New Bern:1710 in the Carolinas by Jimmy Cherokee Waters (Currahee Books trade paperback, 328 pages, $11.95)
A new book, “New Bern, 1710 in the Carolinas,” gives fresh insights into what life was like for our early ancestors. Author Jimmy C. Waters use diaries, property deeds, news accounts and history books to tell the story of struggles with disease, wars with Native Americans, pirates and hardships in growing enough food to feed this settlement. On more than one occasion the future of this new colony (North Carolina) was tested and it survived largely due to the men and women who faced challenges, heartbreaks and setbacks but would not be defeated.
This book weaves a story around the Bender family, a young boy whose parents die before seeing their new home. Using real-life characters the novel ties together historical events in a highly readable way we haven’t experienced since the late Inglis Flecther’s 1940’s Carolina series. There is much to be learned about the Tuscarora War, the influence of pirates and the difficulty of travel within the state.
On more than one occasion I found myself wanting to draw comparisons between those first colonists and people today, wondering if we could endure similar hardships. Lessons learned from early settlers might be worth learning anew. These stories are our stories; every generation faces challenges and we can both celebrate those brave men and women on whose shoulders we stand while taking comfort in knowing that they survived and thrived under conditions much worse than we will ever know inspiring us to persevere in meeting our challenges.
These comments were exerted from a newspaper article by Tom Campbell that appeared in the Star News, Wilmington, NC on May 6, 2010. Mr. Campbell is a former assistant state treasurer and is creator/host of N.C. SPIN, a weekly statewide television discussion of North Carolina issues that airs at 5:30 a.m. Sundays on WILM-TV.