The hand of fate is a silvery wisp. Its fingers often do not leave prints. It's movements discernable only though the lens of time if at all.
Thus it came to pass that on the Mayflower's voyage to the new world there was among the one hundred and thirty-two passengers and crew on board a man named John Howland, who was crossing as an indentured servant.
One morning in furious storm as the Mayflower lay heave-to, John Howland desiring of some fresh air came on deck. The ship was thrown by a rogue wave and Howland was thrown overboard, grabbing at a line at the last moment before he fell off the ship lost forever to history and his voyage. Though he was carried far beneath the waves of the storm driven ocean, Howland held on long enough for the crew to pull him back on board.
It is no hyperbole to say that the whispery hand of fate may have placed that line within Howland's grasp, because nothing less than the survival of the United States of America was at stake on that stormy day in 1620.
Howland survived the crossing, and thrived in the new world.
He married a young woman named Elizabeth Tilley after working off his indentured servitude. Tilley and Howland had ten children who in turn produced eighty-eight grandchildren from whom, over the next four hundred years over two million Americans would descend. Chief among the descendants of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley were:
Poets Ralph Waldo Emmerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Joseph Smith-publisher of the Book of Mormon and founder of the Later Day Saints religion; Dr. Benjamin Spock- renowned pediatrician; President Franklin Roosevelt whose steady hand and inspiring leadership took the country out of depression and led the free world to victory in World War II; Actors Humphrey Bogart, Chevy Chase and Alec Baldwin; and President George Herbert Walker Bush, whose own son George W would also go on the become president and nearly pass on when choking on a wayward pretzel.
When you're eating your turkey this Thanksgiving, remember that our country was founded by a group of religious outcasts. Unable to worship their lord as they wished in England, they set out in -dare we say- a migrant caravan headed for what someday would become America. Unwanted. Unwelcome by most of the natives. Strangers in a strange land. The Pilgrims endured almost unspeakable hardships those first two winters to place roots and start the colonization of North America. And chief among these unwanted migrants was a man named John Howland who by chance grabbed a line moments before being thrown overboard and drowning, and thus went on to start a family that has seen three presidents and two million of his ancestors enjoy the blessings of posterity the path to which was blazed by Howland and his group of Migrants. Unwanted in their home of England, and unwelcome in a new land called America, these Migrants changed the world for the better.
Happy 🦃 Thanksgiving.
JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG
WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.