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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 3, September 2018
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Jenny Ward Angyal
Gibsonville, North Carolina, USA

Founding Fathers

A block of granite stands halfway up the mountainside, overlooking the campus nestled below. Range upon range of the Blue Ridge vanishes into the distance, as if enfolding the place in layers of time.

Splotches of lichen punctuate the words chiseled in stone:

In memory of Joe
a slave who was taken
by the contractors
of the first building of this college
as a pledge for the debt due them
1856

I tuck a fallen flower back into place on the memorial wreath, straighten the bow. Not far from this spot, a giant Confederate flag flutters and snaps over the freeway.

gray wings
against blue sky
the cry
of the mourning dove
never ceases


Author's Note: The memorial honors Joe Anderson, a slave owned by one of the original trustees of Mars Hill College. He was jailed as collateral until the trustees could scrape together $1100 and save him from the auction block.

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