With the single exception of the Great Depression of the 1930's, no other financial depression America has ever experienced was worse than the Panic of 1896. It started when far-off India switched its coinage of silver to gold, an act that sent Westen mining stocks and silver, especially, plunging. Within six months,t eh silver dollar was worth only sixty cents, Treasury gold reserves had dropped to a paltry 80 million dollars, over six hundred banks were forced to close their doors, seventy four railroads collapsed and declared bankruptcy, and thousands of businesses failed.
It was in that bleak economic setting that this poignant story was born.
Papa with no job, Moma with no food for their growing family, no
government or state aide or food stamps-- what was a mother to do?
The Hammonds were living in Texas when they had the sugar shortage back
in '96. It was their own personal shortage, and they were short of
every thing, so they lived three weeks on cornmeal mush, but it was the
sugar the children remembered best, because Mama prayed for sugar. She
would never pray for anything she could get any other way, and she
didn't mention bacon or fresh meat or milk or even a job for Papa,
because the sugar meant something special. If angels up in heaven
didn't know what sugar was, they certainly must have been curious by the
time Mama got through.
The family was really Canadian, but the panic had hit Papa while he was
doing some building in Nebraska, and there weren't any relief offices
then and no way to turn. He too to selling books and some how got down
to Texas with the children and couldn't get back. The he got the Texas
fever, and it hung on for almost a year, so he was simply beat and
discouraged at the end, and no use talking to him.
The house they lived in was somewhere around Dallas. It wasn't in the
city but outside where a man could get a shack for most nothing, and
nobody would bother to put him out when he couldn't pay rent. Mama had
grown a big garden, but it was all gone by fall, and she'd made crayon
portraits and done some dressmaking. Mostly the neghbors were as bad
off as she was, so all they gave her for pay was cornmeal. She didn't
go away from the house any more bcause of her condition. The children
didn't know what that meant, but they supposed it was the same reason
the older ones couldn't go to school and had their lessons at home.
It was papa who talked about starvation after they'd got down to
cornmeal mush. The children heard him in the night. "What are we going
to do?" He'd say it over and over, as it he hurt inside and was angry
too. "What are we going to do? We've got five children, if your
remember, and there are two men out of work for every man working."
Moma answered low and quiet,"We've got to have faith, Papa. People are
given their brains so they'll look to themselves as best they can.
Then, when we go as far as we can, we'll get help."
Notes from the above story. In this day in age we still have to have
that faith. Relying on the govt' to help is actually a form of stealing
in God's eyes! Nazi Germany was a state funded food govt' before
disaster too over.
We need to have faith to follow Christ alone. We need to use our
brains to learn about all the foods God does supply us with for free in
the form of wild edible foods. We also need to know how to have good
Character to work with people and produce a faith that lives in truth in
Story from Mom in my heart by Joe L Wheeler
Finding hope in truth is the first place to start as I have heard of
other families who also live off of cornmeal even in America today