Friday, March 31, 2017

I couldn't let March of 2017 pass without acknowledging the 300th anniversary of THE STORM OF 1717, an event which shaped Dauphin Island's future as certainly as any other event in the island's 318 year recorded history. One year after this storm which closed Pelican Pass trapping three French ships in Pelican Bay, Bienville and his men left Dauphin Island in March of 1718 on a mission to establish a city for the first time on the lower Mississippi River. That city, New Orleans, fulfilled the French dream of establishing the dominance of New France upon the Mississippi River as it had been established earlier on the St. Lawrence River in Canada. Next year New Orleans will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding. All of the men who founded New Orleans came from Dauphin Island. Check out Peter J. Hamilton's description of THE STORM OF 1717 from his 1913 book, MOBILE OF THE 5 FLAGS @
I've decided to pursue a soundtrack for a ferry ride from D.I. to Ft. Morgan and then another soundtrack of a ferry ride from Ft. Morgan to D.I. downloaded on Ipod or recorded on CD.
from page 94 of Hamilton's MOBILE OF THE 5 FLAGS:
"The Storm of 1717.
Meantime in America the elements seemed to be conspiring to aid Law in his plans. The old dream of La Salle had been to make the Mississippi River in the South what the St. Lawrence River had been in the North—the centre of a French empire. Sailing ships of that day, however, could not ascend the Mississippi and the banks near the mouth were not suitable for habitation, and thus it was that Mobile and Dauphine Island with their higher lands had developed as the joint capital of the colony. The town without the port would be worth less and the port without the town would be helpless. Both had grown and flourished together.

There have occasionally been great storms about Mobile Bay, but one which came in March, 1717, was the most momentous of all. Three French ships had arrived, the Duclos, Paon, and Paix. The Paon entered the harbor at Port Dauphin as usual by the twenty-one foot channel, but while the other two were lying outside there came up a great storm. All rode it out in safety, but the wind which spared the ships acted upon the Gulf in such a manner as to close up the channel with sand, and the Paon was imprisoned This was merely inconvenient for the ship, because after her cargo was unloaded she was lightened so as to draw only ten feet and it was possible to take her around to the channel at Mobile Point, where she rejoined the other vessels. But the effect upon Port Dauphin was lasting. Vessels drawing over ten feet could no longer enter the harbor and its usefulness was gone. The effect upon Mobile itself was as great; for the life of any port depends upon the depth of water to the sea. The importance of all this was not at first realized. Ships still came and were to come for years; but they had to anchor outside the harbor and not only was it difficult to land their cargoes from the open sea, but the vessels themselves were at the mercy of every storm.

There had already been a change in the colonial government, for these three vessels had brought out the appointment of Bienville as governor for the time being and Hubert as commissaire, thus superseding Cadillac and his officials. Bienville received the Cross of the Order of St. Louis, an honor which he had long soughſ, together with a grant of Horn Island near Biloxi as his own property. This was done by Crozat himself, for Law's Company, although planned, was not organized until August of this year. Nevertheless Bienville and Hubert had to take the situation in hand and make plans for the future."

A TUSCALOOSA BICENTENNIAL ROMANCE from Matt Clinton's TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA: Its Early days 1816-1865, page 24: "He (Dr. James Guild) married Agnes, a daughter of Marmaduke Williams, who had represented Tuscaloosa County in the Constitutional Convention of 1819. His son, Lafayette Guild, served on General Lee's staff as medical adviser." Both the Guild-Verner House (1904 University Boulevard) and the Marmaduke Williams House (907 17th Avenue) still stand in Tuscaloosa. Both Dr. Lafayette Guild and his wife were at Appomattox and both of them accompanied General Lee and his army as they traveled back to Richmond after the surrender.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I've got a new plan on the D.I. BOAT TOUR SOUNDTRACK. Instead of trying to put together an excursion on a private boat, I've decided to pursue a soundtrack for a ferry ride from D.I. to Ft. Morgan and then another soundtrack of a ferry ride from Ft. Morgan to D.I. downloaded on Ipod or recorded on CD. I need to time the ferry ride and identify times when and points where historical/natural history commentary would be appropriate. In between the commentary would be where music would be appropriate. Anything from PROUD MARY to A PIRATE LOOKS AT 40 to YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT  but the theme does lend itself to TROP-ROCK. I haven't finished anything new but I am honing up on Little Dauphin Island/Pass Drury geography and history since the ferry ride begins at BILLY GOAT HOLE. Let me know if you have any ideas about music for the soundtrack. Why don't you come down to the island one day and I'll buy ya a beer and I'll show you around? The ferry ride is 5 bucks round trip and I'll lend you a bicycle.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

You also might remind the BBC Brits that THE GREATEST MILITARY ALLIANCE the world has ever known, the United States & Great Britain, began in the water off Dauphin Island on February 13, 1815, when Captain Sterling of the HMS Brazen arrived at the anchorage of the British fleet off of Dauphin Island with news that a treaty of peace had been signed by the two countries on December 24th in Ghent.
Please make sure you forward this link to your BBC Brits so they can invite Queen Elizabeth and King Phillip to come to Dauphin Island so they can see where their great grandchildren's collateral ancestor, Captain Robert Cavendish Spencer distinguished himself in combat. Captain Spencer commanded the HMS Carron during the 1st Battle of Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point, He commanded  the seamen landed during the 2nd Battle of Ft.Bowyer. He was the spy and scout who discovered the route from Lake Borgne to the Mississippi River for the British and he was in charge of taking the fugitive slaves from Dauphin Island and Apalachicola to the Bahamas, Nova Scotia and Trinidad.