For the most part the silly conspiracy theories about the establishment of the United States are good only for laughs. One of my favorites, however, features a speech from a mysterious figure usually associated with Freemasons, Rosicrucians and/or the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt.
I don’t believe for one minute that such an enigmatic man showed up and tipped the balance toward ratifying the Declaration of Independence with a fiery, impassioned speech. However, I DO believe that the wording of that fictional tirade is pretty moving and nicely captures the feel of Independence Day.
Here is the relevant part. I’m omitting the ridiculous section where this mystery man supposedly made Nostradamus-style predictions about America’s future.
“They (the British) may stretch our necks on all the gibbets in the land. They may turn every rock into a scaffold, every tree into a gallows, every home into a grave and yet the words of that parchment can never die!”
“They may pour our blood on a thousand scaffolds and yet from every drop that dyes the axe a new champion of freedom will spring into birth. The British king may blot out the stars of God from the sky but he cannot blot out His words written on that parchment there. The works of God may perish … His words, never!”
“The words of this Declaration will live in the world long after our bones are dust. To the mechanic in his workshop they will speak hope. To the slave in the mines, freedom. But to the coward kings these words will speak in tones of warning they cannot choose but hear.” Continue reading
It may be my fondness for mythology that makes me love to watch particular movies around particular holidays. I say that because many of the well- known myths were recited on ancient holidays when their subject matter was relevant to those holidays. The stories helped accentuate the meaning of the special events and that’s the way I use various movies.
At Christmas I watch countless variations of A Christmas Carol, around Labor Day I watch Eight Men Out, at Halloween The Evil Dead and the original Nightmare On Elm Street, Thanksgiving Eve I do Oliver! and for Frontierado (which is just a month away now) I do Silverado.
Since the actual 4th of July is loaded with activity I always show 1776 on the night before. It’s a great way to get in the mood for Independence Day. It’s a musical but with brilliant dialogue portions and the story involves the political maneuvering surrounding the Original Thirteen Colonies at last announcing their independence from Great Britain, more than a year after Continue reading
The Fourth of July is fast approaching! Balladeer’s Blog presents another seasonal post in honor of that upcoming holiday.
THE TYRANNICIDE – I can’t think of a better name for a ship serving as either a commerce raider or a privateer in the Revolutionary War. What makes the Tyrannicide one of my favorite plunder vessels of our rebellion against Great Britain is the name, its exploits and the fact that it was launched from Salisbury, MA on July 8th, making it about as close as you could get to America’s national birthday.
This ship, crewed by 75 men, was a 14-cannon sloop which preyed on British targets from July of 1776 until August 14th, 1779. After its launch from the Salisbury Naval Shipyard the Tyrannicide made Salem, MA its homeport.
The Tyrannicide wasted no time, battling the HMS Dispatch on July 12th. The Dispatch boasted 20 cannons but after an hour & a half battle fell to Tyrannicide under its first Captain, John Fisk. The raider towed this prize into Salem by July 17th and soon set out for more.
August of 1776 saw the ship working the waters off Cape Sable and Nantucket. During that time three more prizes fell to Tyrannicide – the Glasgow, the Saint John and the Three Brothers. Continue reading
With the July 4th Holiday hurtling toward us here is a look at the men from the New Hampshire delegation to the Continental Congress in 1776. These were the individuals who signed America’s Declaration of Independence.
NEW HAMPSHIRE –
1. Josiah Bartlett – This M.D. went on to serve as a military doctor for the American forces and was present at the Battle of Bennington, where General John Stark said “Live free or die”, which saying became the New Hampshire state motto.
Yes, the Independence Day Holiday is fast approaching! Like other holiday seasons Balladeer’s Blog mixes new posts in with the seasonal favorites of you readers. To start this year’s countdown here are the most popular items from years past:
REVOLUTIONARY WAR BATTLES BEFORE JULY 4th
QUICK FACTS ON ALL THE SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION
NAVAL BATTLES OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
NAVAL BATTLES OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR PART TWO
Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are familiar with my fondness for old Silent Movies. America was D.W. Griffith’s 1924 production about the Revolutionary War. The movie is pleasant enough for the July 4th holiday season, but don’t expect a classic like The Phantom of the Opera, The Mark of Zorro or many other masterpieces of the silent era.
Batman fans may enjoy the fact that a very young Neil Hamilton – Commissioner Gordon on the much later Adam West Batman show – starred in America as Nathan Holden, a rebel Minute Man in Massachusetts. Nathan is part of a Romeo and Juliet-styled romance and is in love with Nancy Montague (Carol Dempster), who belongs to a Tory family still loyal to England.
The Holdens can’t stand the snobbish Montagues and the Montagues pompously look down on the Holdens and the rest of the rebels. Nancy’s father would rather see Nancy married off to the prominent British military officer Captain Walter Butler, played with aristocratic and sadistic flair by THE Lionel Barrymore.
The star-crossed lovers Nathan and Nancy struggle to keep their romance alive against the backdrop of historical events like the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s Ride, the Battle of Bunker Hill and many others.Various actors portray figures like John Hancock, Samuel Adams, William Pitt, King George III, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and, of course, George Washington. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of neglected naval clashes of the Revolutionary War.
MAY 21st, 1777 – Off St Augustine, FL the USS Comet waged an all-night battle with the HMS Apalachicola until the British ship had lost all sails and riggings and was forced to surrender.
APRIL 27th, 1778 – THE John Paul Jones, leading a detachment from the USS Ranger, raided the British port of Whitehaven. The detachment’s commando-style raid resulted in Continue reading
The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching! Some people get puzzled about the actual Thirteen Original Colonies of America. They know for instance that Daniel Morgan’s Kentucky Rifles were one of the most storied units of the war and saw action from Canada to the American South. Yet, Kentucky is not listed as one of the original colonies.
Similarly they know that Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys were a Vermont unit and that Chillicothe in Ohio was the site of the REAL last battle of the war, yet neither Vermont nor Ohio were original colonies, either. The reason for all that is this: Continue reading
*** *** *** *** *** *** The Thomas Carpenter House
THE FIGHTING QUAKER, THOMAS CARPENTER: The Fourth of July is fast approaching! As always Balladeer’s Blog will be marking the occassion with plenty of seasonal posts.
Though his Quaker principles prevented him from taking on a combat role in the Revolutionary War, Thomas Carpenter became a Paymaster of militia units on March 19th, 1777. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog wishes a happy birthday to the USA! What happened in early July of 1776 certainly needs no rehashing so in keeping with my blog’s theme of addressing more out of the way subjects this post will examine various events that took place on other July 4th’s throughout American history.
JULY 4TH, 1778 – George Rogers Clark led his rebel forces in taking the British stronghold of Kaskaskia, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. Clark and his Rangers were on a mission for then-Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.
JULY 4TH, 1783 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court is finalizing its written decision holding that slavery has been illegal in the state since adoption of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights in 1780.
JULY 4TH, 1788 – Continue reading