I figured out what Thomas Donaldson meant when he said “Come people attend whilst I do relate my travel from sin to my (illegible 2 words).” I think he was making a confession to God to renounce his sins. I found similar confessions in the Turkey Creek Baptist Church records of different slaves who “relate his/her travels after the necessary examinations.” I read a book by Sue Monk Kidd called “The Mermaid Chair” that touches upon spiritual “traveling” by Gullah people in the woods of the low country in colonial- Civil War times.
My question is this? How did Thomas learn about “traveling from sin”? The only references I can find on “traveling” has to do with Gullah people or slaves. Did white people use the term “traveling” in regards to sin? I know Thomas did not own slaves according to census records or his estate record. Did he work along side of slaves as a farmer and pick up their spiritual beliefs? Did he travel to Charleston for supplies and pick up the spiritual beliefs of the Gullah people? I have yet to find a clear cut answer to what spiritual “traveling” is and how it was used in the 1800’s among certain groups of people. The internet has not given me any clues.
If anyone knows what spiritual “traveling” is or the history behind the term, please drop a comment below. I would love to get to bottom of this mystery and know Thomas better.
Until next time…..