For the longest time, I have had the thought of writing a book sharing some ancestral family stories while crossing paths with famous Americans and some of their pivotal engagements in US history in forging our nation.
In my supporting research for the book (yet to be completed), I uncovered a history of government corruption driven by the greed of influential individuals that turned far darker than I could have ever imagined. Was it always their intention to walk in the valleys of darkness? I think not. Whether it was behind closed doors in the hallways of Congress or on a southern plantation, or on the Great Plains, greed and opportunity led many motivated men down a dark path. Many will say it's obvious, but it is more insidious than you think. It was always there, but it laid slightly hidden beneath the surface of most American textbooks.
They say history is recorded by the winners and revised by those with political agendas, and we see it clearly happening today.
It wasn’t until 1806 that my ancestor Elijah Davidson, his father-in-law John Murphy and a few other brave men took a public stand against slavery as simple preachers and ordinary citizens. It was their personal religious awakenings to the truer meaning of Jesus’s words that He preached at the Sermon on the Mount. With that awakening, the values of American religious hypocrisy had been lifted from their eyes and they decided something had to be done. Doing in what they believed – "what would Jesus do?" Their Emancipationist's efforts are here on this website.
Recently I received two emails from 2 different individuals, they are descendants of an 1830's slave who was freed by one of my Murphy ancestors, one is a pastor in the Baptist church today, one is in Texas, and the other is in Missouri. That freedman took the Murphy name of my ancestor, and the inquiries were hoping to gather more information on him. Ironically, John Murphy's father and uncle were also pioneer preachers (called the Murphy Boys) who helped established many of the early, pre-Revolution (Separatist) Baptist churches and the very first all-black congregation in Virginia in 1756-57, called the Bluestone Church.
The site of Bluestone meeting house was on a beautiful eminence on Big Bluestone Creek, about three miles from Abbyville, on Staunton River and just two from the North Carolina state line.
While gathering research for my book, I'd find some historical bloggers to get additional insights and perspectives. Many of the contributors are enthusiasts, reenactors, writers, artists, etc. But on certain historical group-social pages, mostly from the southern states, many I found like to romanticize the "South's Lost Cause". To them - the Civil War was never about slavery but states rights, and many blame Lincoln, believing he was some kind of a vengeful, evil, tyrant supported by the northern industrial elites whose only goal was to destroy the southern economy. Hate is non-partisan, it takes on all walks of life, regardless of religious, political and race affiliations.
I believe there's a real lack of interest in our historical education - from our first beginnings, i.e., the 1619 debacle to the early Democrats' demanding a 3/5th compromise before agreeing to the Constitution, to Manifest Destiny and our westward expansion, to the Mormon roots of their sinister plans for Deserta (making of a separate "Mormon" empire out of the 3/4 of western territories) People don't hear these stories because they are suppressed for a variety of reasons, often by pundits with a agenda that makes its way into our classrooms - of all ages.
The following John Adams' letter is very revealing.
John Adams would write in one of his many letters to Thomas Jefferson “I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious/destructive on the whole, and in the long run, than a monarchy or an aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. Athens, Magna Carta, Jean Rousseau and John Locke, the very ideals to protect the citizen’s natural rights which (at the time) were life, liberty, and the ownership of property. But, it is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.”