Thursday, March 18, 2010


When I was in grade school, American history was such a bore:
all battles and dates and one-dimensional men.

But I'd have been totally fascinated if I'd read stuff like this:

"My feet were very sore,
and each night I wrung blood out of my stockings when I pulled them off."

That's John Williams of Deerfield, Mass., writing about marching 300 miles through snowy woods to Canada,
as a captive of the Mohawks in 1704.

His seven-year-old daugher, Eunice Williams, was only seven when she was captured.
She chose to remain with the Mohawk her whole life.
And history is always more interesting when related by an outraged drunk person.
Why didn't they think of this when I was in grade school? (I'm not sure some of my teachers weren't drunk, but they rarely expressed any enthusiasm or outrage.
Of course, as an adult, I can now better imagine why they didn't.)

Kellie sent me this entry from Drunk History:
It's the true story of Oney Judge, an enslaved woman George Washington "owned."

After a couple weeks of reading about our founding father, if I got drunk, I could rage about what a twit GW was too...
* John Williams quote from The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America, by John Demos. (While the French and Indian War officially dates 1756-1763, in fact it's really many decades long.)

Image (book cover) from Historic Deerfield.


ArtSparker said...

Reminds me of the Dickens' "To hear the insect on the leaf pronouncing on his humble brother in the dust."

Rudyinparis said...

Wow, I actually own that book! My Dad gave it to me awhile back. Haven't read it yet.

Margaret said...

That video was a crack-up! AND I was educated. Remarkable.

Fresca said...

ARTS: Good quote. Not sure what reminded you of it:
drunk people spouting about history?
Or grade school teachers talking about history?
Or my blog? : )

RUDY: It's good. Scary. Interesting.

MARGARET: Yeah, and didn't they do a remarkable job matching the "reenactment" to the speaker's speech?
That took some work.

bink said...

That Drunk History was SO GOOD! They did an amazing job of even getting the hiccups right in the speech. I'm not big on being drunk, but if the results are great history lessons--then hey, more power to ya!--just don't drive and teach history at the same time!

Fresca said...

BINNK: They should post that warning on the videos!
(They are surprisingly well done, aren't they.)