As we wait for news about the fate of NBC’s Timeless, I have been thinking about times and people I want the Time Team to visit next season and how it could affect the world as we know it, and shed light on some woefully neglected figures from our past.
Most of what people know about King Henry VIII can be summed up in one sentence “Fat Tyrant who killed his wives.” That may have been true by the time he died, but it wasn’t always the case. Yes, He broke from the Catholic church to divorce his first wife (Catherine of Aragon) but in the early years of his reign, Henry was seen as a handsome and fair king. It wasn’t until a fateful fall during a jousting tournament that the Tyrant was born. The fall wounded his leg (which would never heal) and likely caused permanent brain damage…. Now… what if Henry never got on that horse?
If you don’t know who these women are, you’re not alone. They are heroines in the Dominican Republic for their opposition to Rafael Trujillo, but most people in America have never heard of them. Their fight and assassination in 1960 makes them feminist and popular resistance role models.
I don’t only say this as a fan of Outlander and lover of Scotland in general (though I’d be lying if I didn’t mention both). In 1745 The Bonnie Prince Charlie (or Pretender to the Throne) led an ill-fated campaign to take the English crown from the English King George II. They lost, terribly. BUT… had they won, there would have been no King George III and possibly no American Revolution…. well, probably not, but my guess is it would be very different.
Forget the 1997 movie about Le Amistad and the trial of the slaves who rose up against the people who stole them from their homes to sell them into bondage. The real story of Sengbe Pieh is amazing and harrowing, and more people need to know it.
Toussaint Louverture and the 1791 Haitian Slave Rebellion
The governor and general of the 1791 Haitian rebellion is not well known here, but he fought for Saint Domingue’s
sovereignty against Napoleon. He was crucial in transforming a rebellion into a revolution and creating the first free colonial society to look beyond race in regards to a person’s societal status.