March 4, 1793: Shortest Inaugural Address

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

 

 

The shortest inaugural address was given on March 4, 1793.  Since it was delivered by George Washington it still managed to be meaningful as well as brief.  I wish every one of his successors had to repeat the final paragraph:

Fellow Citizens:

I AM again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.
Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

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December 26, 1776: Washington Saves the American Revolution

Monday, December 26, AD 2016

 

 

Washington crossing the Delaware is ingrained in the American psyche, and well it should be.  Without Washington’s brilliant attack at Trenton against the Hessian garrison stationed there on December 26, 1776, his subsequent maneuver around the reacting British force under General Cornwallis, and his victory at Princeton on January 3, 1777, it is likely that the American Revolution would have died during the winter of 1776-1777, Washington’s army dissolving in the gloom and pessimism brought on by the string of American defeats of 1776.  Instead, Washington’s victories brought out fresh levies of patriot militia from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, strengthening Washington’s army and causing the British to retreat from New Jersey.  In the span of a week, Washington and his men altered the likely outcome of the American Revolution, and all subsequent history.  Here is Washington’s report to the Continental Congress on the victory at Trenton:

 

 

Sir: I have the pleasure of Congratulating you upon the success of an enterprize which I had formed against a Detachment of the Enemy lying in Trenton, and which was executed yesterday Morning. The Evening of the 25th I ordered the Troops intended for this Service [which were about 2400] to parade back of McKonkey’s Ferry, that they might begin to pass as soon as it grew dark, imagining we should be able to throw them all over, with the necessary Artillery, by 12 O’Clock, and that we might easily arrive at Trenton by five in the Morning, the distance being about nine Miles. But the Quantity of Ice, made that Night, impeded the passage of the Boats so much, that it was three O’Clock before the Artillery could all get over, and near four, before the Troops took up their line of march.

This made me despair of surprising the Town, as I well knew we could not reach it before the day was fairly broke, but as I was certain there was no making a Retreat without being discovered, and harassed on repassing the River, I determined to push on at all Events. I form’d my detachments into two divisions one to March by the lower or River Road, the other by the upper or Pennington Road. As the Divisions had nearly the same distance to March, I ordered each of them, immediately upon forcing the out Guards, to push directly into the Town, that they might charge the Enemy before they had time to form. The upper Division arrived at the Enemys advanced post, exactly at Eight O’Clock, and in three Minutes after, I found, from the fire on the lower Road that, that Division had also got up. The out Guards made but small Opposition, tho’ for their Numbers, they behaved very well, keeping up a constant retreating fire from behind Houses. We presently saw their main Body formed, but from their Motions, they seemed undetermined how to act. Being hard pressed by our Troops, who had already got possession of part of their Artillery, they attempted to file off by a road on their right leading to Princetown, but perceiving their Intention, I threw a body of Troops in their Way which immediately checked them. Finding from our disposition that they were surrounded, and that they must inevitably be cut to pieces if they made any further Resistance, they agreed to lay down their Arms. The Number, that submitted in this manner, was 23 Officers and 886 Men. Col Rall. the commanding Officer with seven others were found wounded in the Town. I dont exactly know how many they had killed, but I fancy not above twenty or thirty, as they never made any regular Stand. Our loss is very trifling indeed, only two Officers and one or two privates wounded. I find, that the Detachment of the Enemy consisted of the three Hessian Regiments of Lanspatch, Kniphausen and Rohl amounting to about 1500 Men, and a Troop of British Light Horse, but immediately upon the begining of the Attack, all those who were, not killed or taken, pushed directly down the Road towards Bordentown. These would likewise have fallen into our hands, could my plan have been compleatly carried into Execution. Genl. Ewing was to have crossed before day at Trenton Ferry, and taken possession of the Bridge leading out of Town, but the Quantity of Ice was so great, that tho’ he did every thing in his power to effect it, he could not get over.

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December 1776: A Dying Revolution and The Old Fox

Wednesday, December 14, AD 2016

The American Revolution was in the process of dying 240 years ago as General George Washington revealed in letters to his cousin Lund Washington who looked after Mount Vernon for the General during the War.

Dear Lund,

* * * * * *

I wish to Heaven it was in my power to give you a more favorable account of our situation than it is. Our numbers, quite inadequate to the task of opposing that part of the army under the command of General Howe, being reduced by sickness, desertion, and political deaths (on or before the first instant, and having no assistance from the militia), were obliged to retire before the enemy, who were perfectly well informed of our situation, till we came to this place, where I have no idea of being able to make a stand, as my numbers, till joined by the [78] Philadelphia militia, did not exceed three thousand men fit for duty. Now we may be about five thousand to oppose Howe’s whole army, that part of it excepted which sailed under the command of Gen. Clinton. I tremble for Philadelphia. Nothing, in my opinion, but Gen. Lee’s speedy arrival, who has been long expected, though still at a distance (with about three thousand men), can save it. We have brought over and destroyed all the boats we could lay our hands on upon the Jersey shore for many miles above and below this place; but it is next to impossible to guard a shore for sixty miles, with less than half the enemy’s numbers; when by force or strategem they may suddenly attempt a passage in many different places. At present they are encamped or quartered along the other shore above and below us (rather this place, for we are obliged to keep a face towards them) for fifteen miles. * * *

December 17, ten miles above the Falls.

* * * I have since moved up to this place, to be more convenient to our great and extensive defences of this river. Hitherto, by our destruction of the boats, and vigilance in watching the fords of the river above the falls (which are now rather high), we have prevented them from crossing; but how long we shall be able to do it God only knows, as they are still hovering about the river. And if every thing else fails, will wait till the 1st of January, when there will be no other men to oppose them but militia, none of which but those from Philadelphai, mentioned [79] in the first part of the letter, are yet come (although I am told some are expected from the back counties). When I say none but militia, I am to except the Virginia regiments and the shattered remains of Smallwood’s, which, by fatigue, want of clothes, &c., are reduced to nothing—Weedon’s, which was the strongest, not having more than between one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty men fit for duty, the rest being in the hospitals. The unhappy policy of short enlistments and a dependence upon militia will, I fear, prove the downfall of our cause, though early pointed out with an almost prophetic spirit! Our cause has also received a severe blow in the captivity of Gen. Lee. Unhappy man! Taken by his own imprudence, going three or four miles from his own camp, and within twenty of the enemy, notice of which by a rascally Tory was given a party of light horse seized him in the morning after travelling all night, and carried him off in high triumph and with every mark of indignity, not even suffering him to get his hat or surtout coat. The troops that were under his command are not yet come up with us, though they, I think, may be expected to-morrow. A large part of the Jerseys have given every proof of disaffection that they can do, and this part of Pennsylvania are equally inimical. In short, your imagination can scarce extend to a situation more distressing than mine. Our only dependence now is upon the speedy enlistment of a new army. If this fails, I think the game will be pretty well up, as, from disaffection and want of spirit and fortitude, the inhabitants, [80] instead of resistance, are offering submission and taking protection from Gen. Howe in Jersey. * * * I am &c.

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One Response to December 1776: A Dying Revolution and The Old Fox

  • I enjoyed “The Crossing” when I saw it in tv a few (several ?) years ago. Amusing that Jeff Daniels who stars as Washington also starred in “Dumb and Dumber” with Jim Carrey.

Remember, Remember

Saturday, November 5, AD 2016

gwpict

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes Day Doggerel

 

 

 

 

 

The idiotic anti-Catholic celebration of Guy Fawkes Day , observed each November fifth, was effectively ended two hundred and forty one years ago in America during the Revolution, in large part due to George Washington.  Here is his order on November 5, 1775:

As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.

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3 Responses to Remember, Remember

  • “Catholics always had a friend in the Father of Our Country”……..and Catholics continue to have a friend in the blogosphere of Christiandom, stretching well beyond our shores, thanks be to Donald McClarey.

    Your thoughts and efforts are appreciated.
    Your enthusiasm for history and sharing that enthusiasm, is priceless. Great work kind Sir.

    Eight years of the antithesis of President Washington, found of course in the lame duck,
    is eight years too many.
    May the woman who would be Queen be defeated in this battle for America. May Our Country be rid of the filthy plunders and cheats who care less about America’s future, and care more for their personal gains.
    May we hear from a future President of the United States that We Are one Nation Under God…the God that sacrificed his only begotten son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. The God who inspired the Holy Bible. The God who protected us and saved us from our enemies.
    The very same God who teaches us His law and instructs us in holiness.

    An abomination would proclaim that religions must change their views on abortion.
    May that abomination be silenced by the Americans that hold fast to the ten commandments. Americans that wish to instruct and nurture disordered individuals who struggle with same sex addiction and gender identity…not help them by enabling them and promoting their disordered conduct.

    Excuse my lengthy prayer.

    My hope is in the Lord.
    He will not disappoint.
    The future leadership of our nation is not out side of God’s reach. His is the final word long after this walk through the valley. His kingdom come..His will be done…

  • In Scotland, the 5th November is also commemorated as the day on which Prince William of Orange landed at Brixham Harbour in Devon, in the South-West of England in 1688.

    His statue there bears the remarkable inscription, “Engelands vrijheid door Oranje hersteld” – England’s freedom restored by Orange” ; calculated, doubtless to gladden every patriotic English heart.

    In Scotland, he is commonly said to have delivered us from wooden shoes and brass money (A reference, perhaps, to the French sabot or clog)

  • Guy Fawkes Day…how stupid.

September 19, 1796: George Washington’s Farewell Address

Monday, September 19, AD 2016

Today is the 220th anniversary of the farewell address of George Washington being published throughout the United States as an open letter to the American people.  Fortunate indeed were we to have such a man as the Father of our nation.  Without him to lead us to victory in the Revolution there would be no United States of America today.  On re-reading his Farewell Address, I think some of the matters he touches upon are extremely relevant today:

1. ReligionOf all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

2.  Centralized Power–It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.

3.  Partisanship–There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

4.  Government Debt–As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

5.  Honesty as Policy-. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.

6.  Foreign Policy– If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

In retiring from the public scene Washington made this closing observation:  Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend.   An attitude of humility for us all to remember  when we contend in the Public Square.

Here is the entire text of the Farewell Address:

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2 Responses to September 19, 1796: George Washington’s Farewell Address

  • Where have the great Statemen for President gone? Was the last one Ronald Reagan?

  • Ronald Reagan was the last great human being to serve as president. Today, your so-called statesmen could be felicitously replaced with the foul beings residing under rotting logs.
    .
    As I said on my father’s passing, “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” Hamlet.
    .
    Washington: “First in war; first in peace; first in the hearts of his countrymen.” If his were the only face on Mount Rushmore it would be sufficient. Washington was God’s freely endowed grace and gift to American independence and Liberty.

George Washington’s Vision

Wednesday, September 7, AD 2016

 

I see this piece of fiction floating around the internet:

“The last time I ever saw Anthony Sherman was on the Fourth of July, 1859, in Independence Square. He was then ninety-nine years old, his dimming eyes rekindled as he gazed upon Independence Hall, which he had come to visit once more. “I want to tell you an incident of Washington’s life one which no one alive knows of except myself; and which, if you live, you will before long see verified.”

He said, “From the opening of the Revolution, we experienced all phases of fortune, good and ill. The darkest period we ever had, I think, was when Washington, after several reverses, retreated to Valley Forge, where he resolved to pass the winter of 1777. Ah! I often saw the tears coursing down our dear commander’s careworn cheeks, as he conversed with a confidential officer about the condition of his soldiers. You have doubtless heard the story of Washington’s going to the thicket to pray. Well, he also used to pray to God in secret for aid and comfort.

“One day, I remember well, the chilly winds whistled through the leafless trees. Though the sky was cloudless and the sun shone brightly, he remained alone in his quarters nearly all afternoon. When he came out, I noticed that his face was a shade paler than usual, and there seemed to be something on his mind of more than ordinary importance. Returning just after dusk, he dispatched an orderly to the quarters of the officer I mentioned who was in attendance at the time. After preliminary conversation of about half an hour, Washington, gazing upon his companion with that strange look of dignity that he alone could command, said to the latter:

“I do not know whether it is due to the anxiety of my mind, or what, but this afternoon, as I was preparing a dispatch, something seemed to disturbed me. Looking up, I beheld, standing opposite me, a singularly beautiful being. So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the cause of the visit. A second, a third, and even a fourth time did I repeat my question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor, except a slight raising of the eyes. By this time I felt strange sensations spreading through me, and I would have risen, but the riveted gaze of the being before me rendered volition impossible. I assayed once more to speak, but my tongue had become useless, as though it had become paralyzed. A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession. All I could do was to gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitor. Gradually the surrounding atmosphere seemed to become filled with sensations, and grew luminous. Everything about me seemed to rarefy, including the mysterious visitor.

“I began to feel as one dying, or rather to experience the sensations which I have sometimes imagined accompany dissolution. I did not think, I did not reason, I did not move; all were alike impossible. I was only conscious of gazing fixedly, vacantly at my companion.

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August 29, 1786: Shays’ Rebellion Begins

Monday, August 29, AD 2016

 

 

In the aftermath of American victory in the Revolutionary War, times were tough in the new nation.  In Massachusetts farmers faced financial ruin as merchants, concerned with the inflation, were demanding repayment of debts in hard currency which was in short supply.  Governor John Hancock attempted to set an example by not demanding that his debtors pay him in hard currency, and he refused to authorize prosecution of those who failed to pay their taxes to the State.  This was to no avail as more farmers began to lose their farms through foreclosure.  That most of these farmers had fought in the Revolution made their plight more poignant, and also suggested that they would not stand idle as they were reduced to poverty.

Violence broke out after James Bowdoin, champion of the merchants, was elected Governor of the Bay State.  On August 29, 1786 a rebellion broke out when a well organized force prevented the court from sitting in Northampton.  Daniel Shays who had served in the Continental Army as a Captain, and who had receive a sword of honor from Lafayette that he had to sell to help pay his debts, participated in the Northampton action.  His name became attached to the Rebellion, but he staunchly denied that he was one of the leaders of the movement.

The Massachusetts government now confronted the quandary of attempting to assert its authority when the only armed force at its disposal were militia levies and much of the militia sympathized with the rebels.   The Federal government of the Articles of Confederation was deaf to appeals for aid, having no armed forces in any case to aid Massachusetts in putting down the Rebellion.

The solution was  a 3000 man militia force under former Continental Major General Benjamin Lincoln.  The force was paid for by 125 merchants who contributed 6000 pounds.  With this force, Lincoln crushed the Rebellion in February 1787.  Casualties were minor, five killed, a few dozen wounded, but the impact of the Rebellion was profound in convincing many of the leaders in the United States of the necessity of revising the weak Articles of Confederation and forming a stronger Federal government.  Shays Rebellion had given rise to outbursts throughout New England, and although they had been quickly quashed, the alarm they raised reached Mount Vernon.

On October 31, 1786 in a letter to Henry Lee, George Washington demonstrated how deeply Shays’ Rebellion disturbed him:

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: George Washington

Thursday, August 25, AD 2016

 

 

If Historiographers should be hardy enough to fill the page of History with the advantages that have been gained with unequal numbers (on the part of America) in the course of this contest, and attempt to relate the distressing circumstances under which they have been obtained, it is more than probable that Posterity will bestow on their labors the epithet and marks of fiction; for it will not be believed that such a force as Great Britain has employed for eight years in this Country could be baffled in their plan of Subjugating it by numbers infinitely less, composed of Men oftentimes half starved; always in Rags, without pay, and experiencing, at times, every species of distress which human nature is capable of undergoing.

George Washington, letter to Major General Nathaniel Greene, February 6, 1783

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5 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: George Washington

  • It very well could be that the half starved, lower income, outdated fashion, God fearing Americans with rosaries and faith will befuddle the tyrants of today. Correction.
    Not could be….it will be.

    In the end, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will Triumph!

    BTW…..Many good and honorable Christians are above the poverty threshold. They are blessed to have and share their wealth with neighbors. They too, are the new Minutemen.

  • Then, God was with us. Read the histories.
    .
    Today, the rulers and their enablers have turned aside from God.
    .
    Washington with God’s help won independence.
    .
    Lincoln with God’s help saved the Union.
    .
    FDR beat the Japanese Empire and German Nazism.
    .
    JFK put men on the Moon.
    .
    Obama put men in the Ladies Room.
    .
    In the end, all will be well for those who constantly pray for, and strive to obtain, God’s gift of grace to do His will.

  • Currently reading David McCullough’s book, 1776, which includes a lot of primary source info re: Washington and detailed battle plans and decision making on the British & American sides. Good stuff. Thank you for posting this.

  • Christian Teacher, I think that is an excellent book. I came away convinced that Washington truly was a great man and that God was on our side; otherwise, we’d be Canada.
    .
    The Battle of Long Island was fought on 27 Aug 1776, 240 years ago tomorrow. Several commemorations are planned.
    .
    The Army’s successful evacuation (by whale boats in night fog) from Brooklyn can be ascribed to Divine Assistance.
    .
    One of the (few) benefits of living just outside of NYC is being able visit Greenwood Cemetery, which not only holds the remains of many famous and notorious New Yorkers, but is the site of the Americans’ main line of resistance in the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. At the high point, there is a bronze statue of Minerva pointing toward the Statue of Liberty, which wasn’t there when erected. Law forbids erecting a building to block the view. Also, close by in the area is the site of the famous stand of the Maryland Regiment.

    Barnet Shecter wrote the book, The Battle For New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution. I have been on tours he led through the battlefield in and around Greenwood Cemetery.
    .
    An aside: Mr. Schecter also wrote, The Devil’s Own Work, which is a detailed history of the 1863 NY draft riots. It’s a good exposition of evil Democrats (I repeat myself again), then and now.

George Washington Celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 17, AD 2016

Throughout his life George Washington had a great deal of sympathy for the struggles of the Irish against their English rulers, seeing in those struggles a mirror for the American fight for independence.  Irish immigrants to America, Protestant and Catholic, were enthusiastic in their embrace of the American cause, and during the Revolutionary War many of the soldiers who served in the Continental Army were Irish or of Irish descent.  Therefore when General Washington heard in March 1780 that the Irish Parliament had passed free trade legislation, he issued the following general order to the Army on March 16, 1780:

The general congratulates the army on the very interesting proceedings of the parliament of Ireland and the inhabitants of that country which have been lately communicated;  not only as they appear calculated to remove those heavy and tyrannical oppressions on their trade but to restore to a brave and generous people their ancient rights and freedom and by their operations to promote the cause of America.

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  • The Founding Fathers were well acquainted with English deprivations of liberty. It was not only Lexington and Concord that inspired them to fashion the 2d Amendment, but the knowledge that the long history of English attempts to disarm the citizenry helped contribute to the English defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden in 1746 and the subsequent persecution of the mostly Catholic Highlanders.
    As a contemporary historian relates this history:

    The Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 established a Protestant monarchy in England under William and Mary, ending the reign of the Stuarts. The Bill of Rights codified the constitutional limits on the new monarchy, including a provision guaranteeing Protestants (but not Catholics or Jews) the right to bear arms. But political realities overrode this provision. The new monarchy remained vulnerable to “Jacobites” seeking to restore the Stuart dynasty, with French and Spanish backing. This danger meant the British state could not permit widespread gun ownership.

    The new monarchy’s disarmament laws built on laws passed after the Restoration of 1660, when the Stuarts returned to power after 11 years of republican rule and were similarly concerned with political stability. A 1670 statute had limited firearms possession to the noble and rich, although even their arsenals were subject to search and seizure at sensitive moments. A series of game laws from 1671 through 1831 dramatically reduced the number of people permitted to hunt, empowering gamekeepers to search for and seize unauthorized firearms. Smuggling laws also made carrying arms grounds for arrest. An armed militia was active through the 1680s, but not the 80 years that followed. Through the 1740s, its arms were locked in royal arsenals and distributed only at assembly. The government’s success at disarming the population made the militia superfluous, since its entire purpose was to prevent an armed rising against the government.

  • Tom, interesting bit of history regarding the English and firearms. Thanks.

March 4, 1776: Washington Occupies Dorchester Heights

Friday, March 4, AD 2016

“The rebels have done more in one night than my whole army would have done in a month.”

General Howe, March 5, 1776
After Colonel Henry Knox brought the artillery from Ticonderoga to the siege lines around Boston in January 1776, Washington gathered together the powder and ammunition for the cannon.  By early March he was ready.  Occupying high points around Boston with artillery to divert British attention.  Beginning on the evening of March 2, he conducted nightly bombardments of Boston.  The bombardments continued on March 3 and March 4.  However, on March 4, he also had General John Thomas lead 2000 men to occupy Dorchester Heights to the south of Boston.  Hay bales were placed between the path taken by the Americans and Boston Harbor in order to muffle the sound of the movement.

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John Adams: Washington’s Ten Talents

Sunday, February 21, AD 2016

“The History of our Revolution will be one continued lye [sic] from one end to the other. The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklin’s electric rod smote the earth and out sprang General Washington. Then Franklin electrified him… and thence forward those two conducted all the Policy, Negotiations, Legislations, and War.” 

John Adams, letter to Benjamin Rush, 1790

John Adams was a very great man, but he could be somewhat petty at times.  This pettiness came to the fore when he considered that other men, particularly George Washington, would loom larger than him in the history of the American Revolution and its aftermath.  In a letter to Benjamin Rush on November 11, 1807, he remarked upon what he considered to be Washington’s ten great talents:

Self taught or Book learned in the Arts, our Hero was much indebted to his Talents for “his immense elevation above his Fellows.” Talents? you will say, what Talents? I answer.

1. An handsome Face. That this is a Talent, I can prove by the authority of a thousand Instances in all ages: and among the rest Madame Du Barry who said Le veritable Royaute est la Beaute.

2. A tall Stature, like the Hebrew Sovereign chosen because he was taller by the Head than the other Jews.

3 An elegant Form.

4. graceful Attitudes and Movement:

5. a large imposing Fortune consisting of a great landed Estate left him by his Father and Brother, besides a large Jointure with his Lady, and the Guardianship of the Heirs of the great Custis Estate, and in addition to all this, immense Tracts of Land of his own acquisition. There is nothing, except bloody Battles and Splendid Victories, to which Mankind bow down with more reverence than to great fortune. They think it impossible that rich Men especially immensely rich Men, Should Submit to the trouble of Serving them but from the most benevolent and disinterested Motives. . . . Such is their Love of the Marvellous, and Such their Admiration of uncommon Generosity that they will believe extraordinary pretensions to it and the Pope Says, Si bonus Populus vult decipi, decipiatur. Washington however did not deceive them. I know not that they gave him more credit for disinterestedness, than he deserved, though they have not given many others so much.

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9 Responses to John Adams: Washington’s Ten Talents

  • Don

    Ignoring the untactful nature of the list, there is a point hidden in there.

    It is the common estimate that one third of the population supported the revolution, a third England and a third were neutral. In most places the Patriots had control of the local government and thus were in charge

    At any point if the Continental Army had dissolved, which was a real threat through early 1778, the British could have deployed there army in to small detachments and put the local Loyalists in charge and backed them up.

    With the Continental Army in the field, the British could not break up into small detachments because the Continentals would destroy them piece meal.

    Washington’s greatest accomplishment was, by charisma shear force of will, and fantastic personal leadership he kept the Army together despite hunger, scarce and poor equipment, long marches, and poor quarters, and multiple defeats.

    The revolution had a number of persons with the more conventional set of “talents” but did not have the charisma to keep the Army together.

  • You anticipate my post for tomorrow Hank!

  • Seems to me most of the list are assets (nature) rather than talents. In that vein, I want to add: Faith and that he was graced with huge amounts of the Divine assistance.

  • I agree, T. Shaw. Benjamin Franklin wrote of striving for virtues but it seemed mostly because it would make him a more pleasant person— a secular saint wanna-be. But Washington’s diaries reveal that he had pleasing God more in mind. Anyway, Washington stands alone.

  • Adams did not say it was an all inclusive lisit but i’d have suggested

    Washington had great physical strength and stamina – he could crack a walnut between his thumb and index finger. His letter writing is incredibly voluminous and always gracious and tolerant. He was also quick to give others credit and recognition.

    Last, he funded some of the revolution from his own money which was not unique in the revolution – Martha wrote out his expenses for submission to congress for recompense. we have a copy of them here in upstate new york. he took no salary as Com-n-chief The image of Washington praying along side his war horse tops the list i think. i believe in one of his biographies Washington claimed 67 times Divine Providence intervened on his or the revolutions behalf.

  • “First in war, first in peace, and (still) first in the hearts of his countryman.”

  • Good Lord, John Adams was a vain and petty little man. His greatest contribution to the American cause was nominating Washington to be Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. That fact, alone, must have caused him no end of indigestion.
    ***
    And I say that as a great admirer of John Adams.

  • I think Jay the difference between the men comes down to the fact that Adams was always concerned about what the history books would say about him. Washington could not have cared less. If he could have lived his life peacefully as the squire of Mount Vernon he would have been content. It was events outside his control, and his own sense of duty, that thrust him into the historical limelight. In Washington the old Roman tale of Cincinnatus came wonderfully to life.

  • and a constant exercise in humility i think- Adams was a talented man, maybe not so great a dad

    but every day he had to walk, talk and work among GIANTS, and he was savvy enough to know they were……..

January 27, 1776: Henry Knox Delivers the Noble Train of Artillery to Washington

Wednesday, January 27, AD 2016

One of the interesting aspects of wars and revolutions is the unexpected talents and abilities that come to the fore in the most unlikely of individuals.  As that remarkable year 1775 was drawing to a close, General Washington, if he was to force the British  to leave Boston, needed a substantial artillery force, which he entirely lacked.   Twenty-five year old Colonel Henry Knox, a fat Boston book seller prior to the War, came up with the idea of transporting the artillery from newly captured Fort Ticonderoga in northern New York to the siege lines around Boston.  This was accomplished by Knox from December 5, 1775 to January 27, 1776, transporting sixty tons of artillery and ammunition, 59 cannon, mortars and howitzers, through wilderness in the dead of winter, a truly astounding feat. On December 17, 1775 Knox wrote to Washington:

I return’d to this place on the 15 & brought with me the Cannon being nearly the time I conjectur’d it would take us to transport them to here, It is not easy [to] conceive the difficulties we have had in getting them over the Lake owing to the advanc’d Season of the Year & contrary winds, but the danger is now past & three days ago it was very uncertain whether we could have gotten them untill next spring, but now please God they must go – I have had made forty two exceeding Strong Sleds & have provided eighty Yoke of oxen to drag them as far as Springfield where I shall get fresh Cattle to Carry them to Camp – the rout will be from here to Kinderhook from thence into Great Barrington Massachusetts Bay & down to Springfield There will scarcely be possibility of conveying them from here to Albany or Kinderhook but on sleds the roads being very much gullied, at present the sledding is tolerable to Saratoga about 26 miles; beyond that there is none – I have sent for the Sleds & teams to come here & expect to begin [to] move them to Saratoga on Wednesday or Thursday next trusting that between this & then we shall have a fine fall of snow which will enable us to proceed further & make the carriage easy – if that should be the case I hope in 16 or 17 days time to be able to present to your Excellency a noble train of artillery.

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11 Responses to January 27, 1776: Henry Knox Delivers the Noble Train of Artillery to Washington

  • Knox had said it would take him two weeks to move the artillery, and it ended up being six weeks. In today’s politicized climate he would have run the risk of being cashiered.

  • “… but now please God they must go …”
    Could faith be what was behind all the miracle of defeating the King?
    Great article Donald–keep them coming.

  • Faith and providence. Americans up until very recently knew that there were several moments when the Revolution could have easily been lost. In hindsight the coincidences are too eerie.

  • “A contemplation of the compleat attainment (at a period earlier than could have been expected) of the object for which we contended against so formidable a power cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverence of the Armies of the U States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.”

    George Washington

  • but Don – knox was a private citizen when he performed this task, not colonel. how he loved washington and vice versa …. his commission did not come in till later 76 – Arnold had first volunteered to get the artillery but got distracted with other opportunities – knox lost a few canon thru river ice weakness- in the hudson near lansingburgh ny and the hudson again near albany – the citizens of albany helped him retrieve it from the river- early jan 76 – knox nearly froze to death near albany’ in a snow storm’ as he recounted to his Excellency George in a letter: the hoax was knox brought no powder – there was no propellant for the shells- Gage was looking for an excuse to abandon boston -small pox was killing him – so when dorchester heights made boston appear untenable he shipped his army to points north like nova scotia to fight another day …..

  • Knox was appointed Colonel of the Artillery Regiment on November 17, 1775:

    http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/09/richard-gridley-nearly-forgotten-patriot/

    Arnold took part with Ethan Allan in the taking of Fort Ticonderoga from a miniscule British guard. He then headed the Maine prong of the American invasion of Canada.

    Lack of powder delayed Washington from fortifying Dorchester Heights until March 5, 1776 by which time his army had sufficient powder for the cannon, much of it smuggled in from the West Indies.

  • hey Don – i mis spoke- Knox’s commission came in a day late , not a year late, for the then private citizen – Knox was acting as a ‘continental officer’ and was issued orders a day before his congressional commission was effective ; “Washington put Knox in charge of securing the Ticonderoga artillery, saying that “no trouble or expense must be spared to obtain them.” On November 16 Washington issued orders to Knox to retrieve the cannon (and authorized £1000 for the purpose), and wrote to General Philip Schuyler, a native New Yorker recently commission[ed] by the Second Continental Congress, asking him to assist Knox in the endeavor. Washington’s call for the weapons was echoed by the Congress, which issued Knox a colonel’s commission in November[17] that did not reach him until he returned from the expedition. Knox departed Washington’s camp on November 17, and after traveling to New York City for supplies, reached Ticonderoga on December 5 love your blog obviously, http://burnpit.legion.org/2012/12/henry-knox-begins-organizing-noble-train-artillery-transport-bostonnce Washintons

    the corpulent Colonel Knox’s congressional commission is dated to 11/17/1775. see Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution; mark puls , pg 38-43
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Xf5Kmmp-yycC&dq=when+did+congress+commission+col+knox%3F

    regarding powder – note in washingtons’ own writings https://books.google.com/books?id=ONaxAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA381&lpg=PA381&dq=colonel+knox%27s+continental+commission&source=bl&ots=ZhNhd3OsGp&sig=M-8-SvWl_oajVUdwJpRiODgaKQE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQyJGks9DKAhVHPCYKHewKAHI4ChDoAQgrMAQ#v=onepage&q=colonel%20knox's%20continental%20commission&f=false on page 380 Washington himself tells of Gage attempting to evacuate 1,000 men on transports on MARCH 5TH – along with their arms and magazines – and being driven back to boston by a violent storm . Gage decided to leave well prior to 3/5 or 3/17
    the ruse de guerre worked , prior to His Excellency having the powder to effect the departure; i believe Gage was running from small pox and “inclement surroundings” in beantown.

  • Don- ‘Arnold took part with Ethan Allan in the taking of Fort Ticonderoga from a miniscule British guard. ” took part?! – like Patton took part in the defeat of Nazi germany….. Col.Easton may be the cause of some confusion here
    http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/served/arnold.html – BTW – Arnold was one of only 2 visitors to valley forge who were applauded and saluted by the starving, frozen patriots
    i digress….

    ……Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys were as equally eager to capture such a prize and the two groups met up with each other at Bennington. [Arnold, as usual was out ahead , as Dark Eagle always was …..of his authorized 400 man brigade from Mass. ] Arnold was surprised and a little angered because Ethan Allen did not care if Arnold had permission from the Committee of Safety and Arnold couldn’t talk Allen out of relinquishing command. Arnold had to concede to accompanying Allen and his rowdy, rough and tumble fighters. On May 10, they surprised the British garrison and the Green Mountain Boys celebrated by invading the rum stores of the British and getting totally sloshed. They virtually ignored Benedict Arnold except when they were teasing and jeering him. Arnold had an argument with Colonel Easton, who was to deliver the missive announcing the victory of the capture to Massachusetts…which doesn’t make it surprising that Arnold spent time with the captured enemy officers than his fellow countrymen.
    Frustrated, he retired to the captain’s quarters to await forces that he had recruited, reporting to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress that Allen and his men were “governing by whim and caprice” at the fort, and that the plan to strip the fort and send armaments to Boston was in peril.[28] When Delaplace protested the seizure of his private liquor stores, Allen issued him a receipt for the stores, which he later submitted to Connecticut for payment.[29] Arnold’s disputes with Allen and his unruly men were severe enough that there were times when some of Allen’s men drew weapons.[28]
    28=Randall, Willard Sterne (1990). Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor. New York: William Morrow. ISBN 1-55710-034-9.

    Arnold eventually gained some control by way of his sailing experience, however he and Allen really never could see things the same way…except for the essential need of an invasion of Canada. Easton returned from his mission to Massachusetts while Arnold and Allen were planning the Canadian Invasion. Easton had done his best to diminish Arnold’s participation in the capture of Ticonderoga and the two were arguing once more. Arnold challenged him to a duel and Easton refused. When the fight got physical, Allen and Easton both left. He proceeded with his own plans, but soon a Massachusetts Committee commanded him to place himself under Colonel Benjamin Hinman. With his quick temper, he immediately dismissed all his troops after resigning his commission. He was not any happier when he found out his men had been recruited by his nemesis, Colonel Easton. Completely affronted, he went to Albany and there sent off a statement of the situation at Ticonderoga to Continental Congress.

    I am so pleased you know and post about our great history … God Bless your work!! and you…

  • from of all places….. https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2010-featured-story-archive/capture-of-fort-ticonderoga.html
    ” he attackers roused the fort commander from his bed, and Arnold reputedly demanded the fort’s surrender “in the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.” The fort fell without casualties and without a shot being fired.

    i’d always seen the phrase demanding surrender attributed to E. Allen of the New Hampshire estates …..

  • Other sources say that he said, “Come out you damn old rat!”

  • “who was Benedict Arnold?” Was the answer for last night’s Final Jeopardy American Revolution question.

Washington Refuses to be Beaten

Saturday, December 19, AD 2015

 

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Each year, as Christmas is approaching, I think of a Christmas long ago in 1776.  The year in which we declared our independence from Great Britain was a year of military disaster for the United States.  Washington and his troops had been beaten time after time, and as the end of the year approached the Revolution seemed to be dying.  The British controlled New York, the largest city in the colonies and the major port.  New Jersey had been conquered.  The Continental Congress was in flight from Philadelphia, in expectation that the British would next move on that city.  Washington’s army had been reduced to around 5,000 ill-clad and ill-fed poorly trained troops, vastly outnumbered by their British adversaries and their Hessian mercenaries, all well-trained, well equipped, well clad and well fed.  Most of the enlistments of Washington’s troops would be up by the end of the year, and few of them seemed likely to re-enlist.  Defeat seemed all but inevitable to all but Washington.  In this hour of doom, he rallied his troops and launched the Trenton-Princeton campaign, which restored the morale of his Army, liberated much of New Jersey, and put new heart into American patriots everywhere.  Washington had worked a military miracle.

The feat is all the more impressive, in that privately Washington was well-aware of the odds against him, and feared that defeat was probably likely.  We see that in two letters he wrote on December 10 and 17, 1776, to his nephew Lund Washington, who ran Mount Vernon in his absence:

Dear Lund:

    * * * * *

    I wish to Heaven it was in my power to give you a more favorable account of our situation than it is. Our numbers, quite inadequate to the task of opposing that part of the army under the command of General Howe, being reduced by sickness desertion, and political deaths (on or before the first instant, and having no assistance from the militia), were obliged to retire before the enemy, who were perfectly well informed of our situation, till we came to this place, where I have no idea of being able to make a stand, as my numbers, till joined by the Philadelphia militia, did not exceed three thousand men fit for duty. Now we may be about five thousand to oppose Howe’s whole army, that part of it excepted which sailed under the command of Gen. Clinton. I tremble for Philadelphia. Nothing, in my opinion, but Gen. Lee’s speedy arrival, who has been long expected, though still at a distance (with about three thousand men), can save it. We have brought over and destroyed all the boats we could lay our hands on upon the Jersey shore for many miles above and below this place; but it is next to impossible to guard a shore for sixty miles, with less than half the enemy’s numbers; when by force or strategem they may suddenly attempt a passage in many different places. At present they are encamped or quartered along the other shore above and below us (rather this place, for we are obliged to keep a face towards them) for fifteen miles. ***

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13 Responses to Washington Refuses to be Beaten

  • Great piece, Don.

  • It occurs, Sir, that Madeira is the proper wine for Americans to drink at Christmas.

    I kept a few bottles about up until a few years ago, out of deference to President Washington. That is a habit I think I shall revive.

  • I agree Dave, although being a tee-totaler the question is of purely academic interest for me!

  • Taking time to thank God for our reluctant first President of the United States. Unanimously voted into that office. Thanks go to you as well Mr. McClarey for perspective.
    Keeping alive the spirit of hope in times that seem unmanageable. Washington called upon Almighty God numerous times and this God Almighty was none other than the Trinity.

    No. All religions are not equal. All religions will not guarantee life everlasting. God help America.

  • Bar none, George Washington is the greatest man in American History.
    .
    The British believed that 1777 would be “the year of the hangman.” The Continental army had suffered disastrous after disastrous defeat in New York from August though December 1776 and was on the verge of collapse. God Almighty and His servant George Washington held it together. If it hadn’t been for Washington’s brilliant moves against Trenton and Princeton, it may have been all over.
    .
    Truly, “First in war; first in peace; first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
    .
    On a humorous note: the kids were too young to understand when I used to tell them, “George Washington is the father of our country. Boy, did he get around!”
    .
    Philip, Truth. In fact, some religions are banned. Think the Aztec religion of human sacrifice. That is not protected under the First Amendment. Similarly, Islam and the Koran promote (go read it) hatred and violence against non-Muslims. The fact that a predatory belief system is countenanced by the failed regime and the effete, corrupt elites tells us more about them than it does about Islam.

  • T. Shaw.
    I believe what you write.
    Why do the elites want chaos?
    Is it power grabs and disturbance that creates division and within the division opportunity?

    The Koran and history of Islam is a feature we study at our Holy League gathering’s. The conclusions we arrive at is that we have a serious threat to the liberties we’ve taken for granted for so long. The cry from progressives is that anyone who tries to teach others of the threat, and to prepare themselves is in their minds a group of fear monger’s. Uncaring in the plight of refugees.
    Not true. The vetting process is hindered.
    We do care for innocent life, however we care also of the possible loss of our families lives do to terrorist infiltration.

  • Philip,
    .
    It’s beyond Orwellian.
    .
    Americans are afraid because the regime not only refuses to defend them, it feverishly works to kill more Americans. Obama is bringing (and the taxpayer is paying for it) in tens of thousands more covert mass murderers while acting to confiscate our means of defense. Why? Obama hates us.
    .
    Me. I’m very fearful that my enlarged prostate will have me running to the latrine before I can get some. I don’t need no stinking government employee to keep me safe.
    .
    Obama and progressive elites hate America, Americans, and the uses we make of our property an freedoms equally as much as do devout Muslims.
    .
    Muslims (often funded by Sunni Wahhabi petrodollars and the American taxpayer) divide the World between them and us; dar al-Islam against dar al-harb. It’s motivated almost 14 centuries of desultory invasions, mass murders, and wars. Muslims are expected to bring Allah’s word and will to all of humanity, by force if necessary, and attempts by dar al-harb (the house of war) to resist back must be met with fatal force.
    .
    There are three classes of citizens in dar al-Islam: First Class – Muslim men; Second Class (treated like chattel) – Muslim women; Third Class (treated like dirt) everyone else.

  • UN resolution 2117 dusted!
    In a 53 – 46 Senate Vote the UN arms trade treaty was voted down….thanks be to God.
    This resolution had 21 points.
    Number 11 calls for Member States to support collection of weapons and disarmament in all UN countries.

    46 out of 100 US Senator’s were willing to give away our Constitutional rights to a foreign power. Forty six. Disgraceful!

  • That is good news, Philip. It means one fewer unconstitutional gun restriction of which I will be in violation.
    .
    Re: the idiot progressives’ (I repeat myself, again) asinine gun laws, after the Sandy Hook massacre (It wasn’t me!) CT and NY passed laws requiring registration, or turn in, of so-called assault weapons and high capacity magazines. In CT, approximately 50,000, of an estimated 400,000, were registered, or whatever. CT did nothing. What could it do? In NY, many county sheriffs publicly stated they would not enforce the law. And, guess what: the NY S.A.F.E. law prohibits public reporting of compliance. It’s beneath Orwellian. So much for the idiots’ common sense gun control laws.
    .
    The idiocracy near approaches: 46 senators need to go.
    .

  • T. Shaw.
    “46 Senators need to go.”
    Amen!

  • PHILIP and T Shaw- you can’t hear it but i am wildly applauding your exchange!
    bravi gentlemen …

  • 46 Senators need to go

    Only 46? Seems to me we ought to turn out the whole lot of ’em, just to be sure.

  • 46 senators need to go.
    –T. Shaw

    They don’t feel the need. I’m curious, please reveal what you will do to make even one of them feel the need.

One Response to November 26, 1789: Thanksgiving

Fortnight For Freedom: The Father of Our Country

Friday, June 27, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

 

America has been blessed by God in many ways but I suspect no blessing has been greater than His granting us George Washington to lead us in our struggle for independence and to be our first President.  Catholics have perhaps more reason than other Americans to keep the memory of Washington alive in our hearts.  In a time of strong prejudice against Catholics in many parts of the colonies he was free from religious bigotry as he demonstrated on November 5, 1775 when he banned the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes celebrations.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

– George Washington

This stand against anti-Catholicism was not unusual for Washington.  Throughout his life Washington had Catholic friends, including John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the US.  He would sometimes attend Mass, as he did during the Constitutional Convention when he led a delegation of the Convention to attend Mass in Philadelphia as he had attended Protestant churches in that town during the Covention.  This sent a powerful signal that under the Constitution Catholics would be just as good Americans as Protestant Americans.

Washington underlined this point in response to a letter from prominent Catholics, including Charles and John Carroll, congratulating him on being elected President:

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6 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: The Father of Our Country

  • Americans are indeed blessed by God with George Washington. Every citizen ought to emulate Washington’s wisdom, courage and love for God, country and his fellow man.
    .
    Common sense is necessary for the common good and the general welfare and to fulfill the mandates of the Preamble, the purpose, the unchangeable purpose, of the Constitution. Washington called anti-Catholicism “a void of common sense”.”a void of common sense” is called “a no people, a foolish nation” in the Bible.”a void of common sense” is filled with criminality.
    .
    A recent guest on EWTN’s Father Mich Pacwa Show said that only 6% of people entering into college this fall know the Ten Commandments, a very great “void of common sense”.
    .
    It must be noted as well, that Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer who supported freedom and independence for the colonies wrote “Common Sense” to encourage the people to realize their unalienable civil rights. To realize one’s unalienable human rights, one must acknoweldge all men’s unalienable human rights.
    .
    Obama denies his conscience and imposes his “void of common sense” on all citizens.

  • “Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer”

    Having been granted honorary French citizenship, along with other foreign friendsof liberty by the Legislative Assembly’s decree of 26 August 1792, later that year, he was elected to the National Convention as deputy for Pas-de-Calais. His contributions to the assembly’s debates were limited, for he did not speak French. He sat with the Girondins and Robespierre, in a rare flash of wit, remarked that he looked forward to hearing Paine’s speech from the scaffold.

  • Paine barely escaped from execution due to Thermidor. His enthusiasm for Revolutionary France was only one illustration that the author of Common Sense possessed little enough of that attribute himself.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “Paine barely escaped from execution due to Thermidor”

    It is said that, the night before he was ordered for execution, a gaoler, who had dined well rather than wisely, put the usual chalk-mark on the inside of his door, open because he had official visitors, instead of the inside.

    His enthusiasm for the French Revolution he shared with Jefferson, who said of the September Massacres in Paris in the summer of 1792 “Many guilty persons fell without the forms of trial, and with them some innocent. These I deplore as much as anybody. But—it was necessary to use the arm of the people, a machine not quite so blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a certain degree—was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood?”

    Lord Acton was shocked by this “disinterested enthusiasm for murder”

  • One of many reasons why my feelings for Jefferson can best be described as ambiguous.

  • ” … my feelings for Jefferson can best be described as ambiguous.” Ditto, Donald — and mine for Paine as well. I tend to explain both of them when they are at their genuine best as examples of the adage that “even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”

Washington: The Greatest American Part II

Saturday, February 22, AD 2014

Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion.

Pope Leo XIII

With the end of the Revolutionary War Washington was looking forward to a well earned retirement from public life at his beloved Mount Vernon.

On June 8, 1783 he sent a circular letter out to the states discussing his thoughts on the importance of the states remaining united, paying war debts, taking care of the soldiers who were wounded in the war and the establishment of a peace time military and the regulation of the militia.  It is an interesting document and may be read here.   No doubt Washington viewed this as in some respects his final thoughts addressed to the American people in his role as Commander in Chief.

Washington ends the letter with this striking passage:

I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.

The War having been won Washington resigned his commission to Congress in Annapolis, Maryland on December 23, 1783.  The next day he had reached his heart’s desire:  home, Mount Vernon.  Christmas the next day was probably the happiest in his life.

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3 Responses to Washington: The Greatest American Part II

  • Pope Leo XIII called the United States of America “a constitutional Republic”. “A constitutional Republic” is the finest definition of this nation.

  • All citizens, born and unborn, although birth gives the sovereign person citizenship and a tax bill, are George Washington’s constitutional posterity. One purpose inscribed in the Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America, is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our (constitutional) posterity”, George Washington’s constitutional posterity, all future generations of whom the present generation is part. Those who offer human sacrifice to the devil in the form of abortion and pornography and so called gay unnatural marriage violate the principles set forth in our Constitution.
    .
    The state does not “own” the sovereign soul newly conceived in innocence and virginity, therefore, the state cannot allow, subsidize, or legalize the termination and destruction of the unborn person’s will to live and his civil right to life.
    .
    George Washington would have vomited Planned Parenthood out of his mouth. And for certain, Planned Parenthood would not be allowed in the District that bears his name: Washington, D. C.

  • George Washington has served as an example for men and women throughout the world who have sought liberty and the end of repression. Miranda (I don’t remember his first name) was an enthusiastic supporter of the American War for Independence and the American republic and he wanted the same for the nations of South America. Simon Bolivar, too, spent time in the US and admired the country and its system of government. Bolivar was a master military strategist, but as a political leader he was something of a tyrant.

    Poland has a Washington Square in Warsaw. The only other foreign leader so honored by the Polish is Reagan. That tells you something.

    Washington’s warning against getting involved in European entanglements was wise advice at the time, and is usually good advice today when conducting foreign policy. It is people like Pat Buchanan that believe isolationism is a cure for all.

    I alluded to Washington’s activity in ending the Whiskey Rebellion earlier.

    The only political leaders that can measure to Washington since he left the scene were Lincoln, Churchill and Reagan.

His Rotundity

Tuesday, February 18, AD 2014

His Rotundity

To many Americans it often seems that Congress wastes an inordinate amount of time debating on trivialities.  It is at least an old tradition.  The Senate spent a month in 1789 debating what the title of the President should be.  Washington during the Revolution had often been known informally as His Excellency, but at that time that was the common title for governors of states.  Vice-President John Adams thought that the President needed a royal, or at least a  princely, title  to sustain the dignity of the office.  He suggested such titles as “His Highness” and “His Benign Highness” demonstrating once again how tone deaf to public opinion he tended to be, the American people post Revolution being decidedly anti-monarchical.  Eventually a Senate committee approved the title “His Highness, the President of the United States, and the Protector of Their Liberties”.

Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson was aghast at the whole business and recalled Benjamin Franklin’s description of Adams as a man who means well for his country, is always an honest man, sometimes a wise one, and who,  some times, and in some things, is absolutely out of his senses.

Washington initially favored the unwieldy formulation of “His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and Protector of Their Liberties,” but was aghast at the criticism that all of this smacked of monarchy, and eagerly agreed to the simple title of Mr. President that James Madison succeeded in having the House of Representatives approve.

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