Monday, August 15, 2011

Joys of Historical Research: The Battle of Hayes Pond

Hi writer friends,

I am beginning to write a novel about North Carolina.  Incidents that I half remember from when I lived there keep coming up in the back of my mind.  Then I have to see what the public record shows about these half-memories.  This week, I recalled that while I was in high school, the Indians of the coastal region of NC surrounded a Ku Klux Klan rally and won the fight with them hands down.

I remember that the Klan was unpopular, even though there was a lot of racism in my whites-only high school, and that people passed around gossip about the Klan's defeat with great glee, even people I knew had racist attitudes towards black people.  The fact that the Klan behaved like terrorists, hitting at night, keeping their identities secret, and trying to win by intimidation, probably accounts for why my fellow students rejoiced in their loss of the battle.  I hoped to find out more about this event, and turned to the internet to find some sources I could order.  Most sources seemed to be newspaper and magazine articles, at least as cited in the Wikipedia article.  Now I'm really tempted to use this incident in my novel!

Have you ever included real historical incidents in your fiction?  How do people react to that?