Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Carolina named for Charles IX of France!

Jean Ribault, the Huguenot named the Carolinas after the French King, Charles IX. I did not know that.

The French very well gave the idea to the English it appears. In fact, a group from the failed French colony at Charlesfort in early SC set sail to go back home to Europe from SC, successfully landed on English shores, and were interviewed by Queen Elizabeth I herself.

And the Spanish were already there in the area of Florida. Well, I did know that. But we forget all about that Spanish exploration I guess because the common people who finally rebelled were under the governance of England by that time. And the French connection is totally lost in the history we were taught in school or perhaps retain from school.

But, it explains Lafayette's good fortune. The French settled and lived in the area of Charleston nearly 100 years before the Revolution, maybe 200 years if you count Charlesfort. Oh la la!

These people were enticed to go to Carolina to wait out the problems for protestants in Catholic France by pamphlets and maps extolling the virtues of Carolina. They felt a Carolina fever, had "Carolina on his mind" and talked of "parti a la Caroline" (gone to Carolina) well before James Taylor sang about "going to Carolina in my mind"..

The Huguenot Society of South Carolina is large and dedicated to recognizing families who appeared in SC before 1787. They probably know all there is to know about the Revolutionary period.

The Chapel Hill Museum features an interesting review of James Taylor's time growing up in Chapel Hill. I still have his Sweet Baby James album from when I was a kid. I can't play it on anything because I don't have a turn table anymore, but I like the picture on the album cover and a "dangerous" boy gave it to me as a present.

By the way, boys, girls do not get the message with presents before you talk to them. Might as well learn to be friends and talk a lot, do homework together and hang out before you spend money. The exception to that is a formal date of course, but just to help you out...get to a know a girl before you give her presents. In the end you are more important than the gift. In fact, true love is spending time and caring about the spirit of a girl. Gifts are meaningful after there is commitment, so bring them on after you have been married a dozen years, and for no reason of course, --then and only then, they count double.

Wonder if James Taylor knows he was not the first to be homesick for Carolina?

No comments: