8th June 2020

The Strange History and Legend of the Moran Moor

Chapter Sixteen. History,  An Indisputable Record

History is written with or without the consent or agreement of the participants. The record is at the mercy of the chronicler, open to alteration, coloration, bias and personal prejudice. Ancient history was often written in stone, quite literally, a form generally beyond editing, only erasable by finite destruction. With such records authenticity is immaterial, the simple process of generational translation and repetition takes such narratives from possible fiction to probable fact, from make believe to indisputable authenticity. Hence the sieges of Troy move from imaginative Grecian myth to indisputable event, with all extemporized characterizations and societal overtones, the improvable legend of creationism appears a wondrously practical explanation of wholly incongruous and haphazard organic development.

This trail of mouthwatering breadcrumbs leading from a beginning of sorts through the morass of rumor and questionable realities to a conclusion of questionable validity is that which we describe loosely as history a branch of learning considered by many the province of the intellectual or philosopher, but more correctly the occupancy of the artisan, the builder, those individuals who leave inadvertently their physical traces upon artefacts and of course the land. A stone mason with but one miss stroke of his hammer can change the course of perceived events irrevocably. Intellectuals, philosophers, politicians may control the shape of current events, but it is the mason, the artist, the scribe, that myriad of uncelebrated and fundamentally invisible artisans who record and describe them for perpetuity.

Julien Lasalle-Bargossa’s place in history is an interesting example of the vagaries that purely recorded notations can produce. An easily followable figure for much of his early life, mentioned in record, ledger, narrative and log, his later major accomplishments, his miraculous survival from shipwreck, his place as father to a whole tribal branch of indigenous peoples, his position as the only possible rightful claimant as original settler to an otherwise uninhabited island are shrouded in legend, myth and rumor.

We can only speculate what part the mixed race nature of his relationship and offspring had upon the recognition of his position and rights of possession, as we can only wonder why the Samish peoples were carefully excluded from any considerations or privileges under early agreements and treaties, yet somehow the bad taste of conspiracy remains long after that meal is eaten, digested and dispensed with.

Descendants of Julien and Two Moons still live around the Puget Sound, work as fisherman or boat builders along the shoreline and multiple river outlets. Can what was filched or swindled be reclaimed? Can a proud people reclaim their heritage?

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