Another Saturday Night Story: August 2007


Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Legend of Thomas Lacy and the Pirate

Rev. David Rice and William Rice were 1st cousins, they descend from our common ancester, Thomas Rice the emmigrant. Thomas Lacy was the husband of our 1st cousin, Catherine Elizabeth Rice. Her Grandfather was Thomas Rice the emigrant. It was Thomas Lacy who won the King's Ransom for killing the pirate "Blackbeard". Blackbeard was born between 1680 and 1690, he died 22 November, 1718.

The Legend of Thomas Lacy and the Pirate
The story of Thomas Lacy capturing a pirate, reputedly Blackbeard, has come down through the generations. The furthest back it goes is to the Rev. William Sterling Lacy, a man of outstanding character and the source of much correct information on the family. This story has been suspect because of the claims that it was the pirate, Blackbeard, who was captured and slain. This could not possibly be because Edmond Drummond, a.k.a. Edward Teach a.k.a. "Blackbeard" was born 1680-1690 and was killed 22 November 1718 in a fight with Lieut. Robert Maynard and company.

The incredibly true story has now surfaced, much of it consistent with the important facts in William Sterling Lacy's version. It was found by Gene Lacy doing an on-line search in the Virginia Colonial Records Project on the Homepage of the Library of Virginia. The Library spent the years between 1955 and 1985 visiting more than one hundred libraries and archives in Great Britain, Ireland, and France to survey the collections. They subsequently obtained microfilm on 14,704 Survey Reports, and acquired 963 reels of microfilmed documents. It was among these documents that the story of Thomas Lacy and the pirate surfaced.
First we present the story as told by William Sterling Lacy. This is taken from Hubert Wesley Lacey's book, "The Thomas Lacy III Family of Hanover and Buckingham Counties, Virginia".


Passing through the upper end of Luta Prairie about the year 1828 or '29, I stopped at the house of old Mr. Wm. Rice; he said he was 85 or 86 years of age, and brother of Rev. David Rice, one of the first Presbyterian Ministers of Kentucky. His mind was unimpaired, his memory remarkable and he was esteemed a consistent Christian man. He told me that when a small boy, he saw my ancestor who emigrated from Wales, and was then residing in Hanover Co., Va., remarking that he was one of the oldest and tallest men he ever saw; his name was Thomas Lacy. He told me his history was very peculiar, that when a young man he embarked on board a vessel from Wales with other emigrants, with a view of settling in Virginia; that during the voyage he was captured by a notorious pirate who went under the familiar name of Black Beard, but whose name was Taike; that every passenger on board was made to walk the plank with the exception of Thomas Lacy, who the pirate swore was too fine a looking fellow to be drowned and that he would impress him into his service and make a noble pirate of him.

A short time after the pirate put into Ocracoke Sound, and cast anchor on a desolate coast, where he was in the habit of trading with some lawless accomplices.
A man of suspicious character, I think by the name of Minnis, applied to the Governor of Virginia, then residing on Jamestown Island, to aid him in fitting out a large Merchant Vessel and collecting a large number of desperate adventurers with a view of capturing the pirate. He was induced to do this, from the fact that a very large reward had been offered by the British Government and several of her colonies for the capture of the pirate.

It seems that Minnis was acquainted with the habits of Black Beard and knew at what time he would be on the coast. The vessel was fitted and crew collected. Immediately on entering Ocracoke Inlet the vessel was so fitted to appear almost a wreck. Taking advantage of a favorable wind and tide she sailed slowly under ragged sailes and crippled masts to where the piratical vessel lay, only four or five men on deck making signals of distress as they approached the pirate. All the men, completely armed, hid under the hatches of the vessel. The pirate seemed amused at her slow approach, supposing they had her entirely in their power. The piratical vessel was anchored over a half mile from shore. At this time nearly half the crew were on shore trading as above mentioned. As soon as she reached the pirate she was grappled and drawn up alongside of her. Instantly all the hatches were thrown up and armed men in large numbers rushed on the deck of the pirate. At this instant Thomas Lacy drew his cutlass and shouting with trumpet-voice, "I am a true man. I am a prisoner", began to cut down the pirates on the right and left. This circumstance increased their panic and threw them into some confusion so that they were quickly overcome by superior numbers. Not one would surrender and every one was slain. Black Beard recognized Minnis and cursed him as a traitor and was soon after killed.
They then proceeded with their prize to Jamestown where the good Conduct of Thomas Lacy being reported to the Governor, he gave him a share of the prize money, and a tract of land on the frontier in which is now Hanover Co., saying he would make a fine Indian fighter. In a few years after Thomas Rice sailed from Wales and settled in the same neighborhood of Thomas Lacy. Thomas Lacy married his daughter to whom he had been engaged before leaving Wales.

This Thomas Rice was the ancestor of this William Rice who gave me the above narrative.

Signed: William S. Lacy


Song of the Week
This is one of Kayla's favorite songs, and yes...we all grew up with this song. The hope to the hopeless. From the play "Annie", "The Sun Will Come Out Tommorrow".

Have a Good Week...No Blog Next Week!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

With Pen In Hand

Theres still a place in the old land
where rails have never ground.
Where vapor trails and rooster tails
have yet to be unwound.
Where muffler's drone and telephone
are still an unknown sound.
And the Big Nianqua River has never been to town.

By Pete Rice

My father was a journalist when he was younger. My Aunt Viginia said he would write and send in articles to the Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, when he was twelve years old. They didn't know how old he was, but he would get paid for the articles. When he was older and after the War, he worked for the Daily Oklahoman, and wrote many articles. Most of these articles were sports. He covered a lot of baseball and football, and he also covered the boxing scene. It was also here that my Great Uncle George Tapscott, another writer and photogragher for the Daily Oklahoman, introduced my Mother to my Father. My father later worked for the newspaper in Enid, Oklahoma, and that is where I was born.

He quit the newspaper business, after awhile, and became a traveling salesman. He traveled eight states, and that is when we moved to Missouri, so he could be centrally located. It was here that my father fell in love with the Ozarks hardwood trees, the many rivers of Southwest Missouri, and the panorama of the dogwoods in bloom in the spring. My family camped and fished most of my childhood days. Every chance we got, we would escape the city to the wilds of the Ozarks Hills.

The "Missouri Conservationist" is a monthly magazine that the Missouri Conservation Commision publishes for residents and non residents. My father wrote two articles for the magazine back in the sixties. The first article "You Brought It.....You Carry It Home" was published September 1, 1966. The article was about littering our streams and rivers. He may have been a little ahead of his time talking about such issues in the mid-sixties. Although Ladybird Johnson and the President had enacted the "Beautification Program" in 1965. I don't think anyone was listening then, and our environment is a big issue now. Funny how things change.

The second article was called "Nianqua Patrol", published November 1, 1968. That was my birthday, and I was fourteen years old. My father was a friend of the Conservation Commision, although he was civilian, he rode with many Conservation Agents in Southwest Missouri. At times he was deputized during Deer or Turkey season, and helped the Agents with checking tags and licensing. The story is about my father and his friend, Conservation Agent Don Ross, making a float down the Nianqua River , some 60 miles in a day.

I can not post the entire stories here, but I have some highlights of each story for your musing.

You Brought It.....You Carry It Home - September 1966

My favorite time to fish Bennett Spring in the height of the season is, believe it or not, is Sunday afternoon. After the weekend hordes have departed for home, the rainbows seem to be so relieved by the sudden absence of all that hardware that they frolic in the fast water and boil the slicks of the deep holes to take almost any offering of a dry pattern or a small (size 16 or 20) unweighted drifting hackle fly. Sometimes the fish cooperate to the tune of 25 or 30 an hour. That's when I find a shady casting position and have fun. What Hatchery Superintendent Clarence Holland calls "giving the trout a sore mouth".

In just less than fifteen minutes, just circling the hole above and below the main bridge, I took a heaping tubfull of beer and soft drink cans, whiskey bottles, empty cigarette packages, motor oil cans, a mud flap off an ole jalopy, and two old shoes ( un-mated, incidentally).

When I returned to my fishing spot, I'd been joined by another fellow I hadn't seen on this stream before. He had a first-class outfit and cast a good dry fly. Like myself, he was releasing a fish about every other drift. Obviously he was no greenhorn at fly fishing for trout.

I'd learned he was a Fort Leonard Wood officer who had grown up on one of the delicate trout streams of New England and appreciated the rainbow for what he is......the most pleasurable fish in the world to outwit with a dry fly. The style he'd learned as a boy on the Beaverkill could still be cashed in on any trout stream in the world. But his attitude on litter was completely out of date.

We can sit around the mid-morning coffee and make jokes about Lady Bird Johnson's Beautification program, but lets face it: people are sometimes a bunch of hogs. And we have to start somewhere and sometime to improve the situation.

You're just one of thousands but remember the little girl on TV who preaches " Every Little Bit Hurts". Well, every little bit you pick up helps too.

Nianqua Patrol - November 1968

We're on the water before the sun gets over the ridges, three men in a 19 foot canoe heavy with the day's food and drink, plus five and a half H.P. motor. Our put-in is six miles above the Bennett Spring Branch on the Nianqua River in Dallas County.

This will be a long day. Resident Agent, Don Ross, is in the stern with Agent, Charley Guthrie, of Brookfield, on loan from the North Central District, riding his Bowman and me --- a civilian and friend of the Department, in midseat. We will check Permits of Floaters and Bank Fishermen, cut out illegal Trot Lines and keep an eye open for noodlers and evidence of Trammel Net and fish trap activity.

We glide under the big Bluff of the Christain Church Camp and no matter how often I go on this stream, I am always awed and inspired by the stark serenity of the surroundings. A huge Cross marks the Camp's outdoor Chapel a few hundred feet above us. What a place to meditate for those who come here from the concrete jungles and great Masonry Mausoleums of the Urban Communities.

Checking two boatloads of Floaters, I wonder to myself if they know how the Ozarks were formed by the leading edge of the Great Glacier in the Ice Age and whether they really appreciate the beauty that surrounds them even today in this age of man's destruction of his environment.

There is a downed Willow where I caught a three pound Smallmouth two weeks ago. I released him, as I do all the Brownies I'm fortunate enough to boat on my homemade Sassafras Lure (Buffalo Special). Largemouth are abundant here, too. On one weekend float last year, my 14 year old son and I caught 49 on Top-water Lures.

Bennett Spring Branch looms into view and we put in to eat Breakfast at my camp where my wife, Louise, has prepared Hot Cakes, Eggs, Bacon and lots of Coffee. We camp here as often as possible with our Teenagers and their friends. I can't think of a better place for them to be in this hully-gully era of sophisticated living.

If I had 50 Million Dollars, I'd buy up this long downstream stretch and the adjoining Timberland as Missouri's first State Scenic River and Forest Preserve.

This is truly wildnerness in the affluent society of today. Dallas County has never had a railroad, has no lakes for speedboaters to chrun, no hard service airplane runways, no super highways. Just a priceless heritage of hardwood forest and cold, clear spring-fed streams.

The water has cleared fast since we left Bennett and as we motor through the eddys, you can see dark forms run in all directions from beneath the speeding canoe. Fresh timber is down in every hole of water, another example of what an excellent job nature can do if we just leave the chores to her.

Here come Big Guthrie Bluff, where not only gear, but canoes and boats are frequent casualties. A steep, swift riffle catches a craft, the occupants lean the wrong direction, and before you can say square-stern, it is filled with water and wrapped around the huge boulder blocking the outlet where tons of water rush by hourly.

We sail for hours now with little evidence of civilization. Lush, green hardwoods line the banks of deep eddys flowing placidly past stark, sentinal limestone bluffs. Coon, possum, fox and deer water here and man in canoe is but a curiosity to a bonanza of birds. Too bad we can't load up the "God is Dead" advocates and bring them here where He still lives, performing daily miracles just as since the beginning of time.

A recap of the day's activity shows more than 100 Fishermen checked where but a couple of years ago, 25 would have been a big day. The people-explosion is everywhere.

When our Parks are paved with asphalt
and our streams have all been damned,
When each wondrous woodland acre
has been raped by human hand.
Oh, where will we take our children
when they ask if they can go
To see old Mother Nature
And the wonders of her show?
I dont know. But it bugs me!
By Pete Rice

Song of the Week
I think that my father and Cat Stevens had the same vision. "Where do the Children Play", song and lyrics.

Where Do The Children Play?

Well I think it’s fine, building jumbo planes.
Or taking a ride on a cosmic train.
Switch on summer from a slot machine.
Yes, get what you want to if you want, ’cause you can get anything.

I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass.
For your lorry loads pumping petrol gas.
And you make them long, and you make them tough.
But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can’t get off.

Oh, I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you’ve cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air.
But will you keep on building higher
’til there’s no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Have a Great Week

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sick and Tired

The big story this week is the collapse of the I-35 Bridge in Minneapolis, MN. I can't remember in my lifetime a bridge collapsing here in the United States, without knowing exactly what made it collapse. We have had bridges fall after earthquakes in California, and the bridge in Oklahoma collapsed after being hit by a barge. At this point it is still a mystery.

Hard to believe that this could happen in America. Where is the money for these bridges that are defecient? Why did they not have sensors on these bridges to measure weight and stress?

I read where some states have been categorized with having more bad bridges than other states. Oklahoma, for instance, is the worst. But now let's look at the facts. Most of Oklahoma is considered rural. There are only two big towns in Oklahoma, and most of the bridges there are Interstate, and well maintained by federal money. I know this for fact, because I-35 has been under construction in Oklahoma since I was 14 years old. There is only one main river that runs through Oklahoma, most of the bridges that cross that river are also maintained by federal money. There are alot of creek beds, with bridges, and most of these creeks don't have but a trickle of water in them for most of the year. This is the similar siuation in Kansas. There are alot of wood bridges, railroad tie bridges, some of these bridges built many years ago, but only the locals use them.

Some are saying we can spend all this money on the War in Iraq, but here in America our bridges are falling down. I wish that was the only problem we have in America. I have a long laundry list, just like every other American.

There was the movie "Network" (1976)...........the classic line was "I'm sick and tired, and I'm not going to take it anymore".

I'm sick and tired of Americans not able to afford healthcare, or buy there medicines, while healthcare and pharmaceutical companies enjoy windfall profits from high margins.
I'm sick and tired of Americans going hungry, especially our American children.
I'm sick and tired of Americans who keep voting for politicians that talk out of both sides of their mouths.
I'm sick and tired of Americans fighting Wars for the rich folks.
I'm sick and tired of Americans being spat on from other countries.
I'm sick and tired of Americans listening to this nasty music called Rap.
I'm sick and tired of Americans who don't like each other because of their race. Get over it...we are all in this together.
I'm sick and tired of Americans who don't speak english.
I'm sick and tired of Americans who continually want to sue somebody for something.
I'm sick and tired of Americans being reactive instead of being proactive.
I'm sick and tired of Americans who say they are American, but continue to fly their own flags.
I'm sick and tired of Americans who call themselves Gangsta's, who think they can go around killing others.
I'm sick and tired of Americans who are in power, who think they are above the law.
I'm sick and tired of Americans in the workplace wanting something for nothing.

Something is wrong!!....I'm standing straight up and the world is turned upside down!

There is a local story of a 13 year old boy who patted his girlfriend on the butt at school. He is being charged as a sexual offender.......WHAT?.....What about those guys in the NFL??

"I'm sick and tired, and I'm not going to take it anymore".

Song of the Week

Rufus Wainwright has put out some great music. This weeks song is one of my favorites from the Shriek Soundtrack, "Hallelujah".

Have a Good Week