America: Land of the (sort of) Free

Shocking as it may sound, I have come to believe that “America, the Land of the Free … ” is at best a HALF TRUTH. We are “sort of” free. “Relatively” free, compared to say, Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. But compared to the Native Americans of the 18th Century Haudenosaunee Confederacy, we are not nearly so free. My skepticism comes from studying “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to famously say. Charles Mann has written a fascinating book entitled “1491″ which covers some of this, lost my original copy, then bought it again last week. I was alerted to the book by a former intern for Joel Salatin. While I don’t prefer Joel’s method of raising chickens for meat, I think his method for producing eggs is brilliant … and his writing is brilliant. Joel is a prolific reader and a fantastic writer. So I am interested in any book Joel writes and in some books recommended by people close to him. Let me give you a taste of what I am talking about from Mann’s book. More to come on this topic another day.

Benjamin Franklin wrote …

“When an Indian child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and makes one Indian Ramble with them, there is no perswading him ever to return. And that this is not natural [only to Indians], but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived awhile among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet within a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of Life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.”

(Letter to Peter Collinson May 9, 1753) LINK HERE

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