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Monday, February 10, 2014

The Truth of the Past

Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge
Many details of the historical past has not yet been discovered.  For centuries, historians have written books and theorized the past only to be out-done with more facts being discovered in the modern age. The conclusions drawn in the past seem niave, primitive and rather dense. As we study the new discoveries by archeologists, and other miners of data via the oceans and skies, perhaps the real facts are that that much has been lost.  We were taught in our schools that man "evolved" in intelligence after first living the life of cavemen.  Yet, the Bible tells the story that Adam and Eve were taught by God!  So, which is it? Mankind had a glorious intelligence in the beginning, or emerged as some dirty and loathsome cave dweller who killed for food? If Adam and Eve were taught by God himself, then the schools reversed the truth using some primitive theories espoused by scholarly types.  Archeological discoveries unfold tons of facts....civilizations who built pyramids long before those in Egypt and cement which can set under water. The projection that thousands of slaves manually hauled stones to build pyramids becomes absurb.  What, they were not intelligent enough to devise machinery to lift these stones?  When King Tut's tomb display came to Atlanta, a number of replicas of "the wheel" and "gears" were displayed.  And so on.  Michaelangeo's drawings of "the wheel" and other sketches of machinery were recently displayed at the Atlanta Civic Center.  If there is a truth here, then it is that man learns, invents, and rises to prosperity.  Then, his generation slumps into greed and depravity. And the great ancient buildings and cities become slums and are built over by succeeding generations.  Then forgotten.  Time passes and another generation learns what was forgotten. Perhaps this is why historians and politicians quip that we need to know the past so that it will not be repeated.  The ignorance of today's politicians, for example, lies in the fact that they do not know their history. If they only knew the history of the middle Eastern cultures and the wars.  And recent history is important, such as the Nazi regime and how Hitler destroyed a civilization of Europeans.  The methods used by dictators need to be noted.  Especially today, when these methods are emerging in our own country. Can't we see what is next?  There are so many instances were ignorance rules the day. One needs to be well informed on the history of Argentina before going there as an ambassador!   Genealogists learn history while searching for ancestral roots because they need to know the driving force of migration and the direction. The questions have to be answered.  Often times, answers are found in old documents, even State Papers and other political correspondence. Clues are everywhere.  The battle of Moore's Creek bridge during the Revolutionary War in North Carolina was but a blink of the eye, so much so that it went unforgotten.  However, those neighbors who stood on the far side of the bridge and pushed back the British saw it as a great victory and drew on this memory experiences throughout their life.  This sort of detail is found in Revolutionary War Pensions as the soldier (himself) relates his experience.  A writer can come along later and say this, this and that happened, but he is only surmising from fragmented information.  If each soldier at Moore's Creek bridge had related his story, the later account would be laughable.  Therefore, the genealogist seeks his own truths.
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