Friday, July 10, 2009

A shot of South Carolina history

I just had to reboot yesterday. I needed to get out of the house — somewhere out of town, somewhere with books. So, late in their work day, I trapsed down to Guilford College and the Friends Historical Collection. I wasn't prepared to do any serious research, but thought I'd look at the book on Charity Cook, by Algie I. Newlin.

Charity was a traveling Quaker minister, based in Bush River, S.C. when my ancestors of the English family were there. I hadn't realized that all this was in the 18th century, spanning time before and after the Revolution.

I skimmed a couple of other works before closing time, including an interesting doctoral thesis by Jo Anne McCormick for the University of S.C. Ms. McCormick did lots of research on the Bush River and Wateree/Fredricksburg meetings - the ones that my family attended! Her theory was that the quick affluence of the Irish Quakers who settled in Fredricksburg led them away from their Quaker beliefs (only one son, Thomas, remained a Quaker and his son John moved to Bush River and later N.C.). Meanwhile, the less affluent frontier life, combined with frequent contact with other Quakers from N.C., Pennsyvania, etc., helped the Bush River Friends remain true to their beliefs.

There were some errors in the paper, written in 1984, one being the confusion between Joshua the father and Joshua the brother. I saw that in other books, as well, but they all reference Kirkland and Kennedy's history of Camden. So an error more than 100 years old keeps perpetuating. I'll add a post from the archives soon to explain that. Maybe not 'til after my trip.

Even for just an hour, a shot a history and books. Aaaahh...

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