A traveler through Brunswick County NC before the American Revolution had this to say about the journey:
On the whole, the road from Charleston to Wilmington is certainly the most tedious and disagreeable of any on the Continent of North America it being through a poor, sandy, barren gloomy country without accommodations for Travellers. Death is painted on the countenance of those you meet, that indeed happens but seldom on the road. Neither man nor beast can stand a long Journey thro’ so bad a country where there is much fatigue and no refreshments…
I spent yesterday in silence at home. I did not watch television or listen to music. I took the dogs out a few times because we are still working on housebreaking the new puppy. At one point, I jogged about fifty feet just to see how my lungs are doing. They aren’t well. I coughed violently for ten minutes afterward. Still, the fever, nausea and dizziness are gone and I am on my feet and capable of doing some things. Thank You, God.
Most of my time yesterday was spent reflecting on eight verses of Psalm Chapter 119.
Yesterday I also read from The History of Brunswick County North Carolina, the book the pastor loaned to me. Some of the things I have learned about the colonial period of this area have been interesting. A few highlights:
- The Cape Fear natives in the area were treated harshly by whites, who stole their children away, purportedly to educate them in Christian doctrine, but in reality to enslave them as fieldhands and household servants. The formerly-friendly Indians became hostile (surprise) and the whites killed them.
- The first whites to settle in the area were from Massachusetts. Their settlement failed for some reason and on their way out from the area back to Massachusetts, they left a sign near the mouth of the Cape Fear river, cursing the land and warning anyone from trying to settle there.
- The 1790 census showed around 3,000 residents in Brunswick County. Half of them were white. The other half were negro slaves.
- There was a large colonial port before Wilmington was established, to the south of Wilmington on the river, called Brunswick Town (now in an area called Winnabow). The area was productive in using the local pine trees to make planks, pitch, tar and turpentine that was highly valued by shipbuilders. At the time before the Revolution, Brunswick Town shipped more shipbuilding products to England for the use of the Royal Navy than anywhere else in the world. Brunswick Town was razed by the British in 1776 and never rebuilt. Confederates built a fort named Fort Anderson in the same area to try and defend Wilmington from Union attack up the Cape Fear. Remnants of both the colonial town and the Confederate fort still remain.
- The common residents of the sparsely-populated county were known to be very lazy. Though the land provided everything they might need to fashion their own livelihood, they preferred to trade for food and tools, rather than learn to be self-sufficient. Because there were few residents, travel by road was difficult and lonely. The place was virtual wilderness.
The weather has been cool but sunny for the past several days. The family and I are going out in search of a Christmas tree today.
I go back to the doctor on Tuesday afternoon for followup. But I would still need to see my employer’s occupational health doctor on Wednesday and be released by him before I could return to work. So I’m looking at being off until Thursday at least. I will try to rest and make the best use of the time.