Friday, February 1, 2013

The Hornet's Nest by Jimmy Carter

It has not been my habit to add books that I have read in the past.  However, the Hornet's Nest is a book for which I took notes while I read it.  Obviously President Carter and I share ancestors who experienced very similar circumstances and did very similar migration patterns.  I couldn't help but be fascinated with the research that President Carter had done on his ancestors to write this book.  [Note: I looked up the ancestry of Jimmy Carter on a couple of sites and am not completely convinced that it was his ancestors that he was writing about.  Some of his people lived near Wrightsboro, Ga at some point and he may have just done research on the people who lived in that area]

Here are a few of my notes while reading the book:

The Hornet’s Nest by Jimmy Carter

The book opens in 1763 in Philadelphia.  A fictional family with last name Pratt with two sons.  Ethan works for his father as a shoemaker but prefers working with the soil.  He marries Epsey who is daughter of a Moravian minister in PA.  Henry is the other son and is much more interested in trade of shoemaker.  The Pratt family is Scots-Irish.  

Henry moves to Norfolk.  He works for Mr. Carlyle in his shoeshop and part time in a tannery to learn that part of the business as well.  He also visits a local tailor shop to see their work on leather purses, gloves, etc.  He meets Sophronia Knox (Sophie) there.    Sophie was an orphan and lived with her uncle and aunt and was apprenticed since age 12 to the tailor.  Mr. Knox influences Henry to have strong feelings against the stamp act and to become involved with a local group called Sons of Liberty or Liberty Boys.  

Explanation of why the British were imposing stamp act and other taxes:  debt that had been accumulated from Fr. and Ind war.  Also the fact that many of the colonial merchants had continued to trade with the French during the War.  Mr. Knox admits to that.  

Henry marries Sophie....and ends up with a home wedding so as to not have to pay  for the stamp on the marriage license.  

Explanation of Whigs and Tories:The names had come about 100 years before 1763.  Originally Whig meant horse thief and later came to refer to people who were inclined to question the policies of the King.  Tory referred to an outlaw whose first loyalty was to the pope.  Later the Whigs were inclined to be those who placed their faith in business and commerce while the Tories represented the Anglican Church and honorary titles--all tied to favors handed out by the crown.  Mr. Knox explains that nowadays Whigs are those emboldened to question some of the decisions made by King George the third.  

Henry and Sophie move to Orange County, NC.  The year that they move they move to Childsburg.  The town’s name is changed to Hillsborough the following year.  

Henry  becomes more and more involved in the politics of the area...while Ethan and Epsey move out to a farm and are much less involved in politics.  Sophie dies in childbirth.  

I next read many pages that were very confusing to me about the Revolution in GA....I probably need to reread and make some more notes.  However, I am going to put this project off until I have more time.

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