Of Myths and Certain History

Some of my readers might know that I live near the #1 city park in the USA.  You might also know that I volunteer there.  The Garden of the Gods park is one of my very favorite places and I totally enjoy my Monday afternoons when I can share the park with visitors.

By now, you’re asking what this has to do with 1775.   Hold on, I’ll get to it.

This formation in the Garden of the Gods is called the Kissing Camels.  As you can see, the humps on the camels are not even close to the same size – heck one hump isn’t even on the same rock.  So, from some vantage points you can see a humpless camel.  This has led to a rather common myth – that one of the camels humps broke off.

Recently, we had a gentlemen visitor that told anyone who would listen, in great detail, about the lightning strike back in the 70’s that took out that hump and sent rock crashing down into the park.  If truth were measured by certainty, this story would have been 100% true.  Problem is, there is zero truth to the tale.  That rock formation has been the same at least back to when the park was donated to the city in 1909.  I had to follow after the storyteller and let the staff members know that his story was pure myth.

So, here’s the point.  I was recently engaged in a discussion about whether British troops were housed in civilians homes in 1775 against the homeowners wishes.  I have always heard that they were.  This scholar said I was wrong.  He assured me that the source documents are clear on the subject.

Maybe I am wrong on that one.  I do try to verify my facts with source documents if at all possible.  But the reality remains that it’s a wonder that, 240 years later, we can find anything even resembling the truth.