This quote struck me as a reminder to
those of us involved in the study of
Colonial American history in general, and frontier culture and American longrifles in particular, about why historic research is a never ending quest
Novices in these areas of study tend to want simple, black and white, answers
to questions that have either gray answers or to which the answer is presently
unknown. Words like "always' and "never" are thrown about in the most casual
manner when the best response is often "it depends." It depends on time, place,
economic circumstance, culture, and dozens of other factors.
Much of what is presented as fact is in truth a hypothesis,
put forward to be
tested and proved or disproved by ongoing research. Historians who write with
this in mind use phrases like "This rifle is attributed to..." or "Based on this
documentation, we believe that..." They never know when a new document or new
artifact will turn up that totally reverses a long held belief.
on the left lead to some miscellaneous information that may prove
interesting or useful.
All articles Copyright 2007, Gary