First of all, welcome to our new blog – The Libertarian Identity. I had no idea I was going to create this until … well … last week really. Next week we will have interviews with two Libertarian Party members who are running to represent us in U.S. Congress.
It’s funny, after watching Adrian Wyllie’s YouTube video today and thinking about the name of his organization – 1787Network – it made me think back to those early days in our history. The 1770s, the 1780s, the 1790s.
Made me think – wouldn’t those early leaders be proud of what is going on this year? And no I’m not talking about the duopoly but the movement on the “fringe” of the duopoly.
Damn it feels good to be a fringe-ster. Cue the Geto Boys.
At any rate, next week I’m driving the Palm Harbor Macs up to Charlotte (NC) to visit family- most importantly my 95-year old Grandmother. On the way up, I will be taking my family to a very special place in our family history. The exact land our ancestors farmed 240 years ago. Our children will visit their river-stone graves for the first time in their lives, back in the woods in a cemetery that generally can’t be found without Lat and Long, or experience.
Funny … I think my ancestors who lived there would relate well to what is going on with the LP.
They undoubtedly were the first Libertarians.
After centuries of suppression in Scotland, then Ulster … these Scotsman just wanted to be left alone. They were ornery, stubborn, sometimes cynical and distrustful. They were hard working, sometimes hard drinking, better “read” than most poor colonists. In summary, they were exactly what Americans would become later.
In a lot of ways they were the essence of America: Get the hell out of my business, leave me alone to worship whatever and whomever I want, and quit taxing the last breath out of me. Leave me alone, I just want to go up in the woods, clear my land and raise some crops and a family and live my own life. I don’t need the finer things from Paris and London, I can’t afford them anyway-but by God I will run my own life in this place.
Oh hell yes … they were Libertarians. They just didn’t call it that back then. And they despised the monarchical powers that be- probably more than any group of colonists.
Chester, South Carolina is just a blip on the east side of I-77 between Columbia, SC and Charlotte, NC. But it wasn’t a blip back during the Revolutionary War- Scots-Irish country. This general area was the “Hornets Nest” during the Revolution- named appropriately by Lord Cornwallis himself because it was such a swarming pain-in-his-ass. These Scots-Irish fought like hornets, not conventionally. They fought nasty. The movie “The Patriot” is loosely written about these people.
In my ancestors’ area around Chester, Lord Cornwallis himself had ordered church burnings, hangings and arrests- particularly of a minister named Rev. William Martin. These were my people. Rev. Martin organized a 5-ship flotilla from Northern Ireland to Charleston in 1772 – and they all settled in generally the same area of the Piedmont/Foothills of the Carolinas. It’s the Mayflower story nobody talks about.
In 1780, Rev. Martin got up in his Presbyterian pulpit and told all of the countryside, “It is time to take up arms against tyranny,” and the upstate militia movement was born. Lord Cornwallis had Martin chained up for 6 months in Charlotte, but Rev. Martin wouldn’t relent. He was eventually released to go back to Chester, where he continued to preach until his death in 1807. Next week, I will take my family to the site of his home … deep in the Chester woods where few know it exists. The true leader of these Patriots is buried at the site where Cornwallis once had his home burned to the ground.
A decade later, George Washington would finally visit the Hornets Nest he had heard such good things about. He toured this area in 1792 as part of the Presidential tour of the country he had promised the nation. On his way from Columbia and Camden up to Charlotte, he surveyed these lands.
It is generally acknowledged that one of the turning points of the Revolution came in the Carolinas when the militias became so strong that they chased the British back to Yorktown (Va.)- where they eventually surrendered.
We will visit this mostly undocumented area next week, and I can’t wait because I sense a serious bond there with what is going on this year.
To sum up … the Libertarian Party didn’t begin in the early 1970s, it began in the 1770s and maybe even earlier.
Next week, we will pay our respects to the real origins of the LP – hidden off of a small country road, back in the woods of Chester, South Carolina.