A Little History – Isle of Palms

Sewee Nation by Peter Buffett off the album 500 Nations: A Musical Journey

Just before leaving for Isle of Palms, I learned of a serious illness of a significant family member.  As yet, I have not completely gotten my head completely around the situation that occurred, so I’ll leave that to a later date.

So many things were about to happen in my life, I could not possibly have understood how quickly things would change and how many separate things would happen all at once.  It’s a good thing that The Dane and I had a moment to ourselves before our lives took a 90 degree turn.

Our vacation was more than a little overshadowed with a touch of sadness and reflection.  It was through this filter that I set off to learn more about the island we’d come to visit.

The sad tale matched my somber mood.

Originally, the island was inhabited by the Sewee Indians.

The Sewee traded deer skins to the English for colorful beads and other goods.  The English then took this hides to Europe where they were sold for a good price.  The Sewee only made about 10% of what the English were paid.

Members of the tribe began to formulate a plan among themselves and decided that all they needed to do was cut out the middle man.  They would build a navy of their own canoes and sail to the point on the horizon in which they first saw the English fleets arrive.  Each member of the tribe was assigned a duty specific to that person’s skills and soon the navy was completed.  The Sewee took to the sea with their canoes filled with pelts, hides and all their worldly possessions.  All able-bodied men and women boarded the boats, leaving behind only the children, elderly and the sick.

When the Sewee entered the open sea, the huge waves overtook their ships.  Some survived and were rescued by passing English ships, who took them on to the West Indies, where they were sold into slavery.

While the story is quite sad, it had quite a different effect on me.  It reminded me that while there is darkness in the world, there are good moments that should be cherished.  We would not have a gauge to measure the good moments if there were no bad ones.  I hugged The Dane tightly and asked him to join me for a stroll on the beach where I looked for that point on the horizon where the Sewee believed the ships began.

Top – Forever 21; Pants – Lane Bryant; Shoes – Sketchers.

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