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Old 18th September 2021, 05:03 AM   #40
M ELEY
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,889
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Originally Posted by Interested Party View Post
Jim fascinating. My source material reading list continues to grow and diversify at a rate I can't keep up with.

M Eley this is an amazing piece that has sparked a great discussion.

I have never seen one of these swords, a basket, or even one of the famous crosscut saws remade into a short sword that was a family heirloom from this period. What is more I never even heard the rumor of their existence as such during my childhood in western NC. I believe I would have seen one proudly displayed by someone in my grandfather's gun shop if they were at all common. Every type of antiquarian oddity came through there at one time or another. I can only guess that they were either literally beat into plow shards eventually or confiscated by the northern or southern troops 100 years later. The idea of a sword was so foreign that my mother danced over crossed sticks while her grandmother beat time without anyone realizing it was a supposed to be a sword dance. I guess after 250 years it is surprising that even that much old world culture remained.
That is pretty cool that some of the old ways made it 'over the pond' to the New World. Just as so much of the 'mountain traditions' were from the Old Country, such things transitioned over here. Bluegrass music and instruments, customs, food, even sayings were brought with the travelers. One of my favorites is the classic 'Southern' saying "Y'all", usually drawn out to "Y'alllllll"! In the South, we say proudly "It's a Southern thing!" Um, no, it's not. It is a Scottish thing!!!!

In the Old World language, it was 'Ye All', with 'Ye' meaning 'All of you' (versus 'Thou', which was singular for an individual. Thus, if being a rude old Scot, you might say "Thou is an idiot!! "Ye kin are probably idiots, too!" differentiating singular person versus group of people.

In what part of western NC did you live? My folks moved to Hendersonville near Asheville. In the county courthouse there, they have a small museum. In their collection, they had an amazing full basket hilt broadsword ca. 1730 of fine quality. It was on loan from a local family who had lived in NC since the mid-18th c. The last time I went, it was no longer on display. Too bad.
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