Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29435 times)
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weezo
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« Reply #75 on: May 05, 2007, 10:34:46 PM »

Bob,

I found it interesting to know that bears, wolves and bobcats were in the area. Last year, a local archer took down a 395 lb black bear in our county, which is less than probably 30 miles west of the falls, the western boundary of Tsencomoco. I have never heard of wolves in the area, but the a few weeks ago I heard a bobcat, in heat, crying for a few hours until she got what she wanted and all was quiet. We have seen bobcat tracks in fresh snow in our yard a number of times. Of course, we have plenty of deer and wild turkeys that visit our property.

It is interesting to learn that the deer and turkeys eat the acorns that fall from the oaks. About half our yard is in woods. It is NOT a clear woods - there is a lot of underbrush which we hack at every few years hopelessly. It seems the woods are always trying to take over the cleared areas of the property.

I wonder if the deer ate the emerging corn planted by the Powhatans, or if they had enough food in the woods. Later in the book, it mentions that it was the job of the young boys to practice with their bows and arrows by keeping the wildlife out of the corn fields.

In Mathews county, not far from Werowocomoco, Powhatan's seat, the deer are few and tend to hold a lot of disease. But there are still enough to satisfy at least some of the hunters. We've never seen any deer when we are in Mathews during the summer months, but hubby says there used to be some that lived on the point beyond the cabins, when there were woods there instead of just the tall grasses. A lot of wild cats live in the tall grasses, so there are probably still some bobcats. There is/was a "cat lady" who came down to the beach from the town to feed the collection of wild cats. Haven't seen her the past two years, so perhaps she passed on. I guess the collection of cats exceed the number of available rodents to use as food.

Years ago, when we went fishing on the bay off of Mathews, there were "pound poles" set in the bay with nets attached to catch the fish and hold them until they were harvested by the fishing boats. A few years ago the pound poles disappeared. Not sure if the harvest was less or if it was due to the pollution coming into the bay. But, after reading about the Native "fishing weirs", it seems like the same concept.






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weezo
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« Reply #76 on: May 07, 2007, 03:06:26 PM »

NY Temps,

With family stories like that, if you ever get around to writing a family history or geneology, it won't be another begot listing! Thanks for sharing!

Chawnsmit seemed to make a number of his own goofs. Imagine, expecting a person who knows nothing about crowning kings to get down on his knees before the "smelly ones", like they were doing him some honor. Here was Powhatan thinking that as the leader of the invaders, he was taking the invaders into his country and making them honorary citizens, and all the time, they believed he was subjecting himself to their king who didn't even have the courtesy to send at least a duke to crown him. Just a military captain and a ship captain - commoners both!
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Bob
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« Reply #77 on: May 07, 2007, 09:01:31 PM »

 "I'm on Chapter 5 of Rountree's book--didn't know chapter-by-chapter was SOP but would relish recaps by those who have that skill (sometimes details can sidetrack me--like looking up "puccoon" which, unlike tuckahoe--was brand new to me)."  (NYTEMPS--above)


We don't have to go chapter by chapter. We can have an open discussion by just posting our thoughts on various aspects of the book....the forum is new, there are no set rules. The posters should govern. Anyhow, like yourself, and I think many others, it was difficult at times to go through a book written from the "other side" in terminology which would have been used by the other side. I stumbled  through the language differences and how to pronounce rather long and complex names and terms--but in the end it was worthwhile.

On the last page of the book Rountree points out that histories such as these  really require not only an historian but an anthropolologist:

   "The difficulty  is that reconstructing the lives of persons who lived in a different time and in a different culture--one that did not leave the records--demands training in two academic fields, not one: history and anthropology; in combination, called ethnohistory." (Rountree, page 238)

Are anthropologists now to intrude into territory hitherto confined to the historians? Is this an invasion of an academic nature? Or is she hitttinh home? Is she right on the mark?  Any comments?


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« Reply #78 on: May 07, 2007, 09:11:09 PM »

Since theere have been few posts since the discussion began on the 5th, I assume posters are still reading the book. Should I hold off for a while, or do you want to continue?

Do you want chapter summaries? Even if there are chapter summaries, you wouldn't be constricted by them--that is, you are feel free to post as you wish on whatever subject you want.
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« Reply #79 on: May 07, 2007, 09:41:10 PM »

One of the most significant matters discussed in Rountree is the fact  that hierarchal sucession was matrilineal. "In native terms his {Powhatan} father's identity was not very important; it was his mother who bequeathed him the right to rule" [p 28]. This must have come as quite a shock to the invaders whose cultural backgrounds were generally patriarchal.
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weezo
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« Reply #80 on: May 07, 2007, 10:08:13 PM »

Bob,

Since I come to this book as a teacher, and a generalist at that, I have no conflict with including science (anthropology) in history. In fact, in this situation, I think it is quite helpful. It was interesting to learn that digging tuckahoe required a lot of muscle, and may not have been seriously aided by any tools the invaders brought, since there is no mention of shovels. Or did this handy tool go by another name back then. I am picturing a hoe as a vertical blade on the end of a horizontal handle. Could it be some other shape? What about pointed end hoes? Were they available back then? It seems those hoes may have been more helpful than straight hoes, as helpful as shovels to get out that tuckahoe.

I tend not to notice chapters as I read, so probably will not comment by chapters. But, if someone wants to know where I read something, I will certainly quote chapter and page.

It is interesting how long Powhatan was patient with the newcomers who were rascally guests in his land. No matter how often he asked them to put down their arms, they consistently refused. How ungratious as a guest!


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bosox18d
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« Reply #81 on: May 07, 2007, 11:57:01 PM »

Robert,I just saw an ad on PBS for American Expierience.It is on Alexander Hamilton.I don't recall that being on before but the ad said May 14th at 9 on most PBS Stations.
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« Reply #82 on: May 08, 2007, 12:00:13 AM »

Oh and if I missed someone posting this Nova is advertising '"Pocahontas Revealed" this tues night on my PBS station.
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« Reply #83 on: May 08, 2007, 07:42:07 AM »

weezo,

If I understand correctly, you have considerable knowledge of this era. In the text Rountree makes reference to certain sacred temples where there were elaborate ceremonies, not generally open to the public, and often served as burial sites for chieftains.  Do you have links for photos or drawings of these type of buildings?
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weezo
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« Reply #84 on: May 08, 2007, 07:57:56 AM »

Than,

Sorry, I don't know of any pictures of the temples. I would guess the looked like the huts the people lived in, only large enough to hold the arms of the village, the bundles of bones of deceased chiefs, and any special treasure of the village or area. The best pictures are on the Virtual Jamestown site done by DeBry and White when they visited Roanoke Island: http://www.virtualjamestown.org/images/white_debry_html/jamestown.html

As far as I know, the Jamestown reconstruction does not include a temple. I am not sure if there is any temple on the local Indian Reservations. It is said that there is a mound on one of them that may contain Powhatan's bones, but these days the descendents of Powhatan attend Christian churches, so preserving the temples would not be a goal.



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caclark
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« Reply #85 on: May 08, 2007, 01:34:43 PM »

"....how/why the Pilgrims and New England get so much credit for establishing the English (equivalent to "European" in the minds of many) in the new world and founding "America" while I, a former resident of New Mexico, can't help wondering how the English in either place get credit for so many "firsts." IIRC, Santa Fe is older by almost a hundred years than either place."

nytempsperdu,

I believe St. Augustine, Florida has the distinction of being the oldest American city founded by European colonists (1565). Santa Fe and Jamestown share second place (both founded in 1607).

I agree that the Pilgrims at Plymouth (1620) loom larger in popular lore than any of its three predecessors. Why? Perhaps, in part, because Jamestown represented a commercial venture in the New World whereas Plymouth came to embody America as a land of escape and hope for oppressed people yearning for freedom. That belief is central in America’s most cherished myths about itself.
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« Reply #86 on: May 08, 2007, 01:39:17 PM »

Quote
Plymouth came to embody America as a land of escape and hope for oppressed people yearning for freedom

Or the embodiment of an oppressed people escaping to a place where they could be oppressors
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« Reply #87 on: May 08, 2007, 02:59:16 PM »

"....the Spanish get left out of the history books far too much and the view of the US as a part of this hemisphere, most of which is Spanish-speaking, gets distorted with the result that far too many people come to regard Spanish-speaking immigrants as more "alien" than others and discussion of immigration "reform" can suffer from polarization."

nytempsperdu,

You'll get no argument from me on that. Our history does favor the English legacy to the exclusion or at least marginalization of countless others. I think it's because the American Revolution was built on English models transported to the New World where they developed a spin of there own. Unfortunately, those early biases are still with us and do affect today’s attitudes towards Hispanic immigrants.

For me, there is no history, only histories, the plural. I believe strongly in revisionist histories, not because they are necessarily more accurate but because they present views that have been overlooked or even suppressed. They flesh out history giving us a more complete and balanced picture.
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caclark
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« Reply #88 on: May 08, 2007, 03:33:54 PM »

"Or the embodiment of an oppressed people escaping to a place where they could be oppressors."

The Puritans are a glaring example. They flee England to escape intolerance, then in New England proceed to fashion a closeknit society that was anything but tolerant, especially towards Quakers.

How do you put those quotations in blocks the way you did? I'm still learning this system.
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Bob
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« Reply #89 on: May 08, 2007, 04:53:49 PM »

weezo,

If I understand correctly, you have considerable knowledge of this era. In the text Rountree makes reference to certain sacred temples where there were elaborate ceremonies, not generally open to the public, and often served as burial sites for chieftains.  Do you have links for photos or drawings of these type of buildings?

The burial sites were known as charnel houses. I'll link you to a rendering of one in my next post. I have to look it up....



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