FYI December 04, 2021

On This Day

1619 – Thirty-eight colonists arrive at Berkeley Hundred, Virginia. The group’s charter proclaims that the day “be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Berkeley Hundred was a Virginia Colony, founded in 1619, which comprised about eight thousand acres (32 km²) on the north bank of the James River. It was near Herring Creek in an area which is now known as Charles City County, Virginia. It was the site of an early documented Thanksgiving when the settlers landed in what later was the United States. In 1622, following the Indian Massacre of 1622, the colony was for a time abandoned. In the mid 18th century, it became known as Berkeley Plantation, and was long the traditional home of the Harrison family. In 1862, amid fighting in the Civil War, the area was the scene of the creation and first bugle rendition of present-day “Taps”.[1]

Berkeley Hundred was a land grant in 1618 of the Virginia Company of London to Sir William Throckmorton, Sir George Yeardley, George Thorpe, Richard Berkeley, and John Smyth (1567–1641) of Nibley. Smyth was also the historian of the Berkeley group, collecting over 60 documents relating to the settlement of Virginia between 1613 and 1634 which have survived to modern times.

In 1619, the ship Margaret of Bristol, England sailed for Virginia under Captain John Woodliffe and brought thirty-eight settlers to the new Town and Hundred of Berkeley. The London Company proprietors instructed the settlers that “the day of our ships arrival . . . shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of Thanksgiving.” The Margaret landed her passengers at Berkeley Hundred on December 4, 1619. The settlers did indeed celebrate a day of “Thanksgiving”, establishing the tradition two years and 17 days before the Pilgrims arrived aboard the Mayflower at Plymouth, Massachusetts to establish their Thanksgiving Day in 1621.[2][3]

On March 22, 1622, Opchanacanough, head of the Powhatan Confederacy, began the Second Anglo-Powhatan War with a coordinated series of attacks against English settlements along the James River, known in English histories as the Indian massacre of 1622. Nine colonists were killed at Berkeley. The assault took a heavier toll elsewhere, killing about a third of all the colonists, and virtually wiping out Wolstenholme Towne on Martin’s Hundred and Sir Thomas Dale’s progressive development and new college at Henricus. Jamestown was spared through a timely warning and became the refuge for many survivors who abandoned outlying settlements. A myth about the March 22 date was that it occurred on Good Friday. This is incorrect.[4]

For several years thereafter, the plantation at Berkeley Hundred lay abandoned, until William Tucker and others got possession of it in 1636, and it became the property of John Bland, a merchant of London. By this time, the area had become part of Charles City Shire in 1634, later renamed Charles City County.

Giles Bland, son of John Bland, inherited it, but he was hanged by Governor Sir William Berkeley in 1676, after participating in Bacon’s Rebellion. Confiscated by Governor Berkeley, the land was purchased in 1691 by Benjamin Harrison (1673–1710), attorney general of the colony, treasurer and speaker of the House of Burgesses. He died at age thirty-seven in 1710, leaving the property to his only son, also named Benjamin.

The Berkeley Hundred was the next plantation down river from the Shirley Plantation.[5]


Born On This Day

1865 – Edith Cavell, English nurse, humanitarian, and saint (Anglicanism) (d. 1915)
Edith Louisa Cavell (/ˈkævəl/; 4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915) was a British nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination and for helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, for which she was arrested. She was accused of treason, found guilty by a court-martial and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. Her execution received worldwide condemnation and extensive press coverage.

The night before her execution, she said, “Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.” These words were later inscribed on a memorial to her near Trafalgar Square. Her strong Anglican beliefs propelled her to help all those who needed it, both German and Allied soldiers. She was quoted as saying, “I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved.”[1] The Church of England commemorates her in its Calendar of Saints on 12 October.

Cavell, who was 49 at the time of her execution, was already notable as a pioneer of modern nursing in Belgium.




Paul’s friend grew up in McCarthy and gave Paul a copy of Tom Kizzia’s Cold Mountain Path. Paul is reading it, sharing excerpts with Carmen and myself. It is excellent.

The post below is from our friends, Dave & Ann Eilers. I found the “towards the end of life conversations with loved ones and pets who have passed” very intriguing.

UPDATE 12/02: (oops, put the wrong update-date on this yesterday) We stayed with mom through yesterday (Wednesday), then returned home. On Tuesday night, I started coming down with what I believe is some kind of flu (tested negative for covid), so thought I should go home. Ann followed me home a little later. Meanwhile, my aunt found mom a 24/hour elder-home run with a limited number of tenants run by a nurse that is just a few minutes from my aunt’s house; it sounds like a nice place for mom to stay for a while. It is by no means cheap, but they take and accompany her to doc appointments and offers a doctor that will make visit the house. All this will relieve huge burdens on all of us.

Several times during the past few days mom didn’t know where she was. When I brought her back from the hospital on Friday (and I won’t get into how difficult it was to get her into the truck at the hospital), I wheeled her into the house, then the kitchen. She slowly stood up with my help and using her walker, then shuffled towards a back glass door that leads to the back deck. I asked where she was going. She said she was trying to figure out how to get into the house. I said we were in the house. She then asked how she could get to the kitchen. I told her we were in the kitchen. Eventually, she got her bearings. But, these moments of confusion, of having no idea where she was at while in her home of 55 years, happened multiple times over the past few days.

Today, I feel better, but don’t feel 100%. So, I’m on bedrest.


(11/30/2021) Our quick 2 day jaunt to Seattle on Friday has turned into much longer stay. So, things remain on hold on the jeep side of things.

Mom wasn’t taking her LASIX regularly, which led to absorbing water and puffing up. So, not long after we arrived, we were off to the hospital. She stayed two days there, where they managed to get her fluid levels down, but even with lasix and Spiro (short for another drug that helps eliminate water build-up), her heart isn’t keeping up. So, we have her on some bed rest in the hopes we can lower some of the new swelling (not as bad as she was Friday).

Making predictions on how this will play out is difficult. But, one of the best pieces of wisdom we got from one of Ann mother’s doctors was that if the patient’s health decline is over months, the patient likely has months left; if the decline is over weeks, she likely has weeks left; if the decline is over days, she likely has days left. We believe we are well into the weeks category and will plan accordingly.

One the interesting note I read the other day was from a hospice nurse of 6 years, with also 9 years of ICU experience. She said that often folks who are about a month away from passing will imagine seeing or talking with loved ones who have passed or beloved pets, I found it an interesting read, one that’s been consistent with our experiences:

eWillys: Robert Max and The Long March Home
Edible Alaska: #20: Let’s make cookies!
By Crystal Ponti, Narratively: The Flying Santas Who Airdrop Christmas Cheer to America’s Lighthouse Keepers When a 1920s aviation pioneer launched a thank-you project for the families that keep coastal ships safe, he propelled a tradition that’s lasted longer than he ever imagined.






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