Greeting to our cousins;
It is with admiration that I read the Sinclair list emails this morning. The insights of many fine minds is always refreshing. Rob's piece on the state of the historical appreciation in Nova Scotia is one which I can readily identify with from my experience. There is something about the Canadian mind set that shuns recognizing individuals and historical events even when they are "Proudly Canadian" (the Wallmart Cdn logo). So until today I had not appreciated the education from Laurel on early aviation history. This attitude of accepting only what is well known will take some serious educational efforts to change. So let me underline in a simple 'monotone' that there is information out in the Maritimes to be explored, studied and analyzed.
I agree the the Government of Nova Scotia has permitted and assisted in a great deal of cultural destruction physical and otherwise. Thay are also experts in underplaying and under serviceing tourist destinations. But there exists bare boned facts of geographical import. as a challenge for the academic community and for scientists wanting to increase mandkinds knowledge of itself.
One can offer some examples; Oak Island is and remains for the academic community something unknown. Factually it exists, it is and remains a tantalizing mystery that should bring educators around the world to solve. Engineers, historians and archeologists would have a field day. Instead it is the subject matter of lawsuits, physical destruction and even physical artifacts like authentic cannons left to rust in swamps.
New Ross (Reference to the Castle) has old foundations, a old well and at one point a great deal of interest. It was / is on private land and owned by retirees. There is physical evidence waiting to be either destroyed or discovered and the site is quite ancient. Save for the writing of some authors, there is nothing that links this site to Sinclairs from an archelogical perspective. But for Ramsey's profession not even a bunch of summer students were to be found to tackle this project in a scientific way. I am sure that the Massachussets sites are suffering the same fate.
There is an historical plaque in Louisbourg attesting to the Sinclair voyage, but I have no appreciation as to why historically it is there. The cannon identified in Andrew Sinclairs book is there in Louisburg but is a reproduction model only and while it does does attest to the existance of cannons before 1400 the importance of cannons of the 1400's to the site is undocumented.
My point is that there is a wealth of knowledge waiting to be learned about some important cultural and social history. Even the discovery process would bring wealth to the maritimes. If one expands this thinking over the great pond, I suspect there are a couple of doctoral thesis to be had simply by studying Rosslyn Chapel from an archetectual and engineering perspective, or from a social and religious perspective and / or from the historians and archeologists perspective.
Now there are two challenges faced by students. One is that rocks and stone carvings are hard matters to deal with. They can not be carbon dated and hence when documented archelogists are looking for something more to authenticate the carving, building etc. Who knows when the New Ross stone framework was laid? The stones can't tell us.
The second challenge is that there is an academic arrogance to field study and especially on matters that do not bring research grants. This has left the field open to "uncredentialed historians and reseachers who are showing the Academic community in a poor light over and over as remaining significant players. The disciplines of History and Sociology are in decline relative to other fields of study. Having said that the scientific approach may also be a victim in the process when academics and an academic approach are excluded.
So my thought is this. On the list we have a number of excellent historians and scientific knowledge workers. Is there a way of harnessing this global energy co-operatively to advance our family history at the same time as enghancing the history and understanding of mankind? We have several avenues. One is publicity and articles to some rather interesting media. Another is personal appeals to individuals in academic institutions. The third is government lobbying. Nova Scotia has a new government. I am sure many of you have good ideas as well. I commend Rob on his new explorations and insights.
Toronto/PEI/& Forever Argyll