Olive Branch Petition

College of Political Knowledge

The weekend arrives and the old professor wants to extend the readers knowledge of the founding of this country.

The year is 1775, a year before the DoI, and the rebellion stew in the Colonies is starting to boil.

The Founding Fathers tried to head off any armed rebellion by offering England a document to prevent a war……known as the “Olive Branch Petition……

On July 8, 1775, the Continental Congress, forerunner of what would become the government of the United States, signed the so called “Olive Branch Petition,” a last ditch effort to prevent a war of independence against Britain by the American Colonies.   Adopted by the Continental Congress on July 5th, the signing made this last effort at peace official.  The acceptance of this American overture to the British government had little chance of success, especially since the Continental Congress had already authorized the invasion of Canada and on July 6, 1775, had issued a “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms,” a justification for the American Colonies to take up arms against their British overlords.

The British response to the actions and words of American patriots was to issue “A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition,” a notice by King George III of Britain that the Americans were considered in rebellion and that such rebellion would be put down by military and law enforcement action, the rebels being treated as traitors to the crown.  The Battle of Bunker Hill had already taken place on June 17, 1775, enraging the King George III, and with the state of communications in those days being limited by how quickly ships could transit the Atlantic Ocean, events could easily outstrip the ability of leaders to consider actions and send replies to communications and events.  Thus, the Olive Branch Petition was basically doomed to failure to prevent the American Revolutionary War (of Independence) from the start.

July 8, 1775: Last Chance to Avoid American Revolution (Olive Branch Petition Signed)

Few are taught that war was tried to be avoided……

Next was the Revolutionary War a mistake?

Interesting question, right?

Of course, evaluating the wisdom of the American Revolution means dealing with counterfactuals. As any historian would tell you, this is a messy business. We obviously can’t be entirely sure how America would have fared if it had stayed in the British Empire longer, perhaps gaining independence a century or so later, along with Canada.

But I’m reasonably confident a world in which the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: Slavery would’ve been abolished earlier, American Indians would’ve faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier and lessens the risk of democratic collapse.

https://www.vox.com/2015/7/2/8884885/american-revolution-mistake

There is so much more to the Founding of this country than most Americans are unaware of….other than the DoI and the Constitution and the knowledge stops there.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Oct21

I have been writing about the thieves in the Greene family, owners of Hobby Lobby…..they have been stealing artifacts to be displayed in their Museum of the Bible……

A Sucker Born Every Minute

BUSTED! (Again)

Finally Hobby Lobby has been forced to return their stolen artifact….Epic of Gilgamesh…..

A 3,500-year-old clay tablet looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago and bought by Hobby Lobby in 2014 is now officially Iraq’s property again. The Gilgamesh Dream Tablet was formally returned at a repatriation ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution Thursday, CNN reports. Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s ambassador to the US, told the ceremony that Iraqis are deeply attached to their ancient artifacts. “Our history is what makes us. We’re an old country,” he said. Our original story from July 27 follows:

 

Hobby Lobby has agreed to forfeit a 3,500-year-old clay tablet considered the property of the Iraqi government, which it bought for $1.6 million in 2014. The retail chain purchased the 5-by-6-inch rare cuneiform tablet from a London auction house, which offered up a provenance letter claiming the tablet was found in a box of ancient bronze fragments purchased in an auction in 1981. That same letter had been used to sell the so-called Gilgamesh Dream Tablet—one of 12 tablets found in the ruined library of an Assyrian king in Nineveh, northern Iraq, in 1853—at other times. It was also fake. The uncleaned tablet had in fact been illegally imported to the US by an antiquities dealer in 2003, reports CNBC. After realizing what he had, the dealer sold the tablet with the false provenance letter in 2007.

Hobby Lobby agreed to forfeit the tablet—written in Akkadian, and bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, among the oldest known works of literature—which it had purchased in 2014. US authorities had seized it from Washington, DC’s Museum of the Bible, funded by the family of Hobby Lobby founder David Green, in 2019. It is now stored in Brooklyn, New York, according to a Monday court filing.

Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, called it “an important milestone on the path to returning this rare and ancient masterpiece of world literature to its country of origin,” noting the office is “committed to combating the black-market sale of cultural property and the smuggling of looted artifacts.” Hobby Lobby agreed to return thousands of ancient Iraqi artifacts in 2017. Per CBS News, it also agreed to a $3 million fine, saying it “imprudently relied on dealers and shippers who, in hindsight, did not understand the correct way to document and ship these items.”

I still think a fine is not appropriate for the theft of culture and history…..someone needs to do major jail time…..

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–11Oct21

Today is Columbus Day, a Federal holiday….so why not look into the naming of ‘America”?

“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue”…….

Every child knows the tale of Columbus and his discovering of American….the fact is that he may have set sail but the closest he ever got to American was the Bahamas……so what is the truth of the discovery?

If you’re like most people, you’ll dimly recall from your school days that the name America has something to do with Amerigo Vespucci, a merchant and explorer from Florence. You may also recall feeling that this is more than a little odd — that if any European earned the “right” to have his name attached to the New World, surely it should have been Christopher Columbus, who crossed the Atlantic years before Vespucci did.

But Vespucci, it turns out, had no direct role in the naming of America. He probably died without ever having seen or heard the name. A closer look at how the name was coined and first put on a map, in 1507, suggests that, in fact, the person responsible was a figure almost nobody’s heard of: a young Alsatian proofreader named Matthias Ringmann.

How did a minor scholar working in the landlocked mountains of eastern France manage to beat all explorers to the punch and give the New World its name? The answer is more than just an obscure bit of history, because Ringmann deliberately invested the name America with ideas that still make up important parts of our national psyche: powerful notions of westward expansion, self-reinvention, and even manifest destiny.

And he did it, in part, as a high-minded joke.

Matthias Ringmann was born in an Alsatian village in 1482. After studying the classics at university he settled in the Strasbourg area, where he began to eke out a living by proofing texts for local printers and teaching school. It was a forgettable life, of a sort that countless others like him were leading. But sometime in early 1505, Ringmann came across a recently published pamphlet titled “Mundus Novus,” and that changed everything.

The pamphlet contained a letter purportedly sent by Amerigo Vespucci a few years earlier to his patron in Florence. Vespucci wrote that he had just completed a voyage of western discovery and had big news to report. On the other side of the Atlantic, he announced, he had found “a new world.”

The phrase would stick, of course. But it didn’t mean to Vespucci what it means to us today: a new continent. Europeans of the time often used the phrase simply to describe regions of the world they had not known about before. Another Italian merchant had used the very same phrase, for example, to describe parts of southern Africa recently explored by the Portuguese.

Like Columbus, Vespucci believed the world consisted of three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia. He also knew that the world was round, a fact that had been common knowledge since antiquity. This meant, he realized, that if one could sail far enough to the west of Europe, one would reach the Far East.

https://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/04/where_america_really_came_from/

Have a great holiday it you are celebrating…..but remember Columbus did not discover America.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Burger

Nothing is more American than the hamburger, right?

Personally I truly love a good burger…..and there are more crappy ones than good…..mine is about 8 oz cooked on a grill….served with a bun with brown mustard and mayo…..the garden is served on the side with blue cheese dressing…..cheese is optional……

All that said I thought I would look at the origins and the history of that all-American burger………..

1200s  The earliest burger ancestor is invented (modern historians surmise) by Mongol horsemen, who stash raw meat under their saddles while wreaking havoc across Asia. Postride, the pounded meat is tender enough for the cavalry to eat raw.

1747  A hamburger prototype—called Hamburg sausage—crops up in the pages of Hannah Glasse’s English cookbook, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy. The recipe calls for minced beef seasoned with suet, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, garlic, wine vinegar, bay salt, red wine and rum, smoked for a week in a chimney. 

1802  The Oxford English Dictionary defines the Hamburg steak as a “hard slab of salted, minced beef, often slightly smoked, mixed with onions and bread crumbs.”

1829  The first documented patent for a mechanical meat cutter is granted to someone now known only as E. Wade. One G.A. Coffman of Virginia improves on Wade’s invention, receiving a patent 16 years later for his meat-grinding apparatus. 

1840s  Sailing on the Hamburg-America Line, German emigrants chow on minced, salted beefsteak, a recipe borrowed from the Russians. The dish becomes known as the Hamburg steak and later goes mainstream in the U.S.

1873Delmonico’s in NYC advertises a Hamburg steak on its dinner menu—the first printed menu in America—for the then-princely price of ten cents.

1885  Running out of pork, Frank and Charles Menches make do by serving a ground-beef sandwich at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York. The brothers claim to have invented the hamburger, as does 15-year-old Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin, who delivers a similar sammie at the Outagamie County Fair that same year.

1900  Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven serves ground beef cooked on a vertical boiler and sandwiched between two slices of toast. A century later, the Library of Congress officially credits Louis’ Lunch for selling the first hamburger in the States.

1904  The hamburger makes its national debut at the St. Louis World’s Fair, thanks to a burger stand by Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas.

1916  A fry cook named Walter Anderson creates a short, squat bun specifically made for hamburgers. Five years later, Anderson cofounds White Castle, the world’s first burger chain.

1928  An early example of a cheeseburger turns up on the menu at O’Dells diner in Los Angeles, served with cheese and chili for 25 cents.

1935  The trademark for the word cheeseburger is awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver. However, good-guy Ballast never enforces his exclusivity rights, leading to widespread use of the term.

1940  Richard and Maurice McDonald open McDonald’s Bar-B-Que in San Bernardino, California. Eight years later, the brothers renovate the restaurant, refocusing the menu on their 15-cent hamburger.

1948  With the launch of In-N-Out in Baldwin Park, California, Harry and Esther Snyder open the first drive-through burger joint. In 1976, the Snyders’ son Rich takes over the family business. A devout Christian, Rich starts printing discreet references to Bible verses on the chain’s paper containers (e.g., John 3:16 shows up on the bottom of beverage cups and Revelation 3:20 on the crease of burger wrappers).

1950s  New York’s ‘21’ Club unveils the first “haute” burger, made with duck fat and fennel seeds. It costs $2.75 (today, it sells for $30). Fifty years later, Daniel Boulud introduces the $32 foie gras– and truffle-laced DB Burger to the menu at DB Bistro Moderne.

1968  The world gets a taste of McDonald’s newest creation, the Big Mac, sold for 49 cents.

1984  Wendy’s debuts its famous “Where’s the beef?” commercial, starring Clara Peller. The memorable catchphrase is borrowed by former Vice President Walter Mondale during that year’s presidential election.

1989  Seymour, Wisconsin’s Burger Fest serves the world’s largest hamburger, weighing a whopping 5,520 pounds (a record that still holds). A forklift is used to place cheese atop the behemoth patty, enjoyed by an estimated 13,000 diners.

1994  Quentin Tarantino releases the cult classic Pulp Fiction and John Travolta schools the world on the “Royale with cheese.”

2001  Burgers make up 71 percent of all beef served in commercial restaurants.

2004  Danny Meyer’s burger-stand superstar, Shake Shack, debuts in New York’s Madison Square Park.

2009  PETA offers Hamburg, New York, $15,000 worth of nonmeat patties to change the town’s name to Veggieburg. Hamburg declines.

2013  Maastricht University physiologist Mark Post debuts an “in vitro” burger, a five-ounce patty composed of synthetic meat grown in a Netherlands lab from cow stem cells. The test-tube burger is the world’s most expensive—not to mention the grossest-sounding—coming in at a cool £250,000 (about $385,000).

There you have a short history of the burger….now when you consume your favorite burger you will know the history behind the juicy treat……

In closing I will let Jimmy Buffet  sing you out the door….

Have a great Sunday and enjoy your burger.

I Read.I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

‘This Land Is Your Land’

Everyone has been exposed and.or sang this song about the exceptionalism of America……it was written and sung originally by Woodie Guthrie……

But this song is not what you think it is……(Yep history lesson coming)……

Few songs are more ingrained in the American psyche than “This Land Is Your Land,” the greatest and best-known work by folk icon Woody Guthrie. For decades, it’s been a staple of kindergarten classrooms “from California to the New York island,” as the lyrics go. It’s the musical equivalent of apple pie, though the flavor varies wildly depending on who’s doing the singing.

On its most basic level, “This Land Is Your Land” is a song about inclusion and equality—the American ideal broken down into simple, eloquent language and set to a melody you memorize on first listen. The underlying message, repeated throughout the song, makes the heart swell: “This land was made for you and me.”

But there’s more to “This Land Is Your Land” than many people realize—two verses more, in fact. Guthrie’s original 1940 draft of the song contains six verses, two of which carry progressive political messages that add nuance to the song’s overt patriotism. These controversial verses are generally omitted from children’s songbooks and the like, but they speak volumes about Guthrie’s mindset when he put pen to paper 80 years ago.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-land-is-your-land-the-story-behind-america-s-best-known-protest-song

As you see this was not some chest thumping tune of patriotism or nationalism….it was about the inequalities in American society……and most remain to this very day….

Have A Day….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Teapot Dome Scandal

The weekend begins and the news is damn boring…..so it is time for one of those darn history posts….

In case your history is a bit hazy….The Teapot Dome Scandal was during the Harding admin in the early 1900s…..

The Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s shocked Americans by revealing an unprecedented level of greed and corruption within the federal government. The scandal involved ornery oil tycoons, poker-playing politicians, illegal liquor sales, a murder-suicide, a womanizing president and a bagful of bribery cash delivered on the sly. In the end, the scandal would empower the Senate to conduct rigorous investigations into government corruption. It also marked the first time a U.S. cabinet official served jail time for a felony committed while in office.

https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/teapot-dome-scandal

With the intro out of the way…..

Some historians are saying the 4 years of the Trump admin was worse and more scandalous the the Teapot Dome Scandal….

Scan over the past few years and the stench of corruption wafting from Trump’s orbit is staggering. Campaign chairmen who secretly worked for foreign officials while skimming millions on the side. Presidential lawyers defrauding banks and taxpayers alike, or ushering in whichever foreign patron they could find. All of this while Trump tossed open the doors of his business to any and all comers, regardless of sources of their funds, regardless of whether Americans ever learned any details of their payments. (In a depressing bit of historic resonance, Trump’s first interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, resigned in disgrace under a cloud of his own corruption allegations—a move that few will remember, given the cascade of ethics violations and conflicts of interest deluging the administration throughout Trump’s four years.)

Against the past few years, Teapot Dome appears almost quaint—a relic of a bygone, back-slapping era, a time when Americans paid off Americans, all for other Americans’ benefits, all in a neat, tidy circle of domestic graft. It’s not just the magnitude of the Trump-era corruption that challenges our notion of what an American president dedicated to financial misconduct can accomplish. It’s that now, the players are transnational in scope—crossing borders, crossing boundaries, taking full advantage of the financial secrecy tools wherever they may be, and the fecund opportunities that a president like Trump can provide.

Trump-Era Corruption Eclipses Even Teapot Dome

With a do nothing Congress will we ever see justice for the American people for the crimes committed by Trump and his cronies?

Any Thoughts?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Did They Really Do?

As the weekend begins and I am still in the process of cleaning up after Ida and dealing with a screwy family situation…….. I thought a little history would be good.

There are those people in history that are credited with amazing accomplishments…..but did they will do all they are said to have done?

It can be pretty annoying when someone else gets credit for your hard work, particularly when the fakers go down in the history books and become the ones best known for your invention.  

Leading R&D Tax Credit specialists, RIFT Research and Development Ltd, have looked at some of the most famous inventions which are widely believed to have been invented by the wrong people.

10 Famous Inventors That Didn’t Actually Invent Their Famous Finds

Or use this to decide who should be revered……

In today’s world, inventors are among the most revered people of all. We almost can’t help but admire someone who came up with a useful app or created a cool tech solution to a common problem.

That same admiration extends back through history, as well. Few accomplishments throughout history seem as impressive as inventing something that changed the world.

However, inventions often come with a healthy side dose of scandal. A new idea or product might arrive alongside heated debate as to who really came up with it. History has also unfairly credited some well-known inventors with creations that other people made first. We’re here to set the record straight—check out the real stories behind these famous inventors’ legacies.

https://www.mindbounce.com/440096/6-famous-inventors-who-didnt-invent-the-thing-theyre-famous-for/

Throughout history, people have come up with incredible inventions which have achieved global success without reaping the full rewards of their genius. Sir Tim Berners-Lee famously refused to patent his invention more than 30 years ago, and never monetised it, instead gifting it freely to the world. Click or scroll through inventors who definitely could have got rich off their creations but, for various reasons, didn’t.

https://www.lovemoney.com/gallerylist/64992/genius-inventors-who-missed-out-on-millions

Enjoy your weekend….I hope all is well with everyone.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Forgotten War

Closing Thought–23Sep21

The war that time tries to forget….the 1950s and the Korean War……this basically brought down America’s ‘Caesar’, MacArthur…..

For those that have fallen for the erasing of this conflict from American collective memory….I can fill in the blanks…..

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them.  Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China–or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many in the U.S. refer to as “the Forgotten War” for the lack of attention it received compared to more well-known conflicts like World War I and II and the Vietnam War. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.

https://www.history.com/topics/korea/korean-war

Let’s take a look at the major battles of this conflict…

Korea was under the rule of the Japanese Empire between the year 1910 and the end of World War II. In 1945, the country was liberated by the Soviet Union from the Japanese rule as a result of the agreement with the United States. The Soviet Union settled in the North while the United States settled in the South of Korea. As a result of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was split into two with separate governments in 1949. However, both the government claimed to be the legitimate Korean government. The conflicts between these governments resulted in battles when North Korea moved into South Korea in 1950. The war marked series of wars that were to follow. To this far, no treaty has been signed and the two countries are technically still at war.

16. First Battle of Seoul

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/major-battles-of-the-korean-war.html

AS Americans put this deadly conflict out of their minds the next will be Vietnam….as those vets grow older and pass on there will be few that will keep their memory alive….hopefully people like me will keep Korea and Vietnam in their minds and in their memories.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid Out Does The Spanish Flu

Closing Thought–21Sep21

Did you know that in 1918 the pandemic known as the Spanish Flu killed about 675,000 Americans…a bunch huh?

Well Covid has topped that…..

COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did—approximately 675,000. The US population a century ago was one-third of what it is today, meaning the flu cut a much bigger, more lethal swath through the country. But the COVID-19 crisis is by any measure a colossal tragedy in its own right, especially given the incredible advances in scientific knowledge since then and the failure to take maximum advantage of the vaccines available this time. “Big pockets of American society—and, worse, their leaders—have thrown this away,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan, the AP reports.

COVID’s Death Toll Catches 1918 Flu’s

One model shows another 100,000 people will be killed by January
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2021 7:15 PM CDT
 
COVID Has Taken as Many Lives as 1918 Flu
 
An employee moves the body of a patient who died of COVID-19 onto a gurney to take to a funeral home van last month in Shreveport, La.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
 
 

(Newser) – COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did—approximately 675,000. The US population a century ago was one-third of what it is today, meaning the flu cut a much bigger, more lethal swath through the country. But the COVID-19 crisis is by any measure a colossal tragedy in its own right, especially given the incredible advances in scientific knowledge since then and the failure to take maximum advantage of the vaccines available this time. “Big pockets of American society—and, worse, their leaders—have thrown this away,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan, the AP reports.

Like the Spanish flu, the coronavirus may never entirely disappear from our midst. Instead, scientists hope it becomes a mild seasonal bug as human immunity strengthens through vaccination and repeated infection. That could take time. “We hope it will be like getting a cold, but there’s no guarantee,” said Emory University biologist Rustom Antia, who suggests an optimistic scenario in which this could happen over a few years. For now, the pandemic still has the US and other parts of the world firmly in its jaws.

While the delta-fueled surge in infections may have peaked, US deaths are still averaging more than 1,900 a day on average, the highest level since early March, and the country’s overall toll topped 675,000 on Monday, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Experts believe the real number to be higher. Winter could bring a new surge, with the University of Washington’s influential model projecting an additional 100,000 or so Americans will die of COVID-19 by Jan. 1, which would bring the overall US toll to 776,000.

The 1918-19 influenza pandemic killed 50 million people globally at a time when the world had one-quarter the population it does now. Global deaths from COVID-19 now stand at more than 4.6 million. The Spanish flu’s US death toll is an estimate, given the incomplete records of the era and the poor scientific understanding of what caused the illness. The 675,000 figure comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before COVID-19, the 1918-19 flu was universally considered the worst pandemic disease in human history. No vaccine existed to slow it, and there were no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections.

The problem is we are still in the grip of the pandemic and the numbers will just keep growing…..and growing….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gen. Washington Was Brilliant

Since most of the news is redundant these I thought I would give my readers a break and force some history down their throats….

Most Americans are taught the the American Revolutionary War was won on the back of George Washington…..he became the savior of the idea of a republic and for his brilliance he became the first president of the United States of America.

Among the hundreds of eulogies delivered after the death of George Washington in 1799, Timothy Dwight, president of Yale College, averred that the general’s military greatness consisted principally in his “formation of extensive and masterly plans” and a “watchful seizure of every advantage.” It was the prevailing view and one that has been embraced by many historians.

In fact, Washington’s missteps revealed failings as a strategist. No one understood his limitations better than Washington himself who, on the eve of the New York campaign in 1776, confessed to Congress his “want of experience to move on a large scale” and his “limited and contracted knowledge . . . in Military Matters.”

In August 1776, the Continental Army was routed in its first test on Long Island in part because Washington failed to properly reconnoiter and he attempted to defend too large an area for the size of his army. To some extent, Washington’s nearly fatal inability to make rapid decisions resulted in the November losses of Fort Washington on Manhattan Island and Fort Lee in New Jersey, defeats that cost the colonists more than one-quarter of the army’s soldiers and precious weaponry and military stores. Washington did not take the blame for what had gone wrong. Instead, he advised Congress of his “want of confidence in the Generality of the Troops.”

In the fall of 1777, when Gen. William Howe invaded Pennsylvania, Washington committed his entire army in an attempt to prevent the loss of Philadelphia. During the Battle of Brandywine, in September, he once again froze with indecision. For nearly two hours information poured into headquarters that the British were attempting a flanking maneuver—a move that would, if successful, entrap much of the Continental Army—and Washington failed to respond. At day’s end, a British sergeant accurately perceived that Washington had “escaped a total overthrow, that must have been the consequence of an hours more daylight.”

Later, Washington was painfully slow to grasp the significance of the war in the Southern states. For the most part, he committed troops to that theater only when Congress ordered him to do so. By then, it was too late to prevent the surrender of Charleston in May 1780 and the subsequent losses among American troops in the South. Washington also failed to see the potential of a campaign against the British in Virginia in 1780 and 1781, prompting Comte de Rochambeau, commander of the French Army in America, to write despairingly that the American general “did not conceive the affair of the south to be such urgency.” Indeed, Rochambeau, who took action without Washington’s knowledge, conceived the Virginia campaign that resulted in the war’s decisive encounter, the siege of Yorktown in the autumn of 1781.

Much of the war’s decision-making was hidden from the public. Not even Congress was aware that the French, not Washington, had formulated the strategy that led to America’s triumph. During Washington’s presidency, the American pamphleteer Thomas Paine, then living in France, revealed much of what had occurred. In 1796 Paine published a “Letter to George Washington,” in which he claimed that most of General Washington’s supposed achievements were “fraudulent.” “You slept away your time in the field” after 1778, Paine charged, arguing that Gens. Horatio Gates and Greene were more responsible for America’s victory than Washington.

There was some truth to Paine’s acid comments, but his indictment failed to recognize that one can be a great military leader without being a gifted tactician or strategist. Washington’s character, judgment, industry and meticulous habits, as well as his political and diplomatic skills, set him apart from others. In the final analysis, he was the proper choice to serve as commander of the Continental Army.

(Smithsonian.com)

While Washington was the best choice to lead the army he was far from a brilliant tactician.

I will be writing about other myths from the American Revolution.

As most historians say ……history is written by the victors”

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”