Podcast:  Heritage, Place, People, Reconciliation

In this podcast, Glenda Taylor dives deep into the complex and fascinating history of the area along the Sabine River in the late 17th and early 18th centuries in this podcast that also highlights how important it is to sit with strong opinions or judgments long enough for complexity to reveal itself.  

Glenda uses a story from her own family history as an example of how all our stories, including family experiences, traditions, and geography, contribute to shaping our opinions and actions.

The podcast underscores the importance of listening to diverse perspectives, so that through open-mindedness and a willingness to understand complexity, we foster reconciliation and positive changes like equity, inclusion, and respect for diversity.  By embracing a multiplicity of narratives, we gain a more comprehensive understanding of ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Podcast Transcript:

Hello, this is Glenda Taylor.  Welcome to the OneAndAllWisdom Podcast.  Today I want to continue my recent focus in these podcasts on the challenge of reconciling divisions in our culture, why this is so complicated and often discouraging.

Years ago, I was given the gift of attending a women’s peace conference in Scotland.  While there, I was approached by a woman who had been involved in reconciliation efforts in some of the most war-torn and divided parts of the world.  She spoke with me about the possibility of my joining their organization to travel to hot spots in the world to help in this healing process.  I was deeply honored, and certainly considered it, but I still had responsibilities at home in my own personal life that I didn’t think I could abandon.  But I have been haunted ever since with that offer, that challenge, that I should help, in whatever way I can.

And, I have always remembered one of the things that woman said to us at that conference, about how, in her experience at reconciliation efforts, it is so important for people, on all sides of any divide, to listen to each other’s personal stories, to hear and witness each other’s humanity, as they try to sort out the truth of whatever happened and why.

That makes me think of psychologist Carl Jung’s statement that “Ultimate truth, if there be such a thing, demands the concert of many voices.”[1]

Many voices, disparate stories.

I agree.  And, as I have said here in previous podcasts, if we are to move closer to reconciliation in our country, to achieve the positive changes we hope for, including equity, inclusion, respect for diversity, etc.,  we must realize, as actor Robert Redford once wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “People need the chance to see how much agreement is possible.”[2]

For us to find that agreement, we must, I think, become more aware of the complexities of our own stories, the layers and layers of varied family experiences and traditions, even the history of the place, the land and geography we come from, all of which has shaped us, informing our opinions, judgments, and actions, even when we are not consciously aware of it.

In my long lifetime, I have come to see that nothing is only what it first appears to be.  And everything benefits from a second look, or many looks, for that matter.

So, again, I have challenged myself to look deeply into the stories that have shaped my life, to become more self-aware of my own history, so that I may participate more wisely in the reconciliation process so badly needed in our time, and in our nation especially.

And, I have challenged myself to share some of these stories with you, not to make some point or to be on one side of some argument, but rather to demonstrate how important it is to sit with any strong opinions and  judgments long enough for complexity to reveal itself,  showing us how many-sided all things are, so that, when we speak or act, we do so in the best possible way, with our actions informed by a deeper understanding, and likely, a certain amount of humility, compassion and empathy so necessary for reconciliation.

So, here for you, briefly, is a personal story of my own that illustrates the point, I think, about complexity.  I begin with a place, since I firmly believe that the natural environment we live in shapes us and our attitudes.  The place I grew up in, and the remarkable complexity of its history, certainly shaped me.

Most of my family, for seven generations before me, has lived in or near the deep woods of rural East Texas, in the edge what is now called the Big Thicket, along one or another of the creeks that feed into the Sabine River not long before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

When my family first came to the area on one side or the other of the Sabine in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, that muddy river, and the surrounding swampy bottomlands, and the mostly untracked virgin forests for miles and miles around, was truly a wilderness.

Along the river, in those days, in and out of the bayous and sloughs, might move twelve-foot-long alligators, many kinds of poisonous snakes, snapping turtles the size of a washtub, and in the forest there were wild boars, wolves, panthers, and the occasional bear.

The bank of the river, especially at twilight, was always a mysterious place, partially obscured as it often was by mist rising off the murky water, or by fog drifting mysteriously through the dangling Spanish moss trailing wetly from tree branches.  One walked carefully there, sometimes struggling to pull one’s boots up out of the sucking mud, while watching always for a rare but dangerous patch of quicksand, hardly distinguishable from the rest of the muck and mire underfoot.

A bit back away from the river, one’s way might also be slowed or even blocked by stands of river cane or yaupon so thickly grown and entangled as to be impenetrable.  There were intertwined briars of all kinds, along with wild grapevines, thick ropes of coral vine, twisting strands of yellow jasmine, poison ivy, and occasionally wisteria spreading up and over everything.  All of this grew so thickly that, as one early writer said, “The earliest travelers that ventured into that wild region had to fairly hew and hack their way.“[3]

But it was a rich and beautiful place too.  Further inland from the river and the swamps, the underbrush thinned out, as one moved under the shadowed canopy of an ancient uncut virgin forest of towering trees—cypress, oak, cedar, pine, pecan, elm, birch, sweet gum, and more,  with an understory of mayhaw, wild plum, holly, redbud, dogwood, magnolia, sweet bay, all blooming gloriously in springtime.

In short, this whole area had an extraordinary amount of complex biodiversity thickly packed into every square foot of land, bursting with abundant life and beauty and possibility, while also being, on the other hand, a place where it was all too easy to get lost, or killed, or simply disappear.  Both things are true, and have to be reconciled by people who came to live there.

Over the years, many people, of one kind or another, came through the area—Spanish missionaries, French soldiers, African-American runaways, and many individuals, including one of my early relatives, who came there to hide out, people considered to be outlaws according to the differing ruling opinions of either Spain, France, Mexico, the new United States, or, later, the Confederacy or the Union.

The Spanish had known of this area, and claimed it for Spain, as early as the 1500s, when the Sabine River, the Rio de Sabinas, began appearing on Spanish maps.  But exploration of the area proved challenging.  A Spanish official in 1691 declared in his diary that “no rational person has ever seen a worse place!”[4]  That was partly because of the wildness of the place as I have described it, and, also, the Spanish said, because of the fierce opposition of the indigenous people, particularly the coastal Karankawa, rumored to be cannibalistic.

Various other indigenous tribes were in the area, too. They had long lived there, hunted there, and, occasionally, fought each other there.

But for a long time, the Spanish weren’t too concerned about the natives, or about that area, although Spain laid claim to it and everything else from Florida all the way west as far as anyone could imagine, and for many years a few Spanish and the indigenous people were the only ones in the area along the Sabine River.

The Spanish interest in the whole area increased dramatically, however, when in 1683 the Frenchman La Salle, with a few other men, came by boat from Canada down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and then claimed all land along that great river for France, calling it Louisiana, in honor of Louis the XIV, then King of France.  There was no western border declared by La Salle, so the Sabine River area, which was west of the Mississippi, was just assumed to be part of France’s claim.

The Spanish government vigorously objected!  And the next hundred or so years of history of the area became as entangled and complicated as the wilderness I have been describing.

The French, despite Spanish claims, in 1718, built a fort and  laid out a plan for a city they called New Orleans.   The population of the whole area rapidly increased, with people coming from all directions and all traditions.  It was a race for dominance, political and otherwise.

French settlers were imported by the French government to settle and seal the French claim to the place; Spanish settlers came for the same reason.  Soon many British came too, floating down the Mississippi, or traveling overland, from the British colonies on the east coast of the continent, including, for example, Quakers from New York and Delaware, escaping persecution, and Acadians from Canada, who in 1755 were forcibly moved to Louisiana by the British government.

Those Acadians, incidentally, give us a good example of the subtle and not so subtle complexities of our origin stories.  The Acadians were originally from France, but they had been in Canada for a hundred years by the time the British government took charge and decided to expel them from Canada.  In that hundred years, their time in Canada and the land itself and the experiences they had there had changed the Acadians, even their spoken language was altered somewhat, and, once they were forcefully exported to Louisiana by the British, it soon became apparent that they were quite distinct and different from the other French in Louisiana, newly arrived directly from France.  Immediately prejudice, inequity, and grievances arose, not only between the two varieties of French settlers, but between them and everybody else, the great mix of nationalities pouring into the area.

This included a black population, slave and free, and the mulatto, metis, and various other versions of mixed up race, religion, culture, etc.  There was in the area, in short, if you will, another sort of biodiversity, a great wonderful diverse complex melting pot multiculture, but, also, a hotbed of difficulties, prejudice, cultural and legal complications that have never completely gone away.  Reconciliation of differences was, and still is, the order of the day.

The extraordinary and complex history that in part governed my ancestors’ destiny during that time is given in thumbnail in the following long quote written by a historian:

“In 1762 the French king Louis XV, exhausted by long wars and deriving no income from this far western French colony (Louisiana), ceded New Orleans and all the territory west of the Mississippi River to his cousin Charles III of Spain. But, when Spain,  (in about twenty years) found the territory of Louisiana so costly a burden, in 1781, Spain gladly receded it back to France!  But France was now in the clutches of Napoleon I, and delirious with revolution, was contending in battle with all the powers of Europe. The movement of her armies required money, and so (in another twenty years) in 1803 France sold Louisiana to the United States.  The United States having assumed possession of this purchased territory, Congress, in 1804, in order, quote ‘‘to insure the people a stable government and as soon as possible reconcile the different races of people living there to the new order of affairs, Mr Jefferson, then President of the United States …appointed W. C. C. Claiborne, Governor of the Territory of Orleans… Claiborne, administering the government (my writer says) so firmly and wisely that, in a great measure, the conflicting interests and prejudices of the several nationalities became reconciled and quieted.  The result of Gov. Claiborne’s wise administration of public affairs was to rapidly induce emigration to the territory.  And, by 1812, Louisiana was admitted as a state of the United States …”[5]  end quote.

It was not, however, all as simply reconciled and quieted as that cheery report makes it sound.  Spain wasn’t too happy about France ceding the Louisiana Territory to the United States. There was much military conflict between Spain and the United States for control all along the Mississippi River settlements and in Louisiana and in Florida.  It wasn’t until 1821 that some of the Gulf Coast territory to the west of Florida was recognized by Spain as being officially part of the United States, at least as far west as the Sabine River, where Spain claimed ownership, at least until, in that same year of 1821, Mexico broke away from Spain, gained its independence, and began to contest more vigorously the boundaries of the territory right up to the Sabine River, and beyond.

Meanwhile, Andrew Jackson, now governor of the state of Louisiana, had his eye on somehow getting that wild and mostly unsettled area of Texas for the United States.

In short, people in the area, including my ancestors, during that time had so many confusing and constantly changing  legal and cultural allegiances that this complex history marked all of them in dramatic ways.  For example, records show that early on in the history of the region, some of my ancestors, newly arrived in coastal Louisiana from the southern part of the new United States, were required by the Spanish in authority in Louisiana then, to participate in the local Spanish militia, and to have a musket, ready for use, yes, against the United States.   Conflicting loyalties, conflicting legal demands proving difficult and unfortunate.

On the other hand, later, on the good side of things, the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812 saw soldiers from Tennessee and Kentucky fighting side by side with Creoles, Acadians, free men of color, and Choctaw Indians, among others. U. S. history considers that battle a great military victory and considers it “the United States’ most multiethnic endeavor up to that time.”[6]  Melting pot possible.

But, the shifting question of which set of laws, French, Spanish, Mexican, U.S., whatever, people were to follow at any given time, the ambiguity of the legal status of land ownership, or their required military obligation to this or that national interest in the frequent dust-ups of local battles, along with the personal jousting for position and power, and that elusive idea of freedom, amidst much prejudice and displacement of peoples, perhaps all this shaped attitudes toward the notion of law itself, making it seem a sometime thing, not immutable, depending on a complicated questioning of “who’s in charge” and “who’s in the right” and “I have to choose and make up my own mind, regardless of the law,” about many things.

And, right at that critical juncture, 1821, my family’s history in Texas begins.   Let me tell you, in brief, about only one couple of my family’s complicated characters, born into and out of this complex history, shaped by this land and its mix of opportunity and danger.  I only began to hear any of this story when I was in my forties, and I still don’t have all the information about it.  Its very mystery makes it important to me.   I have had differing feelings about it, as you will hear.

Blassingame Harvey, my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, who along with many others of my ancestors, had come to live in Louisiana from the southern United States around 1800, had fought in Andrew Jackson’s War of 1812, and was by 1821 a prosperous landowner and successful land speculator in Louisiana, when he decided to leave everything behind and to head to that wilderness I described, Mexican Tejas across the Sabine River.

I have often imagined this grandfather of mine as he swam his horse across that muddy Sabine and made his way through the thickets and woods, following any shadowed deer trail in the dense forest.  He probably rode for a day or two inland from the river, until he found the Cherokee village he was searching for, because a friend of his, another white man he had known and had dealings with in Louisiana, old man Prather, had gone ahead of him and now lived with the Cherokee.

Grandfather Harvey lived in that Cherokee village for a couple of years, even helped run a sort of trading post there.  I imagine him there, how remarkable he was, isolated from all he had previously known, but there by choice, and apparently being able to be at peace and at home with the native people he lived with.  I like that part of his story, recorded in written records and from much oral history of the area.

Eventually he picked out for himself some land and built a homestead, the land’s title for a league of land and more, claimed and certified by the Mexican government, adjacent to what is now still called Harvey’s Creek, named after him.

Incidentally, much of what was Grandfather Harvey’s land is now under water, under one of the man-made lakes put in place in the 1950s to stop the periodic flooding of communities and towns downstream.  At the time of the building of the dam, I was a youngster, and I didn’t even know of my great grandfather Harvey’s existence.  I did know that some people in my family were for the building of a dam, some opposed, but I was glad of it, having had flood waters reach near our family’s doorstep more than once, with water moccasins washed up, along with other debris, into our yard.  But like it or not, the dam was built, the lake was created, and later those who had opposed the whole thing came to love to boat and fish and swim in that lake.

Many years later, I learned about Blassingame Harvey, and how what had been his land back in the 1800’s was submerged in those lake waters of progress.  I’ve been told that his gravestone and that of his relatives were moved someplace else before the graves themselves were flooded.  That certainly  feels odd for me to think about when I stand by that lake.

But, where Harvey’s Creek still flows into the lake, there is a state-owned campground, Harvey’s Creek Campground, and when I stand there and think about that grandfather, and I remember what I’ve learned about him, I feel all sorts of other things, because his story gets complicated.

I haven’t learned know much about his early life, except that he and his two brothers were somewhat educated according to the standards of the time.  Copies of some of the letters he wrote later in life to his children exist and are thoughtful and intelligent.  He owned and traded land and property in Louisiana.  Perhaps he simply came to Texas to acquire more property, hoping to buy and sell land there, or maybe not.

He did acquire several leagues of land in East Texas, one of which was bounty land he got for his military service in the Texas Revolutionary War against Mexico in the 1830’s.

Interestingly, as a sidenote here, where I am concerned, that league of bounty land, he sold, since it was not near the land he had already long occupied.  It turns out that that bounty he sold was, is located about five miles, as the crow flies, from the very land my husband and I, all unknowing, purchased in the 1980’s, which I call Earthsprings.  Mind you, at the time we bought that land, we were living in California, and I had not yet ever heard of Blassingame Harvey.   Coincidence?  I guess.  Maybe.

Anyway, to get on with his story, it is believed in the Harvey family that what motivated Blassingame Harvey to leave what appears to have been a prosperous life in Louisiana territory and venture into the Texas wilderness was some sort of falling out between him and his wife, Nancy Scoggins Bowie Harvey.

Nancy Scoggins was born in Mississippi Territory, where her parents had a Spanish land grant and a plantation along the Natchez Trace, just on the Eastern Side of the Mississippi River.  Records show them involved in a local church they had helped to establish.  They actively participated in local affairs there, before moving on across the Mississippi River into Louisiana territory.

There Nancy Scoggins was married, before she married my grandfather Harvey,  she was married to a nephew of the famous Jim Bowie, of Bowie knife and later, Texas Alamo fame.

When I first learned that, well, I was proud. I was related, by marriage, through my 4th great grandmother, to the famous Jim Bowie!  Several of the Bowies were witnesses and administrators of Nancy’s father’s will.

Nancy’s husband John Bowie, and Jim Bowie before he came to Texas, and the rest of the Bowie family were adventurous, colorful, and highly successful land speculators in the newly available territories of Louisiana and Mississippi.

But Nancy appears in many records under her own name, buying and selling land, city lots, and other things, and apparently being a highly successful business woman, before and after her marriages.  I was so proud of her when I learned all that, when I looked at all the records of her dealings recorded by the French, Spanish,  Mexican, and United States officials.

That pride in her was challenged, though, as I examined more and more records.

I learned that the Bowies, and Nancy’s husband John, and even Nancy possibly, financed their land deals  largely by trading in slaves, many of which they bought from Jean Lafitte near Galveston, in Spanish Tejas, on the eastern side of the Sabine River.

Lafitte, as you may know, the pirate Lafitte, captured black slaves from ships at sea, brought them to Galveston Bay where Lafitte was headquartered on Galveston Island, and the captured slaves were kept in secluded pens in that tangled wilderness on the Texas side of the Sabine River, where buyers could come secretly from Louisiana territory to purchase slaves from Lafitte, without paying taxes in New Orleans, and without regard for any complexities of legal or territorial jurisdiction or restriction.

Slavery had already been abolished in Spain in 1811, but was, of course, still practiced regardless of the law, and slavery was still legal in the United States, and so Lafitte’s slave trade was as ambiguous in the Texas and Louisiana area as everything else was.  I have amazingly even read accounts of Lafitte’s goodness, how he freed some slaves, how he treated them better than the Spanish or Portuguese he captured them from, etc.

But then there are those slave pens, in that deeply thicketed, almost impenetrable, politically contested no man’s land of East Texas that  I have described, where more and more of my people came to live, and where, more than a hundred years later, I would live and grow up.

Now, the Bowies, it turns out, had an agreement with Jean Lafitte to buy some of his slaves in Texas and transport them for sale elsewhere.  Jim Bowie’s brother said in his memoir that just in the three years  between 1817 and 1820 alone, the Bowies bought 1,500 African slaves from Jean Lafitte at Galveston.

So my grandmother Nancy Scoggins, before she married Blassingame Harvey, had married into this Bowie family there in Louisiana.  When her husband John Bowie died young, leaving Nancy with several young children, and some slaves, she remained active herself in buying  and trading land, city lots, and occasionally slaves.  We read in the records, for example, that  “widow NANCY SCOGGINS BOWIE sold Negro Man Tom, and his wife, to John Harrison, for $1500.”

About a year after her Bowie husband’s death, Nancy married Blassingame Harvey.  His brother, Charles Harvey, is also on record as buying and selling not only land but also slaves during that period, as, we read, for example,  in the records of Catahoula Parish, La., “1819 – SALE OF SLAVE to CHARLES B. HARVEY for $800, a negro woman named VENUS, about 20 years old.”  And later, “a negro girl named MARY purchased by the said HARVEY at public sale.”

I see no record of Blassingame Harvey buying any slaves in Louisiana.  Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, I just haven’t seen a record of it.  There is a record of his being a witness at a slave sale, however.

I don’t know what happened between him and Nancy, but possibly they had some kind of falling out, and he left for Texas in that critical year of 1821, and all of their children, including the children from her marriage with John Bowie, soon followed Harvey to Texas and lived with him there.  Nancy died not too long thereafter.

I have seen no mention of  Blassingame Harvey having had any interaction with Jim Bowie when Bowie also came to Texas, married a Spanish/Mexican lady, and then later fought and died at the Alamo.   Perhaps Bowie and my grandfather Harvey met there at Harvey’s homestead, perhaps not.

Nor is there a record of Blassingame Harvey’s having slaves once he got to Texas, and I don’t think he did.  But there would not have been any record; slavery having been officially abolished by both the Spanish and Mexican governments by then, and Texas was still under Mexican rule when Harvey got there, and so it would have been illegal for him, or anyone else in Texas at the time, to have slaves.

Now, let me interrupt this story long enough to say that, like every other child educated in the Texas public school system back in my day, I was    required    to take plenty of Texas history, and taught to be proud of the state’s rich heritage, and given to understand    about Texas’ various bragging rights.  And I became, for sure, a proud Texan.   But nobody during my years in school mentioned       that random fact that both Mexico and Spain, along with various other nations including Britain, France, and others, all had abolished slavery more or less peacefully forty years and more before the United States did so, after a bloody civil war contesting the issue.

Nor was it mentioned when I was in public schools that as soon as Texans fought and won their Revolutionary War against Mexico, slavery was quickly made legal in the new Republic of Texas.

Nor was I taught that before and after Texas entered the Union and became a state of the United States, the famous Underground Railroad, that secret network that helped runaway slaves escape, ran south through Texas, secretly and dangerously, toward freedom in Mexico.

Just sitting with those significant bits of information when I did learn about them expanded even further  my awareness of my state’s complex heritage, and my own.

I cannot remember a time when I did not abhor the notion of slavery.  So, I am not happy to admit that in several places in my family tree besides the Harvey’s and the Bowies, there are other slave owners.

Not all of my ancestors had slaves, of course.  Some, way back in the 1600s in Virginia, were Quakers, and were opposed to slavery in any form, as of course I am. That Quaker anti-slavery mentality is right there alongside the slave holding mentality,  surviving in my family’s history.  How do I account for that in my heritage, in my lineage, in me?

My ancestors, like everyone else, were complex people, no doubt.  Would I have liked them, been like them; would I have been ashamed or afraid of them or indifferent toward them if I had been alive back them?  How has this history, unknown to me though it was until I was in my forties, how has it nonetheless affected me, been part of my unconscious cultural DNA?  How does it make it more comprehensible to me that while I was active in the Civil Rights movement back in the sixties, I know now that one of my relatives was a member of KuKluxKlan?  What does it all mean about reconciliation along the racial divide in our country today, and what is my part in it?

Blassingame Harvey and Nancy Scoggins Bowie Harvey are not the only complex characters in my family tree. There are all sorts. Despite my mother’s once warning me about researching our genealogy, saying that I might just find a bunch of outlaws, I have found all kinds of amazing people.

My folks have been involved in the complicated history of this land from the founding of Jamestown in the 1600’s to the very present with some of my grandchildren living today very near Lafitte’s famed Galveston Island.  In my lineage, there were Protestant and Quaker and Catholic, and there was, back in Europe, a great great great great grandmother burned at the stake accused of being a witch.  There were mariners and ship’s captains who brought the early settlers to Jamestown.  There were indentured servants and  there were wealthy profit seeking entrepreneurs; there were patriots and protestors; there were Native Americans as well as people from most every European nation.  There was one very well respected and prominent judge whose daughter married a man who, before his father-in-law the  judge had time to have any say in the matter, was killed by a hurriedly assembled posse after a knife fight brought on by a political dispute.  I share a mutual ancestor with Al Gore, and I am related by marriage to George Washington.  Many of my people fought bravely in the American Revolutionary War, but one of my great grandfathers was accused by the British after the war for having counterfeited  British currency for his own profit.  And there is the whole complex history of Texas as a republic, and the Civil War, with some of my relatives on either side of that issue, and there is the painful aspects of reconstruction as it happened in Texas…And on and on it goes.

I am a product of this complex, complicated heritage, as interwoven between dark and light as the thickets were and still are along the Sabine River.  There is room for pride or shame, guilt or innocence, moral strength or, instead, that desperate need just to get along somehow, just to survive, however ambiguous the circumstances.

Approve of them or not, these are all my kinfolks, they are my relatives, I am made up of them all, somehow.  Without any one of them I would not be here.  Knowing that, knowing about them and acknowledging their existence, their experiences, their complexity, makes me somehow unable to hold arrogant or self-righteous opinions about other people around me, about anybody else, or about their heritage, however different or even objectionable they may seem to me on the surface!

Anybody who does enough genealogy soon decides that just about everybody is related to everybody else in some way, if only through our mutual engagement in the mysteries and complexities of life. You begin to realize that we all are kinfolks, like it or not.

And that awareness, I think, is the key that opens the way to reconciliation of differences in our world. And that is why I now, in this podcast, as I have done for many years, encourage everyone to discover and tell their stories so that there is a loosening of the bindings of hatred and bigotry and fear and retaliation and all the rest.

Other than that, I am not now offering here any easy solutions.  I am simply hoping that the story I have just shared about me, about the complexity of the history of a place, and about my ancestors, is a good  example of the need to avoid snap or easy judgments, the need always to put things in a broad historical context, and always, even as we pursue actively what we consider to be right and good and just and fair, to keep an open and forgiving mind about others who disagree with us or oppose us.

I know that I will never know the whole story about my grandfather Harvey or anyone else, or anything, but, nonetheless, I may attempt always to be present to and recognize the complexity, the paradoxical mystery of it, and to honor my interconnection with any and all of it.

So, as I approach the idea of reconciliation of differences in our country today, as I look back on this and other aspects of our country’s long history, and as I look forward with compassion and humility, I somehow find hope that we can all more perfectly attune ourselves to a sense of a common and enduring humanity, that we may see how much we can agree.  This is my hope.   And that is enough for today’s podcast.

Join me again next time, for another different take on some other subject.  This is Glenda Taylor.  Thank you for listening.

[1] Carl Jung, Collected Works 18, page xiv.

[2] Robert Redford: The Biography, By Michael Feeney Callan, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, page xii.

[3] The History of Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, by D. W. Harris and B. M. Hulse, W. H. Stansbury & Company, 24 Natchez Street, New Orleans, La., 1886.

[4] The Origins of El Camino Real de los Tejas, https://www.texascounties.net/articles/el-camino-real-de-los-tejas/origins.htm

[5] The History of Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, by D. W. Harris and B. M. Hulse, W. H. Stansbury & Company, 24 Natchez Street, New Orleans, La., 1886

[6] An Online Educational Resource from LSU Libraries Special Collections, “From Diversity Comes Strength” A Brief Outline of Louisiana History.”