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Washington learns of Conway cabal

Washington learns of Conway cabal

 

On November 3, 1777, General George Washington is informed that a conspiracy is afoot to discredit him with Congress and have him replaced by General Horatio Gates. Thomas Conway, who would be made inspector general of the United States less than two months later on December 14, led the effort.

 

Conway, who was born in Ireland but raised in France, entered the French army in 1749. He was recruited to the Patriot cause by Silas Deane, the American ambassador to France, and after meeting with Washington at Morristown in May 1777, he was appointed brigadier general and assigned to Major General John Sullivan’s division.

 

Conway served admirably under Sullivan at the battles of Brandywine, in September 1777, and Germantown, in October 1777, before becoming involved in an unconfirmed conspiracy to remove General Washington from command of the Continental Army. The rumored conspiracy would go down in history as the “Conway cabal.”

 

After the Continental Army suffered several defeats in the fall of 1777, some members of Congress expressed displeasure with Washington’s leadership and Conway began writing letters to prominent leaders, including General Horatio Gates, that were critical of Washington. After Washington got wind of Conway’s letter to General Gates, he responded with a letter to Congress in January 1778. Embarrassed, Conway offered his resignation in March 1778 by way of apology, and was surprised and humiliated when Congress accepted. After General John Cadwalader wounded him in a duel defending Washington’s honor, Conway returned to France, where he died in exile in 1800.

 

www.history.com

 

Jack Manning

Treasurer General
National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

"[T]o preserve the republican form and principles of our Constitution and cleave to the salutary distribution of powers which that [the Constitution] has established … are the two sheet anchors of our Union. If driven from either, we shall be in danger of foundering." 

Thomas Jefferson (1823)

George Washington issues Farewell Orders to the Continental Army

George Washington issues Farewell Orders to the Continental Army

 

On this day in history, November 2, 1783, George Washington issued his Farewell Orders to the Continental Army as he officially retired from the service. He concludes the orders with, "May ample justice be done them (the soldiers who fought) here, and may the choicest of Heaven’s favors both here and hereafter attend those, who under the divine auspices have secured innumerable blessings for others: With these Wishes, and this benediction, the Commander in Chief is about to retire from service–The Curtain of separation will soon be drawn–and the Military Scene to him will be closed for ever."

 

In these orders, Washington thanks the soldiers for their service and sacrifice. He talks about how astonished he is that they actually won. He mentions God’s intervention on their behalf. He also commends the soldiers for coming together from different backgrounds and cultures and working together to form a cohesive unit.

 

Washington assures the troops they will be paid by the Congress as the states pony up their share of the debt incurred during the war. He tells them the same virtues of bravery, economy and prudence they exhibited in the war will assist them in being successful in private life as they return home. Lastly, Washington says there is nothing he would not do if it was in his power to assist these men to be successes in life.

 

Read Washington’s complete Farewell Address here.

 

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com

 

Jack Manning

Treasurer General

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org  

 

"A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species."

James Madison (1792)

Parliament enacts the Stamp Act: November 1, 1765

Parliament enacts the Stamp Act: November 1, 1765

 

In the face of widespread opposition in the American colonies, Parliament enacts the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenue for British military operations in America.

 

Defense of the American colonies in the French and Indian War (1754-63) and Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-64) were costly affairs for Great Britain, and Prime Minister George Grenville hoped to recover some of these costs by taxing the colonists. In 1764, the Sugar Act was enacted, putting a high duty on refined sugar. Although resented, the Sugar Act tax was hidden in the cost of import duties, and most colonists accepted it. The Stamp Act, however, was a direct tax on the colonists and led to an uproar in America over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation.

 

Passed without debate by Parliament in March 1765, the Stamp Act was designed to force colonists to use special stamped paper in the printing of newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and playing cards, and to have a stamp embossed on all commercial and legal papers. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word “America” and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense—”Shame to him who thinks evil of it.”

 

Outrage was immediate. Massachusetts politician Samuel Adams organized the secret Sons of Liberty organization to plan protests against the measure, and the Virginia legislature and other colonial assemblies passed resolutions opposing the act. In October, nine colonies sent representatives to New York to attend a Stamp Act Congress, where resolutions of “rights and grievances” were framed and sent to Parliament and King George III. Despite this opposition, the Stamp Act was enacted on November 1, 1765.

 

The colonists greeted the arrival of the stamps with violence and economic retaliation. A general boycott of British goods began, and the Sons of Liberty staged attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors in Boston. After months of protest and economic turmoil, and an appeal by Benjamin Franklin before the British House of Commons, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766. However, the same day, Parliament passed the Declaratory Acts, asserting that the British government had free and total legislative power over the colonies.

 

Parliament would again attempt to force unpopular taxation measures on the American colonies in the late 1760s, leading to a steady deterioration in British-American relations that culminated in the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.

 

http://www.history.com  

 

Jack Manning

Treasurer General

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org  

 

"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys."

Thomas Jefferson (1808)

King speaks for first time since independence declared

King speaks for first time since independence declared

 

On October 31, 1776, in his first speech before British Parliament since the leaders of the American Revolution came together to sign of the Declaration of Independence that summer, King George III acknowledges that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States.

 

In his address, the king spoke about the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the revolutionary leaders who signed it, saying, “for daring and desperate is the spirit of those leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced all allegiance to the crown, and all political connection with this country.” The king went on to inform Parliament of the successful British victory over General George Washington and the Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, but warned them that, “notwithstanding the fair prospect, it was necessary to prepare for another campaign.”

 

Despite George III’s harsh words, General William Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Howe, still hoped to convince the Americans to rejoin the British empire in the wake of the colonists’ humiliating defeat at the Battle of Long Island. The British could easily have prevented Washington’s retreat from Long Island and captured most of the Patriot officer corps, including the commander in chief. However, instead of forcing the former colonies into submission by executing Washington and his officers as traitors, the Howe brothers let them go with the hope of swaying Patriot opinion towards a return to the mother country.

 

The Howe brothers’ attempts at negotiation failed, and the War for Independence dragged on for another four years, until the formal surrender of the British to the Americans on October 19, 1781, after the Battle of Yorktown.

 

http://www.history.com

 

Jack Manning

Treasurer General

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org  

 

“Charity is no part of the Legislative Duty of the Government.”

James Madison

Naval committee established by Congress

Naval committee established by Congress

 

On October 30, 1775 the Continental Congress appoints seven members to serve on an administrative naval committee tasked with the acquisition, outfitting and manning of a naval fleet to be used in defense against the British. Almost two weeks earlier, on October 13, 1775, Congress had authorized the construction and arming of vessels for the country’s first navy.

 

Members of the first naval committee included some of the most influential members of the Continental Congress and several “founding fathers,” including John Adams, Joseph Hewes, John Langdon, Richard Henry Lee, Silas Deane and Stephen Hopkins, the committee’s chairman.

 

On December 22, Esek Hopkins, Stephen’s brother, was appointed the first commander in chief of the Continental Navy. Congress also named four captains to the new service: Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle and John Burrows Hopkins. Their respective vessels, the 24-gun frigates Alfred and Columbus, and the14-gun brigs Andrew Doria and Cabot, as well as three schooners, the Hornet, the Wasp and the Fly, became the first ships of the Navy’s fleet. Five first lieutenants, including future American hero John Paul Jones, five second lieutenants and three third lieutenants also received their commissions.

 

With help from the committee, America’s first navy went from a fleet of two vessels on the day Congress established the naval committee to a fleet of more than 40 armed ships and vessels at the height of the War for Independence. The Continental Navy successfully preyed upon British merchant shipping and won several victories over British warships. This first naval force was disbanded after the war. What is now known as the United States Navy was formally established with the creation of the federal Department of the Navy in April 1798.

 

http://www.history.com

 

Jack Manning

Treasurer General

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org  

 

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."

George Washington (1796)

Congress authorizes Yorktown Victory Monument

Congress authorizes Yorktown Victory Monument

 

On This Day in History, October 29, 1781, the Continental Congress authorizes the Yorktown Victory Monument at York, Virginia, to remember the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and the British army, news of which had just reached the Congress in Philadelphia. The monument was not even begun for 100 years and was started during the centennial celebration of the victory in 1881.

 

Congress’ original resolution to erect the monument reads as follows: "That the United States in Congress assembled, will cause to be erected at York, in Virginia, a marble column, adorned with emblems of the alliance between the United States and his Most Christian Majesty; and inscribed with a succinct narrative of the surrender of earl Cornwallis to his excellency General Washington, Commander in Chief of the combined forces of America and France; to his excellency the Count de Rochambeau, commanding the auxiliary troops of his most Christian Majesty in America, and his excellency the Count de Grasse, commanding in chief the naval army of France in the Chesapeake."

 

Notice the emphasis on French involvement during the war. If it hadn’t been for French cooperation, the war likely would have been lost, a fact not known by many Americans. The Yorktown Victory Monument was finished in 1884. The main pillar is 84 feet tall and the statue of the Lady Victory is 14 feet on top of that. The statue was replaced in 1956 after the original was damaged by lightning. Today the monument can be found on the southeast end of Main Street in Yorktown, Virginia.

 

Each of the four sides of the base of the monument contain an inscription:

 

Side 1:

 

At York on Oct 19 1781 after a siege of nineteen days by 5500 American & 7000 French troops of the line 3500 Virginia Militia under command of Gen Thomas Nelson & 33 French ships of war Earl Cornwallis commander of the British forces at York & Gloucester surrendered his army 1751 officers and men 840 seamen 244 cannon and 24 standards to His Excellency George Washington Commander in Chief of the combined forces of America and France to his Excellency the Comte de Rochambeau commanding the auxiliary troops of His Most Christian Majesty in America and to His Excellency The Comte de Grasse Commanding Chief The Naval Army of France in Chesapeake

 

Side 2:

 

The provisional Articles of Peace concluded Nov 30, 1782 & the definitive treaty of peace concluded Sept 3 1783 between the U.S.A. and George III King of Great Britain & Ireland declare His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said U.S. viz New Hampshire Massachusetts Bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Connecticut New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina and Georgia to be free sovereign and independent states

Side 3:

The treaty concluded Feb 6 1778 between the U.S.A. and Louis XVI King of France declares the essential & direct end of the present defensive alliance is to maintain effectually the liberty & sovereignty & independence absolute & unlimited of the said U.S. as well in matters of government as of commerce

Side 4:

Erected in pursuance of a resolution of Congress adopted Oct 29 1781 & an act of congress approved June 7 1880 to commemorate the victory by which the independence of the U.S.A. was achieved.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com

 

Jack Manning

Treasurer General

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org  

 

"As long as property exists, it will accumulate in individuals and families. As long as marriage exists, knowledge, property and influence will accumulate in families."

John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1814

John Hancock Marries Dorothy Quincy

John Hancock marries Dorothy Quincy

 

On This Day in History, October 28, 1775, John Hancock married Dorothy Quincy in Fairfield, Connecticut where they were staying while was Boston was blockaded by the British. He was presiding over the Continental Congress at the time and would soon sign the Declaration of Independence and be the first governor of Massachusetts.

 

Hancock and Quincy were engaged while they were in Boston and when the unrest started rising, Dorothy went to live with Hancock and his aunt Lydia at their Beacon Hill home. When colonists learned of British plans to capture patriot leaders, Hancock fled the city with his aunt and Dorothy in tow to Lexington where they stayed with the Reverend Jonas Clarke in Hancock’s boyhood home.

 

John Hancock and Samuel Adams were warned by Paul Revere that the British were coming for them and they fled the city. Hancock and the two women eventually ended up staying at the home of Thaddeus Burr, uncle of Aaron Burr, the future Vice President and killer of Alexander Hamilton, in Fairfield. Lydia did all she could to keep Dorothy away from young Aaron because she suspected Dorothy had a crush on him, but John and Dorothy married anyway.

 

Lydia passed away in Fairfield in April, 1776 and the Burr home was destroyed by the British when they invaded Fairfield in 1779. John Hancock offered to pay for all the windows of a new home if Thaddeus would build an exact replica of Hancock’s Beacon Hill home back in Boston, an offer which Mr. Burr took him up on.

 

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com

 

Jack Manning

Treasurer General

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org   

 

“History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy.” —Benjamin Franklin (1774)