At the round earth's imagin'd corners

At the round earths imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, Angells, and arise, arise
From death, you numberlesse infinities
Of soules, and to your scattered bodies goe,
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
All whom warre, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despaire, law, chance, hath slaine, and you whose eyes,
Shall behold God, and never tast deaths woe.
But let them sleepe, Lord, and mee mourne a space,
For, if above all these, my sinnes abound,
'Tis late to aske abundance of thy grace,
When wee are there; here on this lowly ground,
Teach mee how to repent; for that's as good
As if thou’hadst seal'd my pardon, with thy blood.

-- John Donne

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

06: van den Dorpe

The Weird, The Wild, The Southeast: a Tourist's Guide
by Jonas Birdsong
(Copyright 2006)

[Excerpt from entry on Donnetown.]

Diederic van den Dorpe led a bizarre life, exhaustively examined elsewhere by people with letters after their names. But all you, the tourist of the odd, need to know is: 1) Van den Dorpe came in 1661 to what was then Virginia, and immediately bought a donkey and a large wooden cart; 2) He founded Donnetown in 1666, the first and only Flemish settlement in the English colony of Carolina (using the English naming style in deference to his poetic idol); 3) He established all essential elements of government in that same wooden cart, which his faithful donkey Libertine hauled all over the settlement thrice weekly; 4) Donnetown did not legally exist until 1690, when for obscure reasons James II granted it a charter.

And, 5), which is the entertaining part. The charter included provisions for "the continuance of such peripatetic governance." To this day, Donnetown City Hall is contained in a 59-foot long semi, driven around the town's single freeway loop by Deputy Mayor Ricky Ticcavi (infamous for responding to irate citizens by parking City Hall in front of their house and leaning on the air horn until they come out).

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