Monday, January 22, 2007

What this blog is about: what to expect here.

Hikers Alongside Old Road, Orange County, NC

"Beaten Paths" is a fair description of the object of our life; we seek the beaten paths of the southeast, the region of England's first North American frontier. That frontier lasted perhaps longer than any other American frontier and we believe much of what the world knows as "American" came into being there.

It took nearly two hundred years for English/Anglo-American government to gain control of the land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains, a distance of roughly three hundred miles. In the next hundred years Anglo-American government subdued, imposed itself on the rest of the lower 48 states. The lessons learned in two hundred years of trial and error were applied to the rest of the continental nation. As we all know, it was not a pretty sight.

But it does no good to avert your eyes from the icky bits in history. If you pretend they didn't happen they will come back and bite you hard one day. On the other hand, it does very little good to wallow in self-loathing over the acts of ancestors, truth be known, we would rather forget. We have changed a good deal and much for the better. That is the hopeful part of the story we're uncovering by finding the Beaten Paths.

We believe, from archaeological and archival evidence, that a multi-racial society occupied the southeastern backcountry frontier for much of the first two hundred years of American history. Subjugating that society, our first multi-cultural moment, informs much of the early history of Anglo-America.

So, if history floats your boat, if you're curious about the darker corners of American History, or if you have a taste for beaten paths, trails, cart tracks, wagon roads, keep an eye on this space. We intend to publish everything we know about finding these old places.