Monthly Archives: November 2021

General William Moultrie is born

General William Moultrie is born

 

On this day in history, November 23, 1730, Governor and General William Moultrie is born. Moultrie was a celebrated general of the American Revolution, primarily for his role in keeping the British out of the South during the early years of the war at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

 

William Moultrie was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He became a colonel in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment in 1775. By September of that year, the South Carolina Council of Safety had grown concerned with British ships patrolling Charleston Harbor. They knew the city of Charleston was vulnerable to invasion from the sea and sent Colonel Moultrie to defend the narrow entrance to the harbor.

 

Charleston Harbor was guarded by Sullivan’s Island on the north and James Island on the south. On September 15th, Col. Moultrie’s men attacked the British Fort Johnson on the edge of James Island, but the soldiers had been warned and had abandoned the fort. Moultrie erected his own cannon to guard the harbor and flew a new flag, which he created himself, over the fort, at the direction of the Council of Safety. The flag featured a blue field with a crescent in the corner with the word liberty on it. The flag later became known as the Fort Moultrie Flag. The current flag of South Carolina is a very similar version of the Fort Moultrie Flag.

 

In March, 1776, Col. Moultrie began constructing Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island. When a British fleet arrived on June 28, 1776, a battle ensued. Col. Moultrie’s men were outnumbered 5 to 1, but the fort held. Only 12 men died in the fort, while the British fleet lost 220 men dead or wounded! It took Sir Peter Parker 3 weeks to repair his ships, after which he abandoned the southern campaign. The British would not make another serious attempt to take Charleston for another three years.

 

For his heroics, Colonel William Moultrie was promoted to Brigadier General by the Continental Congress and his company was merged into the Continental Army. General Moultrie and others failed to prevent Savannah, Georgia from falling to the British in 1778 and he was captured when the British returned to capture Charleston in 1780, but was returned in a prisoner exchange. In 1782, General Moultrie became the last person appointed a Major General by Congress during the war.

 

After the American Revolution, William Moultrie became the Governor of South Carolina, serving in this position twice, from 1785-1787 and from 1792-1794. Fort Sullivan was renamed Fort Moultrie in his honor and the fort continued to function as the primary defense of Charleston until Fort Sumter was built. Fort Moultrie served as an active military post for the US Army from 1798 until the end of World War II. William Moultrie died in Charleston in 1805, a few years after writing his memoirs in Memoirs of the American Revolution, two volumes detailing the war in the Carolinas and Georgia.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

“Permit me then to recommend from the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in my country’s cause, a Declaration of Independence, and call upon the world and the Great God who governs it to witness the necessity, propriety and rectitude thereof.”
Nathanael Greene


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General William Moultrie is born

General William Moultrie is born

 

On this day in history, November 23, 1730, Governor and General William Moultrie is born. Moultrie was a celebrated general of the American Revolution, primarily for his role in keeping the British out of the South during the early years of the war at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

 

William Moultrie was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He became a colonel in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment in 1775. By September of that year, the South Carolina Council of Safety had grown concerned with British ships patrolling Charleston Harbor. They knew the city of Charleston was vulnerable to invasion from the sea and sent Colonel Moultrie to defend the narrow entrance to the harbor.

 

Charleston Harbor was guarded by Sullivan’s Island on the north and James Island on the south. On September 15th, Col. Moultrie’s men attacked the British Fort Johnson on the edge of James Island, but the soldiers had been warned and had abandoned the fort. Moultrie erected his own cannon to guard the harbor and flew a new flag, which he created himself, over the fort, at the direction of the Council of Safety. The flag featured a blue field with a crescent in the corner with the word liberty on it. The flag later became known as the Fort Moultrie Flag. The current flag of South Carolina is a very similar version of the Fort Moultrie Flag.

 

In March, 1776, Col. Moultrie began constructing Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island. When a British fleet arrived on June 28, 1776, a battle ensued. Col. Moultrie’s men were outnumbered 5 to 1, but the fort held. Only 12 men died in the fort, while the British fleet lost 220 men dead or wounded! It took Sir Peter Parker 3 weeks to repair his ships, after which he abandoned the southern campaign. The British would not make another serious attempt to take Charleston for another three years.

 

For his heroics, Colonel William Moultrie was promoted to Brigadier General by the Continental Congress and his company was merged into the Continental Army. General Moultrie and others failed to prevent Savannah, Georgia from falling to the British in 1778 and he was captured when the British returned to capture Charleston in 1780, but was returned in a prisoner exchange. In 1782, General Moultrie became the last person appointed a Major General by Congress during the war.

 

After the American Revolution, William Moultrie became the Governor of South Carolina, serving in this position twice, from 1785-1787 and from 1792-1794. Fort Sullivan was renamed Fort Moultrie in his honor and the fort continued to function as the primary defense of Charleston until Fort Sumter was built. Fort Moultrie served as an active military post for the US Army from 1798 until the end of World War II. William Moultrie died in Charleston in 1805, a few years after writing his memoirs in Memoirs of the American Revolution, two volumes detailing the war in the Carolinas and Georgia.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

“Permit me then to recommend from the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in my country’s cause, a Declaration of Independence, and call upon the world and the Great God who governs it to witness the necessity, propriety and rectitude thereof.”
Nathanael Greene


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Maryland patriot leader John Hanson dies

Maryland patriot leader John Hanson dies

 

On this day in history, November 22, 1783, Maryland patriot leader John Hanson dies. Hanson was the descendant of an indentured servant from England who came to Maryland in 1661. He increased the family’s agricultural lands to around 1,000 acres and served for many years in political office in Maryland. Hanson is a little known figure from the American Revolution today, but he played a prominent role during those formative years.

 

John Hanson began his political career as sheriff of Charles County in 1750, but was soon elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 1757, a position he held for the next 12 years. Hanson became associated with American patriots opposing British policy during the Stamp Act crisis, chairing the committee that wrote Maryland’s instructions to the Stamp Act Congress. Hanson also opposed the Townshend Acts, signing a non-importation agreement in 1769 until the Acts were repealed in 1770.

 

Over the five years leading up to 1774, Hanson moved to Frederick County, a hotbed of patriot activity in Maryland, and served in several local offices. There he was elected to the Maryland Convention, the legislative body formed by Maryland’s citizens after the Royal Governor, Sir Robert Eden, closed down the legislature for its acts against England. When Maryland formed its new government in 1777, Hanson was elected a delegate from Frederick County and would serve there for five terms.

 

In December of 1779, Hanson was elected from Maryland to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He served there from June, 1780 through 1782. While Hanson served in Congress, Maryland became the final state to approve the Articles of Confederation on March 1, 1781. Hanson’s signature appears on the document, along with Daniel Carroll’s, as Maryland’s serving representatives at the time.

 

In November of that year, Hanson was elected the first President of the Continental Congress, a fact that has caused some to call him the First President of the United States. In actuality, Samuel Huntington and Thomas McKean each served in the position after the adoption of the Articles in March, but Hanson was the first to serve a full one-year term as the Articles required.

 

The office of President under the Articles of Confederation was more procedural, writing letters and so forth, and not an executive position as the office is today. Nonetheless, Hanson’s election to the office gives him distinction as the First President of a nationally elected body to serve a full term in the United States. Hanson retired from public service when his one-year term as President was over and returned to Maryland where he passed the following year on November 22, 1783. John Hanson is featured as one of Maryland’s two statues in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol, where each state has two statues representing its most prominent patriots.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

"Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm."
George Washington

 

 

 


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Continental Congress writes to Oswald Eve

Continental Congress writes to Oswald Eve

 

On this day in history, November 21, 1775, the Continental Congress writes to Oswald Eve, asking him to help with the building of a new gunpowder mill in Massachusetts. Oswald Eve was the owner of the only gunpowder mill in the colonies at the time. The letter seeks help from Eve for details about how to manufacture gunpowder and how to set up another mill.

 

The bearer of the letter to Mr. Eve was none other than Paul Revere. Many people know about Paul Revere’s role warning the Massachusetts countryside about the march of the British to Lexington and Concord on April 18, 1775, but they are not aware that Revere was sent on missions to New York and Philadelphia numerous times bearing messages from the patriots in Massachusetts.

 

Paul Revere was already an accomplished gold and silversmith at the beginning of the American Revolution. The Massachusetts Provincial Congress sent Revere to Philadelphia to seek the Continental Congress’ help in building a new powder mill in Massachusetts to help in their efforts against Great Britain. Importing gunpowder was expensive and foreign sources were unreliable because shipments could be confiscated by the enemy. In addition, saltpeter, one of the chief ingredients of gunpowder, could be produced substantially in Massachusetts.

 

After arriving in Philadelphia, Revere spoke with several members of the Continental Congress. A letter was written by Robert Morris and John Dickinson, both members of Congress, to Oswald Eve and carried to him by Mr. Revere. Mr. Eve received Mr. Revere, but with some reluctance. He was, naturally, concerned that another powder mill in the colonies would compete with his own mill. Morris and Dickinson assured him in the letter that Massachusetts was far enough away from Philadelphia that it wouldn’t create additional competition for his mill, but Mr. Eve was unsure.

 

He ended up giving Revere a tour of his mill, but he would not give him the actual manufacturing method. Paul Revere, being an accomplished metallurgist and chemist, was able to gain enough knowledge about the process, however, just from his walk-through of the mill, that he was able to reproduce the process back at home in a new mill in Canton, Massachusetts. The mill produced tons of powder for the Continental Army during the war.

 

After the war, Revere became a leading manufacturer of iron, brass and copper products. In fact, he opened the first copper mill in the United States in the same facility where he started the gunpowder mill after buying the property back from the state. This copper works still exists today under the name Revere Copper Company.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

A man of abilities and character, of any sect whatever, may be admitted to any office of public trust under the United States.
Edmund Randolph


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Ben Franklin publishes Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion

Ben Franklin publishes Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion

 

On this day in history, November 20, 1728, a 21 year old Ben Franklin published "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion,"   a statement of his religious beliefs as a young man. He does not go so far as to accept Christ’s deity, but does generally adhere to the Christian concept of God. Later in life, his views became even more orthodox and in agreement with mainline Christianity, though he never did claim assurance that Christ was divine.

 

In "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion,"  young Franklin begins by concluding that he is inconsequential in the scope of the universe and that God must be above being concerned with whether or not he is worshiped by such a puny being. He does, however, conclude that God must appreciate and enjoy being worshiped by His creation, because He must have emotions like we do, or else He would not have put them into us.

 

Franklin concludes also that it his duty to worship God, since He is all powerful and since he owes his existence to Him. He also concludes that God wants human beings to be happy and takes pleasure in their virtue and happiness. He ends with his own system of daily adoration, petitions and self-reflections for approaching God.

 

A quote from the work: "I love him therefore for his Goodness and I adore him for his Wisdom. Let me then not fail to praise my God continually, for it is his Due, and it is all I can return for his many Favours and great Goodness to me; and let me resolve to be virtuous, that I may be happy, that I may please Him, who is delighted to see me happy. Amen."

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

 

"If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it, whenever our legislators shall please so to alter the law and shall chearfully consent to exchange my liberty of abusing others for the privilege of not being abused myself."
Benjamin Franklin (1789)


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Jay’s Treaty is signed

Jay’s Treaty is signed

 

On this day in history, November 19, 1794, Jay’s Treaty is signed to bring to an end several years of conflict between Great Britain and the United States after the end of the American Revolution. Once America’s independence had been achieved with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, several areas of contention with Britain began to arise. Things got worse and worse, until it looked like war might break out again.

 

Britain was in a war with France and wanted to keep the Americans on its side. Britain was capturing American merchant vessels sailing into French waters and impressing American sailors into service in the British navy. Americans wanted to be reimbursed for their confiscated ships. Trade between the two countries was vital for America’s continued growth and for Britain’s ability to sustain itself as a leading global power.

 

Britain still had several operating forts on the frontier in the Ohio River valley, territory it had ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Paris. Indian tribes in the area who were hostile to the US were receiving help from British Canada. Conflict also continued along the northeast border with Canada because of unclear boundaries between the two nations. In addition, slaveholders in the South wanted reparations from Britain for slaves who had fled with the British when they left America and British Loyalists who had left America at the end of the war wanted remunerations for their confiscated property.

 

George Washington sent John Jay to London to try to negotiate a peace and resolve these issues to prevent a further war. John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and, along with John Adams and Ben Franklin, was one of the chief negotiators of the Treaty of Paris. Jay was able to negotiate a treaty with England, but the terms were not all that favorable to the Americans and many in the United States vehemently opposed the treaty’s signing. President Washington approved the treaty and it was eventually ratified by the required 2/3s of the Senate.

 

In Jay’s Treaty, the British agreed to abandon the forts in the Ohio River Valley by June 1796. They opened up limited trade to the Americans in the West Indies and in India. They agreed to establishing commissions to deal with boundary issues with Canada, reparations for captured merchant vessels and remuneration for Loyalist losses. Jay’s Treaty failed to deal with remunerations for slave losses and with British impressment of American sailors.

 

Many Americans, including the Republican faction led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, opposed Jay’s Treaty. They felt it gave the "monarchists" in Britain to much favor. Jefferson’s party favored France instead, which was having its own revolution at the time. Opposition to Jay’s Treaty was so strong that John Jay was burned in effigy in towns across the country. In the end, George Washington supported the Treaty, even though he didn’t agree with everything in it, because he thought it would help avert another war. Indeed it did, and war was averted with Great Britain for another decade, when the War of 1812 began and some of the remaining conflicts between the United States and Great Britain were dealt with once and for all.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

"I often note with equal pleasure that God gave this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in manners and customs, who by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side through a long bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence."
John Jay (1787)


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General Philip Schuyler dies

General Philip Schuyler dies

 

On this day in history, November 18, 1804, General Philip Schuyler dies. Philip Schuyler was a wealthy planter from Albany, New York who owned tens of thousands of acres of land and his own lumber, flour and flax mills, including the first flax mill in America for making linen.

 

Schuyler served in the French and Indian War as a young man after raising his own militia company and was given the commission of Captain. He became a quartermaster during the war, meaning he was in charge of procuring and managing equipment and supplies.

 

When the American Revolution broke out, Philip Schuyler was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress from New York, a position he served in only for a few months when he was appointed a Major General in the Continental Army and was placed in charge of the Northern Department. General Schuyler planned the invasion of Canada, but had to place General Richard Montgomery in charge of the operations due to ill health. Montgomery was killed at the Battle of Quebec.

 

The American invasion of Canada failed and the British launched an attack against New York from Canada in 1777. General Schuyler played a major role in planning the patriots’ defense. In July of that year, Fort Ticonderoga fell to a small detachment of British soldiers and General Schuyler was replaced by General Horatio Gates for dereliction of duty. The British were eventually defeated in New York at the Battle of Saratoga under General Gates and Benedict Arnold, but Schuyler’s country home at Saratoga was destroyed in the process. It was later rebuilt and is part of the Saratoga National Historical Park today.

 

Schuyler demanded a court martial to investigate the charges of dereliction of duty against him and the court martial exonerated him, but he resigned from the army on April 19, 1779. After this Schuyler served two more terms in the Continental Congress.

 

Over the next decade, General Schuyler served in the New York State Senate from 1780 to 1784 and from 1786 to 1790. In 1789, he became a senator to the First United States Congress from New York. He lost re-election and returned to the State Senate from 1792 to 1797. He was elected a US Senator again in 1797, but resigned in 1798 due to ill health. General Schuyler and his wife, Catherine, had fifteen children. One of whom, Elizabeth, married Alexander Hamilton, future Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington.

 

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

 

Jack Manning

President General

2019 – 2021

National Society Sons of the American Revolution

www.sar.org

A people who mean to be free must be prepared to meet danger in person, and not rely upon the fallacious protection of armies.”
Edmund Randolph


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