Thursday, November 26, 2009

"The Desolate Wilderness"

Since 1961, the Wall Street Journal has published pre-Thanksgiving passages from Nathaniel Morton's accounts of Plymouth Colony, where he served as keeper of the records.  Click here for a link to the editorials.  The perspectives of William Bradford, as related by Nathaniel Morton, are fascinating in that they describe America pre-"land use" in the way we define the concept today.  Morton writes:

"Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.  Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? . . ."

Will Cook, Charleston School of Law

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