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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Milton Higgins and I went down to Easley, South Carolina last week and did "The Prince of Dark Corners" twice. This was our second trip to S. C. with the play. Two years ago, we did two performances down in Pickens to "standing room only" crowds and discovered that the audience contained a generous number of Redmond descendants. Easley/Liberty was no different. One of the peculiar items about Major Redmond's history concerns the fact that he is still a vital part of local folklore in upper South Carolina whereas he has been virtually forgotten in western North Carolina. The week after we were in Easley, South Carolina's PBS station, ETV broadcast Neal Hutcheson's film version of the play on the program, "Southern Lens."

One of the puzzling aspects of Redmond's history is the fact that there is no folklore and/or history about his exploits in North Carolina despite the fact that he lived in both Jackson and Swain counties. In fact, Lewis' sister married a man named King that used to live in the Pinnacle section of Jackson County and Lewis allegedly lived there several years. He also had a cabin that overlooked the Tennessee River in Swain County, and that was where he was living when he was captured. In addition, Lewis' grandfather allegedly lived on the Qualla Indian Boundary, home of the Cherokee Indians.

Since Redmond spent the latter part of his life in South Carolina and his children settled in upper South Carolina, the stories about him are concentrated in Oconee and the surrounding area.

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