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5 more proofs and more
My salutes to your side of the pond and your insights are as always valued. Thank you indeed for taking the time to comment on my additional 5 points. My insights come from a different perspective and that from an individual that is based in Canada and hence one who sees history as it is reflected on this continent and taught in this corner of the world.
I am also an avid reader and a fair thinker. I love history and geography. From the legal perspective I work at what evidence will persuade a reasonable man to come to a conclusion as to a given set of circumstances or
To respond to you for the list, let me immediately suggest I am not at this point an original researcher. Nor do I have the skill of an archeologist such as Ms. Ramsay. I have not visited the sites first hand either like Tim or Niven or Rory or Laurel. I have to say in great shame that I have not been to Scotland ( yet!)
Like most lawyers I view things as a professional that is handed the facts and I study as many other sources as I can in order to study the case before them, make a reasoned approach and assert what they have before them in the way of a case. So, for that matter, does everybody else in life.
I also have great respect for those on the list, but distinguish those that do specific research and come to the conclusions they do, with those that have not done original research and can only comment. My deepest respect goes to individuals such as Niven, and Ian and Laurel who take a patient reasoned and longer range perspective from those on the list such as I, (that do not yet have the time to focus in the detail required). You have a prodigious amount of Sinclair knowledge and I do copy and value your detailed emails.
Let me start from something to some will be controversial, but it is not intended to be anything other than illustrative. In this world it is easier to deny the existence of anything than to assert the positive of anything. To deny the existence of something is simple. He or she never happened, this never happened and so on. Prove Henry did not build Newport Tower. You appreciate the logic. With 100 theories it is easy to deny 99 of them. Indeed it is extraordinary and simple to deny such and such and that is that. But if we stop for a moment and really think about formulating and then looking at an hypothesis, then we have the starting point and can ask the questions in a more scientific manner.
I need to illustrate my point a little with the readers patience.
Let me illustrate from the historical rabbi whose birth commenced circa "anno domini". I would point to many of the arguments used on this list and the lack of sustainable logic to similarly prove that even Jesus was a myth, that the walk on the shores of Galilee never took place and that as he never existed, what he did or said never took place. Prove he existed or walked on the shores. It is simple, no direct evidence therefore no walk right? No documented proofs, even far less evidence right? Would I be wrong in doing so? I have to conclude that if I look at the history and archeology that exists pertaining to the historical Jesus we have almost no proof of anything. Indeed contemporaneous direct evidence is almost non existent. A simple denial is easy.
Yet I assert that this would be wrong academically, historically and from the known and available evidence. Yet would we so simply end that story there, we would do a great disservice to the billions of individuals who live their daily lives assuming that yes Jesus existed. Indeed we have good and sufficient evidence that not only did he exist but that he walked along the shores of Galilee and was subsequently executed. To do so, we rely on the best evidence we have to date which comes largely by way of oral and written traditions. These traditions and stories have, and continue to be, studied to this day. Some come at the resolution from faith, some from science and so on. But knowledge is advanced all the while and if I may add so should it be. Will people treat the evidence differently. Yes absolutely. They will in some cases continue to kill for it, so strong are the passions that can arise from history. Mankind does this regularly and the current discussion actually ties not into middle eastern history but into the origin of the first inhabitants of North America and links to our discussion of a voyage being made by one Henry Sinclair.
So the proper series of questions is not what evidence do we have that Henry built the tower which is the wrong approach, but rather what archeological evidence is there that points to the creation of the tower being constructed by Europeans and that if it is so constructed it is probable or likely that Henry Sinclair probably or likely was the architect.
For this (and not to bore the list) good evidence does exist based on measurement and design and the development of architecture on the sea board of North America. Do we have a date? This is harder because "stones do not talk" other than how they appear. Sadly no University has yet seen fit to my knowledge do a study of the edifice. So is it possible that he was one of the original builders, yes. Do we have proof yet as to designs? No. Do we have similar architecture elsewhere? Do we have other theories, yes. Are they more probable or possible, I do not know. Are there similar structures? Not in North America to my knowledge. If stones could speak we would know, but until then we must study forms, shapes, purposes and likely hypothesis.
Now Sinclair what you have experienced in your culture is not the same as experienced in the Province of Nova Scotia. " The red Indian story" phrase in North America would get you strung up by your thumbs for the language alone and run out of town by the Federal Government and start half a dozen lawsuits in the Maritimes. We all must be very careful about the language we publicly use and we are looking at one specific tribe of peoples that were culturally advanced in democracy and had ocean going transportation. They occupied a large area and for as far as we know lasted several centuries in relative peace and prosperity.
The Mik'mack Indians do not treat their oral traditions as "thin". Discounting a peoples social history even though it is oral is a wee bit arrogant. Is this mythology evidence? Yes, evidence that also requires study and evaluation. Is it consistent with the hypothesis, absolutely. Is it capable of being studied? Yes. Indeed it is consistent with other traditions of aboriginal peoples further south such as Pocahontas from Disneyland. Yes absolutely from oral tradition originally. Both have a ring of truth because the Indian traditions which handed them down are as accurate as some translations coming from a common source. The stories may evolve differently perhaps but all pointing to a common origin. Yes the Pocahontas story is also substantially true. Disney borrowed it as did Longfellow who adapted it from legends which, surprise, were true.
So can I comment on the issue of lasting effect from the voyage of Henry Sinclair? I come from a perspective that treats every human life as having a value and an effect. Most individuals in this world will not have much 'lasting effect' and most of what we do will only have an effect to others in their lifetime. Indeed it is those that observe that can judge the length and breadth of the effect. On another opportunity I will comment perhaps in greater depth on the importance of such a journey as that of Prince Henry. His is a story that is part of a larger story as most biographies are. To simply discard it does a disservice to all voyages that followed the northern route, the role of Henry and the history of the North Sea countries.
Some of this has to do with the simple timing of events. There was in 1398 little need for conquest of territory. Fiefs and kingdoms were based on very local geography and the ability to control individuals situated on the land. Land itself had no value until later. What was on the land mattered. So there was no claim of land in the name of any country, king or power. Perhaps that alone is one good story the world should have learned from this voyage. Did he have the same impact as John Cabot? I suggest socially the same, politically less impact. But on average about the same all told as many of the initial explorers given the context of the period of history they lived in. But the world was different in the 1500's when Cabot " discovered the new world".
Was it a remarkable piece of exploration and voyage? Absolutely. Does the duplicated anniversary voyage of the past year deserve accolades? Absolutely. Did it change the world, perhaps a little but the settlements in Newfoundland and Greenland are also of import, although not a trace of a living soul remains. Do we discount or write off the Greenland Settlement. Not to a good historian. Was his an important voyage though? Yes indeed. Are there lessons to be learned, again yes.
Can I comment of the Battle of Hastings? Sinclair, not in my field of knowledge so not at all really, but I will not deny it occurred nor that Sinclair's were involved. (There is one ancient list that documents all this and I leave that explanation to those such as yourself that are far more knowledgeable than I. I too am only aware of one Robert St Clair mentioned but this is memory only and others wiser than I should comment.) You are closer than I to this knowledge.
There will always be those that deny evidence, even the evidence that exists. There are those that take a shred of proof and build a massive case of nothing. We will always have those that claim the moon landing never really took place, that aboriginal peoples are all ignorant and that black history should not exist. I shudder at those that discount economic and social history in favor of political history only and ignore the totality of a picture of mankind's development. The earth is flat and so on. Till the end of time we will hear such people. And yes there are those who will develop mythologies and archetypes of which our current history is full of. History will always be ripe with revisionists and new angles and truths. But they will be out numbered by the greater masses of individuals like you and I that value reason over emotion and treat knowledge and wisdom with the respect it deserves and apply reason and evidence together which we hope is sustainable over time. Reasonable men may come to different conclusions in reasonable fashions. They can do so with greatest respect. Rarely is unanimity ever reached to the satisfaction of all.
I too have looked at the evidence presented. I can certainly examine it more and am ready to look at other evidence of good substance. From all that I have seen and read thus far, I am satisfied on the balance of all probabilities that an individual called Henry St. Clair (and in history carrying various titles), did make a voyage circa 1398. In my 5 additional points I add to the wealth of offered wisdom that this was not a voyage inconsistent with such a voyage having been made. Indeed the circumstantial evidence is such that indeed it was highly likely that such a voyage was made. Is this 100 percent certain? No but substantially enough to be 100 percent reasonable to assert and defend.
Is there no chance that it might not have been made? No it is not, there is a small doubt. But neither is it that certain figures walked on the shores of Galilee.
Is it logical based not one any one piece of evidence both the accumulated direct evidence taken as a whole and in light of the circumstantial evidence giving rise to the hypothesis? I respectfully assert that there is. Does that end the discussion? No, in so far as any truth can always be further examined. Should further academics be brought to bear? Of course. Can new knowledge be sought? Of course. Can I persuade anyone who has seen the same evidence as I that they are wrong and I am right? No I can not. They may see things very differently. I respect and value their right to say they disagree. In turn I am of the reasoned view that the evidence would convince a reasonable person and reasonable people on the balance of what we can understand of the fact of the voyage. Future examiners shall be our judge. Future light of new discoveries may be brought to bear.
I do not take credit for the 5 additional "proofs". Those wiser than I and better funded have attended to this. It is a perspective of history that is Canadian and neither French nor American. Do I offer these proofs with a sense of integrity and understanding. Absolutely. Do I borrow from the wisdom of others. Absolutely. Do I expose myself to the best secondary research I am capable of. To my knowledge yes. Do I draw reasoned conclusions from all that is presented. Yes.
I am proud that some crazy Scot with Viking roots followed the scary pathway of others to travel into strange waters for adventure. I have no hesitation in raising a glass to Henry and all of those Sinclair forebears that took the way less traveled, that tried to do something in their lifetime and left in the winds of time a small yet valuable legacy which we all in turn through our lives shall add to. Do I believe that there was a purpose to the voyage? Yes and assert that one likely hypothesis is a search for special lumber sources. Did he find this? No or it was not exploited commercially. His story was stopped by violence as sadly are so many stories, so we never will know what might have been. Were their other supporting documents beyond what we have? Maybe and likely so. Do the exist now? Certainly not in the Sinclair legacy that we know of. Is there a place for new original research here? Most definitely.
Warmest salutes across the pond from a Canuck with some insights from this side and in greatest respect for all that offer views and ideas offered with integrity. I would sign off in French which as I have shared with you is our second official language, but alas Toronto's second language is Chinese! Keep well Sinclair and the ice wine coming! Salutes to those on the list that seek truth in respectful ways.
of the City of Toronto, Canada,
formerly with ancestors of the Isle de Jean then
from the glorious Argyle land of the Campbell's
and somewhere before from a crazy Viking that lost their way!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sinclair" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt- continued with 5 more
> Dear Neil
> Accepting that Henry went to America what evidence is there that he had
> anything to do with the Newport Tower or for that matter that his voyage
had any lasting effect. The Red Indian story seem thin.
[ Excess quotations omitted. ]