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A World Gone with the Wind

Footnote to the year 1665. It would soon be a world gone with the wind

Some of the readers have already found the condensed version of Charles de Rochefort’s book, printed in English in 1566. Many have wondered how the Native American superpower of its day, the kingdom of the Apalache, could disappear from the maps and history books so suddenly. A history professor at Brown University would label the Apalache, a myth, in the 20th century.

To reimburse a group of royalists who had funded his highly orchestrated overthrow of the English Commonwealth, King Charles II created the Colony of Carolina. The eight men to whom he owed the most money were named its Lord Proprietors. Carolina would be a feudal society. Since Englishmen refused to be serfs again, the new aristocracy would need Native American and African slaves, hundreds of thousands of them.

For the first time in English history, the government of the Colony of Virginia led by Sir William “the Butcher” Berkeley passed a law institutionalizing human slavery. Prior to that time, the Native American and African laborers on Virginia plantations were considered bond servants. Henceforth, their children would also be born into slavery.

Governor William Berkeley had grown wealthy from trading with a small warlike tribe living around present day Bedford, VA. He traded to them manufactured goods for furs and Native slaves. They were called the Rickohockens. The Rickohockens were given firearms by the colony and a contract to obtain as many Native American slaves as possible. They first depopulated the advanced agricultural, mound builders in the Shenandoah Valley then looked southward to depopulate the new Colony of Carolina. Because of the influx of concubines and war captives, in a few years the Rickohockens grew from being a small tribe disliked by everyone else to a large, powerful tribe disliked by everyone else.

Rochefort’s book became a road map for where to find large numbers of slaves. It is no accident that British historians erased the memory of the Shenandoah and Apalache Indians. They didn’t want future generations to charge their nation with genocide. The ruins at Track Rock Gap are a memorial to the horrors of Native American slavery. Go there at dawn and hear the screams of the women and children. The Horned Serpent doesn’t want you to know that and is going to extreme measures to cover up the crimes of his followers.

Exactly 200 years after Virginia planters and Virginia Indians eviscerated the Southeastern indigenous peoples, the soil of the Commonwealth turned red with the blood of Civil War soldiers. Human slavery came to a bloody end, but the creation of a society in the Southeast of haves and have nots is still a curse upon the United States.

For more information on William “the Butcher” Berkeley and the Rickohockens.

And now you know

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

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