". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, January 16, 2015

La Salle's Griffin -- Has It Been Found?

On the bottom of Lake Michigan
"They were hunting for box cars. In the late 1800s, ferries carried box cars across the lake and one of them was rumored to have fallen into the water. In it, the stories went, was more than $2 million worth of Confederate gold coins."

However, these guys who think they've found it? 
If these bozos sincerely believe the Confederacy ever minted Confederate gold coins, I have a Confederate $2 denomination bill I could trade 'em for one of those Confederate coins of gold. (We paid $60 to a collector, so we could make a decent scan, to be included among the illustrations for The American Slave Coast. The bill itself is blank on the back, of cheap paper, uncentered text, ragged cutting -- it looks like something a kid made for a table board game.  Want to re-sell now, as once it was scanned it has no value for us.)
 Since first learning of him in the 4th grade, more than any of the other early explorers we studied that year in which we were introduced to history via American History, la Salle's mysterious end struck me as very sad, much more so than any of the others. 

Replica of Henry Hudson's Half Moon.
But perhaps in the 4th grade Henry Hudson's end was mostly concealed from us, as a horror age inappropriate for little kids to read and discuss, particularly as his seventeen-year-old son was among those the mutineers jetisoned? I didn't learn of that until later, whereas La Salle's mysterious disappearance was given to us as a romantic mystery. 

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