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Old 08-27-2003, 01:28 AM
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Jerry D Jerry D is offline
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Talking A Tale of Davy Crockett

A Tale of Davy Crockett

From The Life of Colonel David Crockett, by Edward S. Ellis
(Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1884)

CROCKETT was then the lion of Washington. I was a great admirer of his character, and, having several friends who were intimate with him, I found no difficulty in making his acquaintance. I was fascinated with him, and he seemed to take a fancy to me.

I was one day in the lobby of the House of Representatives when a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support -- rather, as I thought, because it afforded the speakers a fine opportunity for display than from the necessity of convincing anybody, for it seemed to me that everybody favored it. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose. Everybody expected, of course, that he was going to make one of his characteristic speeches in support of the bill. He commenced:

"Mr. Speaker -- I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. This government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the War of 1812 precisely the same amount. There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor; but if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of, but we never hear of any of these large debts to them. Sir, this is no debt. The government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much of our own money as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Like many other young men, and old ones, too, for that matter, who had not thought upon the subject, I desired the passage of the bill, and felt outraged at its defeat. I determined that I would persuade my friend Crockett to move a reconsideration the next day.

Previous engagements preventing me from seeing Crockett that night, I went early to his room the next morning and found him engaged in addressing and franking letters, a large pile of which lay upon his table.

I broke in upon him rather abruptly, by asking him what devil had possessed him to make that speech and defeat that bill yesterday. Without turning his head or looking up from his work, he replied:

"You see that I am very busy now; take a seat and cool yourself. I will be through in a few minutes, and then I will tell you all about it."

He continued his employment for about ten minutes, and when he had finished he turned to me and said:

"Now, sir, I will answer your question. But thereby hangs a tale, and one of considerable length, to which you will have to listen."

I listened, and this is the tale which I heard:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SEVERAL YEARS AGO I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. When we got there, I went to work, and I never worked as hard in my life as I did there for several hours. But, in spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them, and everybody else seemed to feel the same way.

The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. I said everybody felt as I did. That was not quite so; for, though they perhaps sympathized as deeply with the sufferers as I did, there were a few of the members who did not think we had the right to indulge our sympathy or excite our charity at the expense of anybody but ourselves. They opposed the bill, and upon its passage demanded the yeas and nays. There were not enough of them to sustain the call, but many of us wanted our names to appear in favor of what we considered a praiseworthy measure, and we voted with them to sustain it. So the yeas and nays were recorded, and my name appeared on the journals in favor of the bill.

The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up, and I thought it was best to let the boys know that I had not forgot them, and that going to Congress had not made me too proud to go to see them.

So I put a couple of shirts and a few twists of tobacco into my saddlebags, and put out. I had been out about a week and had found things going very smoothly, when, riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly, and was about turning his horse for another furrow when I said to him: "Don't be in such a hurry, my friend; I want to have a little talk with you, and get better acquainted."

He replied: "I am very busy, and have but little time to talk, but if it does not take too long, I will listen to what you have to say."

I began: "Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and --"

"'Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'

This was a sockdolager... I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

"Well, Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the Constitution to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is."

"I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question."

"No, Colonel, there's no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?"

"Certainly it is, and I thought that was the last vote which anybody in the world would have found fault with."

"Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away the public money in charity?"

Here was another sockdolager; for, when I began to think about it, I could not remember a thing in the Constitution that authorized it. I found I must take another tack, so I said:

"Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did."

"It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution."

I have given you an imperfect account of what he said. Long before he was through, I was convinced that I had done wrong. He wound up by saying:

"So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you."

I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

"Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it full. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said there at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot."

He laughingly replied:

"Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way."

"If I don't," said I, "I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say, I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it."

"No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you."

"Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name."

"My name is Bunce."

"Not Horatio Bunce?"

"Yes."

"Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me; but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend. You must let me shake your hand before I go."

We shook hands and parted.

It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

I have told you Mr. Bunce converted me politically. He came nearer converting me religiously than I had ever been before. He did not make a very good Christian of me, as you know; but he has wrought upon my mind a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and upon my feelings a reverence for its purifying and elevating power such as I had never felt before.

I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him -- no, that is not the word -- I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted -- at least, they all knew me.

In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

"Fellow citizens -- I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only."

I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation as I have told it to you, and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

"And now, fellow citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

"It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit of it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so."

He came upon the stand and said:

"Fellow citizens -- It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today."

He went down, and there went up from the crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.

I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.

"NOW, SIR," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. I have had several thousand copies of it printed and was directing them to my constituents when you came in.

"There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men -- men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased - - a debt which could not be paid by money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."

1CAVCCO15MED you have a worthy resident of your fair city of Limestone,TN he was one of the most decent men to serve in the Army and in Congress I thought you would enjoy this article if you hadn't seen it already. "Remember the Alamo"
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Old 08-27-2003, 06:00 AM
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That was a great anecdote. Of course you now have put me on a journey. I must find a copy of that book. It sounds like a great read!!

Bill
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:49 PM
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Post "The Great Cherokee Children Massacre at Ywahoo Falls"

Old Davey Crockett was a true friend to the Cherokee and here is a tale of what some early settlers in Tenn and Ky did to the Cherokee to get the land they so coveted.

"The Great Cherokee Children Massacre at Ywahoo Falls"
A Historical Narrative by Dan Troxell

On Friday, August 10th 1810, the Great Cherokee Children Massacre took place at Ywahoo Falls in southeast Kentucky ...... the Cherokee village leaders of the Cumberland Plateau territory from Knoxville Tennessee to the Cumberland River in Kentucky were led by the northern provisional Thunderbolt District Chief, Beloved Woman/War Woman "Cornblossom" , the highly honored daughter of the famous Thunderbolt War Chief Doublehead. Several months before this date, Beloved Woman/War Woman Cornblossom, was preparing the people in all the Cherokee villages of southeast Kentucky and northern Tennessee to bring all their children to the sacred Ywahoo Falls area of refuge and safety.

Once all the Cherokee children were gathered, they were to make a journey to Reverend Gideon Blackburns' Presbyterian Indian School at Sequatchie Valley outside of Chattanooga Tennessee in order to save the children of the Cherokee Nation remaining in Kentucky and northern Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau.

This area of Sequatchie Valley was very near to Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga, the once long held Chickamauga National capital of the Thunderbolts. Near Lookout Mountain, just on the other side in northeast Alabama, was the rendezvous point for the Chickamaugan Cherokees and their allies the Creek Nation. For by this time, many Creek and Chickamaugan Thunderbolt Cherokee were defending the rest of the Indian Nations there as well. The arrangements to save the Cherokee children through Gideon Blackburns' white protection Christian Indian Schools, had been made earlier by Cornblossoms father War Chief Doublehead, who had also several years earlier been assassinated by non-traditionalist of the southern Cherokee Nation of the Carolinas and far eastern Tennessee.

A huge gathering area underneath Ywahoo Falls itself was to be the central meeting place for these women and children to gather and wait. Then all the children of all ages would go as one group southward to the school to safety from the many Indian fighters gathering in the neighboring counties of Wayne and Pulaski in Kentucky. These Indian fighters were led by an old Franklinite militiaman from Tennessee named Hiram "Big Tooth" Gregory who came from Sullivan County Tennessee at the settlement of Franklin and had fought many Franklinite campaigns under John Sevier to eliminate all the traditional Thunderbolt Cherokees totally and without mercy. Big Tooth Gregory, sanctioned by the United States government, War Department, and Governor of the territory, carried on the ill famous Indian hating battle cry of John Seveir that "nits make lice". Orders were understood by these Cherokee haters that nits (baby lice) would grow up to be adults and especially targeted in all the campaigns of John Seveir Franklinites were the Cherokees women, pregnant women, and children of all ages. John Seveir, Big Tooth Gregory, and all the rest of the Franklinites philosophy was that if they could destroy the children of the Cherokee, there would be no Cherokees and no Cherokee Nation to contend with in their expansion of white settlements, the white churches, and the claiming of territory for the United States. Orders were issued to the Franklinites to split open the belly of any pregnant Cherokee woman, remove the baby inside her, and slice it as well. To the Franklinites, the Cherokee baby inside the mother was the nit that would eventually make lice.

In all the earlier campaigns of the Franklintes in the late 1700s, the blood and screams of the Cherokee children were constantly heard throughout the Cumberland Plateau territory from today's Knoxville Tennessee to the Cumberland River in southeast Kentucky to all their adjoining territories. From as far in Kentucky as present day London/Corbin and the lands within the present Daniel Boone National Forest the cries could be heard. The Lands from London to Cumberland Falls were ruled by many war leaders, among them was a great warrior and friend to Cornblossom, War Chief Red Bird called Chief Cutsuwah, descendent of the Great War Woman Cutsuwah that fell during the French and Indian War at Burnside Kentucky. Red Bird was also a close relative to Cornblossom, War Chief Peter Troxell and their descendants. The cries of Red Birds women and children echoed many times in this genocide campaign of the Franklinites to rid the area of powerful Cherokee leaders. The blood of many warriors, men and women, was spilled trying to defend their Cherokee people. From where today's Pickett State Park lays in northern Tennessee just below the Kentucky Tennessee State Line lying south of present day Wayne County Kentucky, the cries of women and children and fallen warriors of War Chief The Fox could also be heard. The Fox was sometimes called Black Fox or Captain Fox. He became known as Captain Fox when Doublehead and his loyal Thunderbolt war parties in the late 1700s attacked a militia in Kentucky, killing their leader which was a Captain in the American Army. As The Fox was the one who killed the Captain, he took his militia overcoat in victory and wore it constantly. A frenzied whoop dance was performed on Lookout Mountain by Dragging Canoe, Doublehead, and the Bloody 7 over this victory attack on the Kentucky militia. The Fox then became known to all the Cherokees as Captain Fox. Now the villages under Chief Captain Fox came under attack by the Franklinites.

Standing Fern from the Ywahoo Falls area sent many warriors and war women to counter the Franklinites move on their boundaries many times as did Cornblossom and War Chief Peter Troxell. War Chief Peter Troxell had attacked to the west of Ywahoo Falls in 1806 and 1807 the settlers of Wayne and Pulaski counties, bringing many settlers to the point of utter fear for their encroachments against the Cherokees of the now Daniel Boone National Forest of southeast Kentucky. But in 1807, War Chief Peter Troxell had been granted official amnesty by the Governor of Kentucky if he and his Cherokee war parties from neighboring McCreary County stop their raids into Wayne and Pulaski County. War Chief Peter Troxell agreed and turned over his scalping knife with 9 notches to the authorities at the courthouse in Wayne County. Peace would last just a short time when the settlers of Wayne and Pulaski banded together in 1810 to break this peace treaty at the massacre of Ywahoo Falls. Many of the Cherokee who tried to protect their people during these times simply did not return, dwindling the people down to small factions, and the Indian fighters knew it. But these small factions of Cherokee traditionalist in southeast Kentucky became more determined to save their people as ever. And from all this, the Thunderbolts endured the militia of the Franklinites, continued encroachments of white settlers, land speculators, the many Southern Cherokee who allied themselves with the United States government trying to defeat the traditionalist of Kentucky Georgia and Tennessee, all, resulting in the Chickamaugan Cherokee separating even more from the southern Cherokee of the Carolinas to fight this continuing drastic change.

Politically, Two (2) Cherokee Nations had been formed during Dragging Canoe and Doublehead's fight for freedom of the traditionalist: The Southern Cherokees of the Carolinas and far eastern Tennessee and the Chickamaugan Cherokee of Georgia, eastern Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. For you see, over the many years, many of the southern Cherokee of the Carolinas who lived more close to the white settlements leaned toward the US Governments policy of change, many became inbred within the white society and did as the whites did collecting black and Indian slaves for themselves and to sell, with some becoming rich, many did away with the "Old Ways" and played into the hands of politicians and land speculators to steal land as they themselves would now own land unto themselves. Many of the Southern Cherokee would also condemn the Thunderbolt traditional Cherokees in Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky who would not change and accept the new ways of the Europeans, shamed and banished any Carolina Cherokees who would not accept the white main's ways. Many Cherokees in the Carolinas and elsewhere isolated themselves in the mountains way before the trail of tears during this social civil strife between the people. These conformed Cherokees would brand any and all who kept their ancient Cherokee heritage as traitors to the Cherokee people. And from all of this strife of change many traditional Cherokee protectors arose. Dragging Canoe and Doublehead arose to defend the people. But by this date of 1810 Dragging Canoe and the rest of the so- called Bloody Seven had either died a natural death or been killed and War Chief Doublehead, Cornblossoms father, had met his death by means of assassination at the hands of the Cherokee conformist from the south.

And now, in 1810, one more attempt would be made to destroy the Cherokees who kept the old traditional ways. One more attempt would be made to destroy the "nits that make lice" as the many Cherokee women with their children began coming to Ywahoo Falls in order to make the great "Children" migration to Seqatchie Valley near Chattanooga, Tennessee. In southeast Kentucky, underneath Ywahoo Falls itself, was War Woman Standing Fern and over 100 women and children, others stationed themselves out from the falls. Standing Fern was the mighty woman war leader of the Ywahoo Falls area and was married to the 1st born of Cornblossom. She was married to War Chief Peter Troxell. At this time Cornblossom was married to the famous "Big Jake" Jacob Troxell, a half breed Delaware Warrior from Pennsylvania who had been sent by the personal staff of President George Washington earlier to sway the Cherokee away from the Spanish of Florida and more towards the New Americans in alliance. But Jacob had ended up joining the Cherokee instead which came about over the inhumane cruelty the incoming settlers of Kentucky and Tennessee were inflicting on the Cherokee and other tribes of southeast Kentucky and northern Tennessee. To the New Americans he had "turned injun"(again). By 1810, "Little Jake" Peter Troxell was a mighty War Chief riding along side his mother Cornblossom in all her campaigns and protecting the sacred sites with his wife Standing Fern. They were true Cherokee Thunderbolts and wore the sacred emblem and mark of the Thunder People: the Lightning Bolt. Standing Fern was in charge of the gathered children who by August 10th had almost all assembled. Now they would wait for Cornblossom to bring her younger children to the falls, then all would be ready and they would go southward in a children fleeing journey more closer to the Thunderbolts of the south who were more stronger.

Runners brought word to Standing Fern at the falls that her husband War Chief Peter Troxell and Cornblossom were on their way to Ywahoo Falls with the last of the children. Traveling with Cornblossom and War Chief Peter Troxell were Chief Red Bird of the Cumberland Falls area and their children, the youngest children of Cornblossom, and all the children of War Chief Peter Troxell. When they arrived at Ywahoo Falls the journey southward would begin. But before Cornblossom, Red Bird, War Chief Peter Troxell, and the children with them arrived, the old Franklinite "Indian fighter" by the name of Hiram "Big Tooth" Gregory had heard of the planned trip several days prior and headed immediately for the falls area to kill them all with all he could muster to kill the Cherokee.

Breaking the 1807 peace treaty between War Chief Peter Troxell and the Governor of Kentucky, Big Tooth Gregorys band of Indian fighters crossed into Cherokee territory and came in two directions, one group from Wayne County, the other from neighboring Pulaski county in southeast Kentucky. The Indian fighters on horseback joined together at what is now called Flat Rock Kentucky and headed into the Ywahoo Falls area with fiery hatred. Big Tooth Gregory and his Indian fighters could not allow these children (nits) to escape. Being only 1 good accessible way in by land and 1 way in by water, Gregorys band of Indian fighters chose the quick way by land, sending a few side skirmishers by way to block anyone trying to escape. Before they reached the falls, at today's entrance to Ywahoo Falls, the Indian fighters encountered a front Cherokee guard consisting of "Big Jake" Jacob Troxell (husband to Cornblossom), a few long hunters friendly to the Cherokee mainly through intermarriage and some remaining Thunderbolt warriors, all who were guarding the entrance to the falls. This occurred shortly after midnight in the early morning hours of darkness before the rising of the sun. This will be the night morning of screams. This will be the last day of many children. This will be the day that will forever mark the Troxell Cherokee heritage in history.

Jacob Troxell, the long hunters, and warriors instantly sense the trouble, a Cherokee runner takes off in flight to attempt to warn Standing Fern at the falls but is cut down by 2 side skirmishers on the way. At the same time Jacob Troxell and the front guards lock in a fierce battle of flintlock against flintlock and hand to hand fighting, trying to keep Gregory and his band out, but are overcome in a short time by the numbers of the Indian fighters. All the front guard is killed at this entrance to Ywahoo Falls. It was said through the memories of the Cherokee people of southeast Kentucky that Jacob Troxell and 1 renowned great warrior were the last to fall of the front guards. Jacob, now swinging a half broken highly decorated war club in one hand and a large skinning knife in the other, stood fighting hand to hand with blood coming out of his mouth from several bodily wounds and was said to have kept screaming to the end in a loud voice over and over, "The Children!". The Great Warrior witnessed the fall of Jacob as the Indian fighters took sharp aim and fired a whole volley of lead into Jacob's body finally downing and scalping him. Jacob will survive this attack but is mortally wounded and will live 2 months before he dies as a result from this massacre. So some say that Jacob died at this massacre to denote his final breath to save the children because that was where his heart was - defending the children of a now forgotten people lost within the hills and valleys of southeast Kentucky waiting for remembrance of their families. The Great Warrior, who was still standing and the last to fall, was jumped by several Indian fighters and downed to the ground. Breaking his arms the Indian fighters then cut his throat and scalped him.

This had all been witnessed and watched by a hidden son of one of the front Cherokee guards who was given orders to flee into the woods upon the Indian fighters approach. This hidden Cherokee son would carry down this memory for generations (today at this entrance to Ywahoo Falls there is only one lonely memorial grave marker with the name "Jacob Troxell" only, to mark remembrance of this incident, the Ywahoo Falls area is part of the Big South Fork River and Recreation Area of the National Park Service and is the tallest waterfall in Kentucky which drops 113 feet, underneath and behind the falls is an open huge gigantic rock shelter where the children and Standing Fern had gathered).

Gregory with his Indian fighters after scalping all the front guards, then moved onward in a rush to the falls area. Lining themselves all along the top rim of the bluff surrounding the falls and large "rock house" below it, they began firing from all sides down on War Woman Standing Fern and over 100 children now trapped directly underneath them. The ones out from the falls ran, hid, and escaped. Trapping the 100 children with other old men, pregnant women, and mothers underneath the falls, Gregory and his men worked their way down into the gigantic area of the rock house on the 2 downward side paths while the ones on top kept them bottled in. As children and women fell all around her from the volley of lead above, War Woman Standing Fern and her few warriors now take to the two left and right inclining side paths that lead into the huge rock shelter hoping to meet and stop the Indian fighters. Looking outward from underneath the falls itself, Standing Fern and several warriors took the right hand path that would lead upward, the other few warriors took the left path. The trapped Cherokee people and the children old enough to hold a weapon grabbed what ever they could in their grasps to defend themselves. Some would have a knife or hatchet, while most would only have a rock or a clay cooking bowl to throw or nothing at all to use as a weapon. Some of the ones who escaped out from the falls, hid among the rocks, water, and trees and would watch in horror with tears to tell the story for generations so that we may remember what happened that day, Friday, August 10th, 1810.

Standing Fern and her warriors were very quickly overcome by the Indian fighters and brutally killed but not before Standing Fern fought with a passion of defense taking with her several of the Indian fighters in hand to hand combat along the right path while the other warriors fought with the ever fevered courage of a Thunderbolt as well. The fall of Standing Fern occurred at a narrow spot on the right path fighting several of the Indian fighters with the swinging of a hatchet in hand to hand combat. As she was fighting she was shot twice, once in the shoulder and once in the hip, and gutted in the belly with an unforeseen knife. As the knife entered her belly, at the same time she was shoved over the ravine by several Indian Fighters, but not before taking some with her.

With Standing Fern and all her warriors now defeated and murdered, the Indian fighters set upon the children and others that were trapped under the falls, rushing it with more volleys of lead and close attack. Using what useless weapons they had, the women, old men, and children fell prey to the evil dark designs of the attackers. They screamed an earthquake of death and tears. The water and ground ran red.

Hiram Big Tooth Gregory and all his Indian fighters raped the women and younger female children of all ages, pillaged, cut bellies open, murdered, and scalped over 100 Chickamaugan Cherokee women and children that had been trapped underneath Ywahoo Falls, killing most of them as they ran, begged, huddled together, and screamed and pleaded for life.

Meanwhile this same day the party of Cornblossom approached with her children. As her party came closer to the falls area, it is said a hawk flew above them and lit in a nearby tree and acted strange. Investigating this remarkable occurrence, it was found that the tree was bleeding blood out of its bark, the leaves trembled, and the sound of the hawk was as a cry and scream of a baby. Fearing something wrong, Cornblossom and her party pushed onward in a frantic pace to get her children to the falls and safety. When Cornblossom arrived at the falls entrance area, she found all of the front guards brutally scalped and killed with her husband "Big Jake" Jacob Troxell. Leaving the children with some women at the front guard entrance, Cornblossom, her son War Chief Peter Troxell, Red Bird, and their party of warriors and war women then rushed to the Falls itself, where they find some of Gregorys murderers who had remained behind still finishing their evil work of rape, torture, and scalping. Cornblossom screams for her warriors, Redbird, and her son Chief Peter Troxell to kill these remaining men with a blow of passion. Her famous cry was once again heard as she had always shouted in all her many campaigns: "Shoot Twice Not Once!". War Chief Peter Troxell, Chief Redbird, and the Thunderbolt Warriors, along with Beloved Woman / War Woman Cornblossom (Selu-Sa-tah), charged the murderers with screaming Cherokee war hoops and passion of justice, a battle ensues with a short volley of rifle fire and close hand to hand combat with all its fierceness. All the remaining men of Gregorys Indian fighters are cut down to never more harm the Cherokee people.

From this last fight of Cornblossom, her son War Chief Peter Troxell was himself killed at the huge rock shelter underneath the falls and Cornblossom herself received an agonizing long rifle gunshot injury. Cornblossom will live 2 days before this wound takes its full toll on her life. Beloved Woman Cornblossom, wounded and in much pain from wound and sorrow, will sing and wail the "Death song of the Cherokees"

Nee-Tak, In-Ta-Hah
Yah, Ho, Wah
Yah-ah, Yah-ah, Yah-ah
Yo-He-Ta-Wah
Yo-He-Ta-Weh
Yo-He-Ta-Ha
Yo-He-Ta-He
Ho-Yah, Ho-yah, Ho-yah
Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo
He, He, He, He
Wa, Wa, Wa, Wa
And on the rising of the Sun on the 3rd day .... Cornblossom passed on into history a Great Cherokee Woman and mother of generations to come.
Holding the Beams of Sunlight in her Eyes Forever.
Translated roughly is that it is an invocation and a calling on THE GREAT SPIRIT that the days appointed/allowed are finished in this realm. Such a one was been weighed on the Blue Path and made to be Light upon entering the next realm of the sacred crescent moon of their journey. Yahweh is the the Cherokee name for the GREAT ONE ABOVE- the Creator- along with the ELDER FIRES ABOVE-Cho-Ta-Auh-Ne-Le-Eh- listened to her song and carried her spirit above to Paradise of Blue Heavens.

underneath and atop the ancient sacred grounds of Ywahoo Falls over and over for 2 days and nights. Clinching her raised fists and raised open arms to the Great Spirit, day and night, she kept screaming the words of her father Doublehead, son War Chief Peter Troxell, and daughter-n-law War Woman Standing Fern: "WE ARE NOT CONQUERED YET!". And on the 3rd day, as the blazing eastern morning sun would rise over the mountains and valleys of Kentucky, Cornblossom passed on into Cherokee history as a great woman of her people and a great mother of future generations. May we not forget her or her children's children. Remember her with a Cherokee tear and with honor.

From this massacre, Jacob Troxell (husband to Cornblossom), the Great Warrior, and all the front guards killed, War Woman Standing Fern (wife to War Chief Peter Troxell) and her elite Thunderbolt warriors all killed defending the children below the falls, War Chief Peter Troxell killed in the last fight, and over 100 women and children waiting to go south to safety in a children journey to a Christian mission school, all lay dead, massacred, raped, tortured, and scalped, by these "Indian fighters". It was said that "Bones and Blood ran so deep underneath Ywahoo Falls that the murdered dead were all put there together in a heap to be their grave". The place of innocence and the Ancient Ones now became a place of death of the innocent. The Falls ran red that day of darkness, Friday, August 10, 1810. No more will they witness the Blessed Moonbow at Cumberland Falls and receive its sacred Blessing, no more will they hear great orations spoken at Ywahoo Falls by not only the many Cherokee leaders of the Nation but other great orators from other tribal neighbors as well. No more will they roam and see the land of paradise and the geological wonders of the area. William Troxell the youngest son of Cornblossom will forever keep the fires of memory alive so all may know what happened on Friday August 10, 1810. These fires will be carried by William to Alabama were the stories are etched and burned into the generations to come of the Troxells and whoever may listen and remember.

They will now wait for remembrance of themselves, their land, their culture, and their hearts. They will wait for someone to say "I remember".

A relative Troxell and a Blevins man of the area reports this incident to the Sheriff of Wayne County but nothing is done, nor is Hiram Big Tooth Gregory brought to justice for many of the local non-Indians believed that "nits make lice".

Beloved Woman Cornblossom wails and suffers so much over the dead that she dies from grief a couple of days after the massacre of her husband, her son, her daughter-n-law, and over 100 loved women and children of her Cherokee people. Her grief was sorrowful and hard. It is said that on her last breath to leave her body was the soft words "WE ARE NOT CONQUERED YET ... REMEMBER MY CHILDREN .... REMEMBER MY PEOPLE".

This massacre ended all power of the mighty Chickamaugan Thunderbolt Cherokee people in Kentucky to Knoxville Tennessee. Cornblossom and Standing Fern were the last powerful "Beloved Women/War Women" of the Thunderbolt Cherokees of the Cumberland Plateau. War Chief Peter Troxell, son of Cornblossom, was the last of the great powerful Cherokee "War Chiefs" of Kentucky and the Cumberland Plateau. These people of southeast Kentucky and northern Tennessee held out unto death. And as it is often said "Today was a good day to die" for "We are not conquered yet". The rest of the children of Cornblossom, the children of Standing Fern, War Chiefs Redbird and Peter Troxell were spared from this tragedy, to live on, generation after generation, some keeping the memory and history alive of the Cherokee Nation. With no powerful Cherokee leaders left in Kentucky and the Cumberland Plateau to hold any strong power, many Cherokee leave the South Fork area of southeast Kentucky and northern Tennessee after this Great Massacre in fear of the whites, while others become isolated and hide in the mountains. The children's children of War Chief Peter Troxell, Standing Fern, and Cornblossom will isolate themselves in the valleys and mountains of southeast Kentucky with some holding on to the memory of their Great Cherokee heritage, to not speak openly or too much until the time has come for remembrance. I, Dan Troxell, Deni U-Gu-Ku, direct descendant through Cornblossom and her last born son William Troxell, comes out from isolation and proclaims our history alive for I am a Real Human Being, I am a Thunderbolt, I am Cherokee. The Thunderbolt people will now wait for a remembrance.

After the massacre at Ywahoo Falls, Reverend Blackburn's "Indian schools" in Tennessee are discontinued due to Blackburn's illness and grief over the many women and children killed at Ywahoo Falls in southeast Kentucky. Reverend Blackburn is caught with a boatload of whiskey and becomes an alcoholic. Chief Redbird isolates his people that live near Cumberland Falls and sends any remaining people into hiding until the remembrance. The children of Cornblossom and Standing Fern survived. William Troxell the youngest son of Cornblossom, and my descent, survived and removed himself to northeastern Alabama 7 yrs after the massacre, lived with the Creeks, and became a link between the hidden Cherokee of Kentucky and Tennessee before and after the Trail of Tears.

But there is more to be told that came after the massacre, events that will shape history into meaning of not only the Doublehead legacy but for all who were to survive the invasion of settlers. Survival of the children and their generations to come. And this will center on the descendants in southeastern Kentucky and William Troxell and his father Jacob Troxell and the legacy that will now transpire in Alabama. In order to protect the children and their generations many things were done to persevere, hidden things, things on one hand presented to the settlers to be true while in reality other things came about, and this tactic of survival was given to them earlier by Doublehead.

As there were Cherokee survivors to this massacre many did die a brutal death from it. Doublehead's descent of his children and their children were considered by the settlers to be not only a threat but a future threat as well. Also in the last fight of Cornblossom, Peter Troxell, and Redbird when they attacked the remaining murderers at the Falls, 3 of the white men were held and spared briefly and executed personally by the hidden children who had escaped and run into the nearby hill. This execution of justice came shortly after the passing of Cornblossom on the 3rd day after being weighed in judgment by the Cherokee Council of Women of Redbird. The first blow was said to be struck by the son of the Great Warrior who fell among the front guards. His name was Tommy Bright Star, who will also remove himself to Alabama later with William Troxell. One of the 3 white men executed by the children was close blood kin to the Indian fighter leader Hiram "Big Tooth" Gregory, his name was Homer Gregory, believed to be the brother of Hiram.

The many Indian hating settlers along with the Kentucky and Tennessee militia deemed this massacre the last of the resistance movement of the Kentucky Cherokees and northern Tennessee. The aftermath of this Cherokee massacre brought new questionable ideals to the now so-called victorious gloated settlers. Questions like: Is the Cherokee resistance truly over or will somewhere retaliation occur? Are they truly conquered and defeated? And what of the children, will they assimilate into non-Indian society, or must they be dealt with harshly, or what? Many questions, much pondering on what next. The settlers, now feeling powerful and self dominated, ponder on the next steps to take in the Cherokee matters.

Foreseeing more tragic events in southeast Kentucky and northern Tennessee, and understanding that the Indian fighters are now receiving bits and pieces of rumors that some of the Cherokee leaders are NOT dead and possibly survived, and that Homer Gregory and two others were executed, the Cherokees must keep one step ahead of the settlers by making widely known that the massacre event had killed all their leaders, especially the ones of the Doublehead/Cornblossom connection and descent who had any Cherokee power as their known leaders. True: Cornblossom, Peter Troxell, Standing Fern, the Great Warrior, many front guards, and over 100 Cherokee women and children were slaughtered in the massacre. All who had strong connections with the Doublehead legacy. However, what is kept from the settlers is that Jacob Troxell and some others did not die from their wounds. The others were the ones who had escaped when the massacre began. But Jacob will suffer much pain from his wounds. William Troxell (Dan Troxell direct descent), 7 yrs after the massacre in the year 1817, will concealingly take Jacob and some other Cherokee with him to northeast Alabama. War Chief Peter Troxell became known as the last father of the people, father of his brothers and sisters in honor, and that is why some will say that Peter is of their descent, so no one will forget him as well.

But first ALL things must be concealed from the non-Indians. Jacob's 3 trading posts are burned by the Cherokee with any goods distributed to the PEOPLE. Caves are deliberately sand walled and collapsed in southeast Ky and northern Tennessee. Some Cherokee traveled into the non-Indian KY territories of Wayne, Pulaski, and Green to conceal THINGS of importance, while other THINGS are secretly transported to northeast Alabama through the guise of Cherokee War Women acting like non-Indian Women. Villages, burial grounds, and other important things of past leaders are shuffled to conceal. On and On. To the settlers, Jacob Troxell could not be allowed to live, he was politically a threat, as he was married to the daughter of Doublehead which could stir up the Cherokees again to resistance. If any of the leaders were to have survived, bloodshed after bloodshed could have maybe occurred. With all Cherokee power now gone, the killing of innocent Cherokee must end. This hope to save the people must now obscure itself into time and history.

To give the false story to the settlers that Jacob died with the rest, brought satisfaction to the settlers that the Cherokee resistance had completely ended. And this self assurance of conquering ALL the Cherokee leaders gave the Ky Cherokees the time they needed. This time allowed Jacob and his son William Troxell to safely travel to Alabama, set up a communication link, and survive.

The other children of Cornblossom in southeast Kentucky will inter- marry into early settlers and survive. The son of Hiram "Big Tooth" Gregory from Wayne County, whose name is also Hiram Gregory, a raving fire and brimstone mountain preacher, takes in marriage a woman by the name of Jane Stevenson. Jane Stevenson, a white woman, had also been married to War Chief Peter Troxell during the early 1800s. And this is also another reason that sparked the massacre, as Jane, before the massacre, had run off from the white settlers to join the Cherokee of Cornblossom, Jacob Troxell, and Peter. You see, Peter Troxell had 2 wives, Jane Stevenson and Standing Fern. And this stuck in the craw of all the white people who hated the Cherokee of south central Ky. Again, the real reason of the massacre was just because the Cherokee were there, and the children had to die, this feeling of a white woman, one of the settlers own, married to a Cherokee who had attacked them all the time, was just fuel that fired the flame of hatred. Jane Stevenson, whether forcibly or willingly, after the massacre, will take the children of her husband War Chief Peter Troxell and Standing Fern into survival through the marriage of the son of the one who killed her husband.
Seeing intermarriage with their own, the Indian hating populace feels secure that Doublehead's grandchildren's assimilation into white society will bring no threat to the area anymore. The Indian haters did not know that Jacob, William, and some other Cherokee will escape their reach and later to return to the area in generations to come with a history to tell. Many of the early settlers believed now that the Cherokees, their culture, history, and ideas, were now being devastated, and over time would be completely destroyed. They did not count on the Cornblossom legacy to ever return with what happened to a great people: the Thunderbolts.

William Troxell, last born of Cornblossom and Jacob Troxell, my direct descent line who was known as "Little Willie" or sometimes called "Little Loud Wolf", was 10 years old at the time of this great massacre. William was in the party with Cornblossom (his mother), Peter Troxell (his brother), and Red Bird (his very close relative).

Jacob Troxell did not ever recover from the massacre, he had been shot and scalped, his family and friends destroyed. His mind and thinking was gone, to never be recovered. So in memory, and the way it was, Jacob DID die at the massacre, never leaving his wife Cornblossom, his son and daughter-n-law, and the 100 Cherokee children and others. Even though his body was in Alabama, his mind was always at the Cherokee massacre, the people, and the lands he loved, THE CHEROKEE PEOPLE. Maybe someday a memorial will be erected to remember them all.

LET US NOT FORGET THEM

REMEMBER THEM WITH A CHEROKEE TEAR

Danny Troxell
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:43 PM
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Late to this thread.

Wow! I knew none of these things. I have always been told I had some Cherkee in me from my dad's side. There was a Troxell in the geneology. There were also Franklinites.
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Old 09-09-2004, 03:18 PM
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glad you enjoyed it also. I also have some Cherokee ancestory My GrGrGrGrGranma Mary Mooney Brown and GrGRGRGranpa George Wills' wife just listed as Cherokee Woman in the Family bible married in the Indian Teritory now known as Oklahoma. Both are ancestors on my Fathers side also.
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Old 09-09-2004, 05:20 PM
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I have a copy of the Autobiography of Davy Crockett. It is a very well written and funny book. It really shows his personality. Oh, about John Sevier: he fought Indians 34 times and won every battle. I had a ancestor that was a lieutenant in the militia under Sevier. One of their more unusual battles was near here on Flint Mountain. The Cherokee, being a little different from other tribes, built a fort on the mountain and were going to use it to raid into the Nolichuckey Valley. Sevier found out about it and attacked it. So you have the image of Indians defending the fort while being surrounded by a hundred or so yowling hillbillies.
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Old 09-09-2004, 05:25 PM
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Jerry :

Glad to see you posting again !!

Larry
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Old 09-09-2004, 05:39 PM
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Thanks Larry , I was just busy doing some other things and all and just started up again here. We have been getting some weather down here , I can't wait for the Hurricane season to get over with this season. Ivan looks rough and them down in Florida are getting the worst of it .
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Old 09-09-2004, 05:42 PM
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That Flint Mt. Battle does sound interesting that would have been a site to see
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Old 09-10-2004, 06:12 AM
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Good to see you posting again.Sid and I got a friend in Brunswick and have been through Nahunta a couple of times this year.Next time we'll stop and say howdy.
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