« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
patiently wait for the huge back log. Over the fire-place hangs the trusty rifle. On the right side of the fire-place stands the spinning-wheel, while in the further end of the room the loom looms up with a dignity peculiarly its own. Strings of drying apples and poles of drying pumpkin are overhead. Opposite the door by which you enter stands a huge deal table; by its side the dresser whose “ pewter plates” and “shining delf” catch and reflect “the fire place flame as shields of armies do the sunshine." From the corner of its shelves coyly peep out the relics of former china. In a curtained corner and hid from casual sight we find the mother's bed, and under it the trundle-bed, while near them a ladder indicates the loft where the older children sleep. To the left of the fireplace and in the corner opposite the spinning-wheel is the mother's work-stand. Upon it lies the Holy Bible, evidently much used, its family record telling of parents and friends a long way off, and telling, too, of children
Scattered like roses in bloom,
Her spectacles, as if but just used, are inserted between the leaves of her Bible, and tell of her purpose to return to its comforts when cares permit and duty is done. A stool, a bench, well notched and whittled and carved, and a few chairs complete the furniture of the room, and all stand on a coarse but well-scoured floor. Let us for a moment watch the city visitors to this humble cabin. The city bride, innocent but thoughtless, and ignorant of labor and care, asks her city-bred husband, “Pray what savages set this up?" Honestly confessing his ignorance, he replies, “I do not know.” But see the pair on whom age sits “frosty but kindly.” First, as they enter they give a rapid glance about the cabin home, and then a mutual glance of eye to eye. Why do tears start and fill their eyes? Why do lips quiver? There are many who know why, but who that has not learned in the school of experience the full ineaning of all these symbols of trials and privation, of loneliness and danger, can comprehend the story that they tell to the pioneer? Within this chinked and mud-daubed cabin, we read the first pages of our history, and as we retire through its low doorway, and note the heavy battened door, its wooden hinges, and its welcoming latch-string, is it strange that the scenes without should seein to be but a dream? But the cabin and the palace, standing side by side in vivid contrast, tell the story of this people's progress. They are a history and prophecy in one.
HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY
Historiography is one of the most important arts, even as history itself ranks with the primary sciences. Whether the writer is rough or polished in his style, is a matter to be considered apart from his art or science. Provided an account of the origin and the rise or fall of the people with whoin his chronicle connects itself is given impartially and correctly, the excesses of refinement or roughness may be overlooked and the subject studied with pleasure. Experience teaches that history is one of the most effective elements in the promotion of good, and one of the most necessary in building up man to acquire a knowledge of what human power and wisdom really are; and since it is impossible for any one man to walk in all the paths of life, or receive a true conception of past events from what is legendary or fabulous, the science of history comes forward to his aid, telling him how cities were built up, 'fortunes made, and battles won. Through this means the past lives in the present, and a careful study of its story cannot fail to endow the mind of the student with a knowledge of men and events.
Chronology and geography are the two eyes of history. Events must be observed through the locality in which they happened, and the time when they occurred, if men would judge justly. The massacres of Glencoe, Island Magee and St. Barthlomew were justifiable in the minds of the ruffian actors, with whom Christianity had as little to do as the fallen Lucifer has now with heaven. The rude policy of the time directed those human sacrifices. If the massacre of Wyoming were to be repeated to-day by a troop of disguised Britishers, what a howl of scorn would arise from the centers of civilization! Yet, during the Revolution, the enemy seemed to be convinced of their justification, and the royal and loyal (? ) citizens gloried in the success of military strategy.
Now history brings forth all such events; it inquires into them, criticises, paints the barbarity of the agents in such transactions, holds them up to obloquy, and thus leads on the mind to holier deeds, worthy of our civilization. History contributed its share in making a soldier such as Washington, or a philosopher such as Franklin. Its work is silent and slow, but sure and perfect. Nothing on this broad earth is so solemnly interesting as an impartial historical work. It admonishes as well as directs. It relates the fate of brilliant enterprises, and shows where the cause of failure existed. It directs other actions of great moment, approves of them, and points out where the capital may be placed on success. It places examples before statesmen which, if examined closely, may have a tendency to lead them away from a vicious policy, and so benefit the people whose destinies are in their hands. History, pure and simple, enters the paths of peace, and snatches a hidden name from its hiding place. The American people of to-day are, and generations to come will be, more concerned about the war of the Revolution than were the colonists of that period. So is it in other cases; the inheritors of these beautiful farms and dwellings which decorate the county will search for an account of their forefathers, and find it only in history. The science is the Alpha and Omega of all valuable information regarding men and events, and should always take a prominent place in the book-case or on the table of every man who holds not his manhood cheap.
In this history of Jackson county much space is devoted to the philosophical and descriptive papers prepared by Jackson citi
This was made incumbent on the writer, since many of these articles are of rare excellence, while others possess a commendable peculiarity. Each contribution is intimately connected with the county, and is on that account, also, of great value and interest. Combined, they will form for the historian of the future a great subject, and one that will remind him of men who did their duty to themselves, to posterity and to their Republic.