Eric Burlison spoke to the CCRCC last night. His inspiring words taught of a time I had never learned from my history classes growing up. But "An Appeal to Heaven" is something we all should be aware of.
The pine tree was much sought after by the crown of England... These mighty trees towering 150 feet in the air and straight as an arrow were used for masts on sailing ships. The crown claimed all suitable pines as their own by marking with a broad white arrow thus identifying them as the Kings Woods. The early settlers had struggled to make America their home and claimed their properties by the sweat of their brow. And yet now the King of England was claiming their lands.
In 1772 a British Sheriff and his Deputy were sent to arrest a mill owner who was processing the Kings trees. The mill owner beat them soundly and forced them out of town to a jeering crowd.
The early settlers were aware of John Locke's second treatise which stated if man has redress against a neighbor or any man he is to go to the mayor or judge, if he is unable to get redress he may go to the governor, and if the governor fails he can go to the King. But if the King fails, where is he to go? He must seek redress from the powers of Heaven.
It was thus for these early settlers, their actions were a precursor to the Boston Tea Party and to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Colonel Joseph Reed suggested using the pine tree on a field of white with the words "An Appeal to Heaven" to be hoisted on colonial warships an ironic symbol to the British who sought these tall pines. And perhaps we too must make the same Appeal to Heaven as we seek to maintain our constitutional rights.
Eric Burlison is running for Missouri Senate.