Monday, April 4, 2016

History: The Year is 1758

I've uploaded year 1758 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

James Monroe and Crossing the Delaware -- Monroe is born. He will join Washington as he crosses the Delaware. I point out the various errors in the famous painting and try to convince everyone that our ancestors were not unrepentant liars.

Young George Washington Resigns His Commission... Again -- After taking a French fort, Washington resigns and marries Martha. He still has his eye on Sally Fairfax, though.

Other Important Events -- Noah Webster and his dictionary. Lord Nelson and his Navy and socks with elastic!

James Monroe and Crossing the Delaware

The future 5th President of the United States, James Monroe, is born this year. (He will win with 80% of the electoral vote and a nearly a unanimous vote for a second term.) He will also be the last President to have served as an officer during the American Revolution. (Andrew Jackson will serve as a courier during the Revolution at 13-years-old.) As a young man, Monroe will abandon his college studies, sign up with the Virginia Militia and receive an officer's rank. He will march his regiment through a snow storm to join General Washington for his famous crossing of the Delaware as part of a bold (and successful) raid on the Hessians (HEH-shuns) at the Battle of Trenton, New Jersey on Christmas night. Monroe will be wounded as he rushes to take the cannons with his men. As President he will be known for the Monroe Doctrine which, in essence, warns Europe that an attack on a sovereign country in South or Central America will be considered an attack on the USA. (Just like the NATO treaty of the 20th century.) [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you look carefully at the famous painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware of 1851, you can see James Monroe holding the Stars and Stripes....a flag that did not exist at the time of the crossing. And this depiction of Washington does not reflect reality. It was raining, miserably cold, and dark during the crossing. The boat has problems too. Washington was using a type of boat with high sides so he certainly could have been standing... but not in a boat like the one in the painting. Another example of inaccuracy is the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Some of the people in the famous painting hadn't even been elected to the Congress by July 4th, 1776. Perhaps these historical distortions are forgivable. There were no photographs, no audio recordings. They tended to look back at the Revolution with nostalgia and their children looked back with more than a little hero worship. [5] [6] [7]

Young George Washington Resigns His Commission... Again

George Washington has his doubts about his superiors' plans to attack the French garrison at Fort Duquesne (doo-CAIN) and he is making his criticisms known loud and clear. His concerns are based on a previous attempt to take the Fort which ended in a massacre. The British-born General Braddock had discounted advice given by the "Americans" (an insulting reference to the British colonials). To be fair, Braddock knew how to fight in Europe, but in the wilds of West Pennsylvania it was a bad idea to drag massive cannons over hill and dale. You needed to travel light, remain mobile and fire from cover or you were dead. Braddock was killed along with many of his troops when they accidentally ran into a large detachment of French and Indian troops. The British lined up as they always had in Europe and then were mowed down in rows while the French and Indians fired from the cover of the woods. Panic ensued but Washington managed to organize an orderly retreat. Now he is part of second expedition to take the Fort. This time things go better for the British, but most of the French escape. Washington is disgusted so he returns home, resigns his commission and proposes to Martha Dandridge. They will marry next year. [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just to be clear, George Washington had a heck of a temper. He knew he had to keep it under control and he did, mostly. He was a man driven by ambition and in order to achieve his ambitions he had to keep his natural desires under control. One of his desires was for a certain pretty lady named Sally Fairfax... a married lady. But their communications were always cordial if somewhat flirtatious at times. (Really. I think everyone stayed on the right side of good.) His marriage to Martha was one of social positioning and for money. She came with a large dowry (including slaves) that he used to expand the plantation at Mount Vernon, but his real wealth was already made. His commission in the French and Indian War had come with a bonus: land grants. They weren't worth much at the time, but by the end of his life, they made him one of the richest men in the United States... land rich, anyway. Did he love Martha? Probably not at first, but over time, yes. I think so. [10] [11]

Other Important Events

  • Noah Webster is born. He will standardize American spelling by turning centre with an RE into center with an ER. He will also produce the first comprehensive American dictionary. [1]
  • (Lord Admiral) Horatio Nelson is born. He will lead the British Navy in a number of decisive naval battles during the Napoleonic Wars. Inadvertently, he will derail Alexander Hamilton's subversion of US foreign policy. Nelson will beat the tar out of the French Navy, thus reducing the hysteria over a possible French invasion of the USA. [1] [12]
  • A knitting machine produces ribbed stockings with elastic! (What next? Sliced bread?) [13] [1]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1758, Wikipedia.

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