What Gets Churned Up?

Since I’m familiar with the blog assignment, because I’ve taken a few classes with Beth before, I thought maybe I’d start off the conversation specifically related to ENGL 432. I know we haven’t delved too far into the course readings, but I thought that I could provide some useful thoughts on some of the introductory discussions we’ve had and an interesting piece of news I came across today.

While naturally choosing to browse the internet rather than do my assigned homework, I found a National Geographic article (the link is here) entitled “The Last Ship to Bring Slaves to the U.S. May Have Been Found.” The article gives a brief history of the Clotilda: a ship that carried over 100 slaves to North America in 1860, 52 years since the Atlantic Slave Trade was abolished in the United States (and just one year before the outbreak of the Civil War). The ship was smuggled into the country and was burned after it arrived, in efforts to hide the evidence. It’s an interesting story for sure; If it piques your interest, this is the Wikipedia article for the ship.

So, while that’s a cool piece of history that many believed its evidence was lost to history due to the destructive nature of fire, it turns out that sometimes nature has a neat way of making things reappear. Here is where ENGL 432 becomes relevant. Earlier this month you may have remembered that upstate New York was hit with a “bomb cyclone” (I didn’t really understand that term either so I looked it up and that link is here).

As it turns out, the “bomb cyclone” we experienced here had a ripple effect throughout the country, and throughout the country’s history. The National Geographic article states how remnants of the Clotilda were uncovered due to the shift in water levels because of the storm. A reporter, Ben Raines, (along with the help of others) searched the water in hopes that they might find something that previously was underwater. They found parts of a wooden “skeleton” of a ship that had burn marks on it. While no one can be sure this is the Clotilda, there is definitely something to investigate now.

I know that so far we’ve been beginning to think about hurricanes, and storms, and how they not only affect inhabitants of a certain area but also the geography of an area (which makes me think of how we’ve been looking at maps). I like to think of hurricanes in terms of churning, and while they are often very destructive, it’s worth looking through the wreckage to see what gets churned up. You never know what you’ll find. (For anyone that’s still nervous about the blog, this is only one example of how a post can be structured, but at least hopefully I alleviated some of the pressure that comes with starting new assignments!)

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