Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What we know

We'll start with Dr. Frank's work and the Great Migration sketch (including a wiki counterpart) as part of the foundation. From there, we'll build a sketch that has support. From this, we'll start to fill in the pieces in a reasonable fashion. Where things are conjectural, of course, this will be noted.

Aside: All progress comes from testing hypotheses which are framed from a good basis. Too, there is always the mainstream. That off the mainstream is not, by necessity, quackery. Of course, the smell test is useful when other means don't exist for proper analysis.

We'll summarize the Dr. Frank and Great Migration material, as one task. However, to set the tone of the overarching guideline, please consider the following as a list of key items.
  • - Thomas was put in charge as Overseer of the Cape Ann venture, at least, that part related to planting on the new soil. This implies several things, such as that he was known to Rev. John White and the Dorchester Company, that he had a good character, that he capable of carrying out the plan, and a number of other things. We'll expand upon these as we go along with our efforts to describe Thomas as the quintessential American, albeit a little early for his times. 
  • - Thomas was referred to as 'Mr' in a London meeting in 1629 which, again, suggests several things, such as that he came from a good family, that he was educated, that he had social stature (but we could bet that he had a large physical stature and a character that was bigger than life), and a lot more. We'll collect more information about this and what it might mean. 
  • - Thomas brought his wife and family which means that he was committed. Of the Cape Ann crew (old planters), he and Margaret were the exception. And, their resolve is proven by their children and their descendants. Of course, collecting information about this is an on-going effort. Another committed individual was John Balch who brought his wife. Many Balchs are descendants of Thomas through his daughter, Sarah. 
  • - Thomas became a freeman later than he could have which implies several things, such as that he was effective in his own manner during the period before he signed up, that he decided to join in order to participate in a larger scope and to take care of things that needed to be done for the community, that he compromised for the well-being of his children and more. 
In short, we're talking about a story that ought to have wide interest if done properly.

That Thomas was above history is a known fact. What we want to capture is the spirit of the remarkable pair who survived troubling times and who left a definite legacy that needs to be studied and documented. Lessons from their, meaning Thomas' and Margaret's, lives are applicable in today's society in ways that we have not even begun to address.

Taking on the task of introducing history to Thomas is one task of the Thomas Gardner Society. That was one motivation behind the Backbone series.

Remarks:

03/28/2014 -- See Vol. IV, No. 1 for a discussion of the movement from Cape Ann to Salem.

11/13/2013 --  Phippen would be part of the slate fill.

11/06/2013 -- While working on the next Beacon issue, I ran across some books. The one by Staloff was timely; imagine, I was wondering why the backbone series? Has the talented set ever allowed the lessors to have some semblance of a good life? Oh, you say yes? Winthrop, et al, were against this from the beginning. The stalwart of what could be (or could have been)? Thomas Gardner, of course.

01/24/2013 -- We know a whole lot. We ought to map the unknowns to what we know. Then, unknown unknowns will start to fall out. Sound like fun?

12/24/2012 -- Thomas, unlike Conant, was not overshadowed in the world of being. We'll spend some time characterizing this fact and what it means to reasonable folks.

11/27/2012 -- We need to tell the negative tales too, such as Rev. John's disrespect of those who put their lives and well-being on the line and more. The Maypole allusion grates several ways. Poor Thomas had to deal with three Johns: White, Endicott, and Winthrop. 

Modified: 03/28/2014

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