9/6/10

THE FORERUNNERS

by Reed M. Holmes

I can see Jonesport stretch out eastward along the Reach. In imagination, I can see a three-masted bark, with sailors casting off lines at the old steamboat wharf. The date is August 11, 1866. It is 10:30 a.m. Brand new, with not a barnacle on her, the Nellie Chapin is putting out to sea. The tugboat Delta strains away under a controlled head of steam a few yards forward and to port. Three shouts from the combined voices of 157 passengers are echoed by three more from the chorus of several hundred voices along the wharf and the shore. The Palestine Emigration Society is on its way to Jaffa, and G. J. Adams is soon to secure a reputation as prophet—or a charlatan.

George Jones Adams led that colony to ruin—or glory, whichever it may prove eventually to be. It was something to be forgotten by the offspring of those who had gone. A careful search proved otherwise.

This is a compelling story, unique in the annals of American history.