I am on the Cape for a good part of the summer, visiting with my mom and family and reconnecting with the summers of childhood that are imprinted so vividly on my memory. My mother’s family is from the Cape. They are Hinckleys (I guess I should say I’m a Hinckley too), and you all may remember from your history books that Thomas Hinckley was the first Governor of the Plymouth Colony. Yes, that Plymouth Colony. When I mention this, the fab daughter Sarah says I’m bragging, but why shouldn’t I be proud?
So, I’ve started to do a little digging while I’m here. Here is the deal. The Fab Hinckleys had to go to Canada because we were Tories and loyal to the crown, which we all now know was not such a good thing. I started watching John Adams with my aunt and cousin, and if there is one thing you can get from that amazing HBO series, it’s that the Founders were great—and the King’s guys, not so much.
So then of course I started to feel guilty. I wondered, if I had been around then would I have stood up for what was right? Or would I have succumbed to the lure of the trinkets the king so lavishly bestowed on my family. I like to think I would have taken the trinkets and slipped them to John Adams et al. and then been a spy and told the good guys what was happening, risking my life for God and my nascent Country. I’m exhausted just from thinking about it.
But seriously, there comes a moment when we all must ask ourselves what is worth dying for, and how brave we really are. Bungie-jumping, which I would never do, is not brave. Spying despite the risk of death is brave.
I’m grateful to have this history running through my veins, but come on Thomas and family, couldn’t you have done the right thing? And I wonder: if I were to apply to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, would they take me, even though my family fought on the wrong side? It says here that you must be a daughter of the revolution, which I am, but it doesn’t say you have to have fought for the Americans.