Monday, November 24, 2008
High Treason, a Patriot's Cause
In 1745 there was a rebellion in Scotland. Prince Charles Stuart tried to take back the throne he believed rightfully belonged his father James. The rebellion failed and at the battle of Culloden 1000's of Scots, mostly Highlanders, were killed and 1000's more captured and imprisoned for treason against the English Crown. The carnage that followed was unimaginable. The English wanted to make sure that the Scots understood to whom they owed their loyalty. Farms were burned, families slaughtered, to make the King's point. The humiliation they suffered was just as heartbreaking. The Highlanders were no longer allowed to speak Gaelic, play their music, wear the colors of their Clan, or bear arms. All of the things that made them Scots and Highlanders were ripped away from them. In the 20 years that followed the '45, Highlanders, either released from prision, or just unable to make a living in Scotland, immigrated to the American Colonies. Before they were allowed to leave they were forced to sign an oath pledging their allegiance to the King and promising never to raise arms against England. They signed and left their beloved country for the unknown wilderness that was the colonies.
Being mostly Highlanders, they settled in the mountains of Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. They built farms, raised their families, had their Gatherings and tried to regain the identity and diginity that had been stripped from them. They had survived, and had built new lives.
Then, after 30 years had passed since that fateful day on the fields of Culloden and the wounds of their loss had begun to heal, along comes Thomas Jefferson and his Declaration of Independance. There were rumors of war and revolution and the people of the American Colonies were being asked to choose a side. Now, these Highlanders knew first hand what losing a war to the English looked like. But, for the most part, they had become Americans and were still filled with the same desire to be a free, self-governing people that had sent them to war in the Highlands. So, with a few exceptions, they gathered together and fought. Fought against the tyranny they had hated all their lives. Fought for their new country, for their families, and for their right to live as free people. They fought, knowing that if they lived and lost the war, they would not live for long and their families would bear the sting of their treason. But they fought. They stood up, refusing to be pawns of a distant king. They risked everything to be free, to be the masters of their own destiny, and in the end won the right to live their lives in peace and freedom.
So, what have YOU done for your country today?