And here lies Colonel James Hunter. He was the first white man born in Topsham, Maine. He helped to build Fort Halifax in 1754 and was an officer in the Revolutionary War. He died in 1809 at the age of 74. Here in Maine, we decorate all of our veterans' graves, and that includes Revolutionary War heroes (1775-1783). Did he ever think that I would be visiting his grave and would make a record of it? Highly unlikely. The thing I think about most when I see these graves is what kind of life these people led. To be sure, it was difficult, more difficult than we in the "modern age" could ever imagine. But I think it was more genuine as well. Life and death were all too real back then. People worked hard, but they worked at the business of living. Nowadays, too many people push pencils and run around in aimless circles. What would our ancestors think of us if they could see us now?
|The Revolutionary War grave of Colonel James Hunter.|
Of course, the Red Paint People were in Maine from 3,000 to 1,000 B.C.E. They were given this name because of their elaborate burials that used red ochre. After them came the Susquehanna people, who were hunter-gathering communities, and they were the first to use pottery. By the time the Europeans came, Maine was inhabited by the Wabanaki people, including the Abenaki, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscots. What might they have said to the "young upstarts" from Europe--those very same people who seem so "ancient" to me? Ah, time is a fickle mistress who keeps playing tricks on me.