Archive for February 2006
Tickle my feet!
I don’t recall where this came from but told to a child it comes back to “haunt” you! The link connects to the interesting site Jean Lafitte in Louisiana. The Lafitte Vineyards have a bust of President Thomas Jefferson who visited there while in France (played by actor Nick Nolte in the film “Jefferson in Paris” I write to his “double” in film sometimes, from California, Grand Manan Island, Canada and Rochester, NY). According to a Sunday “Times-Picayune” I read one summer hurricane a-comin’ there in 1979, Jefferson was related to the Lafitte’s through his wife, so the story went, and General, then Emperor Napoleon was smuggled off the island of exile and is/was buried in the Lafitte cemetery under another name. Some legend! Hmmm… there was a Corsican migration to Puerto Rico… Nearby here, at Fordham University, a Jesuit institution of higher learning, there was recently published an historical study of abolitionist movement against the practice of slavery, and surprising to me, was that how early it started in Spanish North America, Mexico and elsewhere in the Caribbean, etc., which I studied at Stony Brook University. It had an anthropologist from the small island of Dominica. I stayed in the LaSalle Hotel with a friend going to visit the Yucatan, working on the archaeology of now completed Tombigbee Waterway in Mississippi, a canal fed by the Tennessee River connecting with Mobile, Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico, said to have the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.
Shhh…not well publicized story. Current sitting President George W. Bush put a Scottish police officer out for 14 weeks when he hit him while riding his bicycle there. He rides because of pain in his knees keeps him from running. They should give him a bike with the crank placed further forward as they are being created now, they used to be connected directly to the large wheel on the velocipede, like the Memphis, TN “Bicycle Club” with backgammon tables I heard about.
A study, not mentioned, states he may have come from across the Pacific Ocean.
One time following up a “con job” excavation I was told happened when some NYC “archaeologists” where allowed to dig a trench in the Huntington graveyard, atop a hill, where the British Army had “Fort Golgotha” in the cemetery in the American Revolution, some reported them baking bread on tombstones, and where Nathan Hale was taken before his hanging in NYC (there is a statue in City Hall Park, recently moved to the front of the City Hall where it had been at the back or north side of the park) I helped in a “gifted and talented” program of excavation on a Saturday for elementary school kids, excavating a few test squares between the stones. The remains of the fort had been plowed level after the Revolutionary War. One of the Town of Huntington’s offices was in the small building there, and the Suffolk County Historian was also on the school board.
Anyway, we were helped by a re-enactor who lived practically next door, a podiatrist who played the head of the “Queens Rangers” once headed by Benjamin Thompson who later was well-known as the physicist Count Rumford. We thought perhaps we relocated some of the outline of the entrance way near the current flagpole, with Edward Johanneman, MA and Gaynell Stone, PhD. (showing gravestone rubbings) and tried to recover the area that had been previously disturbed by the previous “archaeologists” that sort of started this, perhaps. Down slope near the disturbed topsoils were stones obviously not from the glacial deposits of Long Island and near them a metal cartouche (silver like a large “pin”) of the “Queens Rangers” was found, which I caught hell for letting the re-enactor borrow for a day to have one of his associates make a drawing of for further re-enactments occurring in bicentennial activities around Long Island.
One French observer reported (not much about it) that in a windstorm the snow rolled up like carpets up the hill to “Fort Golgotha” named after the “hill of skulls” related in the Christian bible as where crucifictions occurred, where the biblical Jesus Christ was crucified between two thiefs by the occupying Roman government.
I did get the “Queens Rangers” cartouche back from the rather large podiatrist, who dressed in a large “beefeaters” hat (traditionally bearskin I read) was quite imposing on a horse.
“It was a plucky thing to do
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line!
To cut the Pirate vessel through,
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line!”
Site is full of historic folk songs mostly in Midi from around the world.
I thought I’d offer some of my experience in this often “perilous pit” topic:
My experience had been to string aluminum frames with string in 10cm squares and place two of them on the excavated remains and stand on a ladder and photograph them.That was Bowdoin Park, Dutchess County (how we Yanks spell it) once J.P. Morgan’s summer place on the Hudson River, across from Marlboro, NY and where ye olde ferry village was.
Interesting “phase” problem, the first phase found some remains, the headstones had been moved on and off the site to plow the narrow rich river terrace, the “geezer” who knew where the stones were supposed to go back to, was fired before they were replaced, and ended up in the local highway department, as the tale went. One archaeological “phase” was done, a line drawn on the ground, and another phase started which I was involved in, winter (using shelter, toboggan and generator) and summer to excavate further a well, then thought finished.
A youth visitor to the subsequent mechanical excavations found a skull in the one of the dirt piles. Bulldozers had started to unearth what had been thought about 1/4 acre cemetery which was actually a 1/2 acre, which a local descendant asserted she had been telling the sewer authority involved in the “taking” of that part of the public park, for years about, once also a former Dutch Reformed churchyard and 20th century “youth farm” and “first” village disturbed by the railroad. An interesting lime kiln had been found too with remote sensing provided by Bruce Bevan who brought a whole “array” of instruments to test the place in a day. Some of the last Federal monies for community sewer projects was spent there, now “they’re” on their own to float bonds, etc. to meet U.S. Federal pollution discharge guidelines.
An interesting rock shelter “fall” was excavated there by the once New York State Archaeologist Robert Funk who contributed much to the prehistory of the Hudson River Valley, where once we would be “divided” to be “conquered” (N.J. Parkways Commission) following up on avocational archaeologists work that was also done recently in the park.
Another cemetery I helped with the Moore-Jackson Cemetery in Queens, NYC, had stones that the WPA apparently put artistically there making public works in the Great Depression, but had been broken somewhere else (below the surface) hopefully on the property the Queens Historical Society owns. Some of the decedents house had been used as a headquarters in the “Battle of Long Island” which General Washington lost, at a crossroads of “information” their participation found null, so innocent after the American Revolution. For Celia Bergoffen, Ph.D, RPA.
I have worked for a number of archaeologists on the “First Almshouse” question in NYC City Hall Park, which was further excavated in the summer of 1999, I came on late to it, though explored on two other excavation projects by different archaeologists. I generally have some question about the “First” designation, and its proximity to the British Army Barracks and the Ol’ Bailey or prison the NY Times reported as “blacker than any black hole of Calcutta” in which its was also reported by them (1904?) that patriot Ethan Allen was tortured by a British Major Cunningham. Also I wonder how many archaeologists can be switched onto a single research question without it getting entirely switched into the lowest common denominator.
I have also worked at Sacket’s Harbor, NY on Lake Ontario said to be the “birthplace of the U.S. Navy” over the War of 1812 (Washington D.C. was burned its stated for burning what has become Toronto) and Zebulon Pike’s remains location is still in doubt I read. We set aside one part of the parade ground (with Angela Schuster of “Archaeology” magazine lately, et al) from condominium development when a follow up of Berger, Inc., determination of scattered human remains turned up more substantial remains, the remains of a wooden coffin buried just below the modern surface.