Friday, September 20, 2013

The Founding of the Homeplace - Summer 1838, Progress Report - Part 5 of 5

The Founding of the Homeplace
Summer 1838, Progress Report
Part 5 of 5

"The Founding of the Homeplace" saga will continue here on every other Friday during August and September. This is a serial presentation of the story, beginning in 1833, when four families decided to settle the land, the valley, that would become the setting of the first two books in the The Homeplace Series: "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited" and subsequent series stories, set in 1987 and 1996, to date. The underlying premise of this series is the desire of the family matriarch to retain the family farm in the southern Missouri Ozarks in whole and in the family. 

[See Story 1 (Parts 123, and 4), Story 2 (Part 123, and 4), Story 3 (Part 123 and 4), Story 4 (Part 123 and 4), and 1838 Progress Report (Part 123 and 4) earlier.] 

Characters in this series become actively involved in the study of their family history and snippets of that research appear, from time to time through the series (one example). This serial presentation begins to share that ‘research’ in Story Form, and, some of the Stories represent 'writings of the family' that were ‘discovered’ in the process of that research. Each Story is an essay or report of the activities of the initial four families and their descendants that settled the Homeplace – the farm and the surrounding valley.

Summer 1838, Progress Report

In this episode, we share "Part 5 of 5"

The only circuit-riding preacher that had been through the valley in the past month, had come from the north. His news related to the plight of the Indians being removed from their ancestral lands in the southeastern United States, primarily Georgia, to new lands in Oklahoma. Many of them were coming overland along what was called the White River trail running northeast to southwest about 25 miles or so north of the valley. The McDonalds had also heard these stories because the trail toward Springfield ran near the lumbering camps they visited. Some told of the difficulties these ‘civilized’ Indians, Creeks and Cherokees, were encountering along the trail. Some seemed pleased that a few of the Indians ‘dropped off of’ the march and joined settlements along the way. The largest, final contingent, was to have passed by already. However, it seemed that haggling and controversies in Washington and between the United States and the State of Georgia had held up the start of this march. When they would be coming through was still uncertain. Feelings about this entire ‘Indian removal’ policy were the subject of some debate, with advocates on each side of the discussions expressing strong opinions.
There were always issues within the valley that were the subject of discussions among the adults as well of course. The women, in particular, discussed when there might be enough school age children that a school should be considered. All of the children were still receiving their ‘book-learning,’ their education, at home. With only 4 age five and under in the eastern valley and 6 in the western part of the valley, it appeared it would be a few years before a school could be justified. It was also mentioned that more families would likely be coming into the valley. A couple of the families in the west mentioned relatives or friends that they were confident would be coming in the next year or so.

The men discussed ‘internal affairs’ such as roads/trails, river crossings, and the use of common areas and nearby forests resources. During discussion it was suggested that the next few years would likely bring circumstances where more formal organization would be required. None wished to see ‘government’ as necessary, but most admitted that increases in the surrounding populations would likely require it.

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