Additionally, we will make daily posts on historical events in the History of the Rule of Law.
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|Center for Teaching the Rule of Law|
Welcome to the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law Blog. This blog will be used by Center Staff to post articles addressing issues concerning the Rule of Law and how it is taught and understood in our communities, nation, and world.
Additionally, we will make daily posts on historical events in the History of the Rule of Law.
We invite your comments, but please keep it civil.
To return to the Rule of Law Website, click here.
What does a calendar have to do with the Rule of Law? Well, as the history of the Gregorian calendar relates, the tracking of time is not a subject upon which there has ever been universal agreement because keeping track of time is often associated with cultural customs or religion. Thus, the determination of what system of numbering the days, weeks, months and years is a matter of significance to a society. While the Gregorian calendar was initially devised for a religious purpose -- to standardize the day of Easter, it's adoption by most of the world was very much a matter of civil debate and legal decisions.
The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a minor modification of the Julian calendar, reducing the average year from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days, and adjusting for the drift in the 'tropical' or 'solar' year that the inaccuracy had caused during the intervening centuries. The calendar spaces leap years to make its average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun
There were two reasons to establish the Gregorian calendar. First, the Julian calendar assumed incorrectly that the average solar year is exactly 365.25 days long, an overestimate of a little under one day per century. The Gregorian reform shortened the average (calendar) year by 0.0075 days to stop the drift of the calendar with respect to the equinoxes. Second, in the years since the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, the excess leap days introduced by the Julian algorithm had caused the calendar to drift such that the (Northern) spring equinox was occurring well before its nominal 21 March date. This date was important to the Christian churches because it is fundamental to the calculation of the date of Easter. To reinstate the association, the reform advanced the date by 10 days: Thursday 4 October 1582 was followed by Friday 15 October 1582. In addition, the reform also altered the lunar cycle used by the Church to calculate the date for Easter, because astronomical new moons were occurring four days before the calculated dates.
The reform was adopted initially by the Catholic countries of Europe and their overseas possessions. Over the next three centuries, the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox countries also moved to what they called the Improved calendar, with Greece being the last European country to adopt the calendar (for civil use only) in 1923. To unambiguously specify a date during the transition period (in contemporary documents or in history texts), both notations were given, tagged as 'Old Style' or 'New Style' as appropriate. During the 20th century, most non-Western countries also adopted the calendar, at least for civil purposes.
Although Gregory's reform was enacted in the most solemn of forms available to the Church, the bull had no authority beyond the Catholic Church and the Papal States. The changes that he was proposing were changes to the civil calendar, over which he had no authority. They required adoption by the civil authorities in each country to have legal effect. The bull Inter gravissimas became the law of the Catholic Church in 1582, but it was not recognized by Protestant Churches, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and a few others. Consequently, the days on which Easter and related holidays were celebrated by different Christian Churches again diverged.
Many Protestant countries initially objected to adopting a Catholic innovation; some Protestants feared the new calendar was part of a plot to return them to the Catholic fold. For example, the British could not bring themselves to adopt the Catholic system explicitly: the Annexe to their Calendar (New Style) Act 1750 established a computation for the date of Easter that achieved the same result as Gregory's rules, without actually referring to him.
Harbrinderjit Singh Dillon (23 April 1945 – 16 September 2019) was an Indonesian Sikh who occupied a variety of positions in Indonesian political life, including assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, and Commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights). His positions included executive director of Partnership Governance Reform in Indonesia. He was an outspoken critic of corruption in Indonesia.
H.S. Dillon was also the founder of The Foundation for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST), an international association dedicated to the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. Dillon was joined by a group of internationally respected human rights advocates (among others, Marzuki Darusman, Marzuki Usman, Makarim Wibisono, James Kallman, Dradjad Hari Wibowo) to establish the organization, which develops and promotes standards by which adherence to human rights principles can be demonstrated.
He studied at Cornell University in the United States, earning his PhD in agricultural economics and also studying subjects including international trade and development, resource management, and developmental sociology.
September 15, 1791 – Olympe de Gouges publishes the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen.
Olympe de Gouges (born Marie Gouze, 7 May 1748 – 3 November 1793) was a French playwright and political activist whose writings on women's rights and abolitionism reached a large audience in various countries. She began her career as a playwright in the early 1780s. As political tension rose in France, Olympe de Gouges became increasingly politically engaged. She became an outspoken advocate against the slave trade in the French colonies in 1788. At the same time, she began writing political pamphlet. In her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen, she challenged the practice of male authority and the notion of male-female inequality. She was executed by guillotine during the Reign of Terror (1793–1794) for attacking the regime of the Revolutionary government and for her association with the Girondists.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was adopted in 1789 by the National Constituent Assembly (Assemblée nationale constituante), during the French revolution. Prepared and proposed by the Marquis de Lafayette, the declaration asserted that all men "are born and remain free and equal in rights" and that these rights were universal. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen became a key human rights document and a classic formulation of the rights of individuals vis-a-vis the state. The Declaration exposed inconsistencies of laws that treated citizens differently on the basis of sex, race, class, or religion. In 1791, new articles were added to the French constitution which extended civil and political rights to Protestants and Jews, who had previously been persecuted in France.
In 1790, Nicolas de Condorcet and Etta Palm d'Aelders unsuccessfully called on the National Assembly to extend civil and political rights to women. Condorcet declared that "he who votes against the right of another, whatever the religion, color, or sex of that other, has henceforth abjured his own".
In October 1789, women in the marketplaces of Paris, rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread, began to march to Versailles, often called the Women's March on Versailles. While not solely an attempt for the extension of natural and political rights to women, the demonstrators believed that equality among all French citizens would extend those rights to women, political minorities, and landless citizens. Although upon the march, the king acknowledged the changes associated with the French Revolution and no longer resisted such liberal reforms, the leaders of the Revolution failed to recognize that women were the largest force in the march, and did not extend natural rights to women.
In November 1789, in response to both the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the failure of the National Assembly to recognize the natural and political rights of women, a group of women submitted a petition for the extension of egalité to women, referred to as the Women's Petition to the National Assembly. While thousands of petitions were repeatedly submitted to the National Assembly, this one was never brought up or discussed. The French Revolution did not lead to a recognition of women's rights, and this prompted de Gouges to publish the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, published September 15 1791.
DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN AND THE FEMALE CITIZEN
To be decreed by the National Assembly in its last sessions or in those of the next legislature.
Mothers, daughters, sisters, representatives of the Nation, all demand to be constituted into a national assembly. Given that ignorance, disregard or the disdain of the rights of woman are the only causes of public misfortune and the corruption of governments [they] have decided to make known in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable and sacred rights of woman; this declaration, constantly in the thoughts of all members of society, will ceaselessly remind them of their rights and responsibilities, allowing the political acts of women, and those of men, to be compared in all respects to the aims of political institutions, which will become increasingly respected, so that the demands of female citizens, henceforth based on simple and incontestable principles, will always seek to maintain the constitution, good morals and the happiness of all.
As a result, the sex that is superior in beauty as it is in courage during the pains of childbirth recognizes and declares, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen.
Woman is born free and remains the equal of man in rights. Social distinctions can only be founded on a common utility.
The purpose of all political organizations must be the protection of the natural and imprescriptible rights of Woman and Man: these rights are liberty, property, security and above all the right to resist oppression.
The principle of sovereignty is vested primarily in the Nation, which is but the union of Woman and Man: no body, no individual, can exercise authority that does not explicitly emanate from it.
Liberty and justice exist to render unto others what is theirs; therefore the only limit to the exercise of the natural rights of woman is the perpetual tyranny that man opposes to it: these limits must be reformed by the laws of nature and reason.
The laws of nature and reason forbid all acts that are harmful to society: anything not forbidden by these wise and divine laws must be allowed and no one can be constrained to do what the laws do not demand.
The law must embody the will of the majority; all Female and Male citizens must contribute personally, or through their representatives, to its development; it must be the same for one and all: all Female and all Male citizens, being equal in law, must be equally entitled to all public honors, positions and employment according to their capacities and with no other distinctions than those based solely on talent and virtue.
No woman may be exempt; she must be accused, arrested and imprisoned according to the law. Women, like men, will obey this rigorous law.
The law must only establish punishments that are strictly necessary, and none can be punished other than by a law established and promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied to women.
The law will rigorously pursue any woman found to be guilty.
None must be disquieted for their opinions however fundamental: woman is entitled to mount the scaffold; she must be equally entitled to mount the rostra so long as her manifestos do not disturb the public order according to the law.
The free expression of thoughts and opinions is one of the most precious rights of woman given that this liberty ensures the legitimacy of fathers and their children. Any Female citizen can therefore freely declare ‘I am the mother of your child’ without a barbarous prejudice forcing them to hide the truth, unless in response to the abuse of this freedom in cases determined by the law.
Guaranteeing the rights of woman and the female citizen will be a great benefit: this guarantee must be instituted for the good of all and not just to benefit those individuals to whom it is entrusted.
Women and men are to contribute equally to the upkeep of the forces of law and order and to the costs of administration: woman shares all the labor, all the hard tasks; she should therefore have an equal share of positions, employment, responsibilities, honors and professions.
Female and male citizens have a right to decide for themselves, or through their representatives, the necessity of public contribution. Female citizens can only subscribe to it if they are allowed an equal share not only of wealth but also of public administration and in determining the amount, assessment, collection and duration of the tax.
The collective of women, joined to that of men for the purposes of taxation, has the right to demand of any public agent an account of its administration.
No society can have a constitution if rights are not guaranteed, or the separation of powers not determined; the constitution is worthless if the majority that make up the Nation has not participated in its redaction.
Property belongs to both sexes, united or separated; for each it is an inviolable and sacred right; no one can be deprived of a true natural heritage unless a general necessity, legally verified, obviously requires it and on condition of a fair indemnity agreed in advance.
Woman, wake up; the tocsin of reason is resounding throughout the universe: acknowledge your rights. Nature's powerful empire is no longer surrounded by prejudice, fanaticism, superstition or untruth. The light of truth has dissipated all the clouds of nonsense and usurpation. Enslaved man increased his power and had to have recourse to yours in order to break his fetters. Freed he became unjust towards his companion. Oh women! Women, when will you cease to be blind? What advantages have you gained through the Revolution? A greater scorn, a more pronounced disdain. During the centuries of corruption you only reigned over the weakness of men. Your empire is destroyed: what is left to you? The conviction that men are unjust? Reclaim your heritage, that right founded on the wise decrees of nature; what can you fear from such a fine undertaking? A witticism from the Governor of the Feast of Cana? Are you afraid that our French Governors, correctors of an inappropriate morality that was too long caught up in the branches of politics, will say repeatedly: women, what have we got in common? Everything, you must reply. If, in their weakness, they should obstinately allow such inconsequentiality to get in the way of their principles then courageously oppose their vain claims of superiority; unite under the banner of philosophy; use all your innate energy and you will soon see these haughty men, our slavish admirers, [not?] grovelling at your feet but proud to share with you the treasures of the Supreme-Being. Whatever barriers are thrown in your way it is in your power to overcome them; you simply have to want to. Let us move on and reflect on the frightful position that women held in society; given that a system of national education is now being contemplated, let us see if our wise Legislators will be rational in their consideration of the education of women.
Women have done more harm than good. Constraint and dissimulation have been their lot. What force stole from them, ruse returned; they had to resort to the power of their charms and the most irreproachable man could not resist. All was submitted to them, poison, the sword; they commanded over crime as over virtue. The French government, in particular, depended for centuries on the nocturnal administration of women; secrets could not withstand the indiscretion of the boudoir: ambassadors, officers, ministers, presidents, pontiffs, cardinals, all that characterizes the stupidity of men, sacred or profane, all was subject to the cupidity and ambition of this sex once despicable yet respected but since the revolution, respected and despised.
What an opportunity this sort of antithesis offers me for commentary! I have only a moment to make it known but the moment will fix the attention of the most distant posterity. Under the ancien régime everything was deceitful, everything was shameful yet is it not possible to perceive an improvement in things even in the substance of these vices? A woman had only to be beautiful and amiable; when she possessed both advantages a hundred fortunes would be spread at her feet. If she did not take advantage of them she was deemed to be odd or of an unusual bent that encouraged her to despise riches: she was then reduced to being considered awkward. The most indecent woman became respectable through gold; the commerce of women was a sort of trade that was accepted in the highest circles which, from now on, will have no credit. If it still had any then the revolution would be lost and, in new relations, we would still be corrupted: yet can reason pretend that all other paths to fortune are closed to a woman purchased by a man, like a slave on the coasts of Africa. The difference is great; that is understood. The slave commands the master, but if the master frees the slave with no recompense at an age when the slave has lost all her charms, what becomes of this unfortunate woman? The plaything of scorn, even the doors of generosity close on her; she is poor and old, they say, why did she not understand how to make a fortune? Other even more touching examples come to mind. A young inexperienced person, seduced by a man she loves, will abandon her parents to follow him; the ingrate will abandon her after a few years, the longer she has aged with him the more inhuman his inconstancy; if she has children, he will abandon her anyway. If he is rich he will consider himself exempt from sharing his fortune with his noble victims. If some agreement ties him to his duty he will violate its power in expectation that the law will be tolerant. If he is married any other agreement becomes worthless. What laws are still to be created in order to extirpate vice at its root? One that will share wealth, and public administration, between men and women. It is obvious that she who is born of a rich family will gain much from an equal partition. But she who is born of a poor family, with merit and virtue, what is her lot? Poverty and opprobrium. If she does not excel specifically in music or painting she can hold no position in public even though she has all the capabilities to do so. I want only to give an overview of how things stand, I will go into greater depth in the new edition of my political works that I plan to offer the public in a few days, with notes.
I take up my text again with regard to morals. Marriage is the tomb of trust and love. A married woman can, with impunity, give bastards to her husband and a fortune that is not theirs. The unmarried woman only has the feeblest rights; ancient and inhuman laws forbid her the right to the name or wealth of the father of her children and no new laws have been devised to address this matter. If trying to give my sex an honorable and fair substance seems, at this time, paradoxical on my part, like attempting the impossible, then I will leave the glory of treating on this matter to the men to come but, while we wait, we can pave the way through national education, the reestablishment of morals, and by addressing conjugal conventions
September 14, 1814 – Battle of Baltimore: The poem Defence of Fort McHenry is written by Francis Scott Key. The poem is later used as the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner.
Every school child in the US knows that story of how Francis Scott Key penned the poem that eventually became the National Anthem. It is, surprisingly, one of the few tales of the early Republic that has not been, and has no need to be embellished. That story will follow, but first, why is the date of the authorship of a poem included in a post about the history of the Rule of Law? Surely, while patriotic and inspiring, the anthem has little to do with the Rule of Law. But of course, it is not the Anthem, but people's use of it as a tool for promoting political ideas, that relates to the Rule of Law. Contrary to popular belief, no person is required by law to stand or otherwise act in a proscribed way when the anthem is played. Even members of the Armed Forces in uniform are not subject to any law requiring them to stand at attention and salute -- though to be sure they are required by the Code of Military Conduct to do so when acting in their official capacity as members of the Armed Forces. Although there is a law regarding respect for the Anthem, its provisions are suggestive rather than regulatory.
When the U.S. national anthem was first recognized by law in 1931, there was no prescription as to behavior during its playing. On June 22, 1942, the law was revised indicating that those in uniform should salute during its playing, while others should simply stand at attention, men removing their hats. The same code also required that women should place their hands over their hearts when the flag is displayed during the playing of the national anthem, but not if the flag was not present. On December 23, 1942, the law was again revised instructing men and women to stand at attention and face in the direction of the music when it was played. That revision also directed men and women to place their hands over their hearts only if the flag was displayed. Those in uniform were required to salute. On July 7, 1976, the law was simplified. Men and women were instructed to stand with their hands over their hearts, men removing their hats, irrespective of whether or not the flag was displayed and those in uniform saluting. On August 12, 1998, the law was rewritten keeping the same instructions, but differentiating between "those in uniform" and "members of the Armed Forces and veterans" who were both instructed to salute during the playing whether or not the flag was displayed. Because of the changes in law over the years and confusion between instructions for the Pledge of Allegiance versus the National Anthem, throughout most of the 20th century many people simply stood at attention or with their hands folded in front of them during the playing of the Anthem, and when reciting the Pledge they would hold their hand (or hat) over their heart. After 9/11, the custom of placing the hand over the heart during the playing of the national anthem became nearly universal.
Since 1998, federal law (viz., the United States Code 36 U.S.C. § 301) states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present including those in uniform should stand at attention; non-military service individuals should face the flag with the right hand over the heart; members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute; military service persons not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note. The law further provides that when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. The law was amended in 2008, and since allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.
The text of 36 U.S.C. § 301 is suggestive and not regulatory in nature. Failure to follow the suggestions is not a violation of the law. This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not sing the national anthem, though they are taught that standing is an "ethical decision" that individual believers must make based on their conscience.
And now the story of the Anthem (in case you need a refresher).
On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington and the Raid on Alexandria, Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner set sail from Baltimore aboard the ship HMS Minden, a cartel ship flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison. Their objective was to secure an exchange of prisoners, one of whom was William Beanes, the elderly and popular town physician of Upper Marlboro and a friend of Key who had been captured in his home. Beanes was accused of aiding the arrest of British soldiers. Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant on September 7 and spoke with Major General Robert Ross and Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane over dinner while the two officers discussed war plans. At first, Ross and Cochrane refused to release Beanes but relented after Key and Skinner showed them letters written by wounded British prisoners praising Beanes and other Americans for their kind treatment.
Because Key and Skinner had heard details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, they were held captive until after the battle, first aboard HMS Surprise and later back on HMS Minden. After the bombardment, certain British gunboats attempted to slip past the fort and effect a landing in a cove to the west of it, but they were turned away by fire from nearby Fort Covington, the city's last line of defense.
During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort's smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shell and Congreve rocket barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. On the morning of September 14, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised. During the bombardment, HMS Terror and HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air".
Key was inspired by the U.S. victory and the sight of the large U.S. flag flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary Young Pickersgill together with other workers in her home on Baltimore's Pratt Street. The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner, and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution. It was restored in 1914 by Amelia Fowler, and again in 1998 as part of an ongoing conservation program.
Aboard the ship the next day, Key wrote a poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket. At twilight on September 16, he and Skinner were released in Baltimore. He completed the poem at the Indian Queen Hotel, where he was staying, and titled it "Defence of Fort M'Henry". It was first published nationally in The Analectic Magazine.
Key gave the poem to his brother-in-law Joseph H. Nicholson who saw that the words fit the popular melody "The Anacreontic Song", by English composer John Stafford Smith. This was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen's club of amateur musicians in London. Nicholson took the poem to a printer in Baltimore, who anonymously made the first known broadside printing on September 17; of these, two known copies survive.
On September 20, both the Baltimore Patriot and The American printed the song, with the note "Tune: Anacreon in Heaven". The song quickly became popular, with seventeen newspapers from Georgia to New Hampshire printing it. Soon after, Thomas Carr of the Carr Music Store in Baltimore published the words and music together under the title "The Star Spangled Banner", although it was originally called "Defence of Fort M'Henry". Thomas Carr's arrangement introduced the raised fourth which became the standard deviation from "The Anacreontic Song". The song's popularity increased and its first public performance took place in October when Baltimore actor Ferdinand Durang sang it at Captain McCauley's tavern. Washington Irving, then editor of the Analectic Magazine in Philadelphia, reprinted the song in November 1814.
By the early 20th century, there were various versions of the song in popular use. Seeking a singular, standard version, President Woodrow Wilson tasked the U.S. Bureau of Education with providing that official version. In response, the Bureau enlisted the help of five musicians to agree upon an arrangement. Those musicians were Walter Damrosch, Will Earhart, Arnold J. Gantvoort, Oscar Sonneck and John Philip Sousa. The standardized version that was voted upon by these five musicians premiered at Carnegie Hall on December 5, 1917, in a program that included Edward Elgar's Carillon and Gabriel Pierné's The Children's Crusade. The concert was put on by the Oratorio Society of New York and conducted by Walter Damrosch. An official handwritten version of the final votes of these five men has been found and shows all five men's votes tallied, measure by measure.
The song gained popularity throughout the 19th century and bands played it during public events, such as Independence Day celebrations. A plaque displayed at Fort Meade, South Dakota, claims that the idea of making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem began on their parade ground in 1892. Colonel Caleb Carlton, post commander, established the tradition that the song be played "at retreat and at the close of parades and concerts." Carlton explained the custom to Governor Sheldon of South Dakota who "promised me that he would try to have the custom established among the state militia." Carlton wrote that after a similar discussion, Secretary of War Daniel S. Lamont issued an order that it "be played at every Army post every evening at retreat."
In 1899, the U.S. Navy officially adopted "The Star-Spangled Banner". In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that "The Star-Spangled Banner" be played at military and other appropriate occasions. The playing of the song two years later during the seventh-inning stretch of Game One of the 1918 World Series, and thereafter during each game of the series is often cited as the first instance that the anthem was played at a baseball game, though evidence shows that the "Star-Spangled Banner" was performed as early as 1897 at opening day ceremonies in Philadelphia and then more regularly at the Polo Grounds in New York City beginning in 1898. In any case, the tradition of performing the national anthem before every baseball game began in World War II.
On April 10, 1918, John Charles Linthicum, U.S. congressman from Maryland, introduced a bill to officially recognize "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem. The bill did not pass. On April 15, 1929, Linthicum introduced the bill again, his sixth time doing so. On November 3, 1929, Robert Ripley drew a panel in his syndicated cartoon, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, saying "Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem".
In 1930, Veterans of Foreign Wars started a petition for the United States to officially recognize "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem. Five million people signed the petition. The petition was presented to the United States House Committee on the Judiciary on January 31, 1930.] On the same day, Elsie Jorss-Reilley and Grace Evelyn Boudlin sang the song to the committee to refute the perception that it was too high pitched for a typical person to sing. The committee voted in favor of sending the bill to the House floor for a vote. The House of Representatives passed the bill later that year.] The Senate passed the bill on March 3, 1931. President Herbert Hoover signed the bill on March 4, 1931, officially adopting "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem of the United States of America. As currently codified, the United States Code states that "[t]he composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem." Although all four stanzas of the poem officially compose the National Anthem, only the first stanza is generally sung, the other three being much lesser known.
In the fourth verse, Key's 1814 published version of the poem is written as, "And this be our motto-"In God is our trust!"" In 1956 when 'In God We Trust' was under consideration to be adopted as the national motto of the United States by the US Congress, the words of the fourth verse of The Star Spangled Banner were brought up in arguments supporting adoption of the motto.
September 13, 1782 – During the American Revolutionary War, Franco-Spanish troops launch the unsuccessful "grand assault" during the Great Siege of Gibraltar . . . Wait? During which war?
"Where was the American Revolution fought?" The question probably sounds as obvious and pointless as "who is buried in Grant's Tomb?" Except of course, that the answer to both questions is not as straightforward as many would assume. With respect to Grant's Tomb, the correct answer would be Ulysses S. Grant and his widow Julia (and, while there is some doubt, apparently their dog as well).
The issue of where the American Revolution was fought is also somewhat convoluted. Certainly it was fought principally within the confines of what is now known as the United States of America, but at the time of the war, there was no clear agreement on what the United States of America was. We often forget that by 1774, the British colonial interests in North America included not just the "13 Colonies," but also "Canada" (itself divided into Upper and Lower divisions for administrative purposes, with the borders of these rather ill-defined), East and West Florida, the latter containing very little of what is today Florida and a great deal of what we think of as "New France" as well as possibly parts of Texas. And then there is "New Connecticut," the "New Hampshire Grants" and "Vermont," which, depending on who you ask, are either all the same or really quite different places. Maine of course. ar at least half of it, was part of Massachusetts, the rest being part of Canada. And let's not forget that before, during and after the revolution, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia were contesting, both legally and occasionally military, the borders of their territories during the three Pennamite–Yankee Wars.
Then of course, there was the war at sea - or has naval historians would have it, "the Real Revolutionary War." Naval historians maintain that all the land battles of the revolution were superfluous to its outcome, which ultimately depended on naval strength. Although Britain undoubtedly had the strongest nave in the world at the time, it was also charged with administering a vast colonial empire which touched every ocean. As a result, it found it difficult to concentrate its navel forces or to devote significant forces to an one conflict for an extended period of time. While the fledgling Continental navy could not have contested against the British alone, not withstanding the superb seamanship of John Paul Jones, the French and Spanish fleets, although broadly committed to their own colonial interests, were available to balance the scales.
And it is from this Franco-Spanish commitment to aid the colonies comes the story of what might be called the only land battle of the American Revolution that took place on European soil (even this is debatable, however, depending on whether the Channel Islands are considered "European" or "British" -- so let's agree that it was the only battle of the Revolution fought on the European continent.
On June 29, 1779, French and Spanish forces invested the British colony of Gibraltar at the southern tip of Spain. By controlling Gibraltar, the British control the entrance to the Mediterranean. While Spanish forces (later reinforced by French troops) maintain a blockade of the land side, naval forces of both the Spanish and French were able to maintain only a limited blockade of the seaward approach.
Contrary to popular belief, the surrender of the British at Yorktown on October 19, 1781 did not end the American Revolution. It was not even the last battle to be fought on American soil. However, it was the battle which forced the British to sue for peace and but mid-1782 it was all but certain that a permanent peace treat was going to be approved, meaning the France and Spain would lose their "casus belli" against the British with very little to show for their effort in supporting the colonies (indeed, loses in the Caribbean, Central America and India meant the two nations were probably emerging from the war with less than they started with).
So it was that in September 1782 the French and Spanish launched an audacious plan to seize Gibraltar with a combined navel and land attack using an entirely new tactic. French engineers proposed to reduce the land batteries of the fortress by using massive floating batteries to pound the British into submission. This plan was know as the "Grand Assault" and would employ more troops and artillery than had been engaged at any point during the conflict on American soil.
For the allies it was becoming clear that the recent blockades had been a complete failure and that an attack by land would be impossible. Ideas were put forward to break the siege once and for all. The plan was proposed that a squadron of battery ships should take on the British land-based batteries and pound them into submission by numbers and weight of shots fired, before a storming party attacked from the siege works on the Isthmus and further troops were put ashore from the waiting Spanish fleet. The French engineer Jean Le Michaud d'Arçon invented and designed the floating batteries—'unsinkable' and 'unburnable'—intended to attack from the sea in tandem with other batteries bombarding the British from land.
The floating batteries would have strong, thick wooden armor—1-metre-wide timbers packed with layers of wet sand, with water pumped over them to avoid fire breaking out. In addition old cables would also deaden the fall of British shot and, as ballast, would counterbalance the guns' weight. Guns were to be fired from one side only; the starboard battery was removed completely and the port battery heavily augmented with timber and sand infill. The ten floating batteries would be supported by ships of the line and bomb ships, which would try to draw away and split up the British fire. Five batteries each with two rows of guns, together with five smaller batteries each with a single row, would provide a total of 150 guns. The Spanish enthusiastically received the proposal. D'Arçon sailed close to shore under enemy fire in a skiff to get more accurate intelligence.
On 13 September 1782 the Bourbon allies launched their great attack: 5,260 fighting men, both French and Spanish, aboard ten of the newly engineered 'floating batteries' with 138 to 212 heavy guns under the command of Don Buenaventura Moreno. Also in support were the combined Spanish and French fleet, which consisted of 49 ships of the line, 40 Spanish gunboats and 20 bomb-vessels, manned by a total of 30,000 sailors and marines under the command of Spanish Admiral Luis de Córdova. They were supported by 86 land guns and 35,000 Spanish and 7,000–8,000 French troops on land, intending to assault the fortifications once they had been demolished. An 'army' of over 80,000 spectators thronged the adjacent hills on the Spanish side, expecting to see the fortress beaten to powder and 'the British flag trailed in the dust.' Among them were the highest families in the land, including the Comte D'Artois.
The batteries slowly moved forward along the bay and one by one the 138 guns opened fire, but soon events did not go according to plan. The alignments were not correct: the two lead ships Pastora and the Tala Piedra moved further ahead than they should have. When they opened fire on their main target, the King's Battery, the British guns replied, but the cannonballs were observed to bounce off their hulls. Eventually the Spanish junks were anchored on the sandbanks near the Mole but were too spread out to create any significant damage to the British walls.
Meanwhile, after weeks of preparatory artillery fire, the 200 heavy-caliber Spanish and French guns opened up on the land side from the North directed onto the fortifications. This caused some casualties and damage, but by noon the artificers had heated up red-hot shot. Once the shot were ready, Elliot ordered them to be fired. At first the heated shot made no difference, as many were doused on board the floating batteries.
Although the batteries had anchored, a number had soon grounded and began to suffer damage to their rigging and masts. The King's Bastion blasted away at the closest ships, the Pastora and the Talla Piedra, and soon the British guns began to have an effect. Smoke was spotted coming from Talla Piedra, already severely damaged and its rigging in tatters. Panic ensued since no vessel could come and support her; nor was there any way for the ship to escape. Meanwhile, the Pastora under the Prince de Nassau began to emit a huge amount of smoke. Despite efforts to find the cause, the sailors on board were fighting a losing battle. To make matters worse, the Spanish land guns had ceased firing. It soon became apparent to de Crillon that the Spanish army had run out of powder and were already low on shot. By nightfall it was clear that the assault had failed, but worse was to come, because the fire on the two batteries was out of control. To add to de Crillon's frustration, de Córdova's ships of the line failed to move in support, and neither did Barcelo's vessels. De Crillon, acknowledging defeat and not wishing to upset the Spanish by issuing demands, soon ordered the floating batteries to be scuttled and the crews rescued. Rockets were sent up from the batteries as distress signals.
During this operation, Roger Curtis, the British naval commander, seeing the attacking force in great danger, warned Elliot about the huge potential death toll and that something must be done. Elliot agreed and had the fleet of twelve gunboats under Curtis set out with 250 men. They headed towards the Spanish gunboats, firing as they advanced, after which the Spanish precipitated a quick retreat.
Curtis's gunboats reached the batteries and one by one took them; but this soon turned into a rescue effort when they realized from prisoners that many men were still on board with the scuttling now taking place. British marines and sailors then stormed the Pastora, taking the men on board as prisoners and eventually pulled them off the doomed ship, having also seized the Spanish Royal Standard which had been flying from the stern. As this was going on, the flames that had engulfed Talla Piedra soon reached the magazine. The ensuing explosion was tremendous, with a sound that reverberated around the bay and a huge mushroom cloud of smoke and debris that rose up in the air. Many were killed on board, but the British had few casualties. The Spanish, now in panic, all reached for the British boats by jumping in the water.
Soon the Pastora, engulfed in a mass of flames, followed the fate of the Talla Piedra. The latter burnt to the water's edge and sank about 1:00 am on 14 September after having lain upwards of fourteen hours under the fire of Gibraltar. The fire reached the powder magazine and another huge explosion ensued. This time many in the water were killed outright; a British boat was sunk and the coxswain of Curtis's boat was killed when hit by debris. Nassau, Littlepage and the surviving crew managed to make their way back to shore.
Curtis realized that it was unsafe to be near the flaming batteries and soon withdrew men from two more floating batteries engulfed in flame, then finally ordered a withdrawal. The rescue operation was hindered further when Spanish batteries opened fire after receiving more powder and shot. Many more men drowned or were burned in the ensuing inferno; others were hit by their own artillery. The Spanish ceased fire only when the mistake was realized, but it was too late. The rest of the Spanish batteries blew up in similar horrific style; the explosions lofted huge mushroom clouds that rose nearly 1,000 feet in the air. Some men were still on board and those that had jumped overboard often drowned as the vast majority couldn't swim. By the early hours of the morning only two floating batteries remained. A Spanish felucca tried to set one on fire but was driven off by British guns. The two were promptly set alight by them and were finished in the same way as the others by the afternoon.
By 4:00 am, all the floating batteries had been sunk, leaving the Gibraltar waterfront a mass of debris and bodies from the wrecked Spanish ships. During the Grand Assault 40,000 rounds had been fired. Casualties in just twelve hours were heavy: 719 men on board the ships (many of whom drowned) were casualties.
Curtis had rescued a further 357 officers and men, who thus became prisoners, while in the siege lines more casualties brought up the allied total to 1,473 men for the Grand Assault, with all ten floating batteries destroyed. The engagement was the fiercest battle of the American Revolutionary War. The British lost 15 killed and 68 men were wounded, nearly half of them from the Royal Artillery. A Royal Marine who had taken Pastora's large Spanish color later presented it to Elliot.
One of the survivors who had been on a floating battery that had blown up was Louis Littlepage. He was saved and managed to get back to the Spanish fleet.
For Elliot and the garrison it was a great victory and for the allies it was a brutal defeat, with their plans and hopes in tatters. De Córdova was heavily criticized for not coming to help the batteries, while d'Arçon and de Crillon threw accusations and recriminations at each other. In Spain the news was met with consternation and despair. The huge crowds that had been promised a crushing victory left the area chagrined.
On 14 September 1782, the assault by the allies by land which was supposed to have been a "mopping up" operation was initially going to be attempted. The Spanish army formed up behind the batteries at the northern end of the Isthmus. At the same time, the Spanish ships moved across the bay, packed with more troops. However, de Crillon cancelled the assault, judging that losses would have been huge. Gibraltar nevertheless remained under siege, but Spanish bombardments decreased to about 200 rounds a day as both sides knew of the impending peace treaty.
From 20 September, reports of the great French and Spanish assault on Gibraltar began to reach Paris. By 27 September it was clear that the operation, involving more troops than had ever been in service at one time on the entire North American continent, had been a horrific disaster. In Madrid news of the failure was received with dismay; the King was in mute despair as he read the intelligence reports at the Palace of San Ildefonso. The French had done all they could to help the Spanish achieve their essential war aim, and began serious discussions on alternative exit strategies, urging Spain to offer Britain some very large concessions in return for Gibraltar.
News also reached the British, ecstatic at the outcome, and at the same time just as John Jay submitted his draft treaty. The British promptly stiffened their terms, flatly refusing to cede land north of the old border with Canada. They also insisted that the Americans pay their national pre-war debt to the British or compensate Loyalists for their seized property. As a result, the Americans were forced to agree to these terms, and their Northern frontier was established along the line of the Great Lakes. Preliminary Articles of Peace were to be signed between the two on 30 November.
The rise of Switzerland as a federal state began on 12 September 1848, with the creation of a federal constitution in response to a 27-day civil war, the Sonderbundskrieg. The constitution, which was heavily influenced by the United States Constitution and the ideas of the French Revolution, was modified several times during the following decades and wholly replaced in 1999. The 1848 constitution represented the first time, other than when the short-lived Helvetic Republic had been imposed, that the Swiss had a central government instead of being simply a collection of autonomous cantons bound by treaties.
In 1847, the period of Swiss history known as Restoration ended with a war between the conservative Roman Catholic and the liberal Protestant cantons (the Sonderbundskrieg). The conflict between the Catholic and Protestant cantons had existed since the Reformation; in the 19th century the Protestant population had a majority. The Sonderbund (German: separate alliance) was concluded after the Radical Party had taken power in Switzerland and had, thanks to the Protestant majority of cantons, taken measures against the Catholic Church such as the closure of monasteries and convents in Aargau in 1841. When Lucerne, in retaliation, recalled the Jesuits the same year, groups of armed radicals ("Freischärler") invaded the canton. The invasion caused a revolt, mostly because rural cantons were strongholds of ultramontanism.
The Sonderbund was in violation of the Federal Treaty of 1815, §6, which forbade separate alliances, and the Radical majority in the Tagsatzung dissolved it on 21 October 1847. A confederate army was raised against the members of the Sonderbund, composed of soldiers of all the other states except Neuchâtel and Appenzell Innerrhoden, which stayed neutral. Ticino, while a Catholic canton, did not join the Sonderbund and fought alongside the Protestants.
The war lasted for less than a month, causing fewer than 100 casualties. Apart from small riots, this was the last armed conflict on Swiss territory.
At the end of the Sonderbund War, the Diet debated a new federal constitution drawn up by Johann Conrad Kern (1808–1888) of Thurgau and Henri Druey (1790–1855) of Vaud. In the summer of 1848 this constitution was accepted by fifteen and a half cantons, with Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Valais, Ticino and Appenzell Innerrhoden opposing. The new constitution was declared on 12 September 1848.
The new constitution created, for the first time, Swiss citizenship in addition to cantonal citizenship.
A federal central government was set up to which the cantons gave up certain parts of their sovereign rights. The Federal Assembly was made up of two houses- Council of States (Ständerat), composed of two deputies from each canton (44 members at the time) and the National Council (Nationalrat) made up of deputies elected three years, in the proportion of one for every 20,000 citizens or fraction over 10,000 from each canton. The Federal Council or executive (Bundesrat) consisted of seven members elected by the Federal Assembly. In the 1848 Constitution, the Federal Council was granted the "supreme executive and directorial authority of the Confederation". Each member of the Federal Council heads one of seven executive departments. The chairman of the Council also holds the title of President of the Swiss Confederation for a one-year term, with the position rotating among the members of the Federal Council.
The judiciary (Bundesgericht) was made up of eleven members elected for three years by the Federal Assembly. The Bundesgericht was chiefly confined to civil cases in which the Confederation was a party, but also took in great political crimes. All constitutional questions are however reserved for the Federal Assembly.
A federal university and a polytechnic school were to be founded. All capitulations were forbidden in the future. All cantons were required to treat Swiss citizens who belonged to one of the Christian confessions like their own citizens. Previously, citizens of one canton regarded citizens of the others as the citizens of foreign countries. All Christians were guaranteed the exercise of their religion but the Jesuits and similar religious orders were not to be received in any canton. German, French and Italian were recognized as national languages.
Although there was now a fully organized central government, Switzerland was a very decentralized federation. Most authority remained with the cantons, including all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government. One of the first acts of the Federal Assembly was to exercise the power given them of determining the home of the Federal authorities (the de facto capital of the newly created confederation), and on 28 November 1848 Bern was chosen. The first Federal Council sat on 16 November 1848, composed entirely of members of the Free Democratic Party.
Some of the first acts of the new Federal Assembly were to unify and standardize daily life in the country. In 1849 a uniform postal service was established. In 1850 a single currency was imposed to replace the cantonal currencies, while all customs between cantons were abolished. In 1851 the telegraph was organized, while all weights and measures were unified. In 1868 the metric system was allowed and in 1875 declared obligatory and universal. In 1854 roads and canals taken in hand were taken under federal control. The Federal Polytechnic wasn't opened until 1855 in Zurich, though the Federal university authorized by the new constitution has not yet been set up.
In 1859, Reisläuferei (mercenary service) was outlawed, with the exception of the Vatican guard.
In 1866 the rights granted only to Christians (free movement and freedom of religion) under the 1848 Constitution were extended to all Swiss regardless of religion.
From 1848 onwards the cantons continually revised their constitutions, with most including the introduction of the referendum, by which laws made by the cantonal legislature may (facultative referendum) or must (obligatory referendum) be submitted to the people for their approval. It was therefore only natural that attempts should be made to revise the federal constitution of 1848 in a democratic and centralizing sense, for it had been provided that the Federal Assembly, on its own initiative or on the written request of 50,000 Swiss electors, could submit the question of revision to a popular vote. The first attempt at a revision in 1872 was defeated by a small majority, owing to the efforts of the anti-centralizing party. Finally, however, another draft was preferred, and on the 19 April 1874, the new constitution was accepted by the people – 141⁄2 cantons against 71⁄2 (those of 1848 without Ticino, but with Fribourg and Lucerne).
The Constitution of 1874 further strengthened the federal power. The revised Constitution included three major points. First, a system of free elementary education was set up, under the superintendence of the Confederation, but managed by the cantons. Second, a man settling in another canton was, after three months (instead of two years in the 1848 Constitution), given all cantonal and communal rights (formerly only cantonal rights were granted). Finally, the referendum was introduced in its "facultative" form; i.e., all federal laws must be submitted to popular vote on the demand of 30,000 Swiss citizens or of eight cantons. The Initiative (i.e., the right of compelling the legislature to consider a certain subject or bill) was not introduced into the Federal Constitution until 1891 (when it was given to 50,000 Swiss citizens) and then only as to a partial (not a total) revision of that constitution.
September 11, 1776 – British–American peace conference on Staten Island fails to stop nascent American Revolutionary War.
The Staten Island Peace Conference was a brief informal diplomatic conference held between representatives of the British Crown and its rebellious North American colonies in the hope of bringing a rapid end to the nascent American Revolution. The conference took place on September 11, 1776, a few days after the British had captured Long Island and less than three months after the formal American Declaration of Independence. The conference was held at Billop Manor, the residence of loyalist Colonel Christopher Billop, on Staten Island, New York. The participants were the British Admiral Lord Richard Howe, and members of the Second Continental Congress John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge.
Upon being placed in command of British land forces in the Colonies, Lord Howe had sought authority to resolve the conflict peacefully. However, his power to negotiate was by design extremely limited, which left the Congressional delegation pessimistic over a summary resolution. The Americans insisted on recognition of their recently-declared independence, which Howe was unable to grant. After just three hours, the delegates retired, and the British resumed their military campaign to control New York City.
When British authorities were planning how to deal with their rebellious North American colonies in late 1775 and early 1776, they decided to send a large military expedition to occupy New York City. Two brothers, Admiral Lord Richard Howe and General William Howe, were given command of the naval and land aspects of the operation respectively. Since they believed that it might still be possible to end the dispute without further violence, the Howe brothers insisted on being granted diplomatic powers in addition to their military roles.
Admiral Howe had previously discussed colonial grievances informally with Benjamin Franklin in 1774 and 1775, without resolution. General Howe believed that the problem of colonial taxation could be resolved with the retention of the supremacy of Parliament.
At first, King George III reluctantly agreed to grant the Howes limited powers, but Lord George Germain took a harder line by insisting for the Howes not to be given any powers that might be seen as giving in to the colonial demands for relief from taxation without representation or the so-called Intolerable Acts. As a consequence, the Howes were granted the ability only to issue pardons and amnesties, not to make any substantive concessions. The commissioners were also mandated to seek dissolution of the Continental Congress, the re-establishment of the prewar colonial assemblies, the acceptance of the terms of Lord North's Conciliatory Resolution regarding self-taxation, and the promise of a further discussion of colonial grievances. No concessions could be made unless hostilities were ended, and colonial assemblies made specific admissions of parliamentary supremacy.
After the fleet arrived in July 1776, Admiral Howe made several attempts to open communications with Continental Army General George Washington. Two attempts to deliver letters to Washington were rebuffed because Howe had refused to recognize Washington's title. Washington, however, agreed to meet in person with one of Howe's adjutants, Colonel James Patterson. In the meeting on July 20, Washington learned that the Howes' diplomatic powers were essentially limited to the granting of pardons; Washington responded that the Americans had not committed any faults and so did not need pardons.
Lord Howe then sent a letter to Benjamin Franklin that detailed a proposal for a truce and offers of pardons. After Franklin read the letter in Congress on July 30, he wrote back to the Admiral, "Directing pardons to be offered to the colonies, who are the very parties injured,... can have no other effect than that of increasing our resentments. It is impossible we should think of submission to a government that has with the most wanton barbarity and cruelty burnt our defenseless town,... excited the savages to massacre our peaceful farmers, and our slaves to murder their masters, and is even now bringing foreign mercenaries to deluge our settlements with blood." He also pointed out that "you once gave me expectations that reconciliation might take place." Howe was apparently somewhat taken aback by Franklin's forceful response.
During the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, British forces successfully occupied western Long Island (modern Brooklyn), which compelled Washington to withdraw his army to Manhattan. General Howe then paused to consolidate his gains, and the brothers decided to make a diplomatic overture. During the battle, they had captured several high-ranking Continental Army officers, including Major General John Sullivan. The Howes managed to convince Sullivan that a conference with members of the Continental Congress might yield fruit and released him on parole to deliver a message to the Congress in Philadelphia that proposed an informal meeting to discuss ending the armed conflict between Britain and its rebellious colonies. After Sullivan's speech to Congress, John Adams cynically commented on this diplomatic attempt by calling Sullivan a "decoy-duck" and accusing the British of sending Sullivan "to seduce us into a renunciation of our independence." Others noted that it appeared to be an attempt to blame Congress for prolonging the war.
Congress, however, agreed to send three of its members (Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge) to a conference with Lord Howe. They were instructed "to ask a few Questions and take [Howe's] Answers" but had no further authority. When Howe learned of the committee's limited authority, he briefly considered calling the meeting off but decided to proceed after he had discussed with his brother. None of the commissioners believed that the conference would amount to anything.
Lord Howe initially sought to meet with the men as private citizens since British policy did not recognize the Congress as a legitimate authority. For the conference to take place, he agreed to the American demand to be recognized as official representatives of the Congress.
he house of Christopher Billop, on Staten Island, was selected to be the meeting place. It had been occupied by British troops for use as a barracks and was in filthy condition, but one room was cleaned and prepared for the meeting. The arrangements included one British officer to be left on the American side as a hostage during the meeting. The congressional delegation, rather than leaving him behind the American lines, invited him to accompany them. On arrival, the delegation was escorted past a line of Hessian soldiers and into the house, where, according to Adams, a repast of claret, ham, mutton, and tongue was served.
The meeting lasted three hours, but both sides were unable to find any common ground. The Americans insisted that any negotiations required the British recognition of their recently-declared independence. Lord Howe stated that he did not have the authority to meet that demand. When asked by Edward Rutledge whether he had the authority to repeal the Prohibitory Act, which authorized a naval blockade of the colonies, as had been claimed by Sullivan, Howe demurred and claimed that Sullivan was mistaken. Howe's authority included the ability to suspend its execution if the colonies agreed to make fixed contributions, instead of the taxes that Parliament had levied on them. None of that could be done unless the colonies first agreed to end hostilities.
For most of the meeting, both sides were cordial. However, when Lord Howe expressed that he would feel America's loss "like the loss of a brother," Franklin informed him that "we will do our utmost endeavors to save your lordship that mortification."
Lord Howe unhappily stated that he could not view the American delegates as anything but British subjects. Adams replied, "Your lordship may consider me in what light you please,... except that of a British subject." Lord Howe then spoke past Adams to Franklin and Rutledge: "Mr. Adams appears to be a decided character."
The Congressmen returned to Philadelphia and reported that Lord Howe "has no propositions to make us" and that "America is to expect nothing but total unconditional submission." John Adams learned many years later that his name was on a list of people who were specifically excluded from any pardon offers the Howes might make. Congress published the committee's report without comment. Because Lord Howe did not also publish an account of the meeting, the meeting's outcome was perceived by many as a sign of British weakness, but many Loyalists and some British observers suspected that the Congressional report had misrepresented the meeting.
One British commentator wrote of the meeting: "They met, they talked, they parted. And now nothing remains but to fight it out." Lord Howe reported the failure of the conference to his brother, and both made preparations to continue the campaign for New York City. Four days after the conference, British troops landed on Manhattan and occupied New York City.
Parliamentary debate over the terms of the diplomatic mission and its actions prompted some opposition Whig members essentially to boycott parliamentary proceedings. The next major peace effort occurred in 1778, when the British sent commissioners led by the Earl of Carlisle to occupied Philadelphia. They were authorized to treat with Congress as a body and offered self-government that was roughly equivalent to dominion status. The effort was undermined by the planned withdrawal of British troops from Philadelphia and by American demands that the commissioners were not authorized to grant.
The house in which the conference took place is now preserved as a museum within Conference House Park, a city park. It is a National Historic Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
John Smith (baptized 6 January 1580 – 21 June 1631) was an English soldier, explorer, colonial governor, Admiral of New England, and author. He played an important role in the establishment of the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America, in the early 17th century. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony between September 1608 and August 1609, and he led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay, during which he became the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay area. Later, he explored and mapped the coast of New England. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Báthory, Prince of Transylvania, and his friend Mózes Székely.
Jamestown was established in 1607. Smith trained the first settlers to work at farming and fishing, thus saving the colony from early devastation. Harsh weather, lack of food and water, the surrounding swampy wilderness, and attacks from Native Americans almost destroyed the colony. With Smith's leadership, however, Jamestown survived and eventually flourished.
In 1606, Smith became involved with the Virginia Company of London's plan to colonize Virginia for profit, and King James had already granted a charter. The expedition set sail in the Discovery, the Susan Constant, and the Godspeed on 20 December 1606. His page was a 12-year-old boy named Samuel Collier.
During the voyage, Smith was charged with mutiny, and Captain Christopher Newport (in charge of the three ships) had planned to execute him. These events happened approximately when the expedition stopped in the Canary Islands for resupply of water and provisions. Smith was under arrest for most of the trip. However, they landed at Cape Henry on 26 April 1607 and unsealed orders from the Virginia Company designating Smith as one of the leaders of the new colony, thus sparing him from the gallows.
By the summer of 1607, the colonists were still living in temporary housing. The search for a suitable site ended on 14 May 1607 when Captain Edward Maria Wingfield, president of the council, chose the Jamestown site as the location for the colony. After the four-month ocean trip, their food stores were sufficient only for each to have a cup or two of grain-meal per day, and someone died almost every day due to swampy conditions and widespread disease. By September, more than 60 had died of the 104 who left England.
In early January 1608, nearly 100 new settlers arrived with Captain Newport on the First Supply, but the village was set on fire through carelessness. That winter, the James River froze over, and the settlers were forced to live in the burned ruins. During this time, they wasted much of the three months that Newport and his crew were in port loading their ships with iron pyrite (fool's gold). Food supplies ran low, although the Indians brought some food, and Smith wrote that "more than half of us died". Smith spent the following summer exploring Chesapeake Bay waterways and producing a map that was of great value to Virginia explorers for more than a century.
In October 1608, Newport brought a second shipment of supplies along with 70 new settlers, including the first women. Some German, Polish, and Slovak craftsmen also arrived, but they brought no food supplies. Newport brought a list of counterfeit Virginia Company orders which angered Smith greatly. One of the orders was to crown Indian leader Powhatan emperor and give him a fancy bedstead. The Company wanted Smith to pay for Newport's voyage with pitch, tar, sawed boards, soap ashes, and glass.
After that, Smith tried to obtain food from the local Indians, but it required threats of military force for them to comply. Smith discovered that there were those among both the settlers and the Indians who were planning to take his life, and he was warned about the plan by Pocahontas. He called a meeting and threatened those who were not working by quoting the biblical verse "that he that will not work shall not eat." After that, the situation improved and the settlers worked with more industry.
Native Americans led by Opechancanough captured Smith in December 1607 while he was seeking food along the Chickahominy River, and they took him to meet Chief Powhatan (Opechancanough's older brother) at Werowocomoco, the main village of the Powhatan Confederacy. The village was on the north shore of the York River about 15 miles north of Jamestown and 25 miles downstream from where the river forms from the Pamunkey River and the Mattaponi River at West Point, Virginia. Smith was removed to the hunters' camp, where Opechancanough and his men feasted him and otherwise treated him like an honored guest. Protocol demanded that Opechancanough inform Chief Powhatan of Smith's capture, but the paramount chief also was on a hunt and therefore unreachable. Absent interpreters or any other means of effectively interviewing the Englishman, Opechancanough summoned his seven highest-ranking kwiocosuk, or shamans, and convened an elaborate, three-day divining ritual to determine whether Smith's intentions were friendly. Finding it a good time to leave camp, Opechancanough took Smith and went in search of his brother at one point visiting the Rappahannock tribe who had been attacked by a European ship captain a few years earlier.
In 1860, Boston businessman and historian Charles Deane was the first scholar to question specific details of Smith's writings. Smith's version of events is the only source and skepticism has increasingly been expressed about its veracity. One reason for such doubt is that, despite having published two earlier books about Virginia, Smith's earliest surviving account of his rescue by Pocahontas dates from 1616, nearly 10 years later, in a letter entreating Queen Anne to treat Pocahontas with dignity. The time gap in publishing his story raises the possibility that Smith may have exaggerated or invented the event to enhance Pocahontas' image. However, professor Leo Lemay of the University of Delaware points out that Smith's earlier writing was primarily geographical and ethnographic in nature and did not dwell on his personal experiences; hence, there was no reason for him to write down the story until this point.
Henry Brooks Adams attempted to debunk Smith's claims of heroism. He said that Smith's recounting of the story of Pocahontas had been progressively embellished, made up of "falsehoods of an effrontery seldom equaled in modern times". There is consensus among historians that Smith tended to exaggerate, but his account is consistent with the basic facts of his life. Some have suggested that Smith believed that he had been rescued, when he had in fact been involved in a ritual intended to symbolize his death and rebirth as a member of the tribe. David A. Price notes in Love and Hate in Jamestown that this is purely speculation, since little is known of Powhatan rituals and there is no evidence for any similar rituals among other Native American tribes. Smith told a similar story in True Travels (1630) of having been rescued by the intervention of a young girl after being captured in 1602 by Turks in Hungary. Karen Kupperman suggests that he "presented those remembered events from decades earlier" when telling the story of Pocahontas. Whatever really happened, the encounter initiated a friendly relationship between the Native Americans and colonists near Jamestown. As the colonists expanded farther, some of the tribes felt that their lands were threatened, and conflicts arose again.
In 1608, Pocahontas is said to have saved Smith a second time. Chief Powhatan invited Smith and some other colonists to Werowocomoco on friendly terms, but Pocahontas came to the hut where they were staying and warned them that Powhatan was planning to kill them. They stayed on their guard and the attack never came. Also in 1608, Polish craftsmen were brought to the colony to help it develop. Smith wrote that two Poles rescued him when he was attacked by an Algonquian tribesman.
In the summer of 1608, Smith left Jamestown to explore the Chesapeake Bay region and search for badly needed food, covering an estimated 3,000 miles. These explorations are commemorated in the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, established in 2006. In his absence, Smith left his friend Matthew Scrivener as governor in his place, a young gentleman adventurer from Sibton Suffolk who was related by marriage to the Wingfield family, but he was not capable of leading the people. Smith was elected president of the local council on September 10, 1608.
Some of the settlers eventually wanted Smith to abandon Jamestown, but he refused. Some deserted to the Indian villages, but Powhatan's people also followed Smith's law of "he who works not, eats not". This lasted "till they were near starved indeed", in Smith's words, and they returned home.[
In the spring of 1609, Jamestown was beginning to prosper, with many dwellings built, acres of land cleared, and much other work done. Then in April, they experienced an infestation of rats, along with dampness which destroyed all their stored corn. They needed food badly and Smith sent a large group of settlers to fish and others to gather shellfish downriver. They came back without food and were willing enough to take the meager rations offered them. This angered Smith and he ordered them to trade their guns and tools for fruit from the Indians and ordered everyone to work or be banished from the fort.
The weeks-long emergency was relieved by the arrival of an unexpected ship captained by Samuel Argall. He had items of food and wine which Smith bought on credit. Argall also brought news that the Virginia Company of London was being reorganized and was sending more supplies and settlers to Jamestown, along with Lord De la Warr to become the new governor.
n a May 1609 voyage to Virginia, Virginia Company treasurer Sir Thomas Smith arranged for about 500 colonists to come along, including women and children. A fleet of nine ships set sail. One sank in a storm soon after leaving the harbour, and the Sea Venture wrecked on the Bermuda Islands with flotilla admiral Sir George Somers aboard. They finally made their way to Jamestown in May 1610 after building the Deliverance and Patience to take most of the passengers and crew of the Sea Venture off Bermuda, with the new governor Thomas Gates on board.
In August 1609, Smith was quite surprised to see more than 300 new settlers arrive, which did not go well for him. London was sending new settlers with no real planning or logistical support Then in May 1610, Somers and Gates finally arrived with 150 people from the Sea Venture. Gates soon found that there was not enough food to support all in the colony and decided to abandon Jamestown. As their boats were leaving the Jamestown area, they met a ship carrying the new governor Lord De la Warr, who ordered them back to Jamestown. Somers returned to Bermuda with the Patience to gather more food for Jamestown but died there. The Patience then sailed for England instead of Virginia, captained by his nephew.
Smith was severely injured by a gunpowder explosion in his canoe, and he sailed to England for treatment in mid-October 1609. He never returned to Virginia. Colonists continued to die from various illnesses and disease, with an estimated 150 surviving that winter out of 500 residents. The Virginia Company, however, continued to finance and transport settlers to sustain Jamestown. For the next five years, Governors Gates and Sir Thomas Dale continued to keep strict discipline, with Sir Thomas Smith in London attempting to find skilled craftsmen and other settlers to send.
In 1614, Smith returned to America in a voyage to the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts Bay. He named the region "New England". The commercial purpose was to take whales for fins and oil and to seek out mines of gold or copper, but both of these proved impractical so the voyage turned to collecting fish and furs to defray the expense. Most of the crew spent their time fishing, while Smith and eight others took a small boat on a coasting expedition during which he traded rifles for 11,000 beaver skins and 100 each of martins and otters.
Smith collected a ship's cargo worth of "Furres… traine Oile and Cor-fish" and returned to England. The expedition's second vessel under the command of Thomas Hunt stayed behind and captured a number of Indians as slaves, including Squanto of the Patuxet. Smith was convinced that Hunt's actions were directed at him; by inflaming the local population, Smith said, he could "prevent that intent I had to make a plantation there", keeping the country in "obscuritie" so that Hunt and a few merchants could monopolize it. According to Smith, Hunt had taken his maps and notes of the area to defeat's Smith's settlement plans. He could not believe that Hunt was driven by greed since there was "little private gaine" to be gotten; Hunt "sold those silly Salvages for Rials of eight."
Smith published a map in 1616 based on the expedition which was the first to bear the label "New England", though the Indian place names were replaced by the names of English cities at the request of Prince Charles. The settlers of Plymouth Colony adopted the name that Smith gave to that area, and other place names on the map survive today, such as the Charles River (marked as The River Charles) and Cape Ann (Cape Anna).
Smith made two attempts in 1614 and 1615 to return to the same coast. On the first trip, a storm dismasted his ship. In the second attempt, he was captured by French pirates off the coast of the Azores. He escaped after weeks of captivity and made his way back to England, where he published an account of his two voyages as A Description of New England. He remained in England for the rest of his life.
Smith compared his experiences in Virginia with his observations of New England and offered a theory of why some English colonial projects had failed. He noted that the French had been able to monopolize trade in a very short time, even in areas nominally under English control. The people inhabiting the coasts from Maine to Cape Cod had "large corne fields, and great troupes of well proportioned people", but the French had obtained everything that they had to offer in trade within six weeks. This was due to the fact that the French had created a great trading network which they could exploit, and the English had not cultivated these relations. Where once there was inter-tribal warfare, the French had created peace in the name of the fur trade. Former enemies such as the Massachuset and the Abenaki "are all friends, and have each trade with other, so farre as they have society on each others frontiers."
Smith believed that it was too late to reverse this reality even with diplomacy, and that what was needed was military force. He suggested that English adventurers should rely on his own experience in wars around the world and his experience in New England where his few men could engage in "silly encounters" without injury or long term hostility. He also compared the experience of the Spaniards in determining how many armed men were necessary to effect Indian compliance.
John Smith died on 21 June 1631 in London. He was buried in 1633 in the south aisle of Saint Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church, Holborn Viaduct, London. The church is the largest parish church in the City of London, dating from 1137. Captain Smith is commemorated in the south wall of the church by a stained glass window.
Smith's books and maps were important in encouraging and supporting English colonization of the New World. Having named the region of New England, he stated: "Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land. ... If he have nothing but his hands, he may...by industries quickly grow rich." Smith died in London in 1631.
September 9, 1739 – Stono Rebellion, the largest slave uprising in Britain's mainland North American colonies prior to the American Revolution, erupts near Charleston, South Carolina.
The Stono Rebellion (also known as Cato's Conspiracy or Cato's Rebellion) was a slave revolt that began on 9 September 1739, in the colony of South Carolina. It was the largest slave rebellion in the Southern Colonies, with 25 colonists and 35 to 50 Africans killed. The uprising was led by native Africans who were likely from the Central African Kingdom of Kongo, as the rebels were Catholic and some spoke Portuguese.
The leader of the rebellion, Jemmy, was a literate slave. In some reports, however, he is referred to as "Cato", and likely was held by the Cato, or Cater, family who lived near the Ashley River and north of the Stono River. He led 20 other enslaved Kongolese, who may have been former soldiers, in an armed march south from the Stono River. They were bound for Spanish Florida, where successive proclamations had promised freedom for fugitive slaves from British North America.
Jemmy and his group recruited nearly 60 other slaves and killed more than 20 whites before being intercepted and defeated by the South Carolina militia near the Edisto River. Survivors traveled another 30 miles before the militia finally defeated them a week later. Most of the captured slaves were executed; the surviving few were sold to markets in the West Indies. In response to the rebellion, the General Assembly passed the Negro Act of 1740, which restricted slaves' freedoms but improved working conditions and placed a moratorium on importing new slaves.
Since 1708, the majority of the population of the South Carolina colony were enslaved Africans, as importation of laborers from Africa had increased in recent decades with labor demand for the expansion of cotton and rice cultivation as commodity export crops. Historian Ira Berlin has called this the Plantation Generation, noting that South Carolina had become a "slave society," with slavery central to its economy. As planters had imported many slaves to satisfy the increased demand for labor, most slaves were Black Africans. Many in South Carolina were from the Kingdom of Kongo, which had converted to Catholicism in the 15th century. Numerous slaves had first been sold into slavery in the West Indies, where they were considered to become "seasoned" by working there under slavery, before being sold to South Carolina.
With the increase in slaves, colonists tried to regulate their relations, but there was always negotiation in this process. Slaves resisted by running away or initiating work slowdowns and revolts. At the time, Georgia was still an all-white colony, without slavery. South Carolina worked with Georgia to strengthen patrols on land and in coastal areas to prevent fugitives from reaching Spanish Florida. In the Stono case, the slaves may have been inspired by several factors to mount their rebellion. Spanish Florida offered freedom to fugitive slaves from the Southern Colonies; succesive governors in the colony had issued proclamations offering freedom for fugitive slaves in Florida in exchange for converting to Catholicism and serving for a period in the colonial militia. As a line of defense for Spanish Florida's largest settlement of St. Augustine, the settlement of Fort Mose was established by the colonial government to house fugitive slaves which had reached the colony. Stono was 150 miles (240 km) from the Florida line.
A malaria epidemic had recently killed many whites in Charleston, weakening the power of slaveholders. Lastly, historians have suggested the slaves organized their revolt to take place on Sunday, when planters would be occupied in church and might be unarmed. The Security Act of 1739 (which required all white males to carry arms even to church on Sundays) had been passed in August of that year in response to earlier runaways and minor rebellions, but it had not fully taken effect. Local officials were authorized to mount penalties against white men who did not carry arms after 29 September.
Jemmy, the leader of the revolt, was a literate slave described in an eyewitness account as "Angolan". Historian John K. Thornton has noted that he was more likely from the Kingdom of Kongo, as were the cohort of 20 slaves that joined him. The slaves were Catholic and some spoke Portuguese, both of which point to Kongo. A lengthy trade relationship with the Portuguese had led to the adoption of Catholicism and learning of the Portuguese language in the kingdom. The leaders of the Kingdom of Kongo had voluntarily converted in 1491, followed by their people; by the 18th century, the religion was a fundamental part of its citizens' identity. The nation had independent relations with Rome. Slavery was present in the region and it was regulated by Kongo.
Portuguese was the language of trade as well as one of the languages of educated people in Kongo. The Portuguese-speaking slaves in South Carolina were more likely to have learned about offers of freedom by Spanish agents. They would also have been attracted to the Catholicism of Spanish Florida. In the early 18th century, Kongo had been undergoing civil wars, leading to more people being captured and sold into slavery, including trained soldiers. It is likely that Jemmy and his rebel cohort were such military men, as they fought hard against the militia when they were caught, and were able to kill 20 men.
On Sunday, 9 September 1739, Jemmy gathered 22 enslaved Africans near the Stono River, 20 miles southwest of Charleston. Taking action on the day after the Feast of the Nativity of Mary connected their Catholic past with present purpose, as did the religious symbols they used. The Africans marched down the roadway with a banner that read "Liberty!", and chanted the same word in unison. They attacked Hutchenson's store at the Stono River Bridge, killing two storekeepers and seizing weapons and ammunition.
Raising a flag, the slaves proceeded south toward Spanish Florida, a well-known refuge for escapees. On the way, they gathered more recruits, sometimes reluctant ones, for a total of 81. They burned six plantations and killed 23 to 28 whites along the way. While on horseback, South Carolina's Lieutenant Governor William Bull and five of his friends came across the group; they quickly went off to warn other slaveholders. Rallying a militia of planters and minor slaveholders, the colonists traveled to confront Jemmy and his followers.
The next day, the well-armed and mounted militia, numbering 19–99 men, caught up with the group of 76 slaves at the Edisto River. In the ensuing confrontation, 23 whites and 47 slaves were killed. While the slaves lost, they killed proportionately more whites than was the case in later rebellions. The colonists mounted the severed heads of the rebels on stakes along major roadways to serve as warning for other slaves who might consider revolt. The lieutenant governor hired Chickasaw and Catawba Indians and other slaves to track down and capture the Africans who had escaped from the battle. A group of the slaves who escaped fought a pitched battle with a militia a week later approximately 30 miles from the site of the first conflict. The colonists executed most of the rebellious slaves; they sold other slaves off to the markets of the West Indies.
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