July 4, 1917: Lafayette We Are Here!

    One hundred years ago a moving scene occurred in Paris.  After official American and French ceremonies at noon to commemorate Independence Day, a battalion of the American 16th regiment, from the newly formed 1rst Division, marched through Paris

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Fortnight For Freedom: A Just War

      Based on the just war doctrine first enunciated by Saint Augustine, the American Revolution was a just war.   Over the centuries the precise content of the just war doctrine has varied.  The classic definition of it

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Fortnight For Freedom: The Liberty Song

  Something for the weekend.  The Liberty Song.   Written by Founding Father John Dickinson in 1768, the song was sung by patriots in America to the tune of Heart of Oak.  The video below is the most hilarious scene from

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Fortnight For Freedom: 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

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The Devil and Andrew Jackson

(I originally posted this back in 2009.  Old Hickory is back in the news because of President Trump’s musings upon him.  As a result I decided to repost this.)   I have never liked President’s Day.  Why celebrate loser presidents

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April 19, 1775: Lexington and Concord-Why They Fought

    In 1843 twenty two year old Mellen Chamberlain, who would later be a legislator, a judge and chief librarian of Boston, interviewed 86 year old Captain Levi Preston, last surviving veteran of the battle of Concord: Question:  “Captain Preston,

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December 26, 1776: Washington Saves the American Revolution

    Washington crossing the Delaware is ingrained in the American psyche, and well it should be.  Without Washington’s brilliant attack at Trenton against the Hessian garrison stationed there on December 26, 1776, his subsequent maneuver around the reacting British force

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December 1776: A Dying Revolution and The Old Fox

The American Revolution was in the process of dying 240 years ago as General George Washington revealed in letters to his cousin Lund Washington who looked after Mount Vernon for the General during the War. Falls of Delaware, South Side,

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The Liberty Song

  Something for the weekend.  The Liberty Song sung by Bobby Horton. Written by Founding Father John Dickinson in 1768, the song was sung by patriots in America to the tune of Heart of Oak.  The video below is the most

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October 2, 1780: Death of Major John Andre

After a court martial composed of senior generals of the Continental Army, Major John Andre, who had been captured on a mission to Major General Benedict Arnold who was about to betray West Point to the British, was executed on

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September 7, 1776: First Submarine Attack

The American Revolution witness several examples of Yankee ingenuity that astonished the foes of the United States and delighted their friends.  David Bushnell while an undergraduate at Yale in 1775 developed the plans for the Turtle, the first submarine used

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: George Washington

    If Historiographers should be hardy enough to fill the page of History with the advantages that have been gained with unequal numbers (on the part of America) in the course of this contest, and attempt to relate the

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August 16, 1780: Battle of Camden

  “But was there ever an instance of a General running away as Gates has done from his whole army? And was there ever so precipitous a flight?  One hundred and eighty miles in three days and a half.  It

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The Ongoing American Revolution

But the continuing success of American democracy depends on the degree to which each new generation, native-born and immigrant, makes its own the moral truths on which the Founding Fathers staked the future of your Republic. Their commitment to build

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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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Fortnight For Freedom: The Catholic Signer

      Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to

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Fortnight For Freedom: Major Andrew McClary

  I occasionally encounter people who claim that freedom is an abstraction, and that they would never die for an abstraction.  That has never been the case in my family.  McClareys have fought in all the nation’s wars down to

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April 26, 1777: Sybil Ludington’s Ride

The eldest of twelve children, Sybil Ludington grew up in a household of ardent patriots, her father being the commander of the local militia in Duchess County New York.  On April 26, 1777 she became, at age 16, a heroine of

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April 19, 1775: The Shot Heard Round the World

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. The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;

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James Otis: Forgotten Founding Father

  “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the

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April 7, 1776: Lexington Takes Edward

On March 14, 1776, that sea going Catholic son of Ireland John Barry, received his commission as a Captain in the Continental Navy from the Continental Congress.  It was signed by John Hancock, President of the Congress.  Barry wasted no time

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April 3, 1776: Continental Congress Authorizes Privateers

  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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The Old Line’s Bugle, Fife, and Drum

Something for the weekend.  Maryland, my Maryland.  Written by James Ryder Randall  in white heat in 1861 after he learned that his friend Francis X. Ward had been killed by soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts in the Baltimore riot of

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March 4, 1776: Washington Occupies Dorchester Heights

“The rebels have done more in one night than my whole army would have done in a month.” General Howe, March 5, 1776 After Colonel Henry Knox brought the artillery from Ticonderoga to the siege lines around Boston in January 1776,

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Jefferson on the History of the American Revolution

On August 10, 1815, Thomas Jefferson set pen to paper to respond to John Adams’ letter to him of July 30, 1815.  Go here to read that letter.  Jefferson was no more optimistic than Adams that a true history of

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John Adams on the History of the American Revolution

John Adams often groused that the true history of the American Revolution would never be written.  Considering this, it is somewhat surprising that he did not undertake the task himself.  He had ample time after his Presidency, and his lively

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John Adams: Washington’s Ten Talents

“The History of our Revolution will be one continued lye [sic] from one end to the other. The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklin’s electric rod smote the earth and out sprang General Washington. Then Franklin electrified

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Yankee Doodle and The World Turned Upside Down

Something for the weekend.  Yankee Doodle, seems appropriate in the weekend before Washington’s Birthday.  Originally sung by British officers to disparage American troops who fought beside them in the French and Indian War, it was seized upon by Patriots, given endless

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The Nation Makers

American artist Howard Pyle did a series of paintings on the American Revolution in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Pyle had a striking style, combining both romanticism and realism in his paintings.  My favorite of the series is

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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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Finished Peace, Unfinished Peace Portrait

The negotiations that led to the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War, were long, contentious and complicated, involving not merely the peace treaty between Great Britain and the United States, but also separate treaties between Great Britain and France,

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Defeat at Quebec

  The year 1775 ended on a note of defeat for the Americans. Since December 6, 1776 the city had been under siege by the combined forces of General Richard Montgomery and Colonel Benedict Arnold. Twelve hundred Americans confronted 1800

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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 and

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