Saturday, November 19, 2016

Day Nineteen: Happy To Forget

Day 19: Identify a major event that happened during your ancestor’s lifetime, and (as your ancestor) write a first-person journal entry describing it. What would your ancestor have thought about it? Would he have found it exciting? Frightening? Frustrating?

John Smith taking the King of Pamunkey prisoner',
 a fanciful image of Opechancanough from
General History of Virginia (1624).
Robert Vaughan - Captain John Smith's
General History of Virginia (1624) en.wikipedia
I am so grateful that I was an infant in 1644, the year of the Indian raid in Virginia, led by Opechancanough. My parents, Godfrey and Mary Ragsdale, who had come to Virginia from England just a few years before, were murdered and, as I understand it, scalped. Hundreds died that day. Hundreds. It was gruesome. I was told that neighbors who escaped the attack saved me and for their bravery, I am eternally grateful.

Sometimes at night, in my dreams, I hear the screams and feel the terror. Are those repressed memories from when I was a baby or just a reaction to the stories I have been told as I have grown? I suppose I will never know, but it is terrifying nonetheless. I wonder if relations between the English and the Indians will ever improve? That I know I shall never know, because age and infirmity are upon me and I do not think I will live through this new year of 1703.

1 January 1703
Recorded this day by
Godfrey Ragsdale, Jr.
Henrico, Virginia

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