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September 22, 2016     Clinch Valley Times
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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, September 22, 2016 sealing wax.. by Ann Young Gregory Our beautiful surroundings Reprinted from October 11, 2007 Most of us are probably so used to living in this incredibly beautiful part of the world that we seldom pay little, if any, attention to the scenery. It's difficult for those who do try to be aware of our surroundings most of the time to decide whether Spring is the pretti- est season, with its blooming trees and pale green leaves, or autumn, with golds and reds and yellows and oranges sparkling from the trees. Summer, when the mountains are covered with fully-leafed trees, is also a contender, and I could even manage to find a vote, were I called upon to cast one, for the stark beauty of winter- time. With my current schedule, I have been required to drive to Bristol and back three times every two weeks for almost the past year. One sunny morning (the ones that haven't been sunny have certainly been the excep- tion rather than the role--odd summer!)but anyhow, one sunny morning, as we were driving down Route 19 between Hansonville and the Holston River, it struck me that although "John Douglas Wayside" is a house- hold phrase, and virtually everybody around here knows exactly where it is---occasionally using it as a landmark to describe the area to someone, I had not a clue as to who John Douglas may bei-or may have been. Since the Intemet has something about everything, no matter what, I decided to take advantage of that won- derful resource. Although my Google search revealed multiple websites, the only resource of any substance, which showed up at almost all of them, was a three- page section of an unpublished manuscript by the late Emory L. Hamilton. Titled Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, the three pages about John Douglas were apparently specifically named "The Slaying of John Douglas at Little Moccasin Gap" for inclusion on the Intemet. Emory Hamilton lived in Wise, and he and the late Luther Addington were great friends and both were avid historians and writers. Through Allen, I got to know Emory Hamilton years ago, and he was understandably quite an interesting man (as was Luther Addington, one o,f my favorites). Rhonda Robertson, who did such remarkable historical research and writing to help celebrate Wise County's Sesquicentennial Year in 2006, was apparently instru- mental in getting the Emory Hamilton work to the Intemet. Mr. Hamilton's paper includes little information about why John Douglas, who was killed on July 5 or 6, 1776, was so well regarded that someone at some point in time provided funds for the "John Douglas Wayside" which exists in the median of the modem four-lane Highway 19 on the way down the mountain toward the river. Hamilton's paper concludes, from a letter he researched that Captain William Russell wrote to Colonel Preston in July, 1776, that Douglas was proba- bly accompanied by William Benham, a friend, on the way from Abingdon to the "Clinch settlements." The two men had presumably stopped at Little Moccasin Gap, where they were probably, he said, sitting on a rock eating their lunch, when a rifle shot was heard and Douglas was killed. (Another possible story is that John Douglas had been visiting friends and relatives at Holston, and was turning to the Clinch with William Benham--when he was killed.) Eventually a bronze plaque was placed on the rock, probably by the D.A.R., Hamilton noted. The plaque was just east of the spot where the "John Douglas Wayside" exists today. Emory Hamilton noted that he could find no confir- mation that John Douglas lived in Abingdonl although the best information available indicates that he did. He was young (no age available, either), and unmarried. His parents, Edward and Sarah George Douglas, lived on a 400 tract of land on both sides of the Clinch River at the Flour Ford in Scott County. The Douglas family and that of Captain John Blackmore had intermarried. John Douglas' sister Sarah was married .to Thomas Blackmore, a son of Captain John Blackmore, and Almore Douglas was married to a Blackmore daughter in 1779. Short of a few more details about family members, that's about all that I was able to find about John Douglas. My next quest was to find just where Little Moccasin Gap is located. Best as I can tell, it's "between the North Fork of the Holston River and Castle's (not "Cassell's") Woods. Another website narrowed it down to "between where Route 58 crosses at Hansonville and the Holston River." It must be at the top of-----or on the way down-- the mountain, near where the John Douglas Wayside itself is located. (I did find that Big Moccasion Gap is called "the gateway to the frontier," and that it is "one of the most important historical landmarks in US and American his- tory. It was through this Gap in the motintains in SWVA between today's Weber City and Gate City, that over 200,000 pioneers and settlers had crossed by 1810 on the journey to the Cumberland Gap and Virginia's coun- ty of Kentucky.) It's still a mystery, however, at least as far as I'm able to discover, why John Dofiglas was so remem- bered. After all, how many hundreds--thousands, maybe----of early settlers were killed by Indians or maybe political or other enemies. Few of them, far as I know, have had such memorials built asthe John Douglas Wayside. It's an attractive little shelter in the highway's median. Although I've never stopped there, it appears to be equipped to accommodate picnickers. Unfortunately, the John Douglas Wayside area is known as a speed trap (I also learned that--and the fol- lowing---on the Internet), and is listed in several much more unsavory websites as a spot where one may meet--how may I put this delicately? where one may meet persons of the same or other sex for purposes of an illicit relationship. How unfortunate! I prefer to forget that, and to think of the John Douglas Wayside as part of our beautiful surroundings which someone used during the past 230 years, give or take a few. to acknowledge the existence of a memo- rable young man. Why this wants a strong R publican Party by Lee H. Hamilton I've been a Democrat all my life. I believe in the party's values, I'm pleased when its candidates win elections, and I'm persuad- ed the country is better off when Democratic ideas get a fair shake in the public arena. But none of this means that I favor a weak Republican Party. Indeed, just the opposite. Before my Democratic friends drum me out of the party's ranks, let me explain why. The short answer is, our nation is stronger and our representative democracy healthier when we have two strong parties. A single political party that's able to dominate public policy- making undermines the give-and-take that's crucial to effective policy: and leaves us weaker as a coun- .try. Why is this? Let's start with the big picture. If you think about the issues we confront -- from the impact of climate change to the fight against terror- ism to rebuilding an econo- my that serves poor and working families as well as it does the wealthy -- it's hard to argue that a single perspective or ideology really has all the answers. None of us, and neither political party, has a monopoly on wisdom. Moreover, this country is huge and varied, and the legitimacy of the political system rests on its ability to give voice to the multitude of concerns and attitudes held by the American peo- ple. Some prefer the GOP's approach, others the Democrats', but it's impor- tant they all have a political party to turn to. The more people feel that no one rep- resents them or their views, the more alienated they become from the demo- cratic process. So the country benefits when two robust parties face off- in elections, in Congress, and in the 50 legislatures. When they can present their views, defend them, adjust them, and negotiate, compromise, and move forward, we're being well served. Which brings me to the Republican Party of today. I don't want to get into the split between backers of Donald Trump and the tra- ditional Republican leader- ship -- that's for the GOP to sort out, and they cer-. tainly don't want the advice of an old Democrat. But there's no doubt that the Republican Party has reached a crossroads. If Trump wins the presi- dency, he'll be the chief actor in determining the future of his party and what it stands for. If he loses, the GOP will more than likely move back toward its more traditional views as a party that embraceslthe free mar- ket, advocates for a muscu- lar approach to national security, believes in American exceptionalism and our role in leading the world away from chaos, is filled with fiscal hawks who think that we have to curb entitlement programs, and pays attention to a business community that believes trade wars especially with Mexico or China -- would be cata- strophic. I suppose I'm showing my biases here, but I believe that a robust Republican Party will strengthen its willingness to improve and broaden the policy debate and move it away from steps to impede it. This would be a GOP that advocates for limited government, wants to reform our unwieldy tax code, and is determined to remain fiscally responsible so that deficits don't explode. I want to see Republicans tackle our healthcare system by reforming it using market mechanisms. I want Republicans to confront regulations that hamper the formation and growth of businesses, especially small businesses. And I want them to remain inclined toward devolving power away from Washington, giving states more control over such basic responsibilities as highways, welfare, and education. Each of these issues has been at the center of the national agenda for many years,, suggesting their dif- ficulty. We need proposals from both sides that are realistic, coherent, and based on numbers that add up. We need parties that are at the top of their game, generating solutions to the issues we confront that can get vetted in Congress, and be amended and reshaped to reflect the realities of a divided country. And we need parties that are pre- pared to negotiate to move us beyond our current grid- lock. This can best happen when a healthy Republican Party is competing with a healthy Democratic Party. And at the moment, that's not what we're seeing, Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. Copy: Monday 3 pm 1 2 noon Norton man pleads guilty to using a com- munication device to solicit a minor Christopher Keith Kiser, age 25, of Norton, pleaded guilty before Circuit Court Judge John C. Kilgore to using an elec- tronic communication device to solicit a minor and expose his sexual or genital parts to a child under the age of 15, in the Wise County Circuit Court. Kiser pleaded guilty without a plea agree- ment; thus, a judge will determine how many years he will serve in the peni- tentiary. He faces a total maximum penalty of 10 years incarceration. The plea comes just a week before the case was scheduled to go to trial. Had the case proceeded to trial, the Commonwealth was prepared to prove that on or about February 6, 2016, Kiser began commu- nicating via the intemet with a 12 year old female. The communication between the two included images of his sexual or genital parts and solicita- tions. The case was success- fully brought to a conclu- sion through the efforts of Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp and assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Newberry. Slemp commented, "The interact is an amaz- ing tool that allows us to keep in touch, communi- cate information and ideas across the globe, and expand our knowledge. Yet, the intemet and social media also can be a danger to young people." Slemp explained, "This case is an example of how easily children can be exposed to explicit images by online predators. We hope the court sends a clear mes- sage with this case to those who would try to use the intemet to prey on inno- cent children and we hope that it will remind parents of the need for tools to pre- vent that from happening here in Wise County." Slemp stressed his appreciation for the dili- gent efforts of law enforce- ment to protect children from abuse & neglect. "We want to thank the efforts of the Norton City Police Department, the UVa-Wise Campus Police, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their assistance in this case." Kiser is scheduled to be sentenced on December 15, 2016. ,ll Clinch Valley Tinaes MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Times serves the four-county area of Wise, Russell, Dickenson and Scott, g4th offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building, 16541 Russell Street. Periodicals postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283 Alien Gregory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: ha advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell C.otmties; $30.00 in other 24-zip-codes; elsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, EO. Box 817, St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY - 50c Classified Advertising: mini- muna charge $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. 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