Photo by S. Copperstone
Pictured above is a view of the Atlantic Ocean, January 2014, from a Topsail Island beach, in North Carolina. How many people in history have stared out at the ocean in this particular place? What have they seen? How many ships have passed through these waters?
So this morning I had a thought. It’s strange, I know. It doesn’t happen often enough really.
After a recent visit to the coastal Carolina area, I got to thinking. Does history tend to repeat itself in the same location? It seems to in the Wilmington, North Carolina area. Take for instance, its past:
I’ll start with the pirates hanging out in the area, hiding in the coves and Cape Fear River in the late 1600s-mid 1700s. Blackbeard (a famous former privateer turned full-time pirate), for example, scuttled his own ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, nearby. (I can picture him in my mind, retiring in the pretty, quaint little coastal town of Beaufort, smoking a pipe, sitting on a rocking chair on his porch overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway, telling everyone who he used to be, recalling stories of skirmishes at sea, and no one believing him, because honestly, why would the horrific Blackbeard be sitting on a rocking chair, smoking a pipe, relaxing in his golden years in the sleepy town of Beaufort?). Then, the wealthy merchants from England (although France, Spain and Portugal were involved too, as were others), acquired tar, pitch and lumber from NC and shipped it to their countries where they built ships. Our residents bought those ships (this was prior to the time when we made our own ships), so the pitch, tar and lumber ended up going full circle. But this is something which hasn’t changed to this day, it only involves different countries.
Of course, then the American wars for independence happened… and again the Wilmington area was smack in the middle of smugglers from the Caribbean to Maine (gunpowder, rum, molasses, ammo and weapons of all sorts) and privateers, of which Benjamin Franklin commissioned many and had involvement in the smuggling when he wasn’t partying in France. (Ben Franklin is someone who I wish his life would be made into a movie because he’s THE most interesting person in our history. George Washington had even said something regarding him, that he didn’t want to sleep at the same inn where Ben was staying because he would never get any sleep). Visit the Moores Creek Battlefield for proof of a Revolutionary War, where I believe we lost few of our own, if any, but many on the British side (mostly Scottish Highlanders and American Loyalists) didn’t have that good of luck. And how many times had Washington slept or had a drink in someone’s tavern or inn in the area? Quite a few times, I suspect. Maybe things calmed down a little after that, maybe not. I haven’t read much on the War of 1812 (1812-1815) yet, but I believe that certain skirmishes at sea could have erupted in the area, although I’m pretty certain the wars were north of Virginia. Then came the America Civil War(s) (1861-1865), which like the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), were a series of wars and battles but categorized as a single war. Again, the Wilmington area was in the midst of war. A trip to the area Fort Anderson and museum will prove that.
Fort Anderson is another example of history building upon history. The town of Brunswick (no longer in existence) was built by the Native Americas pre 1662. Of course, the English came along and took over within the following year. The town was razed by the British troops at the few start of the Revolutionary War in 1776. Then, the Civil War happened and Fort Anderson Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson was built atop the old village. Today, there are a few brick walls of the former church and stone foundations of the former Colonial town. I understand why everyone chose this location. It has a great vantage point to see far into the distance and being located on the Cape Fear, they could regulate who entered the river, etc. I imagine everyone had that same thinking in mind when they took over the land.
My thought this morning though, involved a specific location in the City of Wilmington. Apparently, this particular location had and has murders, which got me thinking about history repeating itself. Why does this happen? Is the location under the influence of a subliminal force in which those who are a little off in their thinking might listen to? Fate? Would a spiritual cleansing clear out the subliminal force? Are some locations haunted by an evil force and it’s anchored there?
Have you noticed history repeating itself in the same location?