch- Irish settled the mountains from Pennsylvania down to Alabama, and they have been making whiskey out there as long as anybody can remember. At first it was a simple matter of economics. The land had a low crop yield, compared to the lowlands, and even after a man struggled to grow his corn, or whatever, the cost of transporting it to the markets from down out of the hills was so great, it wasn't worth it. It was much more profitable to convert the corn into whiskey and sell that. The trouble started with the Federal Government on that score almost the moment the Republic was founded. Alexander Hamilton put a high excise tax on whiskey in 1791, almost as soon as the Constitution was ratified. The "Whiskey Rebellion" broke out in the mountains of western Pennsylvania in 1794. The farmers were mad as hell over the tax. Fifteen thousand Federal troops marched out to the mountains and suppressed them. Almost at once, however, the trouble over the whiskey tax became a symbol of something bigger. This was a general enmity between the western and eastern sections of practically every seaboard state. Part of it was political. The eastern sections tended to control the legislatures, the economy and the law courts, and the western sections felt shortchanged. Part of it was cultural. Life in the western sections was rougher. Religions, codes and styles of life were sterner. Life in the eastern capitals seemed to give off the odor of Europe and decadence. Shays' Rebellion broke out in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts in 1786 in an attempt to shake off the yoke of Boston, which seemed as bad as George III's.

For some of you, I know seeing the story or Junior Johnson or Junior himself is equal to seeing LaFayette in person. So, come on out. He won't bite.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Look at this resource for LaFayette! Methodist University in Fayetteville.

I have always loved France...

I have always loved France. It is unfortunate that the language is not offered in the schools near here for my son. He is making his way with Spanish, but he does not have the love I have for language particularly because of my fascination with France.

My uncle, spent his unmarried youth traveling around a bit. I remember his story of France. He hopped in a cab and was so delighted to be in Paris, he burst out singing the National Anthem, La Marseillaise. The French cab driver was so taken by the delivery, he joined in for a duet. Neither spoke the other's language other than that, not really. I guess my uncle knew enough to find a hotel and ask for a ham sandwich. But, I have always loved that story. I love all the passion of the French and la bonne vie.

So, I am wondering today about Marie Jean Paul Joseph Roche Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de LaFayette. I have discovered he first came to America at Charleston, SC after a retreat to Spain. He traveled on horseback to Pennsylvania, so he must have come through NC. Are there any details about his adventure in NC in 1777? Here is a bit from the referenced website about his decision to come to America.

Here he received letters from his family and the ministry which led him to return for a short, time to Bordeaux. A letter which he now wrote to the government, begging permission to proceed with his enterprise, remained unanswered. In a private letter to Maurepas, he observed that "silence gives consent," and he should go on. There was more than mere pleasantry in this. He doubtless understood well enough that the royal disapproval of his movements was in great part assumed for the sake of appearances. He set sail from Pasage (Spain), 26 April, 1777, taking with him De Kalb and eleven other officers, and landed, 14 June, at Georgetown, S. C., whence he proceeded to Charleston. After a journey of more than a month on horseback he arrived in Philadelphia, where congress was in session.

We know LaFayette returned to the states later in life, and visited 10 states including NC. But, that's after freedom. So, did he write anything about his time in 1777. Did he spend more than a couple of days in NC? Where was he?

John Quincy Adams gave this summary of LaFayette's life at the death of the hero which illustrated the Revolutionary times and the strong temperament of the man who rather than live a life of ease equal to the French king, came to America to lend a hand.

Of course, Fayetteville is named for him and apparently, so is LaGrange in Lenoir county. There is more research to do.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Growing happens: A seed germination, a butterfly metamorphosis, a baby's birth. It is always gratifying to see this process unfold before your eyes. It means that the story will go on or life will go on because of efforts out of your control or direction. There is also undoubtedly the twinge of angst - how can this happen without me?

That may be a modern emotion. I believe our patriot ancestors had a different sense about letting go or sending their offspring out to fight. I'm not sure as a 21st century mom I understand exactly. I read with interest the letter from Richard Caswell to his son telling him to prepare for the coming dangers after attending the second continental Congress.

Caswell's Letter
May 11, 1775.
My Dear Son,
By a gentleman bound to Tar River, 1 now write to inform you that after I parted with you, Mr. Hewes and myself proceeded on our jour-ney as follows: Sunday evening we arrived at Petersburg in Virginia where we met the ex-press with an account of a Battle between the King's Troops and the Bostonians. The next day we crossed James River and lodged at Hanover Court House, where we had an account of 1,500 men being under arms to proceed to Williamsburg in order to oblige Lord Dunmore (Royal Gov. of Va.) to return some powder he had taken out of the magazine and lodged on board of a man-of-warm James River. The next day we were constantly meet-ing armed men who had been to escort the Delegates for Virginia on their way towards this place. Then when we got down to Potow-mack (Potomac) side before the boats re-turned here were part of the Militia of three counties under arms, and in the uniforms of hunting shins. They received us and con-ducted us, on the return of the boats, to the water's edge with all the military honors due to general officers.

We then crossed the river, and learned at the ferry on Maryland side that a company of Independent in Charles Co. had attended the Virginia Delegates from thence under arms. Their Company consisted of 68 men besides officers, all genteelly drest in scarlet and well equipped with arms and warlike implements, with drum and file.

Then finally we arrived at Baltimore through a most terrible gust of lightning, thunder wind, hail and rain and they conducted us to our lodgings at the Fountain Tavern (Grant's).

The next day we were prevailed on to stay at Baltimore, where Co/. Washington, accompa-n/ed by the rest of the Delegates, reviewed the troops. The next day we breakfasted at my old Master Cheynes and dined at Susquehannah; crossed the river and lodged at the ferry house. As / had in some measure been the cause of the Virginia gentlemen going 'round the bay by recommending that road, and being the only person in the Company acquainted with the road, I was obliged to keep with them so that / did not call on any of my relations. I sent George (servant) to Joseph Da/lam's where he left the letters I brought for our friends and was informed my grandmother and all friends were well except Mrs. Dallam who had been poorly some time. The next day we go to Wilmington where we fell in with several of the Maryland Delegates and came all into the City (Philadelphia) to dinner on the 9th. instant

Yesterday the Congress met (May 10, 1775) agreeable to appointment, and this day it was resolved that they enter upon the con-sideration of American grievances on Monday next. Here a greater martial spirit prevails, if possible, than / have been describing in Virgin-ia and Maryland. They have twenty-eight Companies complete, which make 2,000 men, who march out to the common and go thro'their exercises twice a day regularly. Scarcely anything but war/ike music is to be heard in the streets, There are several Com-panies of Quakers, they are raising men/n New York and all the nothern governments. I here-with inclose you a paper in which is a list of the killed and wounded of the King's troops. On the side of the Bostonians, thirty-seven were k//led outright, four are missing, and / forget the number wounded - / think thirty odd.

Thus, you have the fullest account l am able to give of these matters; and as the account is so long, 'Twill not be in my power to com-municate the same to any other of my country-men and friends but through you. You may therefore remember me in the strongest man-ner to your uncles, Captain Bright, and others. Show them this letter, and tell them it will be a reflection on their Country to be behind their neighbors; that it is indispensably necessary for them to arm and form into a Company or Companies of Independents. When their Com-panies are full, 68 private men each, to elect officers; viz, a captain, two lieutenants, an ensign and subalterns, and to meet as often as possible and go thro' the exercise, Receive no man but such as can be depended on; at the same time, reject none who will not discredit the Company. If / live to return, / shall most cheerfully join any of my countrymen, even as a rank and file man; and, as in the common cause am here exposed to danger, that on any other difficulties I shall not shun whilst / have any blood in my veins, but freely offer it in support of the liberties of my Country.

Tell your uncles, Clerk Samuel and Sheriff Martin, it may not be prudent for them so far to engage yet awhile in any Company as to risk the loss of their offices. But you, my dear boy, must become a soldier and risk your life in support of those invaluable blessings which once lost, posterity will never be able to re-gain.

Some men, I fear, will start objections to the enrolling of Companies and exercising the men and will say it will be acting against Gov-ernment. That may be answered "that is not so"; that we are only qualifying ourselves and preparing to defend our Country and support our liberties. I can say no more at present. But that God Almighty protect you and all and His blessing attend your good endeavor is the ardent prayer of, my dear child, your affection-ate father
Richard Caswell
P.S. Only show this letter to such as / have described above and don't let it be copied. Consult Capt. Bright, etc.

(The original letter is in the Caswell Papers, NC. Archives.)

I thought to myself that I didn't know if I could instruct my son to give himself over to battle. Its the Abraham and Isaac story. Would I ever be as brave as Abraham ? And yet, there about 4000 years later, was Richard Caswell, sending his son to war...

I felt the twinge this Sunday when I picked up my Surry County Sunday Messenger and found a beautiful story and photos of the Sons of the American Revolution flag retirement ceremony held last weekend in Elkin. It was a attended by the state SAR president, Frank Horton and representatives in period dress and what a beautiful photo they made. (I have never attended a flag retirement. I've heard of boy scouts and sometimes JROTC hosting an event, but I didn't go. This time I was at an OVTA board meeting and had to miss it, but at least one OVTA member was there. ) The DAR regent Bonnie Osborne was there and there were bagpipes.

And importantly, the paper had our local story about the overmountain men marching with Joseph Winston to Kings Mountain succinctly told in a few paragraphs by the SAR along side an almost reverent detail of the how and why of the flag retirment process. There's the twinge, not anything as pressing as a death and yet there it is: My favorite story is going along without me told by someone else.

You know you are growing when other people you don't know, can tell the same story with the same interest or can do the same task with the same talent or sing the same song with the same enthousiasm. You just have to let them do it. That's why you told the story, right?

I feel grandfathers all over the spiritual realm shouting "Huzzah!"

Well done, Sons and Daughters!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tribal Drumming...

I've decided that Guilford Courthouse needs to host a drumline exhibition.

a. Guilford Fife and Drum Corps is awe-inspiring.
b. Greensboro is the home of NCA&T State University
1. They do have a drumline!!!!
c. Native American pow-wows ALWAYS have drummers. There's one coming up in Greensboro the 3rd week in Sept. 18th -20th sponsored by Guilford Native American Association, Inc.
d. Sometimes we are visited by Albannach from Scotland. They'll be at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games again this year July 9 -12.
e. AND let's not forget the Steely Pan Steel Band from Appalachian State University!

The music just fires you up...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

War of the Drums... I gotta see it. how'd I miss it?


Drumline inspired by four guys from A&T University.

Bah rum papa pom!!

I think we already discussed the drums importance in the American Revolution. But if not, here is the opinion of the NPS from Guilford courthouse

I want to mention music again because RG's band, RG Absher and Extra Measure, will perform at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary on Friday Night. I can't go ( ;-( ) because of the major practice for Tom Dooley this week. I hope you can go. You will love it! I want to go home next weekend to see the NC Symphony and the Circus at the Koka Booth Amphitheater.

Koka Booth is just a wonderful person. He brought his family to Cary from West Virginia when I was in high school. His vision encouraged our high school band parents to dream big. Our Director, Jimmy Burns, another incredible person, taught us from 5th grade on and inspired us with pride and finesse in the 1970s from a high height to win the Sun Fun Festival in Myrtle Beach, SC to the highest heights all the way past the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California to the Fete de Geneve in Switzerland... And the Nixon Inauguration, a parade in Raleigh for Governor Holshouser, and the Orange Bowl and the Kentucky Derby... and... and... and.. thanks to Hardees and RJ Reynolds and selling a bunch of plastic roses at Crabtree Valley Mall.

Not that the Cary band wasn't already great- they went to the Rose Bowl in the 1950s, but since the 1970s with the leadership of Jimmy Burns and Koka Booth, the band just hasn't stopped. Inspired leadership is so important.

Someone with a spark and a talent, that "energetic minority" that creates something that lives on and on...

My cousin's son was the drum major this year. The 50th anniversary of Cary Band Day was fun, fun, fun. That said, it is so hard to have a magnificent band these days given the 90 minute classes and weird schedules at school. So when a marching band is magnificent, they must be super! Listen to these drummers from 2008 from Granville county and these from 2007 from Jack Britt High school in Fayetteville .

America's got talent!

Grinding corn...

Yates Mill in Raleigh is more than 200 years old and still grinding corn. There must be interesting mention of it in Revolutionary papers. How did Fanning and Cornwallis miss it?

Back to the grind, less than 15 counties left to notify...

It appears that on both sides of the lines, managing the women was a difficult job.

2009 Events Relating to the Southern Campaign
(Courtesy of “Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution”

This is a great list from Charles' group. There is an interesting talk to be held in Richmond, Vir. about camp followers , that is the women, who followed the Rev. War troops to take care of their laundry, food , etc. Most were wives and children, but undoubtedly some were not.

Two women accompanied Patrick Ferguson to Kings Mountain (Pg. 292), Virginia Sal and Virginia Paul. Virginia Sal was the first person to die in the battle as she apparently stepped in front of a bullet aimed at the commander. She was buried with Ferguson in a cowhide and today lies with him in a Scottish cairn at the top of Kings Mountain.

Virginia Paul was captured riding away at the end of the battle with no great concern. She was eventually released and sent back to Cornwallis' army to fend for herself.

I'm acting that week or I'd be on my way to Richmond to hear more about women in the Revolution. Anybody else have great stories of women in NC or SC? There are in fact many stories in the Kings Mountain book. I'll look them up or you can just google the book, you know... Kings Mountain and Its Heroes.

Note! Stanley county, July 18th, The Battle of Colson's Mill. SAR, DAR wreath laying ceremony. The NC Sons of the American Revolution have a list of events on their website. I'm looking at them. This one is the last one in NC for them. There are several in SC. The Battle of Colson's Mill allowed Col. Davidson to deny Cornwallis an addition of nearly 1000 troops and effectively broke any remaining loyalist sympathies along the Yadkin River Valley.

Here's the SAR list:

Upcoming Events 2009

Ramsour's Mill, Lincolnton, NC - 06/13/2009
Carolina Day/Battle of Ft. Sullivan, Charleston, SC, 06/27/2009
NSSAR National Congress, Altanta, GA - 07/4 - 8/2009
Battle of Colson's Mill, Norwood, NC - 07/18/2009
Battle of Musgove's Mill , Clinton, SC - 08/15/2009
Battle of Blue Licks, Lexington, KY - 08/16/2009
Battle of Eutaw Springs, Eutawville, SC - 09/5/2009
Sycamore Shoals Assembly , Elizabethton, TN - 09/19/2009
NSSAR National Leadership Meeting, Lousville, KY - 09/24 - 26/2009
Point Pleasant Days, Point Pleasant, WV - 10/4/2009
Battle of Kings Mountain, Blacksburg, SC - 10/17/2009
NCSSAR BOM, TBD, - 10/10/2009
Yorktown Victory, Yorktown, WA - 10/19/2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The last surgery for now is set and its for me. I wasn't expecting that. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but it seems the doctor in Charlotte says I don't have too much choice. I feel a little like the tin man for now. He basically thinks I will be able to swing from a trapeze afterwards. Hummm....

Perhaps if Daniel Morgan had had a doctor like this, he would have been able to continue the war. After his magnificent victory at Cowpens, he had to give it up.

This morning I went to Clayworks and found people busy working on a pottery order for a new, local winery. We, the guild, are all going to meet there for dinner sometime soon. PJ wants to buy his Dad a bottle of wine for Father's Day. He has instructed me to find it. It will be Yadkin Valley Wine no doubt.

When we were married, PJ's Dad and I went to a country club in California in the Wine country there. There was the Chrysler Tournament of the Stars featuring four sponsors - Warner Bros., American Airlines, Computerland, and a California builder I believe, to benefit the Boy's Clubs of California. I think that is correct. Anyway it was a five day event in the early 1990s. The primary feature was a golf tournament. Warner Brothers supplied STARS! The other groups gave incentives to the top sales firms. My former husband owned a company that was a vendor for Computerland and so we took the trip. He got to play golf with one star per foursome. Toni Tennille was his star. The general public was invited to view the celebrity golf tournament for a fee.

In a nutshell...We had dinner with Toni Tennille at a talent show. I smiled at Mac Davis whenever I saw him that week. He sang a song about a (very) young romance that ended in the talent show. Toni quietly told me that was a true story. I was so surprised! How could any average person do that to just a heart throb.

Robert Wagner put his arm around me. I met Clint Eastwood eye to eye. (I was taking his photo from across the room. I guess he wasn't all that pleased...) Jack Valenti was at the table across from us. Earlier, I nearly ran over Johnnie Mathis and the director of The River Wild, Curtis Hanson.

Hopefully, the director thought I was Meryl Streep for just a very brief moment. We made eye contact the rest of the week, but I was not discovered unfortunately. He hung around with three other stars who actually hung around those of us who were not stars. I didn't get to talk to him, but one of his star buddies told me we had to stop meeting like this at the salad bar. I didn't know him, but I knew his face. In fact I only recognised one of them as stars I knew. I didn't know I was trading curious glances with a director until sometime later when I saw him interviewed on TV. Gosh, if I had known, knowing myself as I do now, I would have not hesitated to say hello at least.

Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Dick Martin from Laugh-In, and Diahann Carroll (who DID NOT look a day over 35 even then) were hanging around in the tavern together having lots of laughs.

It was the year of the 25th anniversary of the moon landing. The astronauts were there. I have my photo with Neil Armstrong and one of him with Alan Shepard. My two cents --- Alan Shepard who came across on TV as the most friendly, was not. Neil Armstrong who didn't talk much during that year was Mr. Wonderful! He and his wife were enjoying all the other stars as much as all of us. I got his autograph.

You know, when you put that many stars in a country club together, they are really just a bunch of nice people on vacation.

They need to come to NC for vacation. We have golf. We have wineries and we have film studios. What we need are the businesses to raise money for the boys and girls clubs of NC. AND we have National History. California doesn't have that!

Maybe after we film the TV series about the southern campaign all that will change. Do you think Curtis Hanson will remember me?

I'm goint to have to break down and cold call somebody.

There is a documentary brewing in Virginia and Tennesee about the overmountain men. The idea is it will be a series and proceed into NC and SC. We, OVTA, were approached and are actively working on that since about six weeks ago.

In addition, our OVNHT is included in Ken Burn's new series about our National Parks. Watch out for that.

Now as I always close-- dig out those stories. Let the park service know how much you would like the area to be a national heritage area and what you could do with funding to promote the area for tourism, business and education. This is kind of like stone soup I know, but we have a story-telling gold mine in NC.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Up and at' em

Get going, get busy, as in Up and at 'em--there's a lot of work to be done. This colloquial idiom, often uttered as a command, uses at 'em (for "at them") in the general sense of tackling a project, and not in reference to specific persons.

This is not quite a satisfactory definition for me. It loses its history.

My mom used to barge into my room on early school days, flick on the light switch and cheerfully and loudly announce "Up and at'em", to rouse me out of a perfectly good sleep. Did your mom do that? I think it was a fairly common way of announcing the morning since we did not have our own rooster at that time. I have been known to do it to my son, but it is not a habit the way it was with my mom and her family. My grandparents did it too. Get up, hurry up...

So why?

Well, in 2005, when we celebrated the 225th campaign to Kings Mountain in Elkin, I found it used in a speech by Col. Ben Cleveland to the militia in Draper's book, Kings Mountain and its heroes on page 195.

"The enemy is at hand and we must be up and at them. Now is the time for every man of you to do his country a priceless service..."

The light bulb went ON!... OH, this is what my grandparents say up and at them, not up and atom!!!

I made a drawing and had T-shirts silk-screened the UP and AT' EM!! right across the top for our event. It was the first I'd ever heard this term in its correct context. It was inspiring to me, but the importance of inspiration came later when I brought some tee shirts to the Yadkin Valley Historical Association Fair in Yadkinville the next year. A woman for Forsyth county made the observation that it was just like "Let's Roll", the stirring words that fortified the men and women on flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.

Chills, huh?

And you thought this just came from the our superhero cartoon Atom Ant. Well, now you know. At least that's what I'm claiming!

Now, up and at'em. You have only 15 days left to make a case to the NPS if your county is not yet in the NHA.

Up and at'em. Now is the time...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Proud to be a member of the ENERGETIC MINORITY

Do the historical overview and themes identified for the Southern Campaign of the Revolution reflect the most important stories of this period of history?

This is one of the questions from the NPS planning and study division for NC to answer.

Here are the themes already identified as focus points for the NHA.

• The military events in the Carolinas substantially influenced the
eventual American victory in the Revolution

• Political rivalries in the Carolinas were catalysts to the outbreak of
the Revolution in the south and played an important role in what was
in many ways America’s first Civil War

• The brutal combat during the Revolution profoundly disrupted
traditional ways of life in the Carolinas

• The American victory in the Revolution presaged momentous changes for Native Americans and African Americans in the Carolinas.

This is red is my suggestion for an important theme. I mentioned that at the meeting I attended in Morganton.

The soldiers of the revolution, both military and militia, supporting the rebellion represented a melting pot of cultures from the world around the Atlantic Ocean ( including English, French, German, Spanish, Welsh, Scotish, Irish, Scots-Irish, African nations, Cherokee, Cawtaba, and eastern tribes, and Polish. There may be others to be uncovered).
The ability of these cultures to cooperate and sacrifice for an idea was new and fundamental to the establishment of the new United States.

Ironically, the melting pot effect was found on both sides of the conflict, but the cooperating was of a mercenary nature.

I am thinking I have overlooked the second theme concerning catalysts to the outbreak. This might then include the battle of Alamance in the 1760s and the Battle of the Great Bridge in Virginia in 1775 where many northeastern NC men went to defend their neighbors. I don't know, but if your ancesters were there, then we should write the Park Service about them. I am almost confident that the political catalyst included the "energetic minority in Edgecombe" as well as Pitt county's support for the city of Boston. There are catalyst all over eastern NC, so you guys please reveal them to the Park service.

I have added a search box on the side here for you to search for what I have written on the blog. I am going to delete the list of blog dates. Let me know if that is a problem and I will put it back.
We went to church today and gave thanks for the blessings thus far received and ask for protection from difficulties in the future. The theme of the Sunday School class was about faith. What is faith without doubt? Nothing. What do you do when the world appears dark and challenges you to act. Move out in faith even if you are afraid. And, why does dark happen? Sometimes we do not know because God works in mysterious ways.

We say God works in mysterious ways very often. It was the title of a hymn we sang today. I believe it refers to a Psalm, but that quote is not in the Bible as far as I know. I think it was a profound revelation of the songwriter, William Cowper.

I found this on a blog FROM NC!! So, I take it as a mysterious way and I will contact Martin at Pembroke asap. The words of the hymn/poem follow:

God Moves in Mysterious Ways

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

William Cowper was English. My personal opinion on this poem is that it was sent as consolation to the British in the middle of the American Conflict. For those with eyes to see, this is a clear revelation of the liberty coming to America and the encouragement to accept the change. Well, that is my preaching of the day.

Note that he was a friend of John Newton the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace. I love this version by Il Divo. Thanks, Simon Cowell. I especially love the bagpipes.

A wonderful movie was made of the story surrounding this hymn recently. I need to pull it out and see it again. This hymn was inspired by a man's spiritual journey as a slave trader and later through his affictions, toward a new life. The movie includes a protrayal of Olaudah Equiano, an African captured and brought into slavery who later was able to make money earning his freedom in America. He could not stay in America as a free man and went to England. He is a real man who wrote an autobiography about his life of freedom in Africa, slavery in Virginia, and eventually his release and work for the abolutionist movement already underway after the revolution. Some few historians question his birth in Africa because of a document he signed in SC. There is also his description of almost losing his freedom again in Georgia after gaining it in Pennsylvania. This means he had to travel, most likely, through the Carolina's. I wonder if his narrative includes any details about North or South Carolina. In any case, his autobiography should be very informative. I would like to read it. I, by the way, fully believe he was African.

Don't you think you've heard God today?

Change was certainly coming to the British empire in the late 1700s. It was foreshadowed everywhere. Thank goodness, we are on the other side of that conflict and allied with Britain now.

When you hear music like this its easy to understand how the less enthousiastic majority of Americans had doubts about any revolution. Who really wanted to give this up?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Give a little love and it all comes back to you...

My patient after one day from surgery is like almost new. I am amazed. He is slightly sore, but driving again. I tell you, when this happened to me in the late 1970s, I was down for a week. And yes, he is young and strong, but really, the techniques of healing are slightly different and what a difference those small changes make! It doesn't take much to make change, only an energetic minority and a little clear-headed science.

A new note to those interested in hybrid cars...

Hello all:

I know this is short notice, but would appreciate anything you can do to get the word out- this will be a great product specific class for working technicians!

We have about 10 more seats open.Wake Tech will be conducting a three day workshop June 22-24 which will focus on technician training for two specific hybrid technologies.

This workshop has been customized at the request of the City of Fayetteville as their technicians will be attending the course. The workshop schedule:
Day 1, Introduction to hybrid technology, hybrid safety.
Walk-around of bothToyota and Honda hybrid vehicles.
Day 2, Class room and hands on technical training on the GM Belt AlternatorStarter (BAS) hybrid system. We will be working on both Saturn and Chevy BAS hybrids.
Day 3, Class room and hands on technical training on the Ford Escape hybrid.We will be working on a Ford Escape hybrid.

Class runs from 9:00 to 4:00 each day.
Cost is $55.00/student
Instructor: Rich Cregar
Location: Main Campus, Automotive Technology Complex (AUT)

Course qualifies for CEU's. Seats are available.

Please contact Mr. Cregar if interested.

Best regards;
Rich Cregar,
InstructorAutomotive Systems Technologies
Sustainable Transportation Technologies
Wake Technical Community College
Glaxo Smith Kline Faculty Fellow
Institute for Emerging Issues
N.C. State University
Raleigh, N.C.

The sacrifice of one or some can precipitate a tremendous change. I have found a book about a gentleman from Martin County, Life and times of Elder Reuben Ross , describing the life of a poor preacher born in 1776.

William Ross was the father of ten children, of whom Reuben was the youngest son. Three of his brothers were in the war of the Revolution, and two of them, Martin and James, became Baptist ministers.Reuben went to school only nine months in all, at different times, in the course of seven years, and left school finally at fourteen years of age. He greatly desired an education, but could not obtain it. He considered it his duty to contribute, by physical labor, to the support of his father's family. To such labor he may have been indebted for that vigor of constitution which made him every inch a man, and lengthened out his days so far beyond the ordinary limit of human life. He knew in his youth and early manhood the inconveniences of poverty. And why? Because his father had sacrificed an independent estate to promote the objects of the War; and his youngest son, when he had become old, was heard by the writer to say: “I was always proud that my father became poor by spending his estate to carry out the principles of the Declaration of Independence.” Such language as this could not have been spoken if patriotism had not reached its climax and its perfection. Poverty is generally regarded as a calamity, but Reuben Ross rejoiced in his youth, in his manhood, and in his old age, that his father became poor by cheerfully surrendering his estate to help forward the Revolutionary contest. How safe would our country be if such a spirit of patriotism pervaded the hearts of all American citizens!

And another entry....

From Martin County History Vol I by Francis M Manning & W H Booker p223.

William Ross of Martin County was the son of William Ross Sr, formerly of the State of Virginia, who came to North Carolina, and settled in Martin County (the islands section of what is now known as Williams Township). His son (William Jr), father of ten children listed below, was born on the 9th of August, 1731, and departed this life on December 25, 1801. "William Ross, Senior, [apparently talking about the next William, husband of Mary Griffin] was successful in accumulating property and he became quite prosperous selling products of the farm to traders from New England who ascended the Roanoke in their vessels. All this prosperity vanished, however, at the commencement of the Revolutionary War. Trade of all kinds was paralyzed and at the close of the eventful period, he found himself a poor man with a comparatively large family to provide for. Yet he was never heard to complain on account of his changed circumstances, but rather rejoice that by the sacrifice of his property and by the sending of his three sons, William, John, and Martin into the army, he had contributed his mite to obtain the priceless blessings of freedom."

Whatever comes, we can live through it.

Did you get to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony? I went last year. I probably could have gone this year, but I thought I would be needed as a nurse a little longer. RG went and guess what, he had dinner with Doc Watson. No kidding. I was just plain jealous.

At the table with them were our friends Richard and Vicky Beard. Richard has a radio show on WNCW called Celtic Winds. He is also a fine instrument maker. He made a mountain dulcimer for the raffle event this year. The Wilkes Heritage Museum is the sponsor of the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame and the induction ceremony is turning out to be a great fund raiser for them.

Well, the board for OVTA is meeting today. I think this National Heritage Area is going to be a big deal very soon. You can create something with what you have. Listen to Doc Watson's explanation of how he created Black Mountain Rag for guitar. Then go have a Coke ...

Friday, June 12, 2009

School's Out for Summer!

National History Day is approaching! Since school is out, perhaps it is a good time to allow your creative thoughts to flow during that relaxing stretch in the sun. What can you do to enhance your community because of your Revolutionary History? How can your suggestions encourage the people in your schools to reach out because of history...


A jail built in 1776! ready to go see today in Currituck county. Well, the county was given permission to build a jail in 1776 and it is referred to in documents by 1790. I have to look more. So, what happened at this jail? Any ghosts?

I'm looking.

Here is a site which mentions a book containing NC laws made concerning slaves. Currituck is mentioned once.

We may have to call a life line here...

Before we do, here is a resource about the land grants which is a great explanation of how and why from our Department of Cultural resources

The Graveyard of the Atlantic

The area offshore of NC's Outer Banks has been called the graveyard of the Atlantic because of the difficulty of navigation. This aided the patriots during the Revolution who knew the lay of the land under the waters and could ship in supplies from allies. Several battles at sea with the British occurred off these shores.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum has found the Enigma coding device from the German boat U-85. As the museum grows it will have exhibits concerning the Revolutionary War. Aha, a connection for Dare county already welcoming visitors.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Lost Colony - Found!?

The Lost colony may be found if a project in Martin county succeeds in collecting enough DNA. The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research is making the news around here. I've asked them to discover Revolutionary war history too.

Washington county

When you look for information about Washington county, named for George Washington himself, during the time of the Revolution, you get a lot of info about Washington of Tenneesee.

But I am curious about Somerset Place. Built in 1785, it was a very large plantation. 80 Africans were imported to create the plantation as well as other enslaved people born here. It was the site of the first African-American homecoming of slave relatives in the United States at a plantation. Today it is NC historic site. I know it is a little later than the Revolution, but.. Perhaps there is information on the Collins family that lived there and about their lives before the British left America. It certainly tells the story of how African-Americans ended up after the revolution.

But here is also Davenport Homestead, home of the first NC senator from the newly formed Washington county. More importantly, he was a revolutionary soldier and this was his house, all 600 square feet of it still intact.

There must be tons of Native American history here too.

So, that's good enough for me. Someone write the Park Service.


Tyrrell County sent the first Revolutionary volunteers to the Continental Army.

That's enough to make something out of nothing I imagine. Look at this great magazine, Scuppernong Gazette . Maybe they know more...
Another view of the Navy..

These resources are all confusing. I guess we all want "our" guys to be the heroes. The resource above said the Navy was somewhat diffused and gradually Robert Morris emerged to head it. It does not say our man, Joseph Hewes was the Secretary of the Navy.

It points out that the states each created their own navies for their own defense at first rather than wait for the federal government. It also notes NCs prime concern was to guard the Pamilco Sound so as not to disrupt trade. That seems very likely. Still we know, Joseph Hewes was the chief promoter of the skills of John Paul Jones. John Paul Jones made a name for himself in the Revolution and even went so far as to attack the British homeland itself.

Born John Paul in Scotland, Jones passed 20 months in obscurity in America, chiefly in Fredericksburg, Va. A tradition assumes he changed his name during this period from John Paul to Paul Jones and John Paul Jones in gratitude to two brothers, Willie and Allen Jones of North Carolina. But no authentic record proves that he ever met either of them or that they served him in any way. What is known with certainty is that Joseph Hewes, shipowner and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was his greatest early benefactor.

Aha, a North Carolina connection, for Willie Jones , pronounced Wylie Jones, of Halifax and later of Wake county is considered the father of Raleigh as much as Joel Lane. This is fascinating oral history in the North Carolina tradition. There has been a Wylie Jones living in Raleigh ever since.

So, this is a brief description of the brothers and their position in the countryside where the sad young man was approached in front of a tavern in Halifax in 1773. Willie, one of the most powerful men in the colony, known for his sympathy and compassion for the common man, with an intellect equaled by few others, engaged him in a labored conversation:
“What is your name?”
“I have none,” the young man said.
“Where is your home?”
“I have none,” again was the reply.
Willie engaged him in kindly conversation, and took him home to “The Grove” where he remained for a year or more, leaving Halifax for several months, then returning again. Some of those months were spent at “Mount Gallant”, the home of Alan Jones, and in fact he recovered from a bout of typhoid fever there under the care of Allan’s second wife, Rebecca during the first months. A close relationship developed between the brothers and the sailor. In the meantime, the winds of war were developing and John Paul, having adopted the ways of the aristocratic Joneses, and being wholly sympathetic to the revolutionary positions of the brothers, expressed a desire to put his expertise as a ships captain at the disposal of the colonies in the looming showdown with the British.
Both Alan and Willie gave their full support to his desire to go back to sea, and the following scene has been described with essentially the same details through several separate family branches via oral history, backed up by written statements of family members when Admiral Morison’s total rejection of the validity of North Carolina’s and the Jones’ family claim as to how the name change occurred. John Paul expressed his desire to go back to sea and Willie offered him money to tide him over, but was refused , so instead offered him his sword, which was accepted with gratitude. John Paul then asked of the brothers that they allow him to adopt the name “Jones” as his new surname, and that he would make them proud of it. Willey and Alan, flattered, gave him permission and so John Paul became John Paul Jones.
Willie introduced him to Congress through Joseph Hewes who had been appointed by Congress a member of the Naval Committee, who caused him to be appointed a first lieutenant in the American Navy on December 22, 1775. His subsequent career in the Navy is history, the most famous incident, of course, being his great naval victory in the battle between his “Bonhomme Richard” and the British Man of War “Serapis” in view of the English shoreline off Flamborough Head in Yorkshire.
Since there has been no updated biography of John Paul Jones since Admiral Morison’s “A Sailor’s Biography” which either accepts or rejects the “North Carolina Tradition”, I would like to address a couple of the principal reasons that the family, that is the descendents of Willie and Allen Jones, believe that they are correct in making the claim that his surname is their Jones.
Admiral Morison says, here I quote, that
“the tradition even acquired properties. In the Naval Academy at the Museum at Annapolis, is a broad sword presented by Rear Admiral R. F. Nicholson, U. S. N., in 1924, which to quote the museum’s catalog at that time ‘According to tradition was given by Willie Jones of North Carolina in 1775 to John Paul Jones, used by Jones during the Revolution and given by him to Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr. Later presented to the Nicholson family. There is no inscription on the sword and John Paul Jones, so far as evidence exists never even met Theodosia Burr. There is certainly no reason why he should have given her the sword.”"
Here Elizabeth Cotton refers to the Honorable Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy in the cabinet of Woodrow Wilson, and Ambassador to Mexico during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, and his address to The North Carolina Literary and Historical Society wherein he traces the history of the sword as follows:
“It is known that the Naval officer (John Paul Jones) presented the sword to Judge Matthew Davis of South Carolina, who gave it to his intimate friend, Aaron Burr, who gave it to his daughter Theodosia Alston, who gave it to Mr. Duchachet, of Philadelphia, who in turn presented it to his nephew, Commodore Somerville Nicholson, father of Admiral Nicholson to whom it now belongs.”
It is on loan to the Naval Academy Museum where it is on display. This documented provenance, which corrected the museum catalog, effectively rebuts Morison’s position.
Morison allows as how John Paul “may have met” Willie somewhere - in Edenton, the port city at he mouth of the Roanoke River, where he may have gone looking for work at Hewes & Smith, the enterprise partly owned by Joseph Hewes. It seems this would have been a strange place for a man, supposedly attempting to be “incog” to go, because the port would have been full of the kind of people who might recognize him.
Morison continues that the negative evidence against John Paul taking the name as a compliment to Willie and Allan Jones is overwhelming, basing his conclusions, among others, as follows:
No letters exist. We know that all of the Willie and Allan Jones correspondence were lost when a fire destroyed Willie’s granddaughter’s house in Virginia in the late 1860s.
John Paul Jones never mentions the Jones brothers in any known correspondence. This is true, but we should keep in mind that no letters of either Willie or Allan’s survive, yet family members have stated they remember seeing letters from John Paul to Mrs. Allan Jones. Admittedly, there is no documentary evidence.
Morison says that John Paul had over a dozen casts of a bust of him by French sculptor Houdon, and presented them to various American friends, but none to Allan or Willie or any other North Carolinians. This is true, however John Paul Jones’ diary states that he only gave them to those who asked for one with the exception of Thomas Jefferson, at the time the American Minister to France, to whom he was particularly indebted at the time.
Elizabeth Cotton writes in her book that her friend, Mrs. Robert T. Newcomb, a direct descendant of Willie and Mary Jones, heard her mother relate how her mother, a great granddaughter of Willie Jones, speak many times of how her grandmother grew up, until she was 14 years old at “The Grove”, with her Grandmother, Sarah Welsh Jones Burton, Willie’s daughter. She heard often of letters received by Mrs. Willie Jones from John Paul Jones. In fact, the famous man sent to little Sarah a gold brooch and a cap of beautiful French lace. The brooch was always worn on important occasions, when she was married to Hutchens Burton and to his inauguration as Governor of North Carolina on December 7, 1825. Elizabeth Cotton has held in her hands the delicate lace and the brooch, now owned by Mrs. Newcomb, which is small, almost square with a space in the center which once held a lock of hair, long since gone, that of John Paul Jones. Prior to the publication of Elizabeth Cotton’s book, this information was not available to anyone. It was part of the family’s oral history, with the backup of the objects, again identified by oral history. Would the women of those successive generations consistently lie about the provenance? It seems most unlikely.

Well, no physical evidence remains, but I like this story. John Paul Jones moved to NC, was rescued from despair by Alan and Willie Jones and rose to be the greatest sailor of the Revolution. Let's claim him as a North Carolinian.

Here's an interesting book , Drums, I'd like to find and read... I see it was illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, one of America's finest illustrators and father of one of America's finest artists, Andrew Wyeth.

And, the more I search, the more curious it gets.... women in the Revolution. Pay attention to Mary Slocomb. Here is an excerpt from that great story.

Such a dinner, it may well be supposed, met the particular approbation of the royal officers, especially as the fashion of that day introduced stimulating drinks to the table, and the peach brandy prepared under Lieutenant Slocumb's own supervision, was of the most excellent sort. It received the unqualified praise of the party; and its merits were freely discussed. A Scotch officer, praising it by the name of whiskey, protested that he had never drunk as good out of Scotland. An officer speaking with a slight brogue, insisted it was not whiskey, and that no Scotch drink ever equalled it. "To my mind," said he, "it tastes as yonder orchard smells."
"Allow me, madam," said Colonel Tarleton, to inquire where the spirits we are drinking is procured."
"From the orchard where your tents stand," answered Mrs. Slocumb.
"Colonel," said the Irish captain, "when we conquer this country, is it not to be divided out among us ?"
"The officers of this army," replied the Colonel, "wiIl undoubtedly receive large possessions of the conquered American provinces."
Mrs. Slocumb here interposed. "Allow me to observe and prophesy," said she, "the only land in these United States which will ever remain in possession of a British officer, will measure but six feet by two."

Well, that's almost true, but with the exception of the graveyards at Ocracoke in Hyde county and Buxton on Hatteras Island in Dare County, which were deeded to England after World War II. If you've never been to England and want to go, then go stand there and you will be on British soil.

Buxton is having an issue with the NPS. Hummm....

My patient has eaten yogurt and drank some milk. Now he snoozes again and thunder is rumbling a threat...again! Will this rain ever lighten up?
The third surgery this month was a complete success and the patient is snoozing away, with ice wrapped around his head so that he looks like Princess Leia, sleeping off the anesthesia. It is quite remarkable what an experienced surgeon can do.

So I am looking about the internet to find discussions about surgery. I came across this MARVELOUS book about the southern campaign. I am distracted to read it before I write anymore, but let me share this information about the importance of horses for travel.

* “The horse is our greatest safeguard,” said Greene, “and without them the militia could not keep the field in this country.”33 Generally speaking, the mounts of the Continental cavalry, often being derived from Virginia
thoroughbreds, were faster and heartier than those of the British; who had effectively lost (just about) all their horses in the storms at sea sailing south to Charleston in the early weeks of 1780.34 The quality of horses made a
significant difference both on the march and in combat. On campaign, the American cavalry could usually move longer distances and more quickly without showing strain too early. In a charge in combat, their stronger and
heavier horses added additional power to the force of the attack. Lee speaks on this topic a few times in his memoirs. On the other hand, by the time Cornwallis invaded Virginia in the spring of 1781, it was essentially impossible for Greene to obtain new horses for his army from there; as well, an act by the Virginia legislature about the same time further prohibited their impressment and seizure by his agents.35

* With respect to movement rates we have the following examples to compare and consider:
~ Joseph Plumb Martin, a Continental soldier from Massachusetts reports walking a squad under his command 50 miles in 12 hours, and 90 miles in 24 hours.
~In pursuit to Waxhaws, Tarleton’s troops rode 105 miles in 54 hours (while losing horses on the march; which were replaced en route.)
~After Musgrove’s Mill, Isaac Shelby immediately retreated with a mounted forced, encumbered with prisoners, some 60 miles; such that in course of 48 hours his men had rode 160 miles, i.e. 100 to get to
Musgrove’s and 60 in retreat back toward the over-mountain settlements.
~ Joseph McDowell (of Quaker Meadows) and his militia marched 31 miles in one day, while other forces gathering for the King’s Mountain engagement did above 23 miles per day. On October 1st, the entire force left Quaker Meadows and did 18 miles in one day, but there was rain; which forced them to halt for the entire next day. On the actual day of battle, and despite some drizzle and light rain, Shelby and Campbell’s rode 40 miles to reach Kings Mountain.
~ An army moving at 10-15 miles a day considered to be moving at a very slow rate. As one example of this, in late January 1781, it took Cornwallis, 3 days to move 36 miles from his camp on Little Broad River to Ramseur’s Mill.
~ Prisoners taken by Morgan at Cowpens (16 January 1781) amounted to two thirds of his force. Slowed by captured prisoners and munitions (muskets, artillery and ammunition), he did not reach the north fork or main stream of the Catawba until the 23rd of January (having moved a distance of approximately 50 plus miles in
7 days.)
~ Kirkwood’s Delaware troops would typically move 60 miles a week on (mathematical) average, sometimes up to 70 or 80. An ordinary days march was 20 to 30 miles, or less depending on the strategy of the moment Greene was employing.
~ During his pursuit of Greene to the Dan River, Cornwallis managed a march of nearly 180 miles in the short space of ten days. Greene and his army, for their part, had moved on average 20 to 30 miles a day in the
same period.
~ On the retreat from the battle at Guilford, Cornwallis’s sore, weary, and many shoeless men, and encumbered with sick and wounded, did 90 miles in six days.

We forget how these people could move about relatively quickly and that they did it.

I was wondering about that question a few days ago myself. It only takes a few searches to come across someone who has already prepared the research. And, the exciting thing to me is to realize how much more information may be buried in pension statements or papers in archives all over the south.

Speaking of transportation, this just came across my email:

For those that were not able to attend the May 27th ElectrifyingTransportation conference in Raleigh but are interested in this exciting arena of transportation technologies: The PowerPoint presentations from the May 27th Electrifying Transportation Conference are now posted here:http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/ncsc/transportation/events.htm

In addition there will be a the road-mapping meeting for NC Get Ready July28th - Charting the Course for Electric Transportation. The meeting willtake place on RTI's MCNC campus at 3021 Cornwallis Rd., Durham NC from 1pm-4pm.

Remote participation will be available; please specify when you RSVP if you prefer this.

RSVP to Chelsea_Conover@ncsu.edu. Charting the Course for Electric Transportation Meeting Announcement

Who: All interested in making North Carolina a leader in electrictransportation

What: A road mapping meeting to further NC Get Ready by planning,prioritizing and implementing the steps involved in expanding use ofelectric vehicles in North Carolina

Where: RTI's MCNC campus; 3021 Cornwallis Rd, Durham, NC When: July 28, 2009 1:00-4:00RSVP : cleantransportation@ncsu.edu

Vik Rao, Research TriangleEnergy Consortium, 919-541-7438;
Anne Tazewell, NC Solar Center,919-513-7831;
Jeff Barghout, Advanced Energy 919-857-9006

Anne Tazewell
Transportation Program Manager
NC Solar Center/NC State University
Campus Box 7401
Raleigh, NC 27695-7409
phone: 919-513-7831
fax: 919-513-4523
email: anne_tazewell@ncsu.eduwww.cleantransportation.org

For the latest in alt fuel news & events sign up for the NC Mobile CAREListserve by sending 'subscribe ncmobilecare' to mj2@lists.ncsu.edu

This was the wonderful conference I told you about. The powerpoints should be enlightening.

See my note this is on Cornwallis Road in Durham. And as far as I know, Durham County is not on the current map for the NHA. So somebody out there discover why there is a Cornwallis Road in Durham county. He is bound to have been there too.
So look what is found in the Marvelous book!

Emily Geiger became a little folk-tale in the hands of Benson Lossing with the story of how she was captured by the British, while attempting to deliver an important message from General Greene. Through a bit of slyness she
succeeded in destroying the message before it could be found.53

Another oft recounted story is concerns Greene’s evening’s sojourn at an inn at Salisbury, N.C. in early February 1781. Without a dollar to the army
chest, he was feeling especially overwrought with the responsibilities and cares that fell under his charge when Elizabeth Maxwell Gillespie Steele (or as she was named at the time of the occurrence, Elizabeth Maxwell Gillespie), wife of the innkeeper, handed him a bag of money that represented a substantial part of her savings. Greene, touched by her generosity, wrote on the back of a portrait of King George in the inn, “Oh George, hide thy face and mourn!”

He then left the picture facing the wall. What is claimed to be the portrait (which happens to be a print by the way) still exists in the hands of Thyatira Presbyterian Church in Millbridge, Rowan County.54

I wrote about the Thyatira Presbyterian Church in an earlier post. Now, I must go there to see if General Greene's handwriting is on the back!!! I think the print of King George was on the website.

However, here is another version of the story concerning the genealogy of Rev. Capt. John Steel’s Parents . It's possible the picture is in Raleigh!?

Patient is still snoozing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Moving bones

We have two signers of the Declaration of Independence buried at Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro. They are William Hooper and John Penn. William Hooper was buried in Hillsborough, but they moved him to Greensboro. John Penn was from Granville (now Vance county) and he was later moved to Greensboro, too.

A third NC signer, Joseph Hewes is buried in Philadelphia along with Benjamin Frankin. Joseph Hewes was unmarried and died during one of the sessions of the Congress. He never saw the result of his actions. The whole Congress moaned for him. He had established a business in Edenton in Chowan county. In 1776, he was appointed the first Secretary of the Navy. He signed over his whole fleet of ships to the US at great personal and financial sacrifice. So, it seems to me that Chowan then is the site of the first headquarters of the Navy.

Joseph Hewes, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a citizen of Edenton, a large ship-owner and merchant, who carried on a great trade with England and the West Indies. War meant a tremendous financial sacrifice to Hewes but, true patriot that he was, he signed the Declaration and put his entire fleet at the disposal of the Continental forces. To Hewes the Nation is indebted for the brilliant services of John Paul Jones.

John Paul Jones was certainly a colorful character. He died in Paris, but when his remains were discovered there in the early 1900s, he was moved to the United States Naval Academy where he was carried into Bancroft Hall and placed under the grand staircase leading to Memorial Hall. He remained for nearly thirteen years until additional funds were appropriated for the completion of the crypt in the Chapel.