He claims that conservatives can legitimately claim to be the heirs of Jefferson and the ideals of 1776, but liberals “have the arc of American history on their side” due to the general trajectory of an increasing role for government over the past couple of centuries.
Tag Archives: American Revolution
The sun was still trying to punch its way through a thick fog Friday morning when 22 U.S. Army infantrymen climbed board two inflatable Zodiac assault boats and started paddling across the Delaware River at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Upper Makefield.
It was the same spot where George Washington and his men made their famous crossing more than 200 years ago — and that was the point. Friday’s trip across the river by members of the 4th Battalion, 3rd United States Infantry Regiment was part of an informal exercise called a “staff ride,” during which service members simulate famous battles or campaigns in American military history at the sites where they happened.
Ward (or Nanye-hi, if you prefer to use her Cherokee name) was one of those intercultural mediators that played such a prominent role on the early American frontier, which in her case consisted of what eventually became northeastern Tennessee.
American revolutionary leader George Washington has been voted the greatest enemy commander to face Britain, lauded for his spirit of endurance against the odds and the enormous impact of his victory.
In a contest organised by Britain’s National Army Museum, the first President of the U.S triumphed over Irish independence hero Michael Collins, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Making the case for Washington, historian Stephen Brumwell said the American War of Independence (1775-83) was ‘the worst defeat for the British Empire ever.’
More formidable than Napoleon! Not bad for a guy who spent the latter months of ’76 retreating across New York and New Jersey.
…David Barton managed to get a lot of things wrong in his new Thomas Jefferson book.
My favorite quote: “But to claim, as Mr. Barton does, that Jefferson was ‘unpretentious, living and acting as the common person for whom he had sacrificed so much’ lays it on a little thick.” That’s a masterpiece of understatement. When it came to matters of personal expenditures, Jefferson’s profligacy knew no bounds.
And then there’s the whole religion thing:
Jefferson’s religious beliefs are central to Mr. Barton’s thesis, in the service of which straw men are consumed in bonfires. No Jefferson scholar to my knowledge has ever concluded that Jefferson was an “atheist,” as Mr. Barton suggests. That Jefferson might have been what we would think of as a deist or even a Unitarian, as many historians believe, Mr. Barton also disputes. Jefferson was “pro-Christian and pro-Jesus,” he says, although he concedes that the president did have a few qualms about “specific Christian doctrines.” The doctrines Jefferson rejected—the divinity of Christ, the Resurrection, the Trinity—are what place him in the camp of the deists and Unitarians in the first place. It was Jefferson’s difficulty with these doctrines that persuaded his close friends Benjamin Rush and Joseph Priestley that Jefferson’s skepticism went beyond anything even these latitudinarian believers could endorse.
In other words, the “specific Christian doctrines” Jefferson doubted were the very doctrines that were specifically Christian.
Hat tip: American Creation.
Yesterday I finally took care of a nagging bit of unfinished business. Being an aficionado of the Rev War and the Tennessee frontier, I’ve always had a soft spot for Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, but I’d never visited Carter Mansion, the historic house museum just a few miles away operated by the park as a satellite site.
Built sometime around the Revolution, either by John Carter (one of the first settlers in what would become Tennessee and leader of the Watauga Association) or his son Landon (a veteran of the War for Independence and an important political figure on the frontier), the house is one of the oldest and most important structures in the region.
I’d wanted to see it for a long time, but it had been closed every time I’d visited the park, so when I found out about a living history event at the house this weekend, I jumped at the chance to make a special trip. I took my cousin along; he’s a fellow history enthusiast who accompanied me on my last visit to the park.
If this doesn’t fit your idea of a “mansion,” bear in mind that most houses of that time and place were simple cabins; painted siding and brick chimneys weren’t the sort of architectural features you saw every day.
Where the house really knocks your socks off, though, is its elaborate interior. The carved panels, crown molding, chair rails, and fluted columns of the first-floor walls put this home in a different class altogether from the rough dwellings typical of the eighteenth-century frontier. Incredibly, some of the walls still have the original stain, visible above this fireplace in the parlor.
I’ve seen more than my share of historic house museums from the late 1700′s and early 1800′s, and this is one of the most beautifully restored and furnished of the whole lot.
Some members of the Carter family are buried on the grounds…
…although I could’ve sworn I saw John Carter himself treating some of the local militia to a patriotic libation.
A gang of Tories broke up the party by showing up uninvited, more than a little irate that their property had been confiscated. The negotiations didn’t turn out well.
A good time was had by all—except for the Tories, I suppose—and I can finally scratch Carter Mansion off my bucket list. Totally worth the wait.
Two guys from the magazine Patriots of the American Revolution are walking the entire 300-mile route along which Henry Knox hauled captured artillery from Ft. Ticonderoga to Dorchester Heights. I’d never be able to pull off something like this. If I do a day hike at Cumberland Gap, I feel like I should get a medal afterwards.
From Planet Princeton:
Opponents of the Institute for Advanced Study’s plan to build faculty housing have filed a lawsuit to block the project, arguing it will destroy the site of Washington’s counter-attack in the Battle of Princeton, the historic battle that changed the course of the American Revolution.
The lawsuit, filed in Mercer County Superior Court by the Princeton Battlefield Society, also claims the project is barred under the terms of a 1992 settlement agreement between the Institute and Princeton Township.
“The development, intended to provide housing for 15 faculty members, will completely obliterate the Battlefield site that has remained untouched for the last 235 years,” said the group’s attorney, Bruce Afran. “The Institute housing plan will destroy what is probably the most significant Revolutionary War site left in the United States, along with critical archaeological and historical evidence.”
The suit alleges that the construction, intended to build housing for 15 Institute faculty members, is barred under the terms of a 1992 settlement that the Institute reached with Princeton Township that was intended to preserve the Battlefield site from future residential development.
Perhaps I’m too sensitive, but something about the headline “Pennsylvania’s newest casino opens at Valley Forge” doesn’t sit well with me. ”Casino” and “Valley Forge” are two terms that don’t belong together, sort of like “clown act” and “funeral,” or “Snickers bar” and “roast duck.”
Security guards stationed at the edge of the casino floor watched as Ingrid Walker, 69, of Linwood, Delaware County, slid her access card into an electronic gateway. A green arrow lit to admit her, and Walker, who bought an annual membership at the casino resort, made her way in.
“I think it’s good,” she said of the access restrictions. “It keeps the riffraff out.”
Wouldn’t want anything to disrupt the dignity of the gaming experience, surrounded by middle-aged white women relentlessly cramming bills into jangling light-up machines.
Valley Forge Casino Resort uses a silver “V” logo in ads and on billboards dotting the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, and I-95. There’s also a “V” sculpture at its entrance at 1160 First Ave. Management says the logo stands for “victory” – what gamblers aim to achieve at its slots and table games – but it’s also partly a nod to the historic location.
And in case you’d forgotten why it’s historic, the ace reporter provides a helpful refresher. To quote directly:
Historical accounts say Gen. Washington, with the aid of Prussian military officer Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, unified and standardized the Continental Army when it camped at Valley Forge from December 1777 to June 1778. Their preparation led to the capture of Hessian and British troops at the Battle of Trenton, considered a turning point in the American Revolution.
The Battle of Trenton took place a full year before the winter at Valley Forge, of course, so the Americans evidently managed to get twelve months’ worth of extra fighting experience and then go back in time to use it against their enemies. No wonder the Hessians were surprised.
“Roads?” Washington reportedly said to his troops as they prepared to cross the Delaware. ”Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”