Chapter One: The Discovery of Vine

Editor’s Note: taken from the remaining pages of A HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE REVELATION OF VINE by L. James Richardson, published 1804, archived 1805

Were it not God’s plan for His Chosen People in the Americas, the discovery of the consecrated land now known as Vine might be referred to as an accident. The scout had gone ahead, and was meant only to survey for three days and three nights before returning to camp to report findings on the other side of the mountains. Thus far, there had been sparse forests and scarce water supply, and there was no evidence that the other side of the mountain offered fertile fields or rivers fit for fishing, but in the name of thoroughness he was sent ahead. 

It was seven days and seven nights after his departure that searchers were sent for him. 

Some in the camp assumed him dead or a deserter, perhaps to join the Indigenous. Some in the camp assumed he was in need of aid. Vigorous debate was had. 

When the searchers were sent, another seven days and seven nights passed before they returned. The air was beginning to cool and a choice needed to be made: find the potentially fallen or soldier on. They had forgotten how long they had been traveling, though those who would become the founding Elders maintained it had not yet been 40 days and 40 nights. 

One certainty: their path, though unknown to them, had been set by God. 

Eventually it was decided to pursue the fallen if only for closure but on the other side of the mountains no fallen were found. For the one sent forth had uncovered a bountiful land. A lush land with green forested mountains sloping into a sunny valley. Mountain streams trickled into a river full of fish that flowed into a lake. Warm sun shone. The forests were cut through and fields existed almost as though they were divinely ordained.

“Why did you not return, and tell us of this place?” they asked.

“As if beheld by God, I could not leave,” the scout who had gone ahead said.

It was as though God had scratched out a civilization pre-made for the exploring party. It was as though others had found their own Eden here. Perhaps likewise expelled by an Angel with a Flaming Sword. But such warnings were not a consideration. The party had found their home. They could not leave.