Pekatone

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kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Dear all
Do you have any idear what's meant by "Pekatone" in the following context, taken from "Camera Eye (21)" in "1919" by John Dos Passos?

...and it was time for supper and you'd ride slowly home hating the goddam exhausted land and the drought that wouldn't let the garden grow and the katydids and the dryflies jeering out of the sapling gums and persimmons ghostly with dust along the road and the sickleshaped beach where the seanettles stung you when you tried to swim out and the chiggers and the little scraps of talk about what was going on up to the Hague or Warsaw or Pekatone and the phone down at the cottage that kept ringing whenever any farmer's wife along the line took up the receiver to talk to any other farmer's wife and all down the line you could hear the receivers click as they all ran to the receiver to listen to what was said
 
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  • kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hi NZfauna
    Yes, I've searched. As far as I know it's not name of a place but a word invented perhaps by Dos Passos himself. In the last paragraph of "USA" prologue we read as follows: "... But mostly, U.S.A. is the speech of the people."
     
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    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Where is this taking place? There seem to be a couple of references, one is to an old house that is on the Potomac River. Is it in Maryland?
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    yes, it's Virginia where the writer's father had a farm. Here's something I've found about "Pekatone". Unfortunately I don't know the name of the writer:
    Dos Passos uses electrical images as part of his attempt to incorporate "the speech of the people" that constitute the nation. Among other things, Dos Passos envisions the U.S.A. as "a radio network" and "a chain of moving picture theatres".

    I hope this will help to decipher the word "Pekatone".
     
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    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    As the other two places are in Europe, I wonder if Pekatone is also in Europe but is an Americanized/phonetic spelling of (e.g.) Peccatone (Italy???) ~ just a theory!
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    The link I gave above gives:

    . Anon. 1915. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Richmond, VA (online at Ancestry.com): IV--Burgesses and Other Prominent Persons
    Name: Gawin Corbin
    son of Gawin Corbin and Jane Lane, his wife, lived at "Pekatone," Westmoreland county, and at "Laneville," King and Queen county. He was burgess for King and Queen county in 1736-1740 and for Middlesex county in 1742-1747. He married Hannah Lee, daughter of Thomas Lee, of "Stratford," Westmoreland county, Virginia, and his will was proved in Westmoreland county January 29, 1760.


    Perhaps you could contact the related regions' websites?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    In the Magazine of American History published in 1886, is this response to a query about the oldest houses still standing in the US.
    "Truth Seeker " tells of " Pekatone," the old house situated on the Potomac River, just above its junction with the Chesapeake, which was built in 1664.
    Apparently it was still standing at the time this was written i.e., in 1886.

    (You seem to see some connection between the name and electricity, but it is not clear to me what you have in mind.)
     
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    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    wowie zowie! I found a map of Westmoreland County and on it is a town called Warsaw. There is also a Hague in Virginia, though I cannot find it on this map the moment, I can find it on Mapquest.*

    That's what "up to the Hague or Warsaw or Pekatone" means; those are local places they are gossiping about.

    *It's there, just up from Warsaw.

    Later UPDATE for the sake of posterity: It turns out that the modern spelling is Pecatone (or, sometimes, Peckatone), and that it still exists as a town (or community). The old house mentioned above burned down in 1888.
     
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    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Potamac River has been used frequently in Camera Eyes. The farm must be located at the "Northern Neck of Virginia":
    that August it never rained a drop and it had hardly rained in July... the truck garden was in terrible state and all through the Northern Neck of Virginia it was no use pulling cornfodder because the lower leaves were all withered...
    At the same time, here are other names referred to in above Camera Eye 21:Harmony Hall, Sandy Pint and Linch's Pint
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    wowie zowie! I found a map of Westmoreland County and on it is a town called Warsaw. There is also a Hague in Virginia, though I cannot find it on this map the moment, I can find it on Mapquest.

    That's what "up to the Hague or Warsaw or Pekatone" means; those are local places they are gossiping about.
    Good work dear Cagey.
    Thanks a lot indeed.
    P.S: I could find "Hague" in your map. It's just near the word RIVER.
     
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