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Clyde: Salisbury started in 1755, not 1753

By Clyde

Special to the Salisbury Post

Time was, we got things right in the first place. We did our research, collected data by hand and found the answers. If we found it to be true, we passed it on as fact.

Remember the gossip game in school where you told the next one and passed it on? Now we have instant fake facts — where did we go wrong? Telling lies used to get you in trouble; today it just gets us out of trouble. Just visit the courts.

The internet generation seems to recycle useless “facts” that are meaningless, sometimes hurtful and instant (thanks to Fibrant). They have a vocabulary of 200 words. As they say, “What would your grandmother have thought about that?” The internet doesn’t tell you anything somebody else doesn’t know already. I hear anyone can input Wikipedia, and you know what they say about opinions.

Where is trust in our leaders on all levels? Old ways were “tried and true.” Right was right in the days of yore round table.

Fast forward to today. With the erection of shiny new aluminum flag poles for the City Hall facade and soon to follow new flags (made in China, no doubt), our weary city fathers can no longer turn their elected heads away and pretend. The date for the establishment of our fair town is wrong and must be corrected on our city flags, banners, granite boundary markers and plaques. A 1961 city phone book shows the new 20-year plan had been completed with new cement benches, planters and sidewalks, thanks to downtown merchants. Mr. Paul Bernhardt once said he had been on 35 parking study committees.

Just the facts: Written by James Brawley of the Salisbury Post fame on page 19 in “The Rowan Story,” we read, “April 15, 1755, the justices received part of that lot of land in the township of Salisbury whereon the prison is erected. Together with the diamond whereon the courthouse offices and stocks are erected in the center of Corbin and Innes streets. This is the first time that the name of the town is given as Salisbury.”

The redoubtable “Booty” Brawley was famous in his own right as one of the infamous four Brawley boys, none of whom was known as a prevaricator.

That’s 1755. Are you listening, city boys with the money to buy seals, mottos, T-shirts and bumper stickers? Not 1753 — that’s Rowan County’s date.

Jethro Rumple, esteemed historian and beloved minister of the First Presbyterian Church, had previously recorded facts in his 1881 “History of Rowan County.”

“The deed for the township lands is dated February 11, 1755. At that date William Churton and Richard Vigers, agents for Earl Granville, having received a grant from Francis Corbin, Granville’s attorney — conveyed by deed 635 acres of land for ‘Salisbury Township,’ to James Carter, Esq., and Hugh Foster, farmer.”

Thank heavens for history’s sake it was recorded. What will the records of today look like? Will it be Facebook and Twitter?

The powers that be know the facts, but repeatedly give the same answer. “We can fix that.” The wheels of our town turn slower and slower. “We can fix Fibrant.” How many years and how much money?

Can we fix the police identity crisis with the current staff? City council candidates come forward out of frustration.

Public comments are largely ill-willed and condemning. Many ask rhetorical questions but few offer solutions. This harangue is not polite or helpful but a distasteful and demeaning attack. Not to mention it is disrespectful to the chair.

The time has come for the good citizens to come forward. Demand the truth based on facts and to “get it right” in flagpoles and opinions.

Clyde, formerly Clyde Overcash, lives in Salisbury.

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