Some people say, 'I came legally.' Your ancestors might have come to North America by the permission of the US government or, before that existed, by the permission of the British government, but please remember that those governments won lands by conquest and by repeatedly breaking treaties, also that both of those governments followed a concept of individual land ownership which was alien not only to the Native Americans but even to the Scots and some other people the English conquered. What all this means is that a government can give you permission, but that government may itself lack moral legitimacy to give you (or allow you to purchase) what it has taken from someone else, kind of like a thief stealing something from you and then giving or selling it to someone else.
For instance, in the 1720s the North American Atlantic coast was already settled by the English and Dutch (on land they'd taken from the Native Americans), so my Scot-Irish ancestors went inland (to take other land from other Native Americans). Since they objected to this, there was of course war. Most Native American sided with the French simply because the French sent in mostly trappers, who traded with the Indians but otherwise left the land alone, whereas the British settlers went in, cut down trees, planted farms and stayed on the land. After Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War (known in North America as the French and Indian War), Britain said the crest of the Appalachians was the dividing line—whites to the east, reds to the west. This was fine with people who already had their farms in, for instance, the Tidewater, but not so good for new settlers going inland. As soon as the North American colonies declared independence from Britain, Daniel Boone led a large group of settlers and their herds of animals through Cumberland Gap to establish Boonesborough, Kentucky. And when the war ended and the land up to the Mississippi River was to be part of the United States, settlers started pouring across into the Ohio Valley, into the early 1800s. For instance, Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, spent some boyhood years in South Indiana, and the rest of his growing up and his young manhood in Illinois.
James Scism was born in 1834 near Church Hill in Hawkins County, Tennessee. As a teen, he moved west to Stoddard County, Missouri, because MO was giving away land then (acquired from other Naïve Americans). James married there, then in the 1880s moved his family west to near Harrison, Arkansas. About fifteen years later, he moved to Willamette Valley, Oregon, along with some of his four or five sons, one named John. John was my great-grandfather. He arrived in Oregon as a young man, married a local girl, worked on railroads in Idaho, then worked in the timber industry in Oregon. I have his copy of Scribner's Enlarged Lumber and Log Book 1900: For Ship and Boat Builders, Lumber Merchants, Saw-mill Men, Farmers, Mechanics. Rochester, NY: S.E. Fisher, original edition 1895. The book talks about how to select trees for building, felling timber, seasoning and preserving, durability of different woods, then measures for scantling, board, plank, square timber, cubical contents of round timber, log tables and tallies, stave and heading bolts. (And here I'd never heard of scantling before, and thought that a board and a plank is the same thing.) Then there's a poem about lumber work, followed by rules for calculating the speed of saws, pulleys or drums. And that's only the first 100 pages (approximately the first half of the book). Apparently they knew a whole lot about what they were doing. On p 189, Business Law includes some items that have remained the same, and some that have changed:
Signatures made with a lead pencil are good in law.
Contracts made on Sunday cannot be enforced.
Agents are responsible to their principals for errors.
A note drawn on Sunday is void.
It is fraud to conceal a fraud.
The law compels no one to do impossibilities.
The book closes with maxims:
Gold goes in any gate except heaven's.
He that blows in the dust fills his own eyes.
By others' faults, men correct their own.
Simple diet makes healthy children.
The book has a seal for J.K. Gill Co., Third and Alder, Portland, OR (is this the bookseller?).
John lived at Gervais, OR, Route 1. Later, he gave this book to Ellis, when the family lived at 1109 N Water St, Silverton, OR
A friend comments, ‘I find family history to be very interesting. One single young man came over from England in 1680 or 82 and settled in Rhode Island. He got married and raised his family. On my father's side, I am the 10th generation in the New World. I am the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest son, and from there I believe that was the fifth son, but he was the oldest back to the patriarch….My grandfather was also a railroad man. Several relatives worked on the rails. And several including my dad were carpenters.’
Another friend says, ‘I was privileged to ride in the same car with you great-grandfather. My dad use to pick him up for church in Salem, Oregon. The church was on Lewis Street.’
Speaking of relatives: one of my cousins decided that life was boring, so she fell down the steps of her house to add a little variety and break her leg in three places. After her surgery, I visited her (by which time she was not only coherent, but also her normal congenial self). Her older sister was present and the sister’s middle daughter—since the hospitalized cousin is ALSO a middle daughter, this seemed the appropriate time to comment on 'the middle child will be different'. The REASON the middle child is different was explained long ago by Zig Ziglar: when a family has three kids (we'll use the example of daughters because both cases here are three daughters, and so was Zig's), people introduced to them say to the oldest, 'Oh, you're getting to be a big girl, aren't you? I bet you're a big help to your mommy!' and to the youngest, 'Oh, you cute little thing!' and to the middle child, they say nothing because their creativity doesn't extend that far. So middle children take up the slack and decide to be creative themselves. I don't speak this from experience—I’m one of two—but from observation and listening to what the experienced people say. I asked friends to comment:
One said, ‘I am a middle child and I am sort of creative. I had teachers compare me to my older sister. They usually pointed out that I wasn't anything like her. It wasn't a compliment.’ I can think of other middle daughters who got the same comment, although I more recently met a family wherein the mom said her OLDEST daughter was the rebel.’
On a totally different note, I’m so happy physiotherapy ended. A Ugandan friend says, ‘With the new knee I think you can now climb Mt Ruwenzori without any problem, you are invited to do so.’ I responded, ‘Since the highest point is Mt Stanley, I must of course do this. St Stanley on Mt Stanley.’