May 17, 1777

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Almost one-third of Colonel John Baker’s 109 men are captured after Baker’s troops are attacked by Indians and the British regulars at Thomas’ Swamp.  The Indians kill 15 of the captives before British Colonel Augustine Prevost intervenes to stop the massacre.

John Adams writes to Abigail about the money problems facing the congress and the failure of all of the colonies – except for Massachusetts – to do their duty:  I never fail to inclose to you the News papers, which contain the most of the Intelligence that comes to my Knowledge.  I am obliged to slacken my Attention to Business a little, and ride and walk for the Sake of my Health, which is but infirm.—Oh that I could wander, upon Penns Hill, and in the Meadows and Mountains in its Neighbourhood free from Care! But this is a Felicity too great for me.  Mr. Gorham and Mr. Russell are here with a Petition from Charlstown. It grieves me that they are to return without success. I feel, most exquisitely, for the unhappy People of that Town. Their Agents have done every Thing in their Power, or in the Power of Men to do, and the Mass. Delegates have seconded their Efforts to the Utmost of their Power, but all in vain.  The Distress of the States, arising from the Quantity of Money abroad, and the monstrous Demands that would be made from Virginia, N. Jersy, N. York and elsewhere, if a Precedent should be once set, has determined the Congress, almost with Tears in their Eyes, to withstand this Application at present.  Every Man expressed the Utmost Tenderness and Humanity, upon the Occasion: But at the same Time every Man except the Mass. Delegates expressed his full Conviction of the ill Policy of granting any Thing at present.”

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April 25, 1777

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British troops under the command of General William Tryon attack Danbury, where they destroy houses, barns, storehouses, and more than 1,500 tents.  As the British withdraw they are attacked by American forces under Benedict Arnold, Davis Wooster, and Gold Silliman.  The outnumbered American troops are unable to stop the British who march through Ridgefield and Compo Hill, Connecticut enroute to their ships at Long Island Sound.  Thjis encounter lasted until April 28th.

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours.  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

February 2, 1777

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John Adams describes to his wife Abigail his travels throughout the American colonies:  “Last Evening We arrived safe in this Town after the longest Journey, and through the worst Roads and the worst Weather, that I have ever experienced. My Horses performed extreamly well.  Baltimore is a very pretty Town, situated on Petapsco River, which empties itself into the great Bay of Cheasapeak. The Inhabitants are all good Whiggs, having sometime ago banished all the Tories from among them. The Streets are very dirty and miry, but every Thing else is agreable except the monstrous Prices of Things. We cannot get an Horse kept under a Guinea a Week. Our Friends are well.  The continental Army is filling up fast, here and in Virginia. I pray that the Massachusetts may not fail of its Quota, in Season.  In this Journey, We have crossed four mighty Rivers, Connecticutt, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehannah. The two first We crossed upon the Ice, the two last in Boats—the last We crossed, a little above the Place where it empties into Cheasapeak Bay.  I think I have never been better pleased with any of our American States than with Maryland. We saw most excellent Farms all along the Road, and what was very striking to me, I saw more sheep and more flax in Maryland than I ever saw in riding a like Distance in any other State. We scarce passed a Farm without seeing a fine flock of sheep, and scarce an House without seeing Men or Women, dressing Flax. Several Times We saw Women, breaking and swingling this necessary Article.  I have been to Meeting, and heard my old Acquaintance Mr. Allison, a worthy Clergyman of this Town whom I have often seen in Philadelphia.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours.  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

Go Eagles!

 

 

 

January 21, 1777

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General John Burgoyne submits a plan to the government designed to isolate New England from the other colonies.

General Washington writes to Brigadier General Philemon Dickinson about a disturbing phenomenon among the troops:  “Genl Putnam communicated to me last Night the disagreeable Account that Lt. Colo. Preston’s party of Militia from Cumberland County in this State has deserted him; This practise in the Militia so generally prevails, that unless some effectual Check can be speedily applied I apprehend the most fatal Consequences. The Mischief is not confined to the Desertion alone, They stay ’till they are properly equipped to render essential Service, and by that Means plunder the Public of the Necessaries that were at first otherwise intended & would be better applied.  Now I recommend to you That you call immediately into service (by such Ways as you think best) at least one third of all the Militia of this State, making it generally known amongst them that they must come prepared to stay ’till the first of April, unless sooner discharged by Authority—It will occur to them That nothing but their most vigorous Exertion at this Time will enable me to oppose any design of the Enemy, & that therefore they ought to continue with me ’till relieved by the Regular Troops now raising—I mean however that every possible Indulgence should be shewn to those Men who have been in actual Service & were regularly discharged; and that no Excuse shall be admitted for those who have shamefully remained at Home when their everything was at Stake.”

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January 9, 1777

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George Washington writes General Orders complimenting those who burned down houses that were being used by Loyalists near Bunkers Hill:  “The General thanks Major Knolton, and the Officers and Soldiers, who were under his command last night; for the Spirit, Conduct and Secrecy, with which they burnt the Houses, near the Enemy’s works, upon Bunkers-hill—The General was in a more particular manner pleased, with the resolution the party discover’d in not firing a Shot; as nothing betrays greater signs of fear, and less of the soldier, than to begin a loose, undirected and unmeaning Fire, from whence no good can result, nor any valuable purposes answer’d.  It is almost certain, that the enemy will attempt to revenge the Insult, which was cast upon them last Night, for which reason the greatest Vigilance, and Care, is recommended; as it also is, that the out-posts be always guarded by experienced Officers, and good Soldiers, who are to be considered in other duties: It is also again, and again ordered, that the men are not suffered to ramble from, or lie out of their quarters, contrary to repeated Orders on this head, and that their Arms, and Accoutrements, be always in order.  To remove present doubts and prevent future Mistakes, it is hereby expressly order’d and directed, that no persons do proceed to discharge the duty of any Office, without a regular Appointment, by Commission from the Congress, Warrant or General Order from the Commander in Chief; no allowance will be made to any one, who acts contrary to this order: All Persons therefore for their own-sakes are desired to take notice of it, and govern themselves accordingly, that no Complaints may hereafter be exhibited for services unwarranted.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours.  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

 

January 4, 1777

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Benjamin Franklin writes to the Committee of Secret Correspondence about his goings on in France:  “I arrived here about two Weeks since, where I found Mr. Deane. Mr. Lee has since join’d us from London. We have had an Audience of the Minister, Count de Vergennes, and were respectfully receiv’d. We left for his Consideration a Sketch of the propos’d Treaty. We are to wait upon him tomorrow with a strong Memorial requesting the Aids mentioned in our Instructions. By his Advice we had an Interview with the Spanish Ambassador, Count d’Aranda, who seems well dispos’d towards us, and will forward Copies of our Memorials to his Court, which will act, he says, in perfect Concert with this. Their Fleets are said to be in fine Order, mann’d and fit for Sea. The Cry of this Nation is for us; but the Court it is thought views an approaching War with Reluctance. The Press continues in England. As soon as we can receive a positive Answer from these Courts we shall dispatch an Express with it.”  Franklin will do what he can to convince the French to enter into a treaty,  but everyone knows that they will be more convinced by victories that Washington can secure on the battlefield then anything Franklin says.

Major General William Heath writes from Peach-Kill New York to George Washington:  “That no time should be lost I have been sending over a Quantity of provisions to Haverstraw, and as soon as the Militia arrive in sufficient numbers shall pass over with them—A Body of the Militia belonging to this State, have Rendezvous’d at North Castle, & Col. Thomas’s Regiment below white plains—A Number of the Disaffected have been taken, & the night before last 37 Recruits who were going to join Rodgers—They were all armed with Pistols, & had Two Musquets in the Company—About 300 it is said are engaged with the Enemy, and are to march down from the upper parts of Dutche’s County in small parties, lying concealed in the day time—We have found out some of their Stages on the Roads, and have a number of parties out to intercept them—We have just taken one Strang, with his Warrant from Rodgers to enlist men, secreted in the inside of his Breeches; we also suppose him to be a Spy—I have ordered a General Court Martial to sit this day, for his Tryal.  I learn from some of the Deserters that Rodgers is alarmed at our Motions on this Side, which are making towards him, and am this moment told that they have drawn in all their parties, that were without Fort Independence & it is said have moved their Cannon from the Fort—The Expedition to that Quarter which has been long meditating by the Convention, is now in a fair way to be attempted; this is to secure Rodgers and Collect Forage—Upon the Request of the Committee I have ordered General Parsons to take the Command, and we are determined to keep the Enemy within narrow Limits.  I have lately been informed that Your Excellency is impowered to raise 12 New Regiments & to appoint the Officers—I beg leave to recommend to your Excellency’s notice Colonel Wm Malcom, late Commander of one of the New York Battalions, whose Conduct I have observed to be such as I think makes it my duty to recommend him.  Some doubts have arisen here with respect to the Arms, that are lost or missing, there are a number ought to be paid for, the Question arises what Sum is to be stopped for them, & where it is to be stopped, in the Hands of the Deputy paymaster or with the paymaster of the Regt. I should be happy to know your Excellency’s Opinion and Direction in this matter and as soon as agreable to your Excellency.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours, including the best tour regarding the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton in existence!  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  If you are very very very interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our 10 day Washington Tour!  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

 

Sexual Harassment Allegations Come to Light!

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Betsy Walker has come forth with allegations that Thomas Jefferson, after assuring her husband that he would look in on her while he was away conducting a treaty with a nearby Indian tribe, did sexually harass and attempt to seduce her.  After slipping her an ode to the efficacy of free love, Jefferson was relentless in his attempts.  On one occasion, Jefferson had come to her house to play cards.  After she went to bed he “pretended to be sick, complained of a headache & left the gentlemen…Instead of going to bed….he stole into my room….”  Jefferson was “repulsed with indignation & menaces of alarm and ran off.”

Thomas Jefferson has admitted to the charges Betsy Walker has made, and apologizes for any pain he may have caused.  “I plead guilty…that when young and single I offered love to a handsome lady.  I acknowledge its incorrectness .”   We are still attempting to discover whether or not this was a singular and unique event, although several women (including Sally Hemings, Maria Cosway, Angelica Schuyler, and others) have indicated that this may be a pattern with Mr. Jefferson.

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