Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 138 – Bessida Cauthorne White, the Stingray Point (VA) “contraband,” and Donald S. Murray, “For the Safety of All”(Scottish lights)

Bessida Cauthorne White

Stingray Point Lighthouse in Virginia, built in 1858, marked a dangerous shoal at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. In 1861, six enslaved men used the lighthouse – which was abandoned during the Civil War — as a safe house while waiting to catch a Union ship that would allow them to escape slavery. Bessida Cauthorne White is an activist, genealogist, and retired attorney, as well as the co-founder and president of the Middle Peninsula African American Genealogical and Historical Society. This past July 17th there was a standing room only crowd at the Deltaville (VA) Community Center for the dedication by the Society of an historical marker commemorating the 1861 incident involving Stingray Point.

Donald S. Murray was born and raised in Ness in the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. He’s written 14 books and published countless essays, columns, short stories, and poems in a variety of publications. His writing, both of fiction and non-fiction, has received widespread critical acclaim and numerous literary awards.

In his new book, For the Safety of All, Donald explores Scotland’s lighthouses through history, storytelling, and the voices of the lightkeepers. After 30 years as an English teacher, Donald became a full-time writer in 2012. He now lives and works in Shetland.

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