|Historical marker, 2 miles south of Woodstock, Virginia|
The marker we found in 2010 was not the one pictured in Alvin Dohme's 1972 book Shenandoah: The Valley Story:
|Photo from page 48 of The Valley Story|
The last recorded Indian "outrage" took place just south of Woodstock in 1766. After that the Valley was finally free of the red menace, and remained so ever since. -- Dohme p. 47.
A little web-searching led me to James W. Loewen's book, Lies Across America, which contains an essay entitled "Snowplow Revisionism." Loewen recounts how the 1927 "Last Indian Outrage" marker was struck by a snowplow (or perhaps a mowing machine) in 1994. It was replaced with the more explanatory "Last Indian Conflict" marker. He argues that the new marker is not just more "politically correct" but, by providing some context for the story and taking a more neutral point of view, it is really more truthful. Though he objects to words like "settlers" in the newer marker, Loewen says, "[d]espite these remaining problems with the text, the revision makes a strong case for errant snowplows (or mowing machines)". On the other hand, I think the continued existence of markers (and guidebooks) containing language more suited to the times in which they were erected and to the people who erected them teaches us a valuable lesson about our past and the impermanence of our certainties. Loewen suggests in another essay that perhaps historic markers should be two-sided to accommodate differing points of view.