Donald R. McClarey

November 5, 1775: Washington Ends Guy Fawkes Day

“Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical

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Donald R. McClarey

September 22, 1776: Nathan Hale’s Only Regret

How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue! Who would not be that youth? What pity is it That we can die but once to serve our country. Joseph Addison, Cato (1712)   Death at 21 is always a tragedy,

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Donald R. McClarey

The Swamp Fox

“[a]s for this damned old fox, the Devil himself could not catch him.” British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton after fruitlessly pursuing Marion twenty-five miles through swamps.     Something for the weekend.  The Swamp Fox theme song from the Disney

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Donald R. McClarey

Go Betsy!

A skilled seamstress, Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross was noted for her beauty and her patriotism.  Twenty-three at the start of the Revolution, she would lose two husbands during the War, the second a mariner who died in a British jail.  It

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Donald R. McClarey

Declaration of Independence

          IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have

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Donald R. McClarey

1rst Rhode Island

The 54th Massachusetts is justly famed for the heroism of its black troops during the Civil War.  Blacks have fought in all of America’s wars, going back to before the Revolution.  In the Revolution blacks fought in many regiments,  but

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Donald R. McClarey

A Lesson in Modesty for Historians

    Quincy June 5th 1817 Dear Sir You “never profoundly admired Mr. H.” I have suggested some hints in his favour. You “never profoundly admired Mr S A”! I have promised you an apology for him, you may think

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Donald R. McClarey

Catholics in the American Revolution

    Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic

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Donald R. McClarey

The Entire Revolutionary War

    A contemplation of the compleat attainment (at a period earlier than could have been expected) of the object for which we contended against so formidable a power cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances

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Donald R. McClarey

Indeed

Wow, simply wow:       CAPTAIN SAMUEL WHITTEMORE Samuel Whittemore was born in England on July 27th, 1695, and came to North America as a Captain in His Majesty’s Dragoons, fighting the French in 1745. He was involved in

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Donald R. McClarey

The British Are Coming

    Each year as the Fourth of July approaches my thoughts turn to the American Revolution.  What a truly remarkable struggle it was, a turning point in the affairs of Man we are still too close to in time

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Donald R. McClarey

The Nation Makers

  (I am reposting this because it seems like a great post for Flag Day)   American artist Howard Pyle did a series of paintings on the American Revolution in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Pyle had a

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Donald R. McClarey

April 22, 1775: Report to General Gage

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard ’round the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson     Thus are turning points in history reported

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Donald R. McClarey

Military Miracle at Cowpens

A very accurate video on the battle of Cowpens, January 17, 1781.  Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, the American commander, was an American original.  An ill-educated frontiersman, Morgan was also a natural leader of men, made easier by his height, well over

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Donald R. McClarey

Deadly Brown Bess

  The video above is taken from Sharpe’s Eagle and depicts the battle of Talavera.  It illustrates the impact of massed British volleys of “Brown Bess”, as the British troops affectionately named their musket,  musket fire on French columns.  (The redcoats are armed

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Donald R. McClarey

January 27, 1776: Henry Knox Delivers the “Noble Train of Artillery” to Washington

  One of the interesting aspects of wars and revolutions is the unexpected talents and abilities that come to the fore in the most unlikely of individuals.  As that remarkable year 1775 was drawing to a close, General Washington, if he was

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Donald R. McClarey

January 14, 1784: Congress Ratifies the Treaty of Paris

  Two hundred and thirty-five years ago the War of Independence officially ended with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris by Congress.  Nine states were needed under the Articles of Confederation to ratify the treaty and with the rough

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Donald R. McClarey

Christmas 1776: Washington Refuses to be Beaten

      Each year, as Christmas is approaching, I think of a Christmas long ago in 1776.  The year in which we declared our independence from Great Britain was a year of military disaster for the United States.  Washington

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Donald R. McClarey

October 19, 1783: British Surrender at Yorktown

  This is to us a most glorious day, but to the English one of bitter chagrin and disappointment. Preparations are now making to receive as captives, that vindictive, haughty commander, and that victorious army, who by their robberies and

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Donald R. McClarey

October 11, 1918: Archibald Willard Dies

  You don’t know him but you have seen his painting.  Archibald Willard died on October 11, 1918.  A veteran of the Civil War, Willard began painting while he was serving with the 86th Ohio.  After the War he became

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Donald R. McClarey

George Washington: Mitigating Circumstances

Toranaga: “[Another person] says that the Netherlands were vassals of the Spanish king until just a few years ago. Is that true?” Blackthorne: “Yes.” Toranaga: “Therefore, the Netherlands – your allies – are in a state of rebellion against their

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Donald R. McClarey

Fortnight For Freedom: John Carroll, Bishop and Patriot

Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical

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Donald R. McClarey

March 23, 1775: Liberty or Death

A fine video on the great “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death Speech” of Patrick Henry delivered in the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775.  It is a remarkable speech, made even more remarkable when we consider

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Donald R. McClarey

February 7, 1783: The Great Siege of Gibraltar Ends

It is easy for Americans to forget that after the intervention of France, the Revolutionary War became a world war.  One of the notable events of this global conflict was the siege of Gibraltar by French and Spanish forces from

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Donald R. McClarey

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Patriotism in the female sex is the most disinterested of all virtues. Excluded from honors and from offices, we cannot attach ourselves to the State or Government from having held a place of eminence. Even in the freest countries our

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Donald R. McClarey

January 5, 1781: Benedict Arnold Takes Richmond

Benedict Arnold:  “What will the Americans do with me if they catch me?” American Officer:  “They will cut off the leg which was wounded when you were fighting so gloriously for the cause of liberty, and bury it with the

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Donald R. McClarey

General John Glover and His Marbleheaders

  A good argument can be made that but for the presence of John Glover and his Marblehead Regiment in the American Revolution, the War might well have been lost.   Born on November 5, 1732, Glover grew up in

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Donald R. McClarey

Vices of the Articles of Confederation

On November 15, 1777, two hundred and forty years ago, the Congress approved the Article of Confederation and sends them to the States.  The Articles would not go into effect until March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all of

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Donald R. McClarey

November 5, 1775: Remember, Remember

  Today is Guy Fawkes’ Day in England.  This Catholic-bashing holiday is not observed in America and the Father of Our Country is largely the reason why: “As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for

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Donald R. McClarey

The Surrender of Cornwallis

  Something for the weekend.  The Surrender of Cornwallis to the tune of The British Grenadiers sung by Bobby Horton.     Bonus: World Turned Upside Down song from Hamilton:  

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Donald R. McClarey

October 19, 1781: British Surrender at Yorktown

  After the battle of Monmouth in 1778, the time of large scale battles in the north during the American Revolution came to an end.  The subsequent years were frustrating for Washington as he struggled against a collapsing American economy to

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Donald R. McClarey

September 10, 1776: Nathan Hale Volunteers to Spy on the British

  How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue! Who would not be that youth? What pity is it That we can die but once to serve our country. Joseph Addison, Cato (1712)       At age 21 Captain

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Donald R. McClarey

Forgotten Heroes of the Revolution

  Congress on April 3, 1776 formally authorized American privateers to raid British merchant ships.  In this Congress was merely recognizing what was already well under way, the patriot governments of the various colonies having issued letters of marque and

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