Finding Rutherford (Working title) Act I

Moonlight string band plays an overture of songs that will appear in the show. When string band plays Blackberry Blossom Mayor (actor) is at a podium stage left in costume, actors enter from back, come down center and outside aisles. All greet the members of the audience. Take stage.

Actors get in position and talk to each other as if old friends. Music: Blackberry blossom continues Mayor circa 1900: addresses the actors first

Hello there....Great to see you.
So good to see all of ya'll.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of the community, lovely representatives of the ladies auxiliaries. I would like to begin my address to you all today, with a request that you look around you, here at this square in this town. All of the businesses, the dining establishments, ...of course the courthouse.

Music changes to Rights of Man

and I can't help but think about past businesses, the people, the stately mansions, the cabins before the mansions, and before that the woods...

Mayor: Mr. Stone here saw this place, passed through here. You are Mr. Uriah Stone?

Long Hunter Uriah Stone: Yes, my name is Uriah Stone. I first came through here in '66 with Joshua Horton, and his servant, a mulatto boy, James Smith and William Baker. They named this river after me here, I guess it just stuck. It looked a sight different then. We explored all around, south of Kentucky, the Cumberland river, the Tennessee river, from here up to the Ohio, and then up to Illinois. Used to didn't look like this around here though...

Mayor: Is it true Mr. Stone that there were Buffalo here? Can you tell us about that?

Uriah Stone: Buffalo? Yeah. Lots of 'em. Not hundreds...thousands. I reckon they came here for the salt in the springs. I have seen them so thick... also saw it too when the damned French used 'em for target practice...just cut out the tongues, maybe a bit of tallow. We walked on a carpet of buffalo bones. Made me sick... and I was a trapper. One time, I mistakenly was working with this Frenchie...worked 6 months, trapping, getting the best of furs and pelts...we was going to take them down to the Cumberland, then up the Ohio and down the Mississippi..., 'ceptin just as we were about to leave, I come out of the woods, and the boat and Monsieur Frenchie were gone...Out on the frontier, your word was your measure. Six months out and not a thing to show...I walked home disgusted with myself to Virginia, dodging Indians. Taught me a lesson about thinking that you know somebody. But came back the next year and the next. I built cabins, sold 'em mostly. We even went down to New Orleans one year...found that boat, but no Monsieur Frenchie... had a cabin...hmmm a few miles from here on the river... Loaded up a boat by myself that time, set out for New Orleans...

Mayor: From what I heard you were last seen, loaded up, headed for New Orleans and were never heard from again.

Uriah Stone: You seem to know a lot about me Mr. Mayor. You can think what you want... some secrets of the dead are better left mysteries... It was a different time... a dangerous time. If you came here looking for land, and didn't expect to fight for were mistaken.

Music, The Rights of Man ends

Candace sings Jenkins story to the tune of Star of the County Down...

My grandfather Jenkins and another man
Crossed the mountains just two friends alone
They were trapping for furs they were looking for land
When the camped on the river Stone

He made up his mind
He would never find
A more beautiful country to stay
So they returned home, with the dreams of the Stone
and the home he make one day

In Virginia, it's said
That the news soon spread
Through the county of Loudoun around
And the neighbors and friends
came to hear again
of the place that the men had found

They all left in the spring
You could hear them sing
As they walked through the mountains of green
And they dreamt at night of the glint of the light
On the creek they'd never seen

(Candace will finish song)
After each song the cast applauds.
Music transitions to Star of County Down without lyric

Mayor: Did you know that there are three Rutherford Counties in three different states, all named for the same man? A man of action and bravery. Well... he did not merely join the revolution. He was one of those daring souls who made the revolution. I imagine he knew this tune as it swept the colonies

Music: Free America, to the tune of British Grenadier, a marching song sung by cast and singers

Lift up your hands ye heroes and swear with proud disdain
The wretch that would ensnare you shall lay his snares in vain
Should you abandon all her force would meet her in array
And fight and shout and shout and fight for North Amerikay

Torn from a world of tyrants beneath this western sky
We've formed a new dominion, a land of Liberti
The world own we're masters here, then hasten on the day
Huzzah , huzzah, huzzah, huzzah for free Amerikay

All cast applaud after song
Music: band plays Planxty Drew (Irish song)

Griffith Rutherford, older man dressed in Colonial costume, speaks with a slight Scots/Irish accent. has the look of a man who has seen many battles.

Griffith Rutherford: Of course I heard that song. Sang it myself...fought with brave men who sang the song and believed in it. ... lead 2400 men against the British allies, the Cherokee. The British paid them for our scalps, them and the murdering Shawnees. I had no doubt as to the need for the final destruction of the Cherokee Nation. Had we not punished them when we did, the war might have had a different outcome. Lost my eldest son at the battle of Eutaw Springs I was wounded myself at the battle of Camden and spent a wretched year in a British dungeon, barely surviving the lack of food, the filth, the disease, was released in a prisoner exchange and came back to preside of the surrender of the British at Wilmington, shortly after the surrender of Cornwallis, and what a glorious sight that was. I came here to survey a border with North Carolina, and decided to sell all I had, and came back with my family with thirty wagons in 1792... It was close to civilized by then.

Music: Irish song ends irish drum continues

Rutherford: Had some land here I sold to Charles Ready. I guess he had a mill that some of you know about... Still a bit a trouble with the Black Fox down there at his camp.

Black Fox: Cherokee in regalia stands up speaks

Black Fox: Brothers, the intruders on your lands rejoice in the success that has crowned them. They are planting fruit trees and ploughing the lands where not long ago stood the cane break and the clover field, where not long ago the buffalo ranged, who are so swiftly leaving. Was there a voice in the trees, or a voice in the waters, every part of this country would call on you to chase away these ruthless invaders, who are laying it waste. Unless you rise up in the strength of your might and exterminate their whole race, you may say goodbye to the hunting grounds of your fathers, to the delicious flesh of the animals with which they once abounded and to the skins with which you were once enabled to purchase your clothing and your rum....

Rutherford: There was some story that when Back Fox was cornered, the others in his party were dead, he dove into the spring with his rifle and never surfaced. These springs they are connected, and there is talk that he surfaced down at the Murfree spring... I myself wouldn't doubt it.

Mayor: It would be unfair to pass without taking notice of a friend of mine.... Peter Jennings, a free man of Color, had been a sailor in the English navy, before enlisting in the Continental army in 1776. His regiment was under the direct command of George Washington. Peter was a first rate baker. His bakery was in his house on the corner of Vine and Church right over there. Could make bread, ginger cakes...

Peter Jennings is sweeping with a broom ...has an apron on.

Way up she rises
Way hey up she rises
Way hey up she rises
Earl-i in the morning

Mayor: Now Peter, tell the good people here, just like you told me....when did you enlist in the Revolution?

Peter: 1776 it was. I was with the 5th regiment of artillery of blacks, and we joined up with General Washington at West Point and then went up to Saratoga.

Mayor: Did you really cross the Delaware with Washington?

Peter: Well, sir, yes...yes I did. It was so bloody cold, ice everywhere that ... well, the other Generals couldn't get across at all, so we had to go it alone. It was Chrisrmas night 1776, it was... They was Hessians mostly...they were surprised, yes they were...we killed a lot of em, took prisoners, but the best thing was the taking of cannon, the guns, and the food... whole thing lasted only about 45 minutes.

Mayor: What was Washington like in battle Peter...?

Peter: He was sure of himself. Calm. He would yell, "Come on Boys," and we would follow him into battle. I'd follow him to the bloody gates of Hell and back. And he never did get wounded. When we attacked at Germantown, I was with Lafayette in battle, when he was wounded, I think in his right leg. I think General Lincoln was there, yes he was... after that we marched to the winter quarters of Valley Forge. Now that was cold.

Mayor: And you were there when Cornwallis surrendered?

Peter: Yes, sir. It was the 18th of October, 1781, I think... The British general he rides up forward to give General Washington his sword ya see...But it's not Cornwallis...he sends in his second...Says Cornwallis isn't feeling well.

Cast reacts to insult and boos

Peter: So this Irish General rides up to offer his sword. But General Washington, he won't take it. General Lincoln and him agreed on this afore hand. General Lincoln rides forward and accepts the British sword. All the time the music plays, and the Brits ground their arms...After that we marched to Winchester Virginia with the British prisoners...Cornwallis was in that bunch. Then we were back at Yorktown, the war was over and I was mustered out. Yes I was, yes I was ...

Mayor: Thank you Peter.

Peter goes back across the bridge singing...

Way up she rises
Way hey up she rises
Way hey up she rises
Earl-i in the morning

Cast applauds
Music: Hunters of Kentucky popular war of 1812 song

Mayor: And the populace settled in to building our town, our courthouse. Was even the state capitol for a while. It was a boom town then...Andy Jackson once rode all night on his best fast horse just to get here and put his name on the ballot for senator... Then Jackson becomes this hero of the Battle of New Orleans. And then he needed a campaign song....

Music: The Hunters of Kentucky (rousing song)

Ye gentlemen and ladies fair,
Who grace this famous city,
Just listen if you've time to spare
While I rehearse a ditty,
And for the opportunity
Conceive yourself quite lucky,
For 'tis not often here you see
A hunter from Kentucky.

Oh, Kentucky, The hunters of Kentucky
Oh, Kentucky, The hunters of Kentucky

You've heard, I s'pose, how New Orleans
Is famed for wealth and beauty,
There's girls of ev'ry hue it seems,
From snowy white to sooty;
So Pakenham he made his brags,
If he in fight was lucky,
He'd have their girls and cotton bags,
In spite of old Kentucky.


But Jackson, he was wide awake,
And was not scared of trifles;
For well he knew what aim we take
With our Kentucky rifles;
He led us down to Cypress Swamp,
The ground was low and mucky;
There stood John Bull in pomp,
And here was old Kentucky.


A bank was rais'd to hide our breast,
Not that we thought of dying,
But the we always like to rest,
Unless the game is flying;
Behind it stood our little force
None wished it to be greater,
For ev'ry man was half a horse,
And half an alligator.


They found, at last, 'twas vain to fight,
Where lead was all the booty,
And so they wisely took to flight,
And left us all our beauty.
And now, if danger e'er annoys,
Remember what our trade is,
Just send for us Kentucky boys,
And we'll protect ye, ladies.



Mayor: In 1827 there was a young woman who had just married at the the age of 16 and wrote a diary about what it was like to cross the mountains with her new young husband and visit the Jackson's at the Hermitage ...

Music: 17 year old Mackenzie sings Julianna Connor song

Juliana's Wedding Trip 1827

'Twas early on a summer morn when first I left my home
And bid adieu to dearest hearts that I had ever known
Seated by my own true love, our journey just begun
With the morning clear, and the rising of the sun
In the crossing of the mountains to the hills of Tennessee
On the winding rocky roads that were the steepest I did see
The summits soared above the clouds and vied ethereal blue
And we saw the world, from a most enchanting view

And the grandest scenes where we have been
And people we have met
My wedding trip through Tennessee
I never will forget

We entered into Nashville after such a weary ride
To the handsome buildings built of brick
and streets so straight and wide
To a public house, the best in town, so fashionable and fine,
With an elegant piano, where I loved to pass the time

One afternoon when we arrived 12 miles or so from there
General Jackson and his lady were descending down the stair
And she took me in her garden for a moment of repose
And showed to me her kindness, and gave to me a rose

The General is a gentleman in highest of degree
With a spirit of dispensing liberal hospitality
You'd think I'd known him all my life, he put me at such ease
He captured up our very hearts, with manners meant to please

The dinner that was served us was so splendid and refined
I felt so privileged the way that we had spent our time
The General proposed a toast to all our absent friends
A reverie fell on us all, the evening at an end

And the grandest scenes where we have been

And people we have met
My wedding trip through Tennessee

I never will forget, I never will forget

Cast applauds

Mayor: We're going take a short break, bout 10 minutes, so ya'll stick around and we'll see you in a few minutes for the next portion of our presentation...

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