Harriet Sloan Speaks at Colonial Dames 17th Century Meeting
The Deep River Chapter of Colonial Dames XVII Century held its third meeting of the year Feb. 5, at the Country Club of North Carolina.
Vice-President Lora Buelow introduced guest speaker Harriet Sloan, who presented a talk on the history of salt. Sloan grew up in Pinebluff, and after living in Raleigh for several years, moved back to the area in 1997 to live in her husband's ancestral home, built by his great-grandfather in 1891. They are currently serving as curators of the Aberdeen High School Museum, which is housed in the Union Depot in downtown Aberdeen. Sloan was presented a donation to "Friends of the Aberdeen Post Office" as thanks for her talk.
Sloan drew her remarks from two books: "Salt: A World History" by Mark Kurlansky and "Boone: A Biography" by Robert Morgan. From a very early time in history, salt was used for the preservation of meats and fish and the curing of hides as well as flavoring food. It was considered to be a valuable commodity and everyone wanted control over the deposits of salt.
Numerous words and phrases refer to salt. "Salarium" was paid to Roman soldiers in salt, today's "salary." The New England saltbox type of house was named for the Colonial salt container they resembled. The phrase "salt of the earth" refers to something of great value. Many towns were established near sources of salt such as Salzburg, Germany, and Saltville, Va. Syracuse, N.Y., was established near a salt source and is still known as "The Salt City."
Daniel Boone was instrumental in finding salt springs and licks in Kentucky and Missouri by following animal trails. For a time he was involved in salt operations in Blue Licks, Ky., and what is today known as the Boone Salt Lick State Historic Site located northwest of Boonville, Mo. The water from the salt springs was boiled down until only crystals were left.
Salt also was the cause and effect of many wars throughout history. In 1777 the Continental army was driven from Philadelphia and its salt reserves. The Atlantic Salt Works were British controlled until after the Revolutionary War, and during the Civil War the Union destroyed those same salt works to deprive the South. The Hapsburgs controlled salt in Europe during their reign, and the Nazis stored their precious loot in a salt mine. After the U.S. found petroleum while drilling under a salt dome, petroleum became today's salt in terms of controlling power.
After lunch and Sloan's presentation, president Jackie Oakley conducted a short business meeting. The state conference will be held March 12-13 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Chapel Hill. National President General Sandra Renzy will help to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the North Carolina Society. All members are encouraged to attend this special occasion.
Membership chairman, Sue Aceves, announced plans for an afternoon tea April 25. Any lady interested in learning more about Colonial Dames 17th Century may be invited.
For more information, contact Aceves at (910) 949-3609.
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