Submerging History


Anyone who knows the slightest bit of history knows that Carroll County is home to Whitaker Chambers’ farm, where the culminating events of the trial of the century played out. It was at the Chambers farm that HUAC investigators found the “Pumpkin Papers”, which sealed Alger Hiss’ conviction on charges of perjury and proved that he did indeed spy for the Soviets. Chambers speaks quite fondly of the farm on many occasions in his autobiography Witness, one of the great literary achievements in American literature. You can read the forward to the book titled “Letter to My Children.”

History it seems has a sense of irony. The Carroll County government has part of the 400 acre farm in its sights. The county wants to build a 350 acre reservoir to accommodate its growth. It has plans to take parts of the farm through eminent domain. The reservoir will not submerge the famous pumpkin patch or the Chambers farm house. Whitaker’s son John is fighting the county tooth and nail. President of the county commissioners Julia Gouge says “we need the water.” I await a similar howl of outrage from Andrew Kujan as he made at her previous public statement.

John J. Miller has an excellent piece on the story in the August 27, issue of National Review. No link the article as this particular piece is subscription only. But then again you should all have a subscription to National Review. I will leave you with this quote

“In Witness Chambers writes ‘Land belongs to the man who has worked it until he
knows it so well that he can cross it in the blackest night.’ John Chambers also
has come to know the land well. What a shame it would be if, on some dark night,
he found himself not walking through its fields but splashing through them.”

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