Revisionist History is troubling for an author like me. How so? My passion is to make Scripture and history come alive for my readers. And I truly believe those who don’t learn from the past, are bound to make the same mistakes in the future. And I am a truth teller. And a lover of history. And most frustrating of all . . .
my most polished and submission-ready Middle Grade Historical Fiction takes place at the Chicago World’s (dare I say it?) Columbian Exposition in 1893. It’s obvious I have a passion for history — especially American history. But evidently, we can no longer revere Columbus for his discovery of the Americas. Now his name is tainted, due to new information. They say he had more than honorable motives for his discoveries. Here is a blogpost which mentions the latest view of teaching traditional history in the classroom: Click
And what has been the most precious piece of history to an American citizen? Or has been up to now? The first Thanksgiving. Recently, the pilgrims have come under scrutiny for their part in enslaving and murdering the Native Americans. Or at least, considered guilty partners in a chain leading to those unfortunate events in our country's expansion. Since it's been only a week since Thanksgiving, let's examine the event a bit more. . .
Who Were the Pilgrims, really?
But, if you read any original documents (which is what you want to base your views on - not from Wikipedia or hearsay), you will discover these pilgrims had a high standing with the public in England, Holland and America. In fact, they were the persecuted ones. Why? Because they believed God created all men equal. This belief did not bode well alongside the "divine right of kings." Now you see why they fled England. What sovereign in his or her right mind would want to give up the throne for a democratic society?
It's becoming clearer. These pilgrims (also called Separatists) fled first to Holland, where they were accepted with open arms and given freedom to worship and raise their children with Biblical principles. Because they were such honorable citizens, they got along well with others, and made a name for themselves. The pilgrims would never have come to America, had they not seen their offspring slowly adapting to Dutch morals and society, losing the sense of who they were: English first - then law abiding, truth loving, compassionate people with a strong faith.
First Hand Accounts
In his book, "The Pilgrim Chronicles: An Eyewitness History of the Pilgrims and the Founding of the Plymouth Colony," Rod Cragg reveals the character, morals and goals of these sojourners. You can find an interview with the radio talkshow host, Janet Parshall here. Cragg quotes many of these original documents he so meticulously gathered and studied. A former journalist and historian, and at present is an adjunct professor of history at Coastal Carolina University, Rod Cragg is well-versed in historical facts, digging deep for the truth.
So How Do We Handle Revisionist History?
But really - who is perfect other than God himself? Don’t we all have skeletons in the closet? Things we are less than proud of? To be sure. So this is my question (or maybe plea) to the Revisionists: Can’t we take the good part of a man's (or woman's) accomplishments and honor that? Or, is that person doomed, never to see the light of day in history books again?
Let’s be Reconsiderationists. Let see the good in history and elevate it. Then draw out the skeletons and talk about them. Make students think. What happened to them and why? What would they have done differently if they were in this person's place?
What do you think? Which side of the controversy are you on? Can we eliminate the bad, and elevate the good? I'd love to see your comments below . . .
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.