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Going forward

Posted: May 1, 2014 9:08 a.m.
Updated: May 2, 2014 5:00 a.m.

In honor of all mothers in South Carolina -- “for all that they do,” the newly formed Family Heritage Committee is sponsoring the First Annual South Carolina Mother’s Day Festival this Saturday at Zemp Stadium. The inclusive event will celebrate mothers from all communities and backgrounds in our state. The festival includes a parade from City Hall to Zemp Stadium, a program with Dr. Brenda Williams as keynote speaker, food vendors, live entertainment, and kids’ activities. Admission is free. If you want your mother in the parade, the fee is $10. All proceeds benefit the Family Resource Center; Sistercare; New Day on Mill; Midlands Women’s Center; and the United Way Mentoring Program. The co-Grand Marshalls: mothers Sarah Bell and Alice Boykin. The co-hosts: Councilwoman Alfred Mae Drakeford and Joy Claussen Scully.

The Dark Water Moonshine Distillery! The city does not normally promote individual retail businesses; inevitable questions about fairness arise, but it’s hard not to comment on the arrival of Shannon and Carl Monday’s Dark Water Moonshine Distillery at 923 Broad St. A distillery here in Camden is a cultural event as much as an economic one; and curiosity-seekers are coming in from all over the county. “They visit Historic Camden and then they visit us,” says Carl Monday, a fourth-generation distiller. Dark Water sells only moonshine and souvenirs right now, but the Mondays will soon add flavored moonshines: apple pie, cherry, peach pie and muscadine. By next year, Dark Water will include bourbon, gin, vodka, tequila and rum. All drinks are made by hand on site using the distillery’s 50-gallon still; it’s right off the lobby and worth a visit.

Welcome to Suzi Sale, Camden and Kershaw County’s new director of tourism. Ms. Sale, the former owner of the Camden House Bed & Breakfast, was hired from 28 applicants. Soon, she will take charge of marketing “Camden: Classically Carolina,” to the world.

On April 27, the city commemorated the 233rd anniversary of the Battle of Hobkirk Hill.

My comments included the following -- and owe a debt to historian John Peterson:

If we Americans call ourselves exceptional, social media jump down our throats, because we seem to be saying we’re better than anyone else, and that isn’t the point. In terms of our Revolution, we’re exceptional because for the first time in history, a colony of a European power not only rebelled, it won its freedom from the most dominant military and economic force on the planet. The American Revolution in turn served as an inspiration for the French Revolution and further inspired colonial populations in their struggles in Latin America, the Caribbean, India and Ireland.

The American Revolution was a political and social revolution on a scale never before seen in history. The power and wealth of the Tories, who supported the mother country, was fearsome. The big landholders and large merchants aspired to a kind of pseudo-nobility, with the airs and manners of European courts. At the same time 35 percent of the population here were indentured servants or slaves. The indentured servants were mostly English, but also Scottish, Irish and German. And, of course, the slaves were African.

As in all revolutions, many ordinary people were opposed to warfare and wanted only peace and stability, no matter who was in charge. It has been estimated that one-third of the colonists were for independence; one-third for the Crown; and one third wavered between the two positions. But in the American Revolution, as in all revolutions, it was not the middle classes who did the bulk of the fighting and dying. It was the ordinary people, the poorest and most marginalized, who were the backbone, the driving force.

The decisive entry of the common man onto the stage of history stamped this process as a revolution. The formerly submissive population awoke to political and social consciousness, seized their destiny, and embarked upon an epic struggle against both British dominance and their own native ruling class.

As at Hobkirk Hill, the colonists lost many of their battles and were usually forced to “fight like Indians” in a guerrilla war. The British Army was the most professional fighting machine on earth, and yet, a bunch of poorly-trained irregulars defeated them. Historians now estimate that as many as 75,000 Tories left the county after the war.

Thomas Jefferson: "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. God forbid that we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion."

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