Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Opening paragraphs.........................

From the west-facing window of the room in which Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774, one could look out at Rockfish Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an opening to the West that invited exploration.  The Virginia Piedmont of 1774 was not the frontier - that had extended beyond the Allegheny chain of mountains, and a cultured plantation life was nearly a generation old - but it wasn't far removed.  Traces of the old buffalo trail that led up Rockfish River in the Gap still remained.  Deer were exceedingly plentiful, black bear common.  An exterminating war was being waged against wolves.  Beaver were on every stream.  Flocks of turkeys thronged the woods.  In the fall and spring, ducks and geese darkened the rivers.
-Stephen E. Ambrose, Undaunted Courage

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