Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Being reprinted in the Gaston-Lincoln Genealogical Society's FOOTPRINTS IN TIME

How's this for speed? Yesterday the webzine JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION published my piece in what is now known as the Tryon Resolves. Robert C. Carpenter, the president of the Gaston-Lincoln Genealogical Society, immediately wanted it for FOOTSTEPS IN TIME, the paper magazine. As it happened, I had a slightly longer version with more about local Revolutionary families. With permission, and assurances of proper credit to JAR, this version will go into Carpenter's paper. This morning I eked out the paragraph about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence with a statement about my reading a couple of weeks ago Jim Piecuch's review in JAR of Scott Syfert's THE FIRST DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?--a really terrific book. Trouble was, to say what I needed to say about the Tryon "An Association" I had spent a week in June going through newspaper databases for information about the Mecklenburg Declaration. 130 hits for a search term, 130 hits I looked at. 82 hits for a search term, 82 hits I looked at. When I saw Syfert's saying that Archibald Murphey's article in the Hillsborough RECORDER of March 1821 "no longer exists," I said, wait wait wait. I had spent 5 hours or so one day looking for FLORIAN, the pseudonym at the end of the reprinting of this article in the Salem MA Gazette for 3 July 1821, and presumably the name signed to the RECORDER text. I had identified Florian as Murphey, with certainty, and had found other pieces by him which I did not realize were unknown to North Carolina scholars. After all, what I was doing was informing myself so I would understand why the Tryon document had been so neglected for so long. I was not going to write about the MecDec. If Scott will do it, I won't have to. You see what this is about--my erratic education which makes me tend not to look for books on a topic but to begin assembling documents from the ground up. If I had seen Scott's book sooner I might not have spent (wasted, some would have said) that week in June.
And now Robert Carpenter reveals that he is a Costner cousin, a descendant of Uncle Jacob, a character in my Journal of the American Revolution piece. No surprise. I told Syfert, who lives in Charlotte, that he must know many of my cousins (descendants of pre-Revolutionary families). Rudisill, I said, Dellinger--and he said at once that next door was a Rudisill.
Is there anything more fun than a new late career? David Fanning does not know what he is in for.

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