History Is More Interesting Than Fiction

I am listening to a course in the Great Courses Series, and this one is “Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies” and, as usual leaning much I did not know.

For example: Did you know that the first US Colony to have a law permitting slavery was – Massachusetts?

That the Colony of South Carolina was not founded by the usual English, French, and Spanish colonists, but by the residents of the Islands of Barbados? Barbados had become so crowded (250/square mile) that they needed more land, and besides, the slaves in Barbados were escaping to the mountains and South Carolina had no mountains.

That a sailor’s pay was two English Pounds a month, but as a Pirate a sailor could make 1,000 English Pounds in a single raid. On one captured ship, Pirates captured 4,000 pounds of pure gold!

“No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.” Samuel Johnson

That the East Coast Indians fought each other constantly, but seldom killed anyone, preferring to take scalps and capture opposing Indians as slaves. On English soldier remarked that the otherwise ferocious Pequots “might fight seven years and not kill seven men.”

History is much more interesting than reading fiction.

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