Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pioneer Ambitions

Before I sign off for a couple of weeks to prepare for and attend the FGS Conference in Knoxville, I thought I'd post a little blurb about our pioneer ancestry. Since the conference theme this year is "Rediscovering America's First Frontier", I was reminded of a cute little piece of pioneer history that I came across while researching another subject. The openly advertised still that you see to the left is the product of pioneer determination. Not only did they hack their way through the wilderness to make a new life for their family, but they did so determined not to abandon or live without their favorite liquid encouragement. You know Kentucky and their moonshine heritage.....back in 1807, the central Kentucky region was just as talented at their still makin evidenced by this illustrated ad from the Kentucky Gazette, published in Lexington. I will tag the ancestor surnames listed in this little gem....but alas.....I can't find any from my own family tree. Oh well, better luck next time, I suppose.

To better celebrate the efforts of our pioneers, I will let a true Kentucky author have the floor:

Builders of Destiny by Jesse Stuart

They lie, our pioneers, where highways run.
They lie where railroads go and cities stand.
Their brittle bones have been exposed to sun
And wind. Their bones are restless in this land.
What does it matter if their bones do lie
Beneath the turning wheels where millions pass,
Builders and dreamers born to live and die
Like white plum petals on the April grass?
What does it matter if their bones turn stone,
Their flesh be richer dust our plowshares turn,
Builders who made America our own,
Whose blood has fed the roots of grass and fern?
Dreamers and builders of our destiny,
They left their epitaph for all to read;
A land of dream and wealth and energy,
A land where freedom is the greatest greed.

Keep up the good search!



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