This month we want to feature the birth of Koreshan John Sargent, but also we want to feature an item that has been in the archives for a long time, but has now been studied and re-typed, cleaned up, etc. etc. Park volunteer, Dr. Joan McMahon worked on Marie McCready’s, “Memories, Memories- Days of Long Ago”. We are including a link to it. The introduction states:
Five McCready children lived at the Koreshan Unity for most of their lives. This narrative was written by Marie, who was about 11 years old when she arrived in Estero, Florida in 1897. Words in brackets […] are notes that help explain concepts. These are her memories, compiled when she was about 80 years old. She writes,
“Acknowledging the inclination of the older generation to reminisce and recognizing the disinclination of the younger sometimes to hear the stories, we have arrived at this solution of the problem: We will write our memories and, though consideration and good manners might require you to listen, there is no law which says you must read.”
You can read this ineteresting document by going here. The article is in PDF format.
The month of March brings us to Springtime in Florida. After a few weeks ago, Spring really means something this year. This month celebrates the birth of John Sargent who was born 169 years ago…
According to the Membership List, compiled by Claude Rahn, Sargent was born on March 20, 1846 in Hutton Illinois. He served in the 68th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War. He joined the Koreshan Unity in 1892. He died on September 22, 1932.
The photo at right is purported to show Sargent, on the left with his “GAR” (Grand Army of the Republic) sash on.
Marie McCready, writing in her book, “Folks We Knew While in the K.U.”
John Sargent; “A civil War veteran on the Union side and, perhaps because of his beard, I could always picture him in his blue cap and uniform. Belle Cox engineered having a federal marker placed at his grave. One of Lovelle’s two favorite men there.”
He was also mentioned in some of the early Community Current Events columns in the “Flaming Sword” along with his son, John, who had already become somewhat of a noted painter. Here are two:
Current Events in Our Community Life
BY D. J. RICHARDS
On Saturday evening, Jan’y 1, a social entertainment was given at the Art Hall, which consisted of music, games, dancing, and refreshments. When the participants entered the Hall they were presented with “Good Resolution Caps” and 1916 badges. Each cap was inscribed with a word suggestive of agift or grace of character, such as: “Moderate, Cheerful, Thorough, Forgiving,” etc. Then came a New Year’s March, to orchestra music, in which all the newly decorated members participated. Some of the games were quite amusing, and the reading of “Mr. Dooley,” and “Way Down South Once More,” by Sister Berthaldine, was enjoyed by all. (Sisters and brothers do not dance together.) Mr. Paul Sargent, son of our worthy brother-John Sargent, sent his father two barrels of the finest apples grown in the state of Illinois. During the evening we were treated to some of them, which we enjoyed very much. Mr. Sargent’s visit to us a year ago is fresh in our memory, and particularly when we visit the Art Hall, because of the two paintings he left with the Unity, which are a source of joy to all. Mr. Sargent left a warm spot in the hearts of our people, and we appreciate his ability as an artist.
Current Events in Our Community Life
By D. J. RICHARDS
On Saturday, March 18, a great many of the members of the Unity availed themselves of the opportunity to visit the Boomer property, across the river, and inspect the new barn just completed. The contract was let to the Koreshan Unity; the construction was in charge of Brother Stephen Chislett, and certainly reflected great credit on him and his co-working brothers for fine workmanship, and on the Unity, in having such efficient and faithful members. Sister Berthaldine, the mother of Mr. LL M. Boomer, and her daughter, Sister Bertie, made this occasion one to be long remembered. The building was gaily decorated, and presented a gala appearance. Sister Elizabeth Robinson played a number of new records, as well as many others from her voluminous collection, on her Victor Talking Machine, which were very much enjoyed. The male quartette sang the following popu-lar numbers, assisted on the violin by Brother Harold Moreland: “Hail Columbia;” “The Battle-Cry of Freedom;” “Flag of the Free,” and the “Song of a Thousand Years.” The one thing which furnished the most amusement was the so called fish pond, inasmuch as each had to exhibit what he caught. The pond was a large clothes basket, which was out of the fisher-man’s view, filled with packages contributed by the different members. Some of the -contributions were exceedingly funny. Refreshments were served as a crowning climax, after which the members took the boat for home, with a most pleasant memory of a well spent afternoon. …On the following Monday, a picnic was arranged in honor of our guests. “The Estero” left the dock in the morning, with twenty-eight on board, bound for Carlos Point. At the mouth, of the river we anchored, and some of the brothers busied themselves gathering oysters. The tide was low, and in a short time we filled several sacks. Our next stop was the fish house, where, with a silver hook, we purchased the choicest silver mullet caught in these waters; these were cooked to suit the taste of the most exacting, and it is needless to say that everyone did full justice to the good things prepared. Brother John Sargent made a short speech, thanking us all for helping him to celebrate his birthday, he having reached his seventieth milestone. This was news to us; nevertheless, we were glad to help Bro. John celebrate. Many interesting things were recalled during the day, in connection with the Koreshan movement, which were exceedingly interesting to some of the newer members, as well as a joy to those who had passed through them. The day was all one could wish for; and having to wait till about nine in the evening for the tide, we returned home under the most glorious moonlight, feeling very much rejuvenated.
Putting the Community Current Events into an historical perspective, especially since the Koreshans believed and practiced equality for women. When the articles above were publsihed in 1916, the United States was about to experience the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. This was Jeanette Rankin. Here is the entry from Info Please:
Rankin, Jeannette, 1880–1973, American pacifist, b. Missoula, Mont. She was active in social work and campaigned for woman suffrage. A Republican, she was the first woman in the United States to serve (1917–19) in Congress and also was (1941–43) a member of the 77th Congress. She voted against the declaration of war on Germany in 1917 and in 1941 cast the only vote in the House against entering the war. A member of various antiwar organizations, she led (1968) the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, a peace group, to Washington to protest the Vietnam War.
See biography by H. Josephson (1974).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Read more: Rankin, Jeannette http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/people/rankin-jeannette.html#ixzz3SF9w5XRn