Saturday, January 25, 2014

Discrimination: "Racism" as Focused Politicism of the Western Tradition

Early Hebrew mythological "Lilith"
American society, as a part of Western Civilization, is loaded with ingrained prejudices, many that are not easily recognized because they dwell deep in our subconscious, planted there by millenia of traditions of common usage.  Still, they were born of one particular moment in the history of Western Civilization... Roman Catholic Christianized politics that began in the early 4th century AD.  Today, we merely repeat this tradition... without question or criticism.  Educating ourselves of this history would certainly help us to avoid this trend.  We certainly aren't born this way... we learn it from our ancestors.  Billions have suffered through time because of it and it most certainly is our fault if we let it continue.

Quote from a discussion thread on use of the term "ginger": "People who have red hair aren't a race, so no, it isn't racist. Plus, gingers always get butthurt over everything, even though they have no souls."

Are you "Ginger-haired" or "a Ginger?"  Is there a difference?  One is descriptive, but the other implies more, doesn't it?  Obviously, the person who made the statement above felt a great deal more... and could not recognize the difference. 

Is it equivalent to racial discrimination applied to those of African origins?  Perhaps not today, per se.  But, has the perception of skin color always been the only characteristic used to discriminate?  Are there dangers in the use of terms that may generate similar derogatory behaviors?

One of the reasons given for discrimination based upon skin color was the biblical reference to Ham and his descendants as "black skinned." But, this only began in the 17th century: "[Race was] First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations; in the 17th century, people began to use the term to relate to observable physical traits." 

Why?

Through rhetoric, God supported capitalists in their slaving business.  Historians cite the beginnings of slavery in America from the needs of this capitalism, or the need for cheap labor and the difficulty in using labor that must necessarily have their rights observed. But, in the seventeenth century, these rights were not always or necessarily tied to skin color. Richard Dunn shows that it developed later... about 1650. Africans became the ultimate answer to capitalists' fiscal problems... supported by the Christian tradition of Ham and his descendants.  Of course, equating Africans with the descendants of Ham was a bit of linguistic slight of hand.

However, there are other physical characteristics that have encouraged discrimination as well and are also supported by Christian tradition and recently, historians have begun to realize that the Irish were sometimes enslaved in English plantations as well.  Se also: White Cargo

Why is this?  Their skin color is not wholly different from that of the slavers'. 


Skin color was not the only determinant of discrimination. Being physically identified as "Irish" also carried racial stigma, also due to English capital needs and also beginning with biblical references.  Irish could be distinguished by lighter skin, freckles, or red hair, a common color attributed to these descendants of original Celtic tribes before the Anglo-Saxon invasions of England.  

As to the physical attribute of red hair: "Adams first wife Lilith, always depicted as a redhead, is known to have refused to lie beneath Adam during sexual intercourse, and stated 'why should I lie beneath you when I am your equal since both of us were created from dust' –Patai" Afterwards, "Lilith" and its early Jewish associations carried a strong negative connotation:

  • Wikipedia:  The Hebrew term Lilith or "Lilit" (translated as "Night creatures", "night monster", "night hag", or "screech owl") first occurs in Isaiah 34:14, either singular or plural according to variations in the earliest manuscripts, though in a list of animals. In the Dead Sea Scrolls Songs of the Sage the term first occurs in a list of monsters. In Jewish magical inscriptions on bowls and amulets from the 6th century CE onwards, Lilith is identified as a female demon and the first visual depictions appear. 

I'm not sure that Lilith has always been depicted as red-haired, perhaps since we have such depictions available to study in color, maybe since the 6th century BC.  I'd say, certainly about the early beginnings of the Roman Catholic church in the first few centuries AD... a time when the Roman Empire needed social controls and began re-interpreting their newly adopted national religion to control the masses in their tremendous empire, reaching all the way to Britain.  They also trashed anything to do with the former owners of that religion... the Jews.

This particular Roman need or Judeo-Christianized behavior later translated into "Eves’ red hair is seen as the stain of sin like the original scarlet letter. Later her son, Cain, will bare the red hair and also a fall from grace."  In other words, "Celtic tradition is evil... here's God... worship him!"  Lilith survived Roman persecution in myth, probably due to the presence of peoples who still favored more primitive religions.  Since Lilith was identified with evil aspects of the later Christian religion, she persisted.  It might also be that Romans needed a scapegoat and any female figure of the old Jewish religion was prime game, especially one that claimed to be the equal of man.  This has to be stopped right away!

Have you witnessed any male-dominated discrimination lately?  :)

No place was more remote and needed control like that of Roman Britain... western Celts.  "Beliefs spanned the globe in the days of our ancestors of Serpents who were the progenitors of humankind. To many who practice the modern Craft of the Wise, Lucifer and Lilith are the forebears of modern witches. In an interview by Michael Howard and Robert Fitzgerald (The Cauldron #103, February 2002), Andrew Chumbley said of this heritage of Knowledge:

Different streams of British Traditional Craft have different patron deities, ancestors and spirits. If one is able to oversee this diversity certain strands of commonality may be perceived. If one may seek amongst these strands–amidst the many other kinds of shared features, one may speak about a body of lore that exists in the Old Craft which incorporates a gnostic faith in the Divine Serpent of Light, in the Host of the Gregori, in the Children of Earth sired by the Watchers, in the lineage of descent via Lilith, Mahazael, Cain, Tubal-cain, Naamah, and the Clans of the Wanderers… onward to the present-day Initiates of Arte.
Lilith is the Serpent of the Garden of Eden, who seduced Eve and awakened her to the power sleeping within her. The 17th century Qabbalist Bacharach wrote of Lilith’s sexual exploits in the Garden of Eden in his Emeq HaMelekh (Valley of the King, Amsterdam, 1648):

And the Serpent, the Woman of Harlotry, incited and seduced Eve through the husks of Light which in itself is holiness. And the Serpent seduced Holy Eve, and enough said for him who understands. And all this ruination came about because Adam the first man coupled with Eve while she was in her menstrual impurity–this is the filth and the impure seed of the Serpent who mounted Eve before Adam mounted her. Behold, here it is before you: because of the sins of Adam the first man all the things mentioned came into being. For Evil Lilith, when she saw the greatness of his corruption, became strong in her husks, and came to Adam against his will, and became hot from him and bore him many demons and spirits and Lilin." http://hemlockandhawthorn.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/lilith/
Lilith - Burney Relief.

Red-headed Lilith was the serpent in Genesis, the cause of all that's evil to befall mankind, the ultimate reason for sin... the feminized embodiment of evil.  She, alone, corrupted man, Adam.  And, women since Genesis have suffered because of the serpent... suffered because of red-headed Lilith.  

The demonization of any red-head occurred later as a result, most likely, with encounters with western Celts in Roman Britain.  The paintings of the Roman era, and beyond, display her in vibrant color, although the stone Burney relief is all there is to go on before that.  Still, the earliest Christian traditions became associated with the perceived and politically-encouraged weakness of females... and she had red hair.  Red-headed stigma was translated to the Celts in Roman Britain.  

Lilith was "a ginger," with all the biblical mythological malevolence that came with it and her children were demonized as well, not unlike the descendants of Ham.  A demonized Lilith, the "child eater," associated with the serpent and even later with Eve herself (extra anti-feminism there) was also used to elevate male dominance throughout the history of Christianity.  Cathars of southern France were known to deviate from this norm by allowing females to become priests, but Christians put an end to that in the 12th century by slaughtering every Cathar they could find in the Albigensian Crusade!  Thank you, Pope Innocent III for that little demonstration of anti-democracy/anti-equality.

 
Lilith with serpent - reminicent
of the Biblical "Eve"


Lilith survived! The Romanized version, that is...

"Belief that redheads are witches is a folk belief in Germanic culture. From 1483-1784 thousands of suspected witches were nearly always stripped and searched for “marks of the devil”. These included any “abnormality” such as freckles, moles, warts, and birthmarks. Red hair was certainly considered an abnormality. Considering the freckle factor for redheads this was a deadly and shocking horror. Somewhere around 45,000 women were tortured and murdered usually by burning at the stake or by drowning." 

The truly ironic aspect of the demonized Lilith myth is that almost none of these images are ugly.  Usually, demons are ugly!  There were a few, but most depictions of Lilith were beautiful women... and scantilly-clad, if clothed at all!  There has GOT to be some kind of male-oriented psycho-sexual rapist fantasy there!  lol

What's more is that this behavior toward red-heads is not isolated to only the Christian world, but to other cultures that have had some Christian neighborly influence as well: "The Egyptians regarded the color as so unlucky that they had a ceremony in which they burned red-headed maidens alive to wipe out the tint- Claudie De Lys." These early Middle-Eastern and their neighbors' beliefs likely influenced each other.   http://www.purgatory.net/kornelia/1603/red_hair_facts.htm

America and Slavery:



While Germans still rounded up red heads for torture and burning at the stake, the English made their own political contributions as well.  For today, this is the beginnings of a uniquely American tradition, made even more explicit through capitalist desire.  Typically, Irish have been identified as "red-headed" and there has been a long tradition of discriminating upon Celts for this reason... also because of their opposition and violent rebellion against English rule... just before settlement of the New World.  

John White, famous painter to accompany the Roanoke voyages of Sir Walter Raleigh, painted pictures of his impressions of Native Americans as he saw them in modern-day North Carolina. 

Much less well known are his depictions of Celts in Ireland, made only months, maybe a year or so, earlier and also a recent visitation/subjugation/raid of Sir Walter Raleigh... judging from these, White perceived Celts to be much more violent than Native Americans... perhaps most discriminated upon using biblical traditions descended from the demonized Roman version of Lilith. The bluish body painting of White's Celts is much more elaborate than the Native-Americans.. how much of this was true and NOT an aspect of White's discrimination? Certainly, the severed head and shield elicits visions of carnage. This probably represented a general "racial" attitude upon the Irish that resulted in their eventual enslavement beside Africans.  Although, it may have been more difficult to biblically justify due to the recessive characteristics of the gene for red hair. 

My mother was a person who could be described as having "ginger" hair, my uncle as well... and my grandmother.  We are Scots-Irish... Pierces by name. Those characteristics are not obvious on myself nor on my brothers, because my father was brunette and his gene dominated. Skin color was much more obvious and, after three centuries of capitalistic encouragement, it became quite pervasive in America.  The brutality of American slavery is unmatched!

Still, racial perceptions about "gingers" generated from the exact same needs and behaviors as those about Africans or Jews.... both political and religious.  It is a growing problem, not unlike African discrimination in the 17th century... also found in predominantly rural areas of America where we may also find stronger religious and racial predispositions.  The problem, I think, with this word is that "ginger-haired" is merely a descriptive term.  Being "a ginger" implies a connection to the old demonizing tendencies of racism.  It's subtle and easily accepted.  It only sounds like the term used to refer descriptively to the segment of society known as "gingers."  For instance a "black" person is generally OK, but "nigger" is not.  Still, I imagine that the word "Blackie" might raise an eyebrow or two.  "Sambo," "Negro," and "Mammy" weren't always considered bad.  If you asked me, "black" is not very descriptive of the various darker hues represented by some humans.  Still, we can't easily dispense with descriptive terminology altogether!  Africans, by far, became the most discriminated segment of society in America or other former British today. 

It could have happened to the Irish as well... and it could yet happen today unless we observe some restraint.  In these cases, "racism" is not just about skin and, it is very important to understand that being "racist" is an ongoing conscious, often political, decision.  We are not born racist and any use of a term that identifies someone as a member of a particular group is inherently carrying the seeds of a consciously-racist connotation.  What do you think? 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Proud North Carolina Tradition!

New York Herald; Date: 01-11-1870; Volume: XXXV; Issue: 11; Page: 5

This is one of the worst headlines you could have read in 1870.  It's details explained quite horrifically, it was designed to provoke an emotional response.  33-year-old Martin VanBuren Blalock operated a grocery in Hillsborough.  He was one of many brothers and sisters born to Hartwell G. and Patsy Herndon Blalock of Orange County.  They lived on the "south side of the North Carolina railroad."  Martin entered the Confederate Army as a corporal in the 6th regiment from Hillsborough.  Before his discharge, he was bucked down to private and seldom received another mention.

Martin was found brutally murdered in his grocery in December 1869, a "ghastly and inhuman spectacle" claimed the article.  There was a rope around his neck, which had been slashed and a pillowcase shoved in his mouth.  It all appeared rather uncoordinated, perhaps multiple attempts to kill him... or added "evidence" to increase the "ghastliness" of the crime and confuse the identity of the actual murderer.  Three black men were arrested.  Assuredly, there was evidence, money from Blalock's business and two confessions of the three black men.  The article read, "An inquest was held, before which a large number of witnesses were summoned, though unable to fasten guilt upon anybody suspicion fell at once upon a negro named Bob Gunn, and two others, called respectively Young and Lutterloh."

There were many similar incidents and all of the "legal" attributes remained uncertain, the actual provenance of the overwhelming evidence unknown because of the excitement of the community. The article continues, "Their guilt is now established, though arrested only on suspicion created by a strong chain of circumstances." Obviously, these men were tried and executed for the crime. 

By chance, perhaps, though not likely, another article two months later tells of an ominous presence in Orange County and elsewhere, but centered upon Orange and Alamance Counties.  A group of organized vigilantes that preyed on the "United States and the Negroes" and their allies.  These vigilantes killed even men of distinction, prominent liberal politicians of the state.  They were organized, intelligent, and composed of ex-Confederates. They were known as the "White Brotherhood" or "Ku Klux Klan."

Oft-used tactics of white supremacists since the Civil War tended to reduce the "traitorous Negro" population.  These included framing blacks for crimes that they didn't commit and publicly hanging them. This may or not have happened with Martin Blalock, but his death late in 1869 coincides with the rise of the North Carolina KKK activity and the "open and shut" case against the three black men was probably too good to be true.

New York Herald; Date: 03-14-1870; Volume: XXXV; Issue: 73; Page: 10

Please note the opposition to the "United States government" or "anti-government" part of the article, a common conservative talking point today, just as it was yesterday... with these southern conservatives.

They were organized by one ex-Confederate, wounded in the face and who could speak but little and could not exercise his former career at the bar.  His latter days as the Secretary of State for North Carolina were effected from a wheelchair.  His name was William Laurence Saunders.


From the Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History:

"In 1922, the [University of North Carolina] named its new history department building for William L. Saunders to recognize his work as a compiler of historical documents. Saunders graduated from UNC in 1854 and then practiced law in Salisbury, North Carolina. During the Civil War, he served as a colonel and was wounded in two battles. In 1869-1870, he became known as the chief organizer of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina and Chapel Hill. When [conservative Southern] Democrats regained power in North Carolina, Saunders became Secretary of State and arranged for the publication of North Carolina’s colonial records in a series on which historians still rely. He served as a university trustee from 1874 until 1891."

It's surprising, yes,  that this man would continue to be revered as much as he was after his known association with a group responsible for untold murders.  


"Two Members of the Ku-Klux Klan in Their Disguises"


Times-Picayune; Date: 07-07-1870; Page: 6
         Kirk-Holden War ---->

Acts of violence were blamed on blacks, but everyone knew that they were actually the work of the Ku Klux Klan... including the federal government.

Capt. Samuel A'Court Ashe, a fellow Confederate officer and North Carolina lawyer-turned-historian, wrote the following about William L. Saunders:

  • During the exciting period of Reconstruction from 1867 to 1870, Colonel Saunders was deeply interested in public affairs.  In 1870, he contributed to the Wilmington Journal, of which Major Engelhard, his brother-in-law was editor, an article on the Kirk-Holden War that attracted wide attention.  It was regarded as the strongest and most perfect article published in the State, and although unsigned, it established for him an enviable reputation.
  • The Conservatives were successful at the election held in August, 1870, and obtained control of both houses of the Assembly. 
Understand that these are direct quotes of Ashe's... The KKK and their supporters were "conservatives" as opposed to liberals who tried to force blacks into North Carolina's all-white government.  Many in North Carolina have never forgotten this...

1870 was the first and only time that conservatives had control of both houses until 2012.  That's right... they are in total control of the state once again.  Their anti-government agenda was wide open and North Carolina elections for nearly 100 years involved two candidates from the same party... both conservative Southern Democrat, but one only somewhat more progressive... still, both firmly under conservative white control... until just before the election of 2012, that is.  Any notion of the then liberal Republican party of Lincoln (not today's version, surely) was put aside. To North Carolina and most of the unrepentant South, state governments were dominant over federal.

The federal government tried to fight back.  In 1870 and 1871, the federal government instituted the Force Acts  and used them to prosecute Klan crimes.  They were criminal codes which protected blacks’ right to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, and receive equal protection under the laws. The laws also allowed the federal government to intervene when states did not act. Prosecution of Klan crimes and enforcement of the Force Acts suppressed Klan activity. Afterwards, however, newly organized and openly active paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and the Red Shirts (see Wilmington Race Riot of 1898), started a fresh round of violence aimed at suppressing blacks' voting and running the early liberal version of Lincoln Republicans out of office. These contributed to segregationist white Democrats regaining political power in all the Southern states by 1877 when a backroom deal released the unremorseful South from federal Reconstruction policies.

It can be argued that the South never paid their dues for the insurrection against the government of the United States, an insurrection that cost over 600,000 human lives.  Afterwards, KKK activity was designed as retribution against blacks and their supporters for their betrayal of white southerners' "generosity."  The Civil War began simply to preserve slavery, despite what others may argue about "states' rights."  The only state right that interested Ashe and others like him was the right to keep slaves.  After that, it was pure vengeance against the federal government.


"Holden's Impeachment. Trial of the Governor of North Carolina-He is Found Guilty and Removed," Houston Daily Union; Date: 03-31-1871; Volume: III; Issue: 175; Page: [2]

William Holden, the governor who tried to end the violence was impeached by the KKK-supported North Carolina government and the acts continued.

On the 23rd of September 1872, the soon-to-be Secretary of State for North Carolina, William Laurence Saunders was summoned to appear before a Congressional Joint Select Committee of both houses inquiring of his involvement in these white-supremacist organizations.  This became the first use of the 5th amendment to avoid incrimination of oneself.



A partial transcription of this hearing follows:

In pursuance of said order, the said sub-committee met on the 23rd day of September, 1871 and one W. L. Saunders of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who had been duly subpoenaed as a witness to appear before the Joint Select Committee of the two houses of Congress, then appeared, and submitted to be examined as a witness, and was duly sworn by the chairman of the Joint Select Committee. In the examination of said witness, the following questions by the chairman, and answers by the witness, were elicited:

Question: The purpose of this committee is to inquire in relation to the execution of the laws, and the security of life, person, and property in the late insurrectionary states.  As bearing upon that question, we have been examining in regard to the existence of secret organizations in the State of North Carolina, particularly those which are alleged to have committed acts of violence.  Have you been at any time, or are you now, a member of any secret political organization of that character in the State of North Carolina?


  • Answer: Well, sir, I decline to say whether or not I have been a member of any of the so-called Ku-Klux organizations, on the ground that I am not obliged to testify in a case wherein I may incriminate myself...

Question: Do you decline to answer the question of the ground that you cannot do so without [in]criminating yourself?  


  • Answer:  I decline to answer the question on the ground that if I testify in this case, it will furnish evidence which will make me amenable to the Laws of North Carolina, as declared by the judges of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Question:  Have you been at any time, or are you now, a member of an organization known as the White Brotherhood?


  • Answer: Well, sir, I conceive that that question comes in the same category.  

Question:  Do you decline to answer that question?


  • Answer:  I decline to answer that question...

Question: Have you been at any time, or are you now, a member of an organization known as the Constitutional Union Guards?


  • Answer: To that I give the same answer.

Question: Have you been at any time, or are you now, a member of an organization known as the Invisible Empire?


  • Answer: I make the same answer as before.

Question: Have you been at any time, or are you now, a member of any of the organizations which are popularly known as the Ku-Klux organizations?


  • Answer: I make the same answer to all of these questions.

...

Question: Have you had any communication with persons who have stated to you their knowledge of such murders or such whippings in the County of Orange, in the State of North Carolina, or in any other part of the State of North Carolina?


  • Answer:  I have only one such conversation.

Question:  With whom?


  • Answer:  That I decline to answer.  

Question:  Where did he live...?


  • Answer: I decline...

Question: What position... did he occupy... ?


  • Answer: I decline...

Question: Was he a member of the legislature... ?


  • Answer: I decline... 

Question: Was he a member of the bar?


  • Answer: I decline...

Question:  Was he a leading man?

  • Answer: I decline... 

Question: Do you decline to give any information may lead to the identity of that person?

  • Answer: Yes, sir; That is the sum and substance of it.

Question: What was the offense... ?  Was it murder?

  • Answer: I decline...

Question: Was it whipping?

  • Answer: I decline... 

...

Question: Do you know Henry Ivy?

  • Answer: No, sir...

Question: Do you know Abraham or Abe Hedgepeth?

  • Answer: Yes, sir.  I know him.

Question: Do you know whether he is or is not, or has he at any time told you whether he is or is not, a member of any Ku-Klux organization?


  • Answer: I decline to answer.

This line of questioning continued, asking Saunders to identify Ivy, Hedgepeth, James Copeland, William Andrews, Jesse Morrow, the wheelwright Nat. Williams, Fletcher Freeland of Durham at a station of the North Carolina railroad, Samuel Johnson, William Minor, John Durham, F. N. Strudwick, John McCauley, A. P. Cates, J. Cooley, J. Carmichael, Dr. E. M. Holt, and a host of others... he refused every question.  He boldly refused, defying the federal government... eliciting great pride in his fellow North Carolinians... a pride that has lingered through the decades...

Edwin Michael Holt of Orange County mentioned above is of particular interest.  He was born 1807, married three times, lived variously in Orange and Alamance Counties and died in 1884.  The abstract for the Alamance Cotton Mill Records, 1839-1926 in the Southern Historical Collection at UNC states:

  • The Alamance Cotton Mill was established by Edwin Michael Holt and his brother-in-law, William A. Carrigan, in 1837, signalling the start of industrial development in Alamance County, N.C. The Alamance factory was located on Great Alamance Creek, site of Holt's father's grist mill. The plant was under Holt management for 89 years, during which time the Holt family controlled most of the county's cotton manufacture.
Edwin's son by his first marriage, Lawrence Shackleford Holt married in Alamance County and had a son named Erwin Allen Holt, who also has a collection available at the same archive.  This son carried on the proud North Carolina tradition of his grandfather.  

Erwin Allen Holt, textile executive from Burlington, was a member of an organization named the North Carolina Defender of States' Rights, a well-known white-supremacist and anti-government group.  His papers involve his "concerns about racial segregation, Jewish control of the federal government, strict interpretation of the Constitution, the Status of Forces Agreement, communism in the U.S., and Hawaiian statehood," among others. Included is correspondence about preventing racial integration, and broadsides, leaflets, and circulars issued by various right-wing organizations of which Holt was a member."  Much of the NC Defenders material consists of copies of letters from Sterling Rawlinson Booth, Jr., of Raleigh, and Earle Le Baron, faculty member of East Carolina College, to public officials, Holt, and the membership. Common topics are "liberals" at ECC and UNC, segregation, and Communism, common topics often heard today.

From letter of March 25, 1959 in Collection Number: 03551  - Erwin Allen Holt Papers, 1953-1961

 Defenders of States Rights, 1959 (Folder 20)


This organization was formed in reaction to the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board decision that desegregated all aspects of society.  But, nothing could have been more defining an influence as the Civil Rights decision in 1964, which caused a huge migration of North Carolina conservatives over to the growing conservative Republican party that year.  The election maps show this metamorphosis:  



 1954 pushed some southern conservatives to go "undecided," but they all voted Republican in 1964.  Still, North Carolina was something special.  As the maps show, it mostly went Democratic in 1960, whether out of tradition or otherwise, is difficult to determine.  Still, of the eleven battleground states during the 2012 election, North Carolina is the only one that remained in support of the Republican candidate: Mitt Romney.  

Illustrating similar behavior is their response to the secession crisis in 1860, they resisted it at first, and then poured more men into it than any other state once the Civil War was on!  North Carolinians apparently like to pause and think first, which may be the quality that eventually saves us.  Still, once the decision is finally made, watch out!  Certainly, this last election provided Rob Christensen, reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer and author of A Paradox of Tarheel Politics more fuel for his writing!  As the tagline for his book reads "How can a state be represented by Jesse Helms and John Edwards at the same time?"  Indeed!
 
One thing about North Carolina that will not change until the demographics force it... is this white-supremacism.  Many residents have fervently supported this since colonial days until the present day.  And recently, I've seen an increase in the open expression of it... namely in the use of that word that we can't even bring ourselves to say completely in print... "N------"!  It used to be avoided in public, but not so much lately.  And, I, a white guy, was asked by a conservative "Why don't I move to Chapel Hill with the rest of my kind," after he discovered that I was progressive.  lol  Bullying is back in force, but not as much as it was in 1870.  This, too will subside... the bluster will pass more quickly than when William L. Saunders created the White Brotherhood.  Progress will happen despite this.  The old racist guard is dying off.  Still, the General Assembly since 2012 has been trying very hard, as one writer put it in North Carolina Just Gave Millionaires a Tax Cut, Raised Taxes on the Poorest 900,000 Working Families, "The combined effects of those tax changes give poor North Carolinians some incentive to move out of the state, a population shift Gov. Pat McCrory (R) hopes to encourage."  Again, North Carolina conservatives are attempting to run off the "undesirables."  It's not so bad, though... today's open internet discussions, instant exposure to criticism, make it more difficult to get away with murder or simply "plead the 5th!"  :)

---
 
Still, back in 1871, when more of the state supported him and criticism was largely confined to official channels, William L. Saunders was told that the 5th Amendment did not apply in Congressional hearings and he stubbornly still refused to answer, safe in his clique. 

Then, Saunders was arrested for contempt and asked another round of questions intimating that he was "held in high repute" as the leader of the White Brotherhood.  The federal committee knew this man's involvement... they simply wanted him to openly admit it.  Saunders declined to answer any of these questions, making it quite clear that he was the leader and was involved, however directly or indirectly in the murders of prominent politicians in the state.  He "declined to answer" the government's attempts to seek justice for the murdered men.  

 
New York Herald; Date: 09-24-1871; Page: 7
From H. G. Jones, 1994:
  • Whether or not he was, as J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton asserted, the head of the Invisible Empire in North Carolina, his complicity was indicated by his being summoned in 1871 before the congressional Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of the Late Insurrectionary State. Face-to-face with his antagonists, he repeatedly declined to answer questions concerning his relationship with the organizations. In the same year a letter from "the brotheren" warned that "bill sanders will swing."
At the end of his life, the inscription on his tombstone expressed the general feelings of the people of North Carolina about his anti-government views:  "Distinguished for wisdom, purity and courage -  For 20 years he exerted more Power in North Carolina than any other man - 'I decline to answer'."  Yep!  Between Saunders, Holt, Helms, and today's North Carolina General Assembly, the old Confederacy is still around... just goes by a different name these days.  In essence, conservatives never left nor relinquished control of their state since before the United States began!  As I said, a source of great pride for them. I still can't help but wonder if Martin Blalock refused to join the brotherhood... if that was the true nature of his "crime." 

William Lawrence Saunders SOLDIER-EDITOR-HISTORIAN-STATESMAN PATRIOT Col. 46 Regiment N. C. Troops Distinguished for wisdom, purity and courage For 20 years he exerted more Power in North Carolina than any other man "I decline to answer"

See also:  Colin Woodard's "Up in Arms" about Deep South conservative anti-government ideology and it's inherent violence.


See also:  Historical Execution of Gov. George Burrington of North Carolina for how North Carolinians in the Lower Cape Fear abused North Carolina's history by writing the true founder of Wilmington out of it. 


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 Quest for Blackbeard

"Quest for Blackbeard" has finally been approved for Global Distribution which means that it is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Alibris, and other online booksellers very soon.

It is already previewable on Google Books.

Lulu site at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bcbrooks

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Historical Execution of Gov. George Burrington of North Carolina

Wilmington - 1769 : by Claude J. Sauthier
Note: this relates to the "Family," a group of mostly South Carolinian families, allied by marriage, who settled the Lower Cape Fear in 1726 in Brunswick Town.  This South Carolina-biased settlement was not exactly "legal" in North Carolina; Maurice Moore and his brother-in-law Edward Moseley built the settlement with blank patents, many of which were inflated to as much as three times the acreage indicated on their self-inscribed warrants (you'd think the government would have to do that...).  In 1732, Governor George Burrington was sent back to North Carolina to deal with the Family.  He voided Moore's patents on the east side of the Cape Fear River and filled them with his own "creatures" as the Family called them to begin the town of New Town, Newton, New Liverpool, New Carthage or... the name it has held for the past 274 years: Wilmington.  The Family's Brunswick Town soon failed because of the competition.  The Family then ran Gov. Burrington out of the colony after possibly killing a few of his supporters.

Burrington left America and the Family took over the new town of Wilmington.  Still, they had not yet finished with poor George Burrington...

1737 Edward Moseley Map - showing the Lower Cape Fear and Brunswick Town, but no Newton or Wilmington, then five years old on the east side of the Cape Fear River. Here, also, note specifically the road leading from Brunswick Town south to the Charleston area, also in existence prior to the establishment of Brunswick Town as John Barnwell's map demonstrates in 1722-25.  The extension from Brunswick Town north had not yet been established until after Brunswick Town was established in 1726.
1722-25 John Barnwell map (Cape Fear portion) showing the road from Charleston, SC running to Lake Waccamaw.  It was later slightly diverted to go to Brunswick Town only a few miles southeast on the west bank of the Cape Fear River, still within the limits that then existed for South Carolina.  The colonial boundary would not be officially moved until after Wilmington began in 1732.

The case of poor Mr. Burrington:

Historians of North Carolina’s Progressive Era, educated in the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, told a “Great Man” version of history.  They regaled the tales of the Battles, Kemps, Ashes, Moores, Dukes, and Jarvises, the wealthy elites of North Carolina society.  Their staccato history jumps from major event to major event, wherein they might most honorably distinguish the actors, often skipping decades of history in the process.  One may argue that they also avoided the truth.  Confederate redeemers like Capt. Samuel A’Court Ashe, Secretary of State William Saunders, or former Confederate Attorney General, George Davis of Wilmington diverted even more attention from the true social aspects, the “People’s History” as the late Howard Zinn would put it.  Their goal was not to tell unbiased history; they had an agenda, to vindicate their former plantation lifestyle and Southern ideology, to justify use of the "property" they had lost in the war over slavery while also telling of their highly honorable deeds and those of their predecessors in defense of their state.

The result created an manufactured historical fortress, surrounded by a great wall of seclusion.  Link attributed the state’s isolationist behavior at the turn of the century to a “contradictory and even uneasy relationship between North Carolinians and the rest of the nation.”   From years of an early self-reliant existence and then, resentment of losing the late war, North Carolina became the masters of its own destiny, outside forces notwithstanding.  Progressive-era historians viewed the outside Atlantic community as having contributed almost nothing to North Carolina’s majestic, resourceful, and independent past. 

Still, before the Civil War, North Carolina "historians" welcomed and even strained for information from outside sources.  Politician Hugh Williamson, writing his history, knew Cullen Pollock personally, having moved from Pennsylvania to Edenton, where he lived.  Cullen, being the son of Thomas Pollock, whose letter book from the earliest days of the rebellions and Tuscarora War provided valuable records for his research, gave him a near first-hand account of that time period.

Hugh Williamson
Williamson, trained as a mathematician and physician, told of his difficulties in obtaining British records, and tried every avenue available to him before he obtained materials relevant to Carolina from the works of John Archdale, the Quaker proprietor.  Williamson had unquestioned talent, but may have had to rely on oral accounts to fill in the bigger gaps.  Sadly, he restrained himself to the period of “disasters, misrule, and oppression” that marked the colonial period.

He published History of North Carolina in two volumes in 1812.  The most interesting fact of his work: he barely mentions Edward Moseley, one-time acting governor of North Carolina, treasurer, surveyor-general, lawyer, and “restless incendiary” reviled by Thomas Pollock.  Williamson refers to him simply as a “rioter” during the Blackbeard affair and as a land agent of Lord Granville’s.

There was so much more!  Moseley belonged to the leadership of the Family which also included Maurice Moore, John Baptiste Ashe, and John Porter.  Williamson never gives him credit for his part in the Brunswick settlement or the “blank patent” controversy.  Assuredly, he probably wouldn't have wanted it.  In fact, Williamson seemed unaware that the Brunswick settlement largely depended on issuance of blank patents to Moseley’s Family and Moseley’s direction of those patents from Edenton.  He seemed to be unacquainted with the recent development of the Lower Cape Fear and the political quandaries it engendered, as important an event as it happened to be.  The state’s capital moved to Wilmington soon thereafter... the most lucrative settlement to date.  The politician Williamson should have been intrigued, even fascinated, but he did not appear to be.  Furthermore, Moseley’s name unquestionably appeared in many of the documents available to Williamson. He saw them.  He had to.  This omission seems mysterious at best.

Skipping over the entire controversy of the Brunswick settlement, he nevertheless gave a detailed description of Gov. Burrington’s catastrophic failures.  He relates his arbitrary abuses, removal from office, leaving for Charles Town, and his subsequent return to England following his first term.  And he relates the return in 1731, after the crown purchase of the colony from the proprietors, and his continued harassment of the people... as the story usually goes...

Moreover, Williamson's History appears to be the literary origin of the story of Burrington’s untimely demise shortly after returning home from his second term in “April 1734.”   Although Williamson neglects to mention it, in this term, Burrington withdrew his support of Brunswick Town and founded “New Town”  or “Newton” across the river on Maurice Moore’s personal property after voiding Moore’s inflated and illegal grants.  Undoubtedly, the voided grants and “Warrants [having] been granted to others (and those chiefly the Governors creatures)” angered the Family, as the North Carolina Colonial Records collection records.   Nathaniel Rice and John Baptiste Ashe spoke for Maurice Moore on this occasion, the thunderous genesis of the town that later became Wilmington.

Birdcage Walk, St James, London (today)

Williamson tells the story of Burrington's death: Having money in his pocket from selling his Haw Fields property in North Carolina, Williamson said, “and rioting in his usual manner, he fell a sacrifice to his own folly.”   He then added that Burrington “was found murdered, in the morning, in the Bird Cage Walk, in the corner of St. James Park.”   Williamson felt certain enough to put a specific date on this occurrence: April 1734.

That happens to be the date when Nathaniel Rice claimed that the "Departure of His Excelly George Burrington Esqr" necessitated his taking "upon him the administration of the Government." But, Burrington was still there!  

North Carolina former treasurer John Wheeler repeated almost verbatim the same story in 1851.   “Rioting in his usual manner,” he said, “all night, [Burrington] was found murdered, in the morning, in the Bird Cage Walk, in the corner of St. James Park, in London.”   It repeated again in the work of John Romeyn Brodhead in his Documents related to the colonization of New York.   Before his service to the Confederacy as their Attorney-General, Wilmington lawyer George Davis, from the Family’s Davises, repeats the same quote from Williamson’s History.   The detail circulated around the professional community thoroughly.

Still, it was blatantly false.  "Bird Cage Walk" is a specific reference that had never been mentioned by any primary source.  This bad history prompted Secretary of State William L. Saunders in 1886 to suggest that “grave errors in regard to Governor Burrington,” had occurred.   He may have gleaned the meaning of the reference as he explained:


  • … historians have assumed that he left America as well and returned to England. They go on to state, also, but upon what evidence is not known, that he ended his life in a drunken brawl in the Bird-cage walk in St. James's Park in London, and the impression is created that his disgraceful death occurred soon after his return to London. The statement is certainly untrue in several material points. For example, instead of leaving America, he was in North Carolina and on duty as Governor on 1st June, 1734, and from that date until 12th November following… Precisely when he returned to England does not appear, but from an entry in the Journal of the Board of Trade, it appears he was there on the 10th June, 1735. Other entries and letters show that he was in frequent communication with the Board from that time until December, 1736, after which date no reference is made to him by the Board.  

Saunders stated that papers proving this as a certain falsification existed in Raleigh, including Burrington’s will of 1750, probated in 1759.  They are there.  The will is also online.

Saunders had been concerned mostly with the date, but he may have understood another reference which was even more disturbing.  He had been murdered in St. James Park much later than Williamson suggests, but that park is absolutely huge, comprising nearly 90 acres.  A canal ran through it that was 2800 feet long and 100 feet wide.  It ran all the way from White Hall to the Queen's Palace, an area often frequented by men of state.   Indeed, the specific "April 1734" was such an elaborate error, but still... What did it mean for him to be in the "Bird Cage Walk?"  This was a specific and remote street in the southern extreme of the park.  Also, at least part of the story was true... the part about dying in that park.  Someone had heard or read that.  They may also have "fudged" the facts a bit.

Examination of that specific location of London, associated with the military barracks at St. James Park, reveals that the "Bird Cage Walk" had an infamous reputation for gay trysts in the eighteenth century.  The entire park was well known for muggers, pick-pockets, and prostitution.  A mugger eventually found Burrington, but "Bird Cage Walk" was a specific reference to gay men.  Historian Jerry White in A Great and Monstrous Thing: London in the Eighteenth Century tells that “… the chief place of meeting [for gay men] is the Bird-cage walk, in St. James Park, whither they resort about twilight.”   He described their elaborate signals used overtly to identify one another.

Illustrating that Bird Cage Walk may have possessed the reputation for sodomy at the specific time that Hugh Williamson researched his History, anonymous author of The Midnight Spy revealed in 1766:


  • One evening as [Urbanus] was walking in the Bird-cage Walk, he observed, seated on a bench, a country-looking gentleman, a courtezan, and a man, who by his appearance, seemed to be one of those indolent infamous wretches, who live upon the wages of prostitution.

Saunders perhaps referred to this connotation when he called it a “disgraceful death.”  But, "Bird Cage Walk" is not mentioned anywhere else in reference to Burrington's death before Williamson's History.

LONDON: Grosvenor Sq: Curzon Chapel, Mayfair, c1880

Although, it's really none of anyone's business, George Burrington appeared to like women just fine.  The Fleet Notebook for February-April of 1730 recorded Burrington's marriage in the newly-built May Fair Chapel on Curzon Street to Sarah Croswell, 24-year-old daughter of Ralph and Joyce Croswell of Rotherhithe, Surrey on April 15, 1730.   He may have spent some time accomplishing his honeymoon, for on June 20, 1730, the Universal Spectator reported that he will “embark at Bristol in about a Fortnight’s time.”   He did not leave then... not even close.  Six months later, the Grub Street Journal of London then reported that he had married a “Young Lady of a considerable Fortune; and this day set out for his government.”  So, eight months after the marriage, he's finally on his way to North Carolina.  Almost two whole months later, longer than usual, he had arrived in Edenton to qualify as governor.  There, he requested a chaise of Edmund Porter’s wife Elizabeth to carry “his big belled wife (as he termed her) out of Virginia” after leaving her there to come into North Carolina.   His daughter Mary would soon grace their home.  Burrington spent almost the entirety of 1730 vacillating on getting to his post.  He could be bisexual, but, then again, it's no one's business. 

Or... 

More likely, someone who knew Hugh Williamson or could have informed on Captain George Burrington’s alleged “disgraceful” demise might well have understood the Bird Cage Walk’s humiliating reputation and "added" it to the details of his death to tarnish the governor’s name.  Either that or they related traditional Family jokes to Williamson for his history, shocking propaganda about the creator of New Town, or Wilmington, the town that outmaneuvered the Family’s across the river.  Still, after all that time spent with Ashe and his Family, Williamson apparently never knew that Burrington created Wilmington. 

Gen. John B. Ashe, son of Family member John Baptiste Ashe, served with Williamson in the Revolution, together at Briar’s Creek, South Carolina and may have chatted about Burrington then or back at home in their leisure.  Then, they also served together on all four sessions of the first and second U.S. Congresses as House representatives for North Carolina, beginning in 1789.  As said, Williamson's book was not published until 1812.

“April 1734” simply could not have been true.  It appears that Nathaniel Rice "grabbed" the reins of government on the 15th of that month before Burrington had abdicated his post and before the new governor had arrived.  Was this the first coup d'etat in the Lower Cape Fear?  Before the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898, perpetrated by another generation of the Family?  Still, the details of those last few months demonstrate that Burrington had serious concerns in North Carolina after opposing such powerful men as the Family, a large group of individuals in key positions that could control political affairs.  In effect, they were a syndicate, headed by certain financial interests from London.  After the Revolution, they assumed leadership in that syndicate and later effected the Riot of 1898. 

They may also have used threats in 1734 to achieve their ends...

Burrington did, indeed, send a letter from North Carolina to the duke of Newcastle on June 1, 1734, complaining of “the many sicknesses that seized [him]” and asking for leave to return to England.   Burrington requested this leave, probably afraid, as he told his patron, Newcastle, in confidence before, because Nathaniel Rice aided “a villainous contrivance to murder [him].”   He wrote the Board that “some others were very like to dye but my escapeing death was unexpected by all who saw me [sic].”   This may or may not have been because of an actual illness.  Writing to the Board , he had to be careful because of Martin Bladen.  Another reference contains a letter from Burrington to the duke of Newcastle, dated 17 September 1734, also unanswered, and also from “N. Carolina.”  In that letter, Burrington states that “I have been necessitated, for the preservation of my own life, and peace of this Countrey to suspend Mr Rice.”   Again, he writes both Newcastle and the Board in October and again from North Carolina to again complain that not just Mr. Owen, but also “Mr Lovick and Mr Little [are] dead” and again to request permission to leave his post.   Yes, they were dead... it's in other NCCR and will records as well.  Burrington's "danger" references were there... both Newcastle and the Board must have seen them.  Again, no response came.  If nothing, Burrington remained faithful to his duty, even in the face of royal neglect, and even at the significant risk of his own life.  The frequency of his writing indicates his urgency.  Still, he did not leave North Carolina until after November 1734, after Gov. Gabriel Johnston, his replacement had finally arrived.


Furthermore, Wheeler, like Williamson, provided similar portrayals of Moseley, Ashe, Porter and Moore as trustworthy substantial citizens defending themselves against an arbitrary and vindictive governor.  Still, the Brunswick settlement, perhaps the most important event in North Carolina of that period save the Revolution, barely obtained notice in their work.  Williamson and Wheeler both apparently relied on such hearsay, even, propaganda for their material.  In truth, it was no less than a vulgar attempt to tarnish Burrington’s reputation, after the fact... most likely perpetrated by his enemies, the Family or their sons who lived near and fought with Hugh Williamson in the Revolution.  It was the Family who sent representatives to Congress, again, with Hugh Williamson.

Saunders may have also fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, formed the state's Ku Klux Klan chapter and testified before Congress becoming the first EVER to declare his 5th amendment rights in a formal hearing.  Still... he wasn't a part of the Family cabal.  He was from Salisbury, North Carolina... not the Lower Cape Fear.  He shared little except conservatism with the Wilmington faction.

In 1736, safe at last in London, Burrington made a petition for his unpaid salary.  Safe from the Family, Burrington writes more candidly in his petition:


  • [Smith, Rice, and Montgomery] with some others their confederates, did contrive and attempt to assassinate your petitioner, then actual Govr there by shooting him with pistoles, from which danger he was rescued by the sudden and unexpected interposition of some courageous men who came to his assistance. Your petitioner believes it was by directions from some persons in England, that Smith, Rice & Montgomery were prompted to murder him, because authentick accounts of that detestable attempt, being transmitted to the Board of Trade, yet their Lordships had no regard to them. (CR 4:164-165) 
"Burrington strongly suspected that chief among these 'persons in England' was Martin Bladen, a prominent member of the Board itself whom Burrington had angered around 1730 in a dispute over colonial patronage," says his biographer Fredrick Ribble.

In Champion, no. 341, he attacked the Board of Trade, specifically Martin Bladen (known as "Trade" by many because he controlled the other seven members of the "Board") and his "brother-in-law" Nathaniel Rice and the Family in the Lower Cape Fear when he said that "[William] S[mith], R[ice], and M[oore or Moseley] publicly attempted to assassinate me, when ill and unable to make the Defence they knew me capable of," but the attempt was unsuccessful because of Burrington's "friends" in Edenton.

Investigations have revealed that Martin Bladen's first wife was Mary Gibbs, daughter of Col. John Gibbs (of the infamous Gibbs Rebellion in NC) and her sister Anne married Nathaniel Rice in 1726 right after he returned as a very wealthy man from his work as "Chief Factor" for the Royal African Company (of which Bladen served on the Board of Directors) at Cape Corso Castle, trading in gold and slaves.  He left for the Carolinas immediately afterward... most likely to act in Bladen's stead concerning their investments, investments that were tied in with those of the Family in the Brunswick settlement.

Slave trader Nathaniel Rice and Royal African Company board member Martin Bladen were brothers-in-law and fellow business associates.  That's one hell of a coincidence!

Bertie and Edgecombe precinct inhabitants (northern counties closer to Edenton in the Albemarle), in an address to Gabriel Johnston, liked Burrington and presented him as a figure of almost mythic fortitude and benevolence:


  • ... no man living could have taken more pains & fatigue then he did to acquaint himself with this Province in General which his many Journeys & travels into the back woods on foot will Justifie Sometimes accompanied by one man Only & often pinched with hunger (nay) in danger of Perishing having but one biscutie for three days to subsist on and sometimes Coming amongst the Inhabitts without a Ragg of Cloaths to his back perhaps 200 miles from the place he set out Often carrying with him Considerable Sums of money & disposeing of it amongst many poor people to Encourage & Enable 'em the better to settle the back Lands. (CR 4:19)

Quite the contrast.  Burrington spent his last years writing in The Champion on the arbitrary ministry and abuses of Robert Walpole... bitter quarrels with the Walpoles and the Board of Trade... and, of course, the powerful Martin Bladen.

Hugh Williamson's History had altered the "April 1734" date from that of Hon. George Burrington's true death on February 22, 1759, when he was mugged, robbed, and dumped in the 2800-ft long canal in St. James Park, his cane still tightly clutched in his bruised hand.  His pockets had been turned out... he was obviously mugged and rifled for his money.

The forgery culprit who added the well-understood "Bird Cage Walk" reference could not have been in the first generation of the Family because they had passed away by 1759 when Burrington's corpse was found murdered in "a canal in St. James Park."  The "informant" had to be the next generation, the colonels, generals, and captains who fought in the Revolution... with Hugh Williamson and they would have known that 1734 was far too early for that reference.  They would have been adults by 1759 and probably read the newspapers that reported Burrington's actual death.

The French-influenced layout of St James’s Park, in an engraving by Kip, c1710.
The new park was laid out in the style of French baroque gardens, with a grand canal à la française some 2,800 feet long by 100 feet wide, bordered by avenues and rows of single species trees (mainly elms), with more broad avenues radiating in a goosefoot pattern from the Palace of Whitehall, and two further grand avenues running along the north and south edges of the park, forming The Mall (site of the royal wedding procession) and Birdcage Walk respectively.  The tilt yard, cockpit and bowling alley were meeting places for the Lords Proprietor of Carolina and sat to the east on this map directly opposite to the Queen's Palace at the west end of the canal and on White Hall, the meeting place for the Board of Trade and Plantations.
View of Whitehall from St. James's Park, circa 1677.
From engraving by S. Rawle in J. T. Smith's Antiquities of Westminster


Burrington's was a violent death, but not a "disgraceful" one.  It was reported the next day by many newspapers.  The Public Advertiser and Universal Chronicle articles are shown below.  His body was not identified for two days.  Still, he did not die while cruising for gay sex on the "Bird Cage Walk," a death that people of the eighteenth century would have reviled and found "infamous."  Speaking ill of the dead only added insult to injury. Somebody probably intended that.

Public Advertiser (London, England), Friday, February 23, 1759; Issue 7585.

Universal Chronicle or Weekly Gazette (London, England), February 24, 1759 - March 3, 1759; Issue 48.


Burrington was buried at St. John the Evangelist, Westminster on February 24th and given a statesman's service with all the honors... as was his due.

George Burrington was no angel.  The records prove that; yet, they also show that he was faithful to the Duke of Newcastle and to his king and, presumably, to his job... in 1731, to stop the abuses of the Family with the king's land in the Lower Cape Fear.  Still, in the course of his duty, he suffered serious threats to his life.  The men who supported him or supported the royal prerogative died around him.  Newcastle, his patron ignored him in his last months of need, probably content that his faithful scapegoat had successfully carried out his instructions against Bladen's Family.  The Family, his opponents, probably only lost two grants of land on the east side of the Cape Fear River, both belonging to Maurice Moore... not a lot, really.  Brunswick Town took a long time to wither and die, finally burned by British troops in 1779.  The Family had stolen so much more land... and they got to keep it!  Wounded pride threatened the governor’s life.  Nor was that the only injury... in 1740, New Town was named for Spencer Compton, Lord Wilmington, the patron of Gov. Gabriel Johnston, who also got credit for founding the town in almost every history written about the Lower Cape Fear, indeed, about North Carolina in general.  Burrington's contributions were thoroughly erased.  Family vengeance, their wrath, Bladen's wrath... was total.   Perhaps the worst crime, OUR crime, was that early North Carolina “history” concealed the truth and, after the Civil War, it became exponentially worse!  It's still not great... The late Howard Zinn wrote:


  • The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex.  And in such world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.  

History involves a passion for truth.  Any agenda will spoil the inquiry.  These early North Carolina politically-inspired histories have to be considered suspect and unreliable, including Wheeler’s, Davis’, and any others relying on Hugh Williamson’s first maiming of North Carolina history.  In the very least, they are political fabrications masquerading as histories.  They are truly George Burrington’s political executioners.  




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Aristocratic Pyrates of the Albemarle

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Brunswick Town and Wilmington

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 Quest for Blackbeard

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