The Carpenter Papers, Volume 1: The Approaching Storm
A Forward by Walter Stone Hines, Professor of History, History Department Chair, The New Yadkin College, Yadkin College, North Carolina
In a world still recovering from the effects of the Second Dark Age, you may wonder how we can spare effort for such things as History. A better question is "How can we not?" The George Santayana quotation, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." must ring true with us, the descendants of those who survived the Second Dark Age, lest our descendants find themselves in a Third.
At least a few of our forefathers must have been concerned about history, since they left diaries, journals, books of observations, maps and even poetry as their legacy to an uncertain future. More than a few begin with "I hope that someday someone will find this". Far too many end with thoughts that their end is near, and they would try to protect and hide their work "in hope that someone, someday, will find it." Some have been handed down, generation to generation, like family Bibles, while others have been found by those who work to reclaim this continent.
One family that devoted great efforts to chronicling their struggle for survival was the Carpenter family. Residents of the Yadkin College area, they survived the decline, the hard times of The Second Dark Age and are now helping rebuild both the local community and the State of North Carolina. During this entire time, various family members recorded their experiences, thoughts and hopes. One of the founding families of The New Yadkin College, they have generously allowed historians such as myself to invade their privacy and read these works.
The story that the Carpenter Papers, as we historians have come to call them, begins in the 1960s AD and continues to the present day. Told from many different viewpoints,in many different ways and with many different voices, the Carpenter Papers are an important source of information on the history of the Yadkin College area for a period covering over 300 years. As I write this, various Carpenters continue adding their words to the collection for future historians to reference.
This urge to write seems to be a Carpenter family trait. Starting with the author of the first journal, Thomas Wilson Carpenter, generations of the Carpenter family have committed their stories to computer, then paper and now computer again. In doing so, they have documented the large pictures and small works of history, as well as their own fears and aspirations. As historians and human beings we owe them and those like them, who took (and still take) time to perform this service, a debt that we can not repay.
We of The New Yadkin College and the Yadkin Publishing House are honored as well as pleased to present the Carpenter Papers to a larger audience. Beginning with this volume, we hope to bring out one or two volumes per year, bringing this wealth of knowledge to a wider readership. We start with this volume, The Approaching Storm, which contains a selection of the writings of Thomas Carpenter and his children, Thomas Jr., Anne, Jeremiah and James along works by Thomas's wife Sarah and Anne's husband, William (Bill). Future volumes will contain writing from these Carpenters as well as their descendants. We hope you find reading them as interesting as we have.
Walter Stone Hines
in residence at The New Yadkin College
March 6, 2321 AD