There seems to be nothing but negative news today about this Pandemic and there is not much we can do to change the news, but it’s not good for us as a nation to focus on the negative.
Share some encouraging personal stories
We’ll probably never have this much free time on our hands again and we can use it to do something positive.
In the days of no antibiotics, lack of medical care and lack of knowledge on how to avoid illness, every one of our ancestors experienced much worse yet they prevailed and often left behind a legacy of strength. The story of one of my ancestors, Mary Dickenson Pratt is an example. I’m sure all of you could relate a story like the one below.
(Photograph of Mary Dickenson Pratt)
In the typhoid epidemic of 1845, during the months of June and July, Mary Dickenson Pratt made four sad pilgrimages to the lonely Pratt Cemetery on top of the knoll, a few miles from her home in River bend. The inscriptions on the grey limestone, hand-hewn slabs, still standing in the old cemetery, tell their own story, Martha Amanda the youngest child, died June 9, 1845, less than a month later the son Joab passed away. He was a twin of John and aged almost twenty years. A few days later Absalom, the husband, and father, followed his children in death and finally little Mary aged six was laid to rest her inscription reading: Mary A. Pratt, May 12, 1830 – July 15, 1845.
Mary Dickenson Pratt was a lovely southern lady. Her birthplace was Edgefield County, South Carolina and she was born in December 1800. When she was a child, the family moved to Warren County, Tennessee. When Mary was 16 years old, her mother died and her father remarried. Mary was unhappy at home so her father gave her a beautiful, spirited horse and put her in the care of friends who were passing through Alabama on their way west. She lived with her sister, Sarah, in River Bend, Bibb County, Alabama until her marriage. One day, young, fun-loving, Mary Dickenson finishing a chicken dinner, placed a wishbone over the door and said that “the first man to walk under it would be her true love.” The old saying was soon put to a test. Sarah’s brother-in-law, Absalom Pratt unexpectedly walked in. He was a stranger to Mary but they fell in love and were married, March 1822. They had twelve children (six boys and six girls). Absalom left his family financially secure and Mary took over the responsibility of running the plantation. She ran the grist mill and operated Pratt’s Ferry. Mary sent all her sons to college, and when the war came, she owned fifteen or twenty slaves and her property was not mortgaged in any way. So proverbial was her fire and energy that through the years when a child descendant showed these traits, they were referred to as the “Dickenson in them”. She died at her son, James Harvey’s home July 15, 1845.
Mary faced her tragedy head-on and left a legacy behind for her children. We will get through this Pandemic together and become even stronger than before.
Do you have an ancestor with a similar story? Share their story in the comments below before they are forgotten. We can gain strength from our ancestors’ courage and leave a lasting legacy for our children of how to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Your ancestors’ story may be included on the www.alabamapioneers.com or sister website www.daysgoneby.me/
TAPESTRY OF LOVE – A novel of colonial America. At the age of sixteen, Mary and her husband, whom she barely knows, are forced to escape the only home they’ve ever known and settle in the primitive 17th-century world of America where they shape their family’s destiny for generations.
Inspired by actual people and historical events of colonial America, “The Kingdom of Accawmacke” is revealed and secrets about America’s history are discovered in this well-researched series. The story begins in 17th century England during the reign of Charles I and continues a family’s journey to the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland.
The exhilarating action & subplots keep the reader in constant anticipation. It is almost impossible to put the book down until completion,
Dr. Don P. Brandon, Retired Professor, Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana
This is the first book I have read that puts a personal touch to some seemingly real people in factual events.
Love books with strong women…this has one. Love early American history about ordinary people…even though they were not ‘ordinary’…it took courage to populate our country. This book is well researched and well written.
A picture of love and history rolled into one. A step back in time that pulls you in and makes you a part of the family and their world.
Each book’s writing gets stronger, characters become real, the struggles and sorrows that laid the foundation for this country.
Not only is the story entertaining, it opens the eastern shore of the early Virginia Colony to the reader as a picture book….I know this story will touch many peoples’ hearts.
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