Live Free or Die

Yonder are the Hessians! They were bought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it!

General John Stark to his men prior to the Battle of Bennington

 

News that I missed courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

MANCHESTER, NH—While campaigning in New Hampshire, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was very confused when he saw the phrase “Live Free or Die” on a license plate. “What is that?” he demanded. When someone explained it was the state motto, he was even more confounded. “Both those options sound horrible!” he exclaimed.

“Living free is exactly what billionaires want,” Sanders told a crowd at a campaign stop. “That way they can accumulate as much money as they want. Think of living free — everyone involved in peaceful voluntary exchange without government getting in the way — it would be chaos! That’s exactly what my socialism is here to fix.”

The second part of the slogan Sanders found even more disturbing. “And is someone threatening to kill you if you don’t live free? Is it the billionaires? Are the billionaires holding you all hostage, and are they going to kill you if you don’t live free? Are you under duress? Blink twice if a billionaire is holding you hostage.”

Go here to read the rest.

On August 16, 1777, General John Stark, a veteran of Roger’s Rangers during the French and Indian War, New Hampshire militia, fought and won the battle of Bennington.  His force, consisting of 1500 New Hampshire militia, more than 10 percent of the male population of New Hampshire over the age of 16, about 500 Massachusetts militia and 350 Green Mountain Boys from Vermont under Colonel Seth Warner, defeated a force of approximately 800 dismounted dragoons of the Brunswick Prinz Ludwig regiment, Canadians, Tories and Indians under Colonel Friedrich Baum, which had been sent out on a foraging expedition by General Burgoyne.   According to legend General Stark told his men that they would beat them by nightfall or Molly Stark would sleep that night a widow.  The battle was hotly contested, and at the end the Americans had killed or captured all of Baum’s force, Baum being among the slain.  At the end of the battle, the Americans fought a second fight against a reinforcing column of around 650 members of the Breymann Grenadiers, an elite force under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich Breymann, driving them off with casualties of about one-quarter of their force.

On July 31, 1809 an ailing and elderly John Stark had to decline an invitation to a celebration of the anniversary of the battle.  He did send however a toast for the occasion that has remained immortal in The Granite State:

Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.

 

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