"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams
Showing posts with label George Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George Washington. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe

Book Review
Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe
The Bill of Rights, and The Election that Saved a Nation
By Chris DeRose

By Gary;

As I was wondering through the very extensive history section at the local library I ran across this interesting book.

Somehow the event covered in the book slipped passed me.

The author explores in detail the most important Congressional election in the history of the United States  -  the 5th District of Virginia between Federalist James Madison and Anti-Federalist James Monroe.

Madison stood before the voters in America's very first election as perhaps the principal author of the Constitution.  Monroe campaigned against the Constitution that he felt made the central government too powerful and did not protect the rights of the people.

A Two Party System Developes  -  Even in this first election society began to break down into warring political camps.  One observer at the time noted, "Hereafter, when a gentleman is nominated to a public office, it is not his virtue, his abilities, or his patriotism we are to regard, but whether he is a Federalist or Anti-Federalist."

At stake in the election was the future adoption of the Bill of Rights itself. 

Madison was effectively the leader of the Federalist Party.  His presence in the House was vital to getting a Bill of Rights written and adopted.  A Monroe Anti-Federalist victory could have endangered the passage of the Bill of Rights by removing a pro-Bill of Rights Madison from the question.  Without Madison in the House the Bill might have bogged down in inter-party fighting.

James Monroe
Monroe is regarded as the last U.S. President who was a Revolutionary War veteran, since he served as an officer of the Continental Army and took part in combat. He served with distinction at the Battle of Trenton, where he was shot in his left shoulder. He spent three months recuperating from his wound. In John Trumbull's painting Capture of the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton, Monroe can be seen lying wounded at left center of the painting. In the famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware, Monroe is depicted holding the flag.
Monroe died on July 4th, 1831 the 55th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

"Henry-Mandering"   -  The great patriot Patrick Henry almost got his name attached to the crooked partisan drawing of Congressional Districts.

Former Virginia Governor Henry was the state leader of the Anti-Federalist Party.  He was viciously opposed to the new Federalist written Constitution for centralizing too much power with Congress and the President, and he forcefully defended the weak Articles of Confederation.

Federalist James Madison let it be known that he would seek election to the first House of Representatives.  Patrick Henry's Anti-Federalists sharpened their knives.  When Virginia's Congressional Districts were drawn, Madison's home was "Henry-mandered" by the Anti-Federalists.
Virginia Governor Patrick Henry
Anti-Federalist Party leader

Using the vote for the Virginia Ratification Convention as a guide, Henry's allies drew the lines of Madison's 5th Congressional District to include 74% Anti-Federalist voters. 

In their next step the Anti-Federalists recruited a prominent Revolutionary War vet in James Monroe to carry their standard to defeat Madison.

Henry's goal was to defeat Madison before the votes were even cast.

With the future of the nation on the line, Madison did not shrink from the election. 

In a day when candidates never personally campaigned both candidates hit the road hard.  Monroe and Madison aggressively went after every vote in every town, rural cluster of houses and churches.

Monroe campaigned against the new Federal government having the power to tax in order to support itself . . . which was the entire point of the new Constitution.

Madison knew that the fear of direct Federal taxation could destroy his campaign.  He had to do some political maneuvering to defuse the issue saying voluntary taxing would not work, "If some states contribute their quotas and others do not, justice is violated. . . . . Shall we put our trust in the system of requisitions, by which each state will furnish or not furnish its share as it may like?"

The author details an election that was hard fought.  The votes were cast at county courthouses under the supervision of the local sheriffs. 

People would walk in and announce their vote for Congress.  No "secret" ballot.  Real Americans proudly announced to their neighbors and the world who they supported.
In an Anti-Federalist district Madison won 57% of the vote.  A ringing endorsement for the new government.

Near the end of his life Chief Justice John
Marshall was asked to name the most eloquent
orator of his age.  "If it includes persuasion by
convincing, Mr. Madison was the most
eloquent man I ever heard."

The First Congress  -  There was an enormous task waiting for Madison and the others in the first Congress.  An entire government had to be created from scratch and there was the danger that a Bill of Rights could easily be pushed back to be dealt with later.
As leader of the Federalists, Madison was front and center in bills creating the branches of government, financing and executive powers.
Madison pushed and insisted that a Bill of Rights must be passed before Congress adjourned.  Finally the 12 amendments were passed, but only 10 finally being adopted.
In 1790 James Monroe went on to be elected to the U.S. Senate. 

But while Congressman Madison was the architect in the creation of the United States, Senator Monroe hardly made his presence felt at all.  Monroe spent more time on his law practice back in Virginia than in affairs of state.

The author was probably right.  A rather "low energy" Anti-Federalist Congressman Monroe might have delayed or even prevented the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

An interesting side note, both Monroe and Madison became lifelong friends and political allies.  In 1828 Madison and Monroe were selected as Presidential Electors for the ticket of John Quincy Adams and in 1929 both served at the Virginia Constitutional Convention.

In April, 1831 Madison wrote his last letter to his friend speaking of the "uninterrupted friendship that unites us."  A few weeks later, on July 4th, 1831, Monroe died.

The book is an excellent read.  Anyone interested in the founding of the republic must add this to their library.


James Madison wrote to George Washington regarding the first US Congress.  Madison saw the future of the nation more clearly than most:  
"I see on the list of representatives a very scanty proportion who will share in the drudgery of business.  And I foresee contentions first between Federalists and Anti-Federalists parties, and then between northern and southern parties, which will give additional disagreeableness to the prospect."
James Madison

Washington crossing of the Delaware
James Monroe is depicted as holding the flag.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19th - Happy Yorktown Day

The Americans storming the redoubts on 14th October 1781
during the Battle of Yorktown.

October 19, 1781  -  The British surrender to General George Washington at Yorktown

Happy Yorktown Day Everyone. 

Oh, that's right.  Today a nation was born, but no one celebrates what is perhaps the most important day in the history of the United States.  There isn't even a phony, pretend made-up three day weekend for people to get drunk at a BBQ or go to a casino.

Modern Americans appear to neither know about their own heritage nor care.

But here at The Federalist blog I sit at my laptop and raise my glass of gin and tonic to our brave troops who kicked British imperialist ass so long ago.

The Battle of Yorktown took place from September 28 to October 19, 1781.  The battle was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis.

The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, it proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in North America, as the surrender by Cornwallis of his army prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.

American Continental troops capture British guns

In 1780, 5,500 French soldiers landed in Rhode Island to assist their American allies in operations against British-controlled New York City. Following the arrival of dispatches from France that included the possibility of support from the French West Indies fleet of the Comte de Grasse, Washington and Rochambeau decided to ask de Grasse for assistance either in besieging New York, or in military operations against a British army operating in Virginia.

On the advice of Rochambeau, de Grasse informed them of his intent to sail to the Chesapeake Bay, where Cornwallis had taken command of the army. Cornwallis, at first given confusing orders by his superior officer, Henry Clinton, was eventually ordered to make a defensible deep-water port, which he began to do at Yorktown, Virginia. Cornwallis's movements in Virginia were shadowed by a Continental Army force led by the Marquis de Lafayette.

America's Final Victory - 1781


Washington firing the first shot at Yorktown.
The French and American armies united north of New York City during the summer of 1781. When word of de Grasse's decision arrived, the combined armies began moving south toward Virginia, engaging in tactics of deception to lead the British to believe a siege of New York was planned.
De Grasse sailed from the West Indies and arrived at the Chesapeake Bay at the end of August, bringing additional troops and providing a naval blockade of Yorktown. He was transporting 500,000 silver pesos collected from the citizens of Havana, Cuba, to fund supplies for the siege and payroll for the Continental Army
The troops engaged at Yorktown.
French: 10,800 regular.
29 war ships
22,000 Sailors

American: 8,845 regulars
3,100 militia

Britain: 9,000 (includes German troops)
In the beginning of September, he defeated a British fleet led by Sir Thomas Graves that came to relieve Cornwallis at the Battle of the Chesapeake. As a result of this victory, de Grasse blocked any escape by sea for Cornwallis. By late September Washington and Rochambeau arrived, and the army and naval forces completely surrounded Cornwallis.
After initial preparations, the Americans and French built their first parallel and began the bombardment. With the British defense weakened, Washington on October 14, 1781 sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses. A French column took redoubt #9 and an American column redoubt #10. With these defenses taken, the allies were able to finish their second parallel.
With the American artillery closer and more intense than ever, the British situation began to deteriorate rapidly and Cornwallis asked for capitulation terms on the 17th. After two days of negotiation, the surrender ceremony took place on the 19th; Lord Cornwallis, claiming to be ill, was absent from the ceremony. With the capture of over 7,000 British soldiers, negotiations between the United States and Great Britain began, resulting in the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
At Yorktown.

General George Washington reviews the captured British
army at the Battle of Yorktown.

American troops storming the redoubt

General Washington at Yorktown

The new portrait of George Washington by Igor Babailov
It is based precisely on the original sculptured likeness, transforming it into a painting. The artist’s portrait research and references also included Houdon's preliminary sculpture studies: the Washington's bust and the life mask at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
"It is right that people in later generations could see my exact likeness"
George Washington
(About Houdon's sculpture)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Congress is responsible for death of Libyan Ambassador

The Imperial Presidency  -  Congress is directly responsible for the death of our ambassador to Libya
  • A weak and ball-less Congress has allowed the development of an Imperial President who makes unconstitutional wars at will.
  • Congress allowed Caesar Obama to wage an unconstitutional war of aggression against Libya in order to overthrow their government.  A government that had been working with the US since the Bush Administration.
  • A spineless Congress allowed Obama to destabilize Libya and help create the current violence.

It may not look like it at first glance, but Congress is largely responsible for the horrible events in Libya.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff were killed in an attack on the Benghazi consulate and a safe house refuge.  Those buildings were stormed by Islamist gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the so-called "Prophet" Mohammad.

Gunmen had attacked and set fire to the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of last year's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, late on Tuesday evening as another assault was mounted on the U.S. embassy in Cairo reports Reuters News.

In a total violation of the Constitution, Caesar Obama
attacked and overthrew the government of Libya
destabilizing the nation.

California-born ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in the assault. U.S. consular staff were rushed to a safe house after the initial attack, and between 12 and 17 were wounded.

Accounts of the consulate attack described chaos and bloodshed, with Libyan security over-run and retreating.

"We started shooting at them, and then some other people also threw hand-made bombs over the fences and started the fires in the buildings," said 17-year-old Hamam, who took part in the assault and refused to give his last name.

"There was some Libyan security for the embassy outside but when the hand-made bombs went off they ran off and left," said Hamam, who said he saw an American die in front of him in the mayhem that ensued. He said the body was covered in ash.

Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi:   "We came, we saw, he died"
The death of foreign heads of state does not bother the Hildabeast at all.

The Anti-Islam Film  -  You will hear a lot of crap about an anti-Islam film posted on You Tube "provoking" Muslims. 

Total Bullshit.  In a free society people have the right to say what they Hell they want to about Mohammad.  Subject closed.  Period.  If Muslims don't like it they can fuck off.

The Constitution  -  But of more importance to the few thinking Americans left is the near total disregard of the Constitution by both the leadership class and the people themselves.

For decades on end, Congress has given away Constitutional power after Constitutional power to the Imperial President of the moment.  That way Congress can easily place blame on the White House if anything goes wrong, but can take any credit that comes from a policy that works.

Congress giving away the power to declare war is perhaps the most serious.  Caesar Obama decided on his own to wage war on the nation of Libya.  No debate was held in Congress.  No vote by Congress was even asked for by our Caesar. 

Without a legal Declaration of War our Caesar attacked Libya and massively destabilized the nation.  As usual Congress did nothing about this impeachable act.  In fact, many boot-licking Senators and Congressmen were happy to cheer Caesar on in his war.

So now we have a destabilized Libya with insane Islamists roaming the streets.  Watch Congress pass the buck to the White House.

"The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure." (1793)
George Washington

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 4, 1776 - Patriotic Songs

The Greatest Man in American History.
My, my how petty and small the modern political hacks look in comparison to George Washington.

Yankee Doodle Dandy
Ofter sung by the Brits to mock limp-wristed "Dandy" Colonials (you get the idea):
Yankee Doodle came to town,
For to buy a firelock,
We will tar and feather him,
And so we will John Hancock.
But Americans were not about to let a catchy tune get away from them and adopted the song as their own.

The Ballad of the Green Mountain Boys

Ho--all to the borders! Vermonters, come down,
With your britches of deerskin and jackets of brown;
With your red woolen caps and your moccasins come,
To the gathering summons of trumpet and drum.
Come down with your rifle!
Let gray wolf and fox
Howl on in the shadow of primitive rocks;
Let bear feed securely from pig-pen and stall;
Here's two-legged game for your powder and ball.
Then cheer, cheer, the green mountaineer, then cheer, cheer the green mountaineer

On the south came the Hessians, our land to police;
And armed for the battle while canting of peace;
On our east came the British, the red coated band
To hang up our leaders and eat up our land.
Ho--all to the rescue! For Satan shall work
No gain for the legions of Hampshire and York!
They claim our possessions--the pitiful knaves--
The tribute we pay shall be prisons and graves!
Then cheer, cheer, the green mountaineer, then cheer, cheer the green mountaineer

We owe no allegiance, we bow to no throne,
Our ruler is law and the law is our own;
Our leaders themselves are our own fellow-men,
Who can handle the sword and the scythe and the pen
Hurrah for Vermont! For the land that we till
Must have sons to defend her from valley and hill
Our vow is recorded--our banner unfurled,
In the name of Vermont we defy all the world!
Then cheer, cheer, the green mountaineer, then cheer, cheer the green mountaineer

Yankee Privateer

Star Spangled Banner (1814)

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

- - - The Star Spangled Banner (1814)

My Country Tis of Thee  -  (1831)

That's What's the Matter (1862)
By Stephen Foster

We live in hard and stirring times,
Too sad for mirth, too rough for rhymes;
For songs of peace have lost their chimes,
And that's what's the matter!
The men we held as brothers true,
Have turn'd into a rebel crew;
So now we have to put them thro',
And that's what's the matter!

Chorus: That's what's the matter,
The rebels have to scatter;
We'll make them flee,
By land and sea, And that's what's the matter!

Marching Through Georgia (1865)

So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
While we were marching through Georgia.
Hurrah! Hurrah! we bring the jubilee!
Hurrah! Hurrah! the flag that makes you free!
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
While we were marching through Georgia.

I left my love a letter
I know this is not a period song, but it should have been.

Battle Hymn of the Republic  (1861)

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

We'll Fight for Uncle Sam  (c. 1862)

I am a modern hairo: my name is Paddy Kearney;
Not long ago, I landed from the bogs of sweet Killarney;
I used to cry out: SOAP FAT! bekase that was my trade, sir,
Till I 'listed for a Soger-boy wid Corcoran's brigade, sir.

Chorus: For to fight for Uncle Sam;
He'll lade us on to glory, O!
He'll lade us on to glory, O!
To save the Stripes and Stars.

Ora, once in regimentals, my mind it did bewildher.
I bid good-bye to Biddy dear, and all the darling childher;
Whoo! says I, the Irish Volunteers the divil a one afraid is,
Bekase we've got the soger bould, McClellan, for to lade us.

Chorus: For to fight for Uncle Sam, &c.

We soon got into battle: we made a charge of bay'nets:
The Rebel blaggards soon gave way: they fell as thick as paynuts.
Och hone! the slaughter that we made, bedad, it was delighting!
For, the Irish lads in action are the divil's boys for fighting.

Chorus: They'll fight for Uncle Sam, &c.

Och, sure, we never will give in, in any sort of manner,
Until the South comes back agin, beneath the Starry-Banner;
And if John Bull should interfere, he'd suffer for it truly;
For, soon the Irish Volunteers would give him Ballyhooly.

Chorus: Oh! they'll fight for Uncle Sam, &c.

And! now, before I ind my song, this free advice I'll tender:
We soon will use the Rebels up and make them all surrender,
And, once again, the Stars and Stripes will to the breeze be swellin',
If Uncle Abe will give us back our darling boy McClellan.

Chorus: Oh! we'll follow Little Mac, &c.

The Girl I left Behind Me   (First printed text 1791, Dublin, Ireland)

Garryowen - 7th Cavalry Regiment March  (1860s)

When Johnny Comes Marching Home  (1863)

Rare footage of Civil War vets  (1930s)

She wore a yellow ribbon

"Rough Riders"  -  Garryowen

Over There  -  World War One
A look back at World War One through the music of the patriotic anthem, "Over There", sung by early 20th Century pop sensation Billy Murray.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The GOP's moment of truth

"Paper money will invariably operate in the body of politics as spirit liquors on the human body. They prey on the vitals and ultimately destroy them…. Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.” 
George Washington

Spinning out of Control  -  The endless printing of paper money to pay for a Socialist Welfare State has brought the world to the edge of a cliff.
  • The Democrats are addicted to spending like a heroin user.
  • But do the Socialist-Lite Republicans have the will power to end the madness?

The truth of George Washington's quote above to a Senator from Rhode Island is still valid in the 21st century.  Yet it is fully understood by very few of the so-called "best and brightest" who run the United States.
Words such as “ruined,” “evil,” “oppression,” “fraud,” and “injustice” are seen as partisan rhetoric in the battle for control of the Federal leviathan – and the paper money that flows so freely to it via the Federal Reserve. Clueless politicians on both sides of the isle do not recognize that this flow of money will soon cease to exist, along with the power it buys. The vacuum left will create a power grab of historic proportions.
Should we fail to take action now, one need only look at the European Union to see our ultimate fate. The EU is a failed attempt to unite diverse nations under a single fiat currency without a centralized government to administer it. Common sense dictated that this experiment would fail. As predicted, fiscal prudence was not practiced by all member nations. Those practicing restraint resent those who did not, resulting in political and economic instability. Political posturing over proposed solutions has created deadlock. To buy more time, money was printed. The resulting accumulation of sovereign debt has now triggered a crisis that has consumed all of Europe.
As the sovereign debt crisis rolls from Europe to our shores, be assured that the same “solution” proposed for Europe will be “offered” to the United States. Consolidation of the monetary system at an international level (International Monetary Fund) will be touted as the remedy to the economic hardship Americans will soon be embroiled in.
(Tenth Amendment Center)

The Olden Days When Gold and Silver was Money.
When gold and silver was money somehow the sun came up every day, children played, businesses did business, people went to work and lived their lives. But our ever so smart economists from the very best schools (who think loaning money to Greece is a good idea) tell us we are the "crazy" ones for wanting a stable gold backed currency and balanced budgets.

Sound Money
Once upon a time the GOP stood for Sound Money backed by gold. Since then they have become insane big spenders printing endless "free" paper money to cover obscene Big Government spending in an endless quest to buy votes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

America Betrayed - Abolishing the Bill of Rights

A Patriot betrayed by the American people.
John Nicholas Hetrick fought in the American Revolution to give us FREEDOM and a Bill of Rights against oppression by government.  Hetrick and the Revolution have been betrayed by power hungry Beltway political hacks and a moronic, self-absorbed public more concerned with free handouts, twitter and the latest celebrity breast implants.

1,745  -  Number of requests in 2011 to a Secret Court to wiretap and search

16,511  -  Number of National Security Letter requests where the government can search your private records without a warrant in violation of the Bill of Rights

By Gary;

Secret Courts and searches without a warrant by armed Federal Agents.  I am not living in the United States anymore.  Somehow I woke up in some Orwellian nightmare Big Brother State where the Founding Fathers never existed and the American Revolution never happened.

What is sick beyond words is this new Orwellian America is a bi-partisan creation of both Democrats and Republicans.  Both parties eagerly pass laws growing a Big Brother State in total violation of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

See our recent article:  THE FEDERALIST - "Congress Abolishes the Bill of Rights."

Secret Courts  -  The Justice Department made 1,745 requests to a secret court for authority to wiretap or search for evidence in terrorism and espionage investigations last year.  That's according to an April 30 letter from the department to the Senate that was first reported Thursday by the Federation of American Scientists.
Defend the Bill of Rights

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret to hear classified evidence from government attorneys, did not reject any of the requests, though judges did require modifications to 30 requests reports the Associated Press.

It was an increase over 2010, when the department made 1,579 requests.

National Security Letter (NSL)  -  The FBI also made 16,511 national security letter requests for information in 2011.

The letters allow officials to collect virtually unlimited kinds of sensitive, private information like financial and phone records all without a warrant..

The letter is a form of administrative subpoena used by the FBI and reportedly by other U.S. government agencies including the CIA and the Department of Defense. They require no probable cause or judicial oversight. An NSL is a demand letter issued to a particular entity or organization to turn over various record and data pertaining to individuals. NSLs can only request non-content information, such as transactional records, phone numbers dialed or email addresses mailed to and from. They also contain a gag order, preventing the recipient of the letter from disclosing that the letter was ever issued.

The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves . . . again.

(Associated Press)

George Washington   -   Character Mattered.
A front line fighting Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army for over eight years.  He put his body in harm's way to give us our Freedom, a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.

The liar self-absorbed political whores of today are only interested in lining their own pockets with corrupt campaign money while selling out the Bill of Rights and our Freedom in order to build a centralized Big Brother State that they can rule. 

Then the face of Big Brother faded away again and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals:

George Orwell  (
1984) Book I, Chapter I

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

George Washington: Britain's greatest enemy

The Greatest enemy ever of the British Empire
Stephen Brumwell, author and specialist on eighteenth century North America, said: "Washington scores highly as an enemy of Britain on three key grounds: the immense scale of damage he inflicts upon Britain's Army and Empire – the most jarring defeat that either endured; his ability to not only provide inspirational battlefield leadership but to work with civilians who were crucial to sustain the war-effort; and the kind of man he was. As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent."

Even the British agree . . . Washington was their greatest opponent

General George Washington was voted the winner in a contest run by the British National Army Museum to identify the country's most outstanding military opponent.  He was one of a shortlist of five leaders who topped a public poll and on Saturday was selected as the ultimate winner by an audience of around 70 guests at a special event at the museum, in Chelsea, west London.
The vote breakdown was: 
  • George Washington  -  45% of the vote
  • Michael Collins  -  21%  
  • Napoleon Bonaparte  -  18%
  • Erwin Rommel  -  10% 
  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk  -  6%
At the event, each contender had their case made by a historian giving a 40 minute presentation. The audience, who had paid to attend the day, then voted in a secret ballot after all five presentations had been made.

Battle of Trenton

Dr. Stephen Brumwell, who had championed Washington, said: "As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent."
The shortlist of five were selected from an initial list of 20 candidates, drawn up by the museum's curators.
To qualify, each commander had to come from the 17th century onwards – the period covered by the museum's collection – and had to have led an army in the field against the British, thus excluding political enemies, like Adolf Hitler.
The contest was designed to not only identify Britain's most outstanding opponent, but also to draw attention to some lesser-known adversaries.

British surrender at Yorktown  -  225th Anniversary

Most of the 20 fought in various colonial wars, such as Ntshingwayo kaMahole, the Zulu leader and victor of Isandlwana, one of the British army's greatest military defeats, and Tipu Sultan, known as the "Tiger of Mysore", who resisted British expansion in India.
Alongside Rommel, the only Second World War leader was Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese commander who oversaw the fall of Singapore. The one woman on the list was Rani of Jhansi, who fought British forces in nineteenth century India.
(UK Telegraph)

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting."

"Who is there that has forgotten the vales of Brandywine, the fields of Germantown, or the plains of Monmouth? Everywhere present, wants of every kind obstructing, numerous and valiant armies encountering, himself a host, he assuaged our sufferings, limited our privations, and upheld our tottering republic."

General Henry Lee III
American Revolutionary veteran.  Delivered his famous eulogy on Washington before the two Houses of Congress on December 26, 1799.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Washington's Birthday and the decline of America

The Greatest Man in History.
 From Caesar to Cromwell to Bonaparte, other generals in history have overthrown their Republics and created military dictatorships.  Not Washington.  He was true to his word.

George Washington:  February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799

By Gary;

Another "President's Day" has passed.  My two cents:   Screw President's Day.

The way Americans "honor" Washington's birthday to a direct insult to the memory of Washington himself and a symptom of the decline of this nation.

To bottom line things, modern Americans don't give a crap about the Father of their Country.  Instead of showing even a small, token amount of respect, people today plaster Washington's image on crappy ads to sell shoes, used cars and mattresses.   Celebrating his birthday does not even come to anyone's mind.  Local events or parades are virtually non-existent.

To add insult to injury we do not even "celebrate" Washington's birthday on his birthday.  To insult Washington Congress created a phony pretend holiday on a Monday.  Now selected workers would have a three day weekend to go to the beach or to the local casino or just sit on their butts with the remote control in hand to watch endless re-runs of cable TV crap.

From the leadership down most people no longer care.  Nearly everyone is self-absorbed.

With the Revolution over General Washington returns his commission to Congress. 

On George Washington:

“Perhaps no man in this community has equal cause with myself to deplore the loss.  I have been much indebted to the kindness of the General, and he was an Aegis very essential to me…  If virtue can secure happiness in another world he is happy.  In this the Seal is now put upon his Glory.  It is no longer in jeopardy from the fickleness of fortune."

Alexander Hamilton
Letter to Tobias Lear, January 2, 1800

On George Washington:

"His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man. His temper was naturally high toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it. If ever, however, it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in his wrath."

"In his expenses he was honorable, but exact; liberal in contributions to whatever promised utility; but frowning and unyielding on all visionary projects and all unworthy calls on his charity. His heart was not warm in its affections; but he exactly calculated every man’s value, and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it. His person, you know, was fine, his stature exactly what one would wish, his deportment easy, erect and noble; the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback."

Thomas Jefferson
Letter to Dr. Walter Jones, January 2, 1814

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting."

"Who is there that has forgotten the vales of Brandywine, the fields of Germantown, or the plains of Monmouth? Everywhere present, wants of every kind obstructing, numerous and valiant armies encountering, himself a host, he assuaged our sufferings, limited our privations, and upheld our tottering republic."

General Henry Lee III
American Revolutionary veteran.  Delivered his famous eulogy on Washington before the two Houses of Congress on December 26, 1799.   (First in Peace)

“The strength of his character lay in his integrity, his love of justice, his fortitude, the soundness of his judgment, and his remarkable prudence to which he joined an elevated sense of patriotic duty, and a reliance on the enlightened & impartial world as the tribunal by which a lasting sentence on his career would be pronounced."

"Nor was he without the advantage of a Stature & figure, which however insignificant when separated from greatness of character do not fail when combined with it to aid the attraction. But what particularly distinguished him, was a modest dignity which at once commanded the highest respect, and inspired the purest attachment."

James Madison

On Washington leaving office in 1797 to John Adams:

“President [Washington] is fortunate to get off just as the bubble is bursting, leaving others to hold the bag. Yet, as his departure will mark the moment when the difficulties begin to work, you will see, that they will be ascribed to the new administration.”

Thomas Jefferson
John Adams had the unenviable task of succeeding the revered Washington at a time of national division.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Washington crossing the Delaware (the real version)

The REAL version of Washington crossing the Delaware.
A painting by artist Mort Kuntsler, shows "Washington's Crossing: McKonkey's Ferry, Dec. 26, 1776."  The New York Historical Society unveiled the more historically accurate version of George Washington's 1776 Christmas crossing, showing his troops in the dead of night during a snowstorm, and without the stars-and-stripes flag, which hadn't been adopted yet. (Mort Kuntsler | The Associated Press)

"Washington's Crossing: McKonkey's Ferry, Dec. 26, 1776."

One of America's most famous images, a painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware River, got much of the story wrong: The American commander wouldn't have stood triumphantly on a rowboat in daylight, but on a ferry bracing himself against a fierce snowstorm on Christmas night.

That's the historic scene depicted in a new painting that goes on display this week at the New-York Historical Society museum in Manhattan.

"No one in his right mind would have stood up in a rowboat in that weather," artist Mort Kunstler said. "It would have capsized."

He told The Associated Press that he's "not knocking the original" — the well-known 1851 painting by German-born artist Emanuel Leutze, who Kunstler says "was glorifying Washington using what he knew at the time." But Kunstler said his new piece is aimed at righting the historical mistakes.

Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to mount a surprise attack on Hessian forces at the Battle of Trenton on Dec. 26, 1776. The Americans killed 22 Hessians, wounded 98 and captured nearly 900 while losing only three of their own men. The Hessians were hired by the British to fight against the American rebels in the Revolutionary War.

It was a daring feat led by the man who would become the nation's first president, and boosted the morale of the fledgling American army.

Relying on military experts and historians, plus visits to the river site, Kunstler came up with a list of inaccuracies in Leutze's painting and set out to correct them in his new work.

The most obvious is that Washington would not have used the earliest Stars-and-Stripes flag that appears in the Leutze work; it wasn't adopted until 1777.

The original version is wrong.  The rowboats, ice, weather and flag are incorrect.

Instead of a rowboat, the troops probably boarded a flat-bottomed ferry big and stable enough to carry cannons, plus the horses to pull them, Kunstler said. Such boats were hitched to cables to stabilize them.

The Leutze painting shows the New Jersey shore clearly in the distance. But Kunstler says documents show a storm had swept in that night, bringing freezing rain, hail and snow that would have cut the visibility.

The new painting shows a determined Washington holding onto a cannon, illuminated by a torch as he heads into battle outnumbered and under-equipped.

His troops were a ragtag bunch. Instead of military uniforms, they likely wore hunting jackets and wool caps, Kunstler said.

While he was able to verify the weather, time of day and vessel type, the artist said, he based other details like clothing "on probability."

"I don't see any reason you can't make this scene dramatic and exciting — and historically correct," said Kunstler, an 81-year-old Brooklyn native.

Video - Washington Crossing The Delaware Redux

His painting, entitled "Washington's Crossing: McKonkey's Ferry, Dec. 26, 1776."

Leutze's painting is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on the other side of Central Park. But art lovers will have to wait a few more weeks before they can compare the two paintings in real life: The Leutze piece is in storage pending the opening of the new American Wing.

"It's always been the one work of art people ask for," Met spokesman Harold Holzer said. The museum recently had the painting re-framed in the style in which it was first shown in New York in 1895 at a charity benefitting Civil War soldiers.

Leutze "made the scene as dramatic as he could, and it obviously has had an impact on people," Holzer said.  Holzer, who is himself a historian, planned to participate in the presentation of Kunstler's painting.

(Associated Press)