The Question is Often Asked,
Yet God so loved freedom, that He gave it to us,
The following letter, written by David Morgan, was to an old friend and comrade of war, John Stafford in 1778. Itís about Freedom ...and few speeches have said more.
When we were harried in the Hills of Cove and went wretched in the blow of winder winds with no food for our bellies and no clothes for our backs and the price of our disloyalty, if traitors we would be, was all that our miserable hearts could desire. Food, clothing, beds, cash for our pokes, wine...and above all the blessings of King George the Idiot. And what sustained us then? We were all cowards then, John. Remember that! So what kept us at nibbling at frozen roots and burrowing our beds in the Devilís Cove briers, what kept our thoughts on our poor little withered hopes?
Was it God? God was on our side I canít doubt it. But Godís favor is never easily won. God is always on the side where the last hard to find drops of courage lie. We thought of God constantly and we prayed when we could. But it was not God who kept us loyal.
Nor more was it love of kith and kin, of sweethearts or friends, nor was it our love of Country and Flag. For we had none then. It was not our wishing to keep the things we had, for we had so little. But I need not to tell you what it was. We all then knew what it was. For the taste of Freedom was on the tongues of our souls and it was a good and heady taste, wasnít it, Stafford? And we loved the Hope that it gave us even more than we loved our lives. For not a one of us was there who did not say at one time or another in that cold and hungry time that here, indeed, was something worth dying for. When we thought of it, Freedom, we walked up straight and strong in our bloody rags and sang Hallelujah!
Freedom, Stafford, that was our witching word, our Holy Word, that was what made our magic for us. Freedom! Freedom to worship as pleased us, work as we saw fit, learn as we thought proper, to own land, to own ourselves, and know that no man must put himself or be put by others above the least of us.
In those awful days when we ate from the same root pile and wrapped our bloody aching feet in the same icy rags and smeared our wounds with the same cold mud, and whispered together in the same dark deathly hours. Our ideas locked hands in true agreement then. We saw eye to eye then, John.
Have you changed, Stafford? Have you found Freedom too heavy and too hard to bear? You knew as well as did I and the others what a wearisome burden Freedom would be and that it would not lighten with the years, but would wax heavier as our souls became lighter and our backs became stronger. Pray, God, you havenít changed, dear old friend.
We need you and your boys, Stafford. The call went out to you days ago. We are waiting for you at Prickettís. I pray God that you will see fit to conduct yourself like the man you are or used to be. We are about the getting of ourselves a country here, and I want you to be able to call it your country and I am already calling it mine.
Remember what we used to say, John. The old bulls always run ahead of the herd when the little weanlings beller for help? The little weanlings are bellering now, John. Stafford, if you fail to answer this call I think it will break my heart.
Your friend until death, D. Morgan" (Now and Long Ago, by Glen Lough & Jean Morgan family history)
When this letter was delivered to the Stafford home on Cheat River by John Ice, John Stafford and three of his sons ...were already on the march.
"They that would give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety,
As David Morgan said, Freedom brings with it a wearisome burden. Make the right choices and youíll become stronger, like unto your Heavenly Father. Make the wrong choices and it will cost you dearly. Make no choice and you will stay weak and timid. Remember there is One who came to do the will of His Father and show you the way.
So what say you?