Kipling and the Yanks

The tenth in my ongoing series examining the poetry of Rudyard Kipling.   The other posts in the series may be read here, here , here , here,  here , here ,here, here and here.  Rudyard Kipling had an intensely ambivalent

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George Washington Celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day

  Throughout his life George Washington had a great deal of sympathy for the struggles of the Irish against their English rulers, seeing in those struggles a mirror for the American fight for independence.  Irish immigrants to America, Protestant and Catholic,

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Chester

Something for the weekend.  Chester,  America’s unofficial national anthem during the American Revolution.  Written by William Billings in 1770, he added new lyrics to the song in 1778 and transformed it into a battle hymn for the Patriots in their war for

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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 the ecclesiastical

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Interviews With Veterans of the Revolution in 1864

  Hattip to commenter RL for finding this American Heritage article. In 1864 the Reverend Elias Brewster Hilliard, a minister from Connecticut, at the request of a Hartford publisher, set out on the task of interviewing the seven surviving veterans

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Remember

Something for the weekend.  Scenes from the American Revolution set to the music of the film National Treaure.  This Fourth of July weekend we should recall our heritage, especially the eight long years of war it took to achieve American independence. 

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July 2, 1776: The Vote

From the musical 1776, a heavily dramatized version of the vote to declare American independence on July 2, 1776.  The scene is effective but historically false.   James Wilson did not dither about his vote, but was a firm vote for

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Preserving the Declaration

A fascinating little video on preserving the Declaration of Independence.  It is of course very important that the physical document be preserved.  However, it is much more important that the spirit of the document be preserved.  On the Fourth of

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John Trumbull: Painting the Revolution

In an age before photography, America was fortunate to have a painter of the skill of John Trumbull to give us a visual narrative of those stirring days and portraits of so many of the participants.  A veteran of the

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The Unquiet Afterdeath of Thomas Paine’s Corpse

The Reformation was engendered in beastly lust, brought forth in hypocrisy and perfidy, and cherished and fed by plunder, devastation, and by rivers of innocent English and Irish blood. William Cobbett A good trick question for a history quiz would

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Gates v. Washington

I think most Americans today fail to realize how close this country came to dying right after its birth.  After the disastrous New York campaign, the Continental Army was reduced to a few thousand ill-fed, ill-trained and ill-uniformed men under

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Castro Hates the Tea Party

An English translation of the first portion of the above video. Fidel Castro: Comrades, our nation is completely bankrupt! We have no choice but to abandon communism! Castro’s Aide #1, Castro’s Associates: [sigh] Fidel Castro: I know, I know, I

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Chester

Something for the weekend.  Chester by William Billings.  During the American Revolution, this was the unofficial national anthem for the new United States.  As we participate in elections it is good to recall the struggles throughout our history that bequeathed to

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Conqueror of the Northwest

One of the largely unsung heroes of the American Revolution is George Rogers Clark.  The campaign that he fought in Illinois and Indiana secured to America a claim to these territories that was recognized in the treaty ending the war.

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Great Jesuits 7: Vicar General of Illinois

Part 7 of my continuing series on great Jesuits in American history.  Born in Montreal on April 7, 1737,  Pierre Gibault early in life decided that he wished to be a Jesuit missionary priest.  Ordained on March 18, 1768, he was

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Revolution, Independence and Schoolhouse Rock

I loved these schoolhouse rock videos when they were first broadcast back in the Seventies right before the bicentennial.  Among a fair number of kids I knew they sparked an interest in history.  Of the videos, I believe No More Kings

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American Swashbuckler: Joshua Barney

It is a pity that Errol Flynn during the Golden Age of Hollywood never had the opportunity to do a biopic on Joshua Barney.  Barney’s life was more adventuresome and filled with derring-do than the fictional characters that Flynn portrayed.

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Alexander Hamilton's Dying Wish, Holy Communion

Like many intellectual men in Revolutionary America and Western Europe, Alexander Hamilton bought into the Deist ideas of a Creator, but certainly not a Creator who needed a Son to rise from the dead or perform miracles, and certainly not

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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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Charles Carroll: Our Catholic Founding Father

Charles Carroll of Carrollton was a delegate to the Continental Congress and later United States Senator for Maryland. He was also the only Catholic to have signed the The Declaration of Independence. One of the wealthiest men in the colonies,

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Read The Declaration on the Fourth

In my family each year we have a group reading of the Declaration of Independence.  The kids enjoy it and so do Mom and Dad.  Each year I am struck by a timeless quality of the words.  “We hold these

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Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier

Something for the weekend.  I have been thinking a lot about the American Revolution this week.  One of the most popular ballads during that war was Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier.  Sad like most Irish tunes, it captures well the

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Electoral Defeat-1780

“For I must do it justice;  it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts.   It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and

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