Pennsylvania General John Cadwalader dies

Pennsylvania General John Cadwalader dies

 

On this day in history, February 10, 1786, Pennsylvania General John Cadwalader dies. Cadwalader was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant and general who played a prominent role in the early years of the Revolution. He was born to a wealthy physician, but never finished college because he and his brother opened a successful mercantile business.

 

Cadwalader married the daughter of a rich Maryland planter. Between them, their wealth was so great that they built what was called the most luxurious home in the colonies in downtown Philadelphia. George Washington, a personal friend, wrote in his diary that it was the "grandest house he had ever seen." To give you an idea of the wealth and prominence of John Cadwalader, a chair from his parlor sold for $2.75 million at Sotheby’s in 1986!

 

When the American Revolution broke out, Cadwalader was part of Philadelphia’s Committee of Safety. He was a militia captain in the "Silk Stockings Company," so named because most of its members were wealthy. He was placed in command of a battalion to protect Philadelphia and was soon promoted to Brigadier General of the Pennsylvania militia.

 

Cadwalader played a key role early on, fighting in the Battles of Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. He assisted in the planning of the attack on Trenton, New Jersey, and was charged with bringing a column of soldiers across the Delaware south of the city to assist George Washington. He was unable to get all of his soldiers across the river, however, because of the ice, causing him to turn back and miss the action. The following day, though, they did cross and helped Washington capture Princeton.

 

George Washington so respected Cadwalader that he urged Congress to appoint him a general in the Continental Army. Congress appointed him a Brigadier General, but he declined, instead choosing to stay on as a Pennsylvania general. Shortly after, Washington personally asked him to organize a militia for the defense of eastern Maryland, which he agreed to, later bringing those troops to several prominent battles. Cadwalader was then offered another generalship in the Continental Army over the cavalry, but he declined again, again preferring to remain in charge of the Pennsylvania militia.

 

In 1778, Cadwalader was involved with suppressing the "Conway Cabal," an effort of General Thomas Conway to have George Washington ousted as commander-in-chief. Cadwalader was so offended at Conway’s actions that he challenged him to a duel and shot Conway in the mouth when they met on the field of honor. Conway recovered, wrote a letter of apology to Washington and fled to France, thus ending the Conway Cabal!

 

As the war shifted to the south, Cadwalader became a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, a position his father also held, and moved to one of his homes in Maryland where he became a state legislator. He lived there for the rest of his life, but unfortunately died at the very young age of 43 in 1786.

 

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Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

“No power was given to Congress to infringe on any one of the natural rights of the people.”
Theophilus Parsons,
Massachusetts Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, January 23, 1788


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General Lachlan McIntosh is exchanged for General Charles O’Hara

General Lachlan McIntosh is exchanged for General Charles O’Hara

 

On this day in history, February 9, 1782, General Lachlan McIntosh is exchanged for General Charles O’Hara. McIntosh was born in Scotland and emigrated to Georgia with his father as a boy. As a young man, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina and worked for Henry Laurens, a future President of the Continental Congress. McIntosh became a wealthy rice planter in Georgia and sided with the rebels as the American Revolution broke out, becoming a colonel in the militia.

 

McIntosh was celebrated for his exploits during the war, but today he is best known for killing Georgia Declaration of Independence signer, Button Gwinnett, in a duel. After signing the Declaration, Gwinnett became the leader of Georgia’s Provincial Congress, while McIntosh was made Brigadier General of the Continental Army’s Georgia Line. The two clashed continuously, mostly due to Gwinnett’s pride.

 

Gwinnett and McIntosh collaborated on a planned expedition to attack the British at St. Augustine, Florida in early 1777, but when Gwinnett was replaced under Georgia’s new Constitution, he was left with no authority. McIntosh was the appointed leader of the expedition and he would not obey Gwinnett’s orders, leading to constant infighting and delays. Both were finally called back and the expedition would be a colossal failure.

 

Gwinnett blamed McIntosh for the failure and McIntosh delivered a seething rebuke of Gwinnett to the legislature. Gwinnett demanded a public apology and when he received none, he challenged McIntosh to a duel. When the two met on May 16, 1777, both were injured, but Button Gwinnett died from his wounds.

 

McIntosh was charged with murder, but he was acquitted and George Washington had him transferred to Valley Forge for his protection. In May, 1778, McIntosh was appointed Commander of the Western Department of the Continental Army. He was sent to Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) and charged with security on the western frontier. He built two forts and planned an attack on the British stronghold at Fort Detroit, but was forced to abandon the plan when Congress could not fund it.

 

In 1779, McIntosh was sent south and was part of the failed attempt to recapture Savannah, Georgia. After retreating to Charleston, General Benjamin Lincoln was forced to surrender his entire army of 5,000 men when the British attacked in 1780. General McIntosh was among the captives and spent the next 21 months in prison. He was finally exchanged for British General Charles O’Hara on February 9, 1782. O’Hara was second-in-command to General Charles Cornwallis and was the officer who surrendered Cornwallis’ sword to George Washington at Yorktown. The rank of General O’Hara gives an indication of the rank and prestige of Lachlan McIntosh.

 

After the war, McIntosh tried to rebuild his plantation which had been destroyed by the British, but he would never find financial success again. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1784, but never arrived. He served on various boards and commissions in Georgia for several years and passed away in Savannah in 1806.

 

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Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."
Thomas Paine (1777)


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Daniel Boone is captured by a British/Shawnee war party

Daniel Boone is captured by a British/Shawnee war party

 

On this day in history, February 8, 1778, Daniel Boone is captured by a British/Shawnee war party. Boone had forged a trail across the Cumberland Gap several years earlier and settled Fort Boonesborough, one of only three settlements at the time in what is now Kentucky.

 

In the winter of 1777-78, Boonesborough ran out of its vital salt supply. No supplies would come until spring, so the only way to get salt was by boiling water from a salt spring. The settlers decided they had to do this, in spite of the fact that sending out a large party of men to the nearest spring would leave the fort vulnerable to attack.

 

30 men set out for Blue Licks, which was about 60 miles away, where they gathered salt for several weeks. On February 8, Boone was out hunting when he was captured by a group of Indians. He discovered that over 100 Shawnee were on their way to attack Boonesborough, accompanied by two aides to the British Governor of Detroit. This was a British backed attack.

 

Boone knew the fort couldn’t stand, so he played nice and told them that if his men were allowed to surrender peacefully and accompany them back to Detroit, in the spring Boone would lead an expedition back to Boonesborough where he would persuade the settlers to declare allegiance to King George. Chief Blackfish, the Shawnee leader, agreed to this, not knowing that Boone was lying and trying to save the lives of his men and those back at the fort.

 

Boone persuaded the men to give themselves up, convincing them it was the only way to save their families. The Indians did not harm them, but did force them to "run the gauntlet," a form of punishment in which the prisoners were made to run through two lines of Indians who would strike them as hard as they could. The prisoners stayed with the Indians for months, pretending to be friendly, but hoping to escape all along. Boone was even adopted into the tribe as a son of Chief Blackfish.

 

Back at the fort, word arrived that the men had been captured. After several months of hearing nothing, they were given up for dead. Rebecca Boone, Daniel’s wife, and her children moved back to North Carolina with many of the others. Meanwhile, one of the other captured men escaped and returned to the fort. He convinced them that Boone was collaborating with the British.

 

In June, the Shawnee decided to take revenge on Boonesborough for a failed attempt to capture Donelly’s Fort. Boone escaped to warn them, traveling 160 miles across the wilderness in 4 days. He was held in suspicion at first because the settlers believed he had colluded with the British, but he was able to convince them a war party was coming.

 

The Great Siege of Boonesborough began on September 8 and lasted 12 days. Though the Indians made numerous attempts, they were unable to penetrate its defenses and finally gave up the attack. Daniel Boone was charged with aiding the British for his ruse, but after a court-martial examined the evidence, he was commended for his handling of the crisis, promoted to major in the Virginia militia and soon reunited with his family in North Carolina.

 

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Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

“I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.”
George Washington


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The Great Siege of Gibraltar is lifted

The Great Siege of Gibraltar is lifted

 

On this day in history, February 7, 1783, the Great Siege of Gibraltar is lifted after peace agreements are signed ending the American Revolution. The Great Siege of Gibraltar was a combined Spanish and French effort to take Gibraltar back from Britain. The entrance of France and Spain into the war on the American side stretched British forces thinly across much of the world as they tried to protect their interests in multiple locations.

 

Spain and France agreed to help each other take back territories lost to Britain in earlier battles. In particular, France agreed to help Spain take back the peninsula of Gibraltar in the south of Spain, which the British had owned since 1713. Gibraltar is critical to the movement of ships from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. It is only 2.6 square miles large, but it has been fought over for centuries because of its location. The main feature of Gibraltar is a 1,400 foot high mountain known as the Rock of Gibraltar. The territory shares a small border with Spain on the north end that is only .75 miles long.

 

The Great Siege of Gibraltar began on June 24, 1779 and would last 3 years and 7 months. 5,300 British soldiers were stationed there. A force of 13,000 Spanish forces camped on the north end of the peninsula, while a fleet of Spanish and French ships blocked the island from receiving reinforcements. By the winter, food was running low, but a British fleet was able to penetrate the blockade. In fact, several times over the course of the siege, British fleets were able to break the blockade and bring in vital supplies and reinforcements.

 

On September 13, 1782, nearly a year after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, the Spanish and French mounted their largest attack. 5,000 soldiers manned "floating batteries" armed with cannons, 30,000 sailors manned 78 ships, while 35,000 troops amassed to storm the British fortifications. 80,000 civilians watched from nearby hills across the border in Spain, expecting to see their armies victorious over the British. The ships bombarded the British positions, but the British bombarded them back, causing great damage to the fleet and the floating batteries.

 

After several weeks of little progress, another British fleet showed up under the command of Admiral Sir Richard Howe, the same Admiral who had been in charge of the British fleet in North America earlier in the war. A strong gale on October 10th blew the Spanish and French fleets off, allowing Howe’s 65 ships in to the peninsula with food, supplies and ammunition. Howe’s fleet left and the siege continued for several months more.

 

The preliminary Treaty of Paris that would end the American Revolution was signed on November, 30, 1782. Parliament ratified the Treaty in January, 1783 and Congress ratified it in April. Spain and France ended the Siege of Gibraltar on February 7. In the terms of the Treaty, Britain was allowed to keep Gibraltar. Nearly a half million bullets were fired during the conflict and the British used up 8,000 barrels of gunpowder. Over 1,200 British soldiers were killed or wounded and 6,000 British and French were killed or wounded in the largest and longest action of the war.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

“If the Freedom of Speech is taken away then dumb and silent, we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
George Washington


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Anna Maria Lane receives a Revolutionary War veterans pension

Anna Maria Lane receives a Revolutionary War veterans pension

 

On this day in history, February 6, 1808, Anna Maria Lane receives a Revolutionary War veterans pension. Anna Maria is the only known Virginia woman who fought as a soldier in the Revolution. Scholars believe she was born in New Hampshire and that she became a "camp follower" when her husband, John Lane, joined the Continental Army’s Connecticut Line in 1776. Camp followers were women who traveled with the army and did tasks such as cooking, laundering clothes and tending to the wounded.

 

John served under General Israel Putnam and fought at the battles of White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Germantown and later in Georgia. Anna Maria was apparently with him the whole time. We do not know when Anna Maria first fought as a soldier, but the one thing that is known for certain is that she was dressed as a soldier and fought at the Battle of Germantown in 1777 during George Washington’s attempt to retake Philadelphia from the British. Anna Maria was wounded in the leg during the battle and this made her lame for the rest of her life. Later in the war, John joined the Virginia Light Dragoons and fought in Georgia.

 

After the Revolution, John Lane took a job at the Virginia state arsenal at Point of Fork, Virginia. In 1801, he and Anna Maria moved to the capital of Richmond when he took a job with the public guard, which was the equivalent of the national guard today. The public guard in Richmond was responsible for the security of the capital city’s public buildings.

 

Anna Maria volunteered as a nurse at the military hospital in Richmond where she met Dr. John Foushee. Dr. Foushee was so impressed with Anna Maria’s work that he petitioned then governor (and future President) James Monroe to give Anna Maria a salary for her work at the hospital, which he agreed to.

 

By 1804, John and Anna Maria were both aging and retired from work. They joined a group of other war veterans and petitioned the state to receive veterans’ pensions. A letter dated January 28, 1808 from Governor William Cabell to the Virginia Speaker of the House recommends giving pensions to several veterans and he draws special attention to Anna Maria, saying she was "very infirm, having been disabled by a severe wound which she received while fighting as a common soldier, in one of our Revolutionary battles, from which she never has recovered, and perhaps never will recover."

 

The typical Virginia veteran received a pension of $40 a year at the time. The Virginia legislature paid John and several others $40 a year in the legislation passed on February 6, 1808, but it took the extraordinary measure of paying Anna Maria Lane $100 a year – two and a half times the typical soldiers’ pension! Because of this extremely oversized salary, many historians speculate that Anna Maria must have done something truly extraordinary at the Battle of Germantown. Unfortunately, no one took the time to write down exactly what she did and the facts are lost to us today. Maybe she fought in hand to hand combat? Maybe she led a charge against the enemy? We will never know.

 

Anna Maria died in 1810. An historical marker was erected in her honor near the Capitol in Richmond in 1997.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."
Samuel Adams


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Brigadier General Moses Hazen dies

Brigadier General Moses Hazen dies

 

On this day in history, February 5, 1803, Brigadier General Moses Hazen dies. Hazen was born to a Jewish family in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1733. When the French and Indian War broke out, he became a member of the local militia and embarked on a lengthy military career, fighting in numerous actions of the French and Indian War. Hazen was known for his bravery and willingness to participate in the most dangerous missions. He eventually became a lieutenant and retired from the service in 1763.

 

Hazen settled in the Richelieu River valley south of Montreal and went into business with another British officer, Gabriel Christie. They purchased extensive landholdings and Hazen ran the business while Christie was often away. Hazen developed the land, but went into heavy debt to accomplish his schemes and support a lavish lifestyle, building a 20 room mansion for himself. By 1770, Christie was upset with Hazen’s liberal spending and sued him. The two were in and out of lawsuits for the next ten years and their property was divided.

 

When the American Revolution began, Hazen was in a quandary. An American invasion was coming into Canada right through his valley. He had to decide which side to favor. British Governor, Sir Guy Carleton, authorized him to raise a regiment to fight the Americans, but he met with the American General Philip Schuyler instead, and tried to persuade him not to attack Fort Saint Jean, telling him the Fort was well defended and would be difficult to take.

 

Other locals, however, told him the opposite and Hazen was taken prisoner. Shortly after, his captors were captured by the British who then threw him in prison in Montreal for helping the Americans. Hazen was kept in harsh conditions for two months and then captured by the Americans again when he was being transported. After this, he sided with the Americans permanently and joined them in the Siege of Quebec.

 

Hazen was sent to Philadelphia with the news of General Montgomery’s death and the failure to capture Quebec. Congress made him a colonel and gave him command of the 2nd Canadian Regiment. Hazen was placed in charge of the captured Montreal for a time and his unit would fight in the battles of Staten Island, Brandywine and Germantown. In 1779, several disputes would erupt and Hazen would be involved in several court-martials and counter charges, but he was exonerated.

 

In June, 1781, Hazen was finally made a Brigadier General and placed under Lafayette in Virginia. His unit was involved throughout the Yorktown engagement and was involved in the pivotal taking of the redoubts around the city.

 

After the war, Hazen settled in upstate New York and continued in land speculation. On paper, he was a wealthy man, but he was continually involved in lawsuits over his debts. In fact, he was arrested 14 times after the war because of his debts. One of his redeeming qualities, however, was that he fought constantly for the rights of Canadian refugees in America who had been forced to leave Quebec after the war. He lobbied Congress continuously for reimbursing them (and himself) for lost property and income. Hazen passed away at Troy, New York on February 5, 1803 and Congress finally awarded a small portion of what he claimed to his estate after his death.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

"Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?"
George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796


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King George III declares a permanent ceasefire to the American Revolution

King George III declares a permanent ceasefire to the American Revolution

 

On this day in history, February 4, 1783, King George III declares a permanent ceasefire to the American Revolution. After the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown, Virginia in October, 1781, many members of Parliament decided it was time to end the war. The House of Commons first voted to end the war on February 27, 1782 and in March, Prime Minister North resigned.

 

By April 4, General Henry Clinton was replaced as Commander of British forces in North America by Sir Guy Carleton, who was charged with implementing a withdrawal. Informal peace negotiations began in April in Paris between Ben Franklin and Richard Oswald, the representative of the new Prime Minister, Charles Watson Wentworth, the Marquess of Rockingham.

 

By September, 1782, John Jay had arrived in Paris from Spain and John Adams had arrived from Holland. They joined the now formal peace negotiations and on November 30, a preliminary peace treaty is signed, in which Britain acknowledges the sovereignty of the United States, the boundaries of the United States are determined and Britain agrees to withdraw its forces from US territory.

 

The preliminary treaty is ratified by Parliament on January 20, 1783 and a ceasefire is declared by King George on February 4. The American Congress declares a ceasefire on April 11 and ratifies the preliminary treaty on April 15, 1783.

 

On September 3, 1783, the final Treaty of Paris is signed in Paris by representatives John Jay, John Adams and Ben Franklin from America and representative David Hartley from Great Britain. Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784 and Parliament ratifies it on April 9, 1784. The final act of the road to peace is a formal exchanging of the signed documents in Paris on May 12, 1784, finally bringing the American Revolution to a close.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."
George Washington (1783)


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