Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scotland on my mind

Why should I be so relieved? I'm making my way through several hundred printouts of Revolutionary War pension applications in which aged veterans, including a 90 year old GGGG Grandfather Knox, a Scot born in Ireland, told about their fighting the Tories and the British in North Carolina.  Next thing I do will be about a Scottish immigrant, "my brave captain," one man said, red-headed, who escaped from Fanning and found his way to the Patriot camp by the 7 stars. I love these Scots, even GGGG Grandpa Henderson, a Scot, who after the war married the daughter of a Tory whose sister was the wife of young Dr. John Pyle, who lost an eye in Pyle's Hacking Party, and went off into exile at Greenville, SC with several Brashear Tory in-laws and for a while young Pyle. They come to life as you listen to their voices, and you can even help them. Unbelievable how you can help Grandpa. The scribe said he served under Puriegood. No much man attested to anywhere else. But I saw similar names attributed to a French officer, spelled weirdly, then Feregood or something similar then saw a couple of Farraguts. It all lined up: the Ferrygoods or whatever were all attempts to say Farragut, as in George the father of David. So I gave Grandpa Henderson the right officer--a triumph of textual scholarship. Will Graves and C. Leon Harris set it up so you could SEARCH their labors, and interact with these old guys, in my case mainly young Scots, old Scots in 1832 or later. And yet, and yet, I did not want the YES voters to win. Why did it matter?

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