L S & T (252 -257)

252. The preamble to these L S & Ts was provided in the beginning and included circumstances that served as some of the seeds for the undertaking. It will probably be a bit helpful to reproduce it at this time.

253. Preamble:

The ground I’m going to plow here in the next several days (if the Lord be so willing) is based on love… love of my children…. grands and great grands… and all other relatives … my friends (of all sizes, shapes and colors)… and my country.

Before some readers get their panties in a wad, a bit of personal stuff needs to be set straight.

Born in the 1930s.

Early elementary age, was aware of segregated society but didn’t know why. Gave it little thought.

About that time, saw an adult throw a stick of wood into the windshield of some black folks. Didn’t know why & was a little scared.

Early teen years, we built a ball field in a pasture. Some black kids showed up & we played. After a couple of times they didn’t show up any more. Didn’t know why, cause it had been ok with me.

Summer before senior year, had part time job working for a building contractor. Most of the men were black. Ok w/me. We unloaded cement sacks from box cars & shoveled sand and gravel into the mixer. Drank cold water from the lid of the cooler with the black guys. Ok with me. Just a minor thought, don’t recall an F bomb coming from any of them.

Fast forward to coaching career and the time of early integration. Some guys came from Lincoln during the “freedom of choice” period & all were good kids. The spring before total integration was going into effect, a plan of mine designed to lessen any kind of culture shock caused a problem. The black coach, who had become a friend, and I had our track teams work out together one time. That was ok. I later invited the athletes at Lincoln to go through a little off season routine. They did, and that seemed ok.

But then I got too bold. Since (with me) spiritual things occupy a higher plateau than the natural things, I thought it would be a good idea if I invited members (black & white) of our track team to join me in visiting white and black churches on alternate Sunday’s. Some did, and that… didn’t… seem ok. I will conclude this ramble by only sharing that (with all love, respect & understanding for the people involved), my judgment of the situation made it best that I seek other employment.

All of that has been said to say this: On future dates I intend to post a “Last Sharing and Testament” of information, the omission and obfuscation of which (it is my assessment) has brought us to the sad state of affairs we are now witnessing…… And I will not respond to any remarks about an old man in fear of losing his “white privilege”.

254. There is no question in my mind that agitation of racial and religious feelings in our country has been promoted for a very long time.

255. I am also persuaded that there has been an absence of information that has served to cause many Americans to make decisions they would not have otherwise made.

256. Some of the decisions to which I refer are (a) Americans of African descent converting to Islam and (b) any American being negatively influenced by the fact that early Americans owned slaves. Facts regarding those two situations are, as are other cases, intertwined.

257. It was that bad guy (Hitler) who wrote that he had learned from the Marxists the value of appealing to the emotions of people who lacked information. He believed that building power through intellectual reasoning was of little value……. If true, for what I am about to do, I guess that leaves me on the short end of the stick.

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L S & T (238 – 251)

238. In my list of American evangelical efforts (#118 – #128), a notable group of private business men and their wives was omitted. The Gideons International organization,established in 1889, has been providing free Bibles and New Testaments in over 100 languages throughout the world. More than two billion have been donated, and they are well on their way to the third billion. Somewhere in my elementary years, a small Gideon New Testament became my only personal scripture until reaching adulthood.

239. My children and friends, many of the preceding items (#1 – #238) have contained information and details to which I was never exposed during any “formal” educational experience. Only personal searches of documented records revealed what I now repeatedly note as omissions and obfuscations. Consequently, I continue (so long as God allows) my efforts to share information and persuasions for your consideration and benefit.

240. Time must be taken here to note that the terms, “ignorant” and “ignorance” will be used now and then as more is shared. In such cases, the meanings will only refer to an absence of information. This is pursuant to Thomas Jefferson’s warning: “ If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be”.

241. It is important to hold fast to the conviction that truths of the past are instructive to the decisions of today, and the decisions of today determine results in the future.

242. As this is being shared in the year 2018, I am strongly persuaded that the omission, twisting and slighting of truths, and the significance thereof, has contributed to the state of philosophical conflict from which our country now suffers. This failure to impart more complete and truthful information has resulted in a populace that, while believing itself to be “educated”, is actually more susceptible to emotional manipulation that is directed toward societal divisiveness.

243. Short of military conquest, there is only one way to be successful in a quest for power over the people of the USA. Raising generations of Americans who are ignorant of truthful information is essential for such an objective. I sincerely pray that these L S & Ts will prosper progeny.

244. Make no mistake about it, there are forces that have been determined to destroy our form of government and our culture for many years. Part of that plan, directed specifically toward America, was put to paper a mere 58 years after the ratification of our constitution. Suffice it now to note that many objectives in that plan are currently exercised in the US.

245. Let us reason together as we note that one popular weapon of denigration used on the minds of Americans is the illumination of the evil (note use of an adjective) deeds of the white (adjective #2) European (third adjective) invaders. Well, there is some truth in that statement.. but ….. our educators and historians, from K through graduate studies & beyond, seem to have deemed it unnecessary to emphasize the historical prevalence of those evil behaviors among all cultures, races and nations.

246. As far as many of the young people of our day know, the Europeans were the most egregious practitioners of such actions as they invaded the lands of the peaceful indigenous occupants, and therefore anything they did thereafter must have been evil.

247. It is within the carnal nature of humans to seek what they want.

248. If the degree of human covetousness was powerful enough for those who coveted to take from those who possessed, the result was determined by the comparative might or cunning of the two antagonists.

249. The Persians … the Mongols … the Greeks … the Muslims … the Romans … the Egyptians … the Turks … the North American Indian tribes … the Aztecs … the Incas … the African kings … the Ming Dynasties …….. and … yes … the Western European countries …….. all took what land they wanted …… if they were able to do so……… It is here acknowledged that quite a few other historical entities qualify for the list, but, with levity, I trust they shan’t be offended by their omission.

250. Only ignorance or malicious intent can be the motivation for the manipulators’ emotional charge of evil Europeans attacking the noble and peaceful inhabitants of the continent. The evidence of inter tribal conflicts and barbaric slaughters among the native Americans abounds. One Harvard researcher expressed the truth of native American tranquility in this manner, “The dogs of war were seldom on leash”.

251. The essence of these particular bits of information is that a truly informed person could have several responses for those who seek to manipulate minds by castigating the Anglos who landed on the east coast of North America in the 1600s….. One response might be as simple as, “If your critique of the people who founded America is of such importance, why should I not dislike and distrust all races and cultures?”.

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LS & T (225 – 237)

225. Beginning with #79, these offerings have attempted to illuminate truths that support the belief that a superintending entity has influenced the course of human events in favor of the establishment of the USA. It would have been impossible to cover all interesting elements of the founding, such as that of the influence of the Freemasons or the negative behaviors and events emphasized by historians akin to Howard Zinn.

226. It is of paramount importance to understand that there is no intention here to claim a Divine establishment of a perfect society inhabited by perfect people. To the contrary, the Creator was using the available talent, a significant number of whom embraced His supernatural and superintending presence. Even when stumbling into the ditches of their own imperfections, they continued to rise up and be nudged in a planned direction.

227. There could have been more than one hundred years of textbooks which provided real time opinions confirming a belief in Providential influence. But there have been none.

228. Today’s society has fallen victim to adversaries that have omitted and obfuscated information to the point that truth is often denied and ridiculed.

229. Ridicule, indeed, was one motivation for the entire Last Sharing & Testament project. When engaging in an online discussion forum, I borrowed a couple of snippets taken from the information that is herein to follow. Without revealing the sources of those snippets, my suggestion was that all US history teachers should express those opinions. The resulting ridicule can be summarized by one, “There is no place in a public school classroom for those statements”. Ignorance (lack of information) only becomes stupidity when it is defended or exercised.

230. My children and friends, I pray that your minds have not been made captive by the serpent who tells you information exceeding the time necessary for taking one full breath is not worth your effort.

231. Behold, truth: ………………….

232. Eighty one year old Benjamin Franklin stood to speak to the Constitutional Convention that had convened in an attempt to prevent the collapse of their union as it floundered under an agreement called the Articles of Confederation. The men had believed that the task would require an effort of two weeks or so, but the Articles were beyond adjustment, and a different system of government was the only solution. They eventually labored six days a week for more than three months. At one point, as contentions arose and debates were heated, the respected Franklin addressed the president of the convention to bring a motion to the floor:

Mr. President
The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it’. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service-“ (The Avalon Project, Lillian Goldman Library, Yale Law School)

The best that can be found regarding Franklin in today’s textbooks is that he calmed the delegates by telling amusing stories.

233. From George Washington’s first inaugural address:

“… it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow- citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency “ (The Avalon Project)

234. In Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address we see his opinion:

(Our country is) “… enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter…” (The Avalon Project)

235. In the close of Jefferson’s second inaugural address he professes:

I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, and our riper years with his wisdom and power; and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do, shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.” (The Avalon Project)

236. One real time and neutrally based opinion of spiritual influence in our country’s founding was recorded by the Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a political scientist, historian and diplomat who spent nine months during 1831 on an analytical tour of the United States. He was searching for factors that had served to propel the US to its position among the long established countries of the world. From that experience, he later completed an extensive literary work titled, Democracy in America. Although he appears to have made the same incorrect assumption regarding our constitution as did Frederick Engels when Engels described how communism would take down America, his personal observations and associations with the people were significant. The following is a condensation of his analysis of spiritual influence in the USA:

On my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things… The sects which exist in the United States are innumerable… Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner; but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God…. Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same… I do not know whether all the Americans have a sincere faith in their religion… But am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens, or a party, but to the whole nation and to every rank of society.”

237. I rest my case.

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LS & T (202 – 224)

202. There is no way to appreciate the 1812 – 1815 danger to what was to become the contiguous 48 states of the USA without knowing and understanding related history on both sides of the Atlantic.

203. The situation in America has been considered, up to a point, but absence of information regarding the British view has been a signal shortcoming of US education.

204. In Britain, personal comments and media information reveal that some of the king’s subjects still resented the loss of the colonies and considered Americans in terms that might be called “deplorables” today.

205. Expressions of ostentatious and perhaps fatal over confidence in the outcome of the conflict were manifest in the opinions of some British leaders.

206. Lord Castlereagh, British secretary of foreign affairs, declared his expectation of reducing the US sea port towns to ashes, possessing New Orleans and having command of all of the rivers of the Mississippi valley.

207. Admiral Cochrane, commander of the naval forces in the American theater, had complete contempt for the Americans and considered them no better than dogs.

208. Lord Pakenham, commander of the military forces, was known to believe the Americans would flee at the sight of the gleaming steel of bayonets on the rifles carried by thousands of advancing Redcoats.

209. Already possessing Canada, and certain that the Mississippi valley was to be “delivered to the king” by their forces, it was foreseen that the Americans would become prisoners in their own country.

210. The preeminent truth that has been ignored by our educators was, according to Winston Churchill, that the validity of the Louisiana Purchase had met with vehement outcries as being invalid. At least that was true in England.

211. Accepting that opinion would mean to the British that the USA did not legally “possess” the territory.

212.Lord Pakenham had been given orders to ignore any news of a treaty of peace until he had received official notification of ratification. After gaining possession of New Orleans, his orders were to extend British control of as much of the Mississippi valley as possible. He had already been named to become the governor of the newly acquired territory.

213. Even though Pakenham lost his life in the battle at NO, the navy continued attempting to move up the river. That advance was stopped when a multi day naval attack on Ft. Saint Phillip ended on January 18, thanks to the earlier preparations directed by Jackson and the fortuitous participation of the privateers.

214. With awareness of the information in #188, #206 and #209 through #213, it is not without basis to claim that the British leadership was bent on using the occasion of war to acquire valuable land in America and eliminate westward expansion of the USA.

215. After leaving Louisiana, the British did succeed in a second effort to take control of the fort at Mobile Bay.

216. As luck would have it, the influence of the highly respected Duke of Wellington was reported to have been a strong influence in the British negotiators’ abandonment of their insistence on uti possidetis. The final treaty agreement did, however, contain the word, “possessions”.

217. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814, but not ratified in the US until February 17,1815. The treaty called for the return of US “possessions” that were occupied by the British. Had Cochrane and Pakenham been successful, the interpretation of that word may have been determined by the power of the sword.

218. Reviewing the time line of certain events may help to understand the relevance of all of this information:

1813- Britain proposes treating for peace

1814, April – Napoleon defeated

1814, June – US negotiators arrive at Ghent

1814, August – British burn Washington

1814, August – British negotiators arrive at Ghent, appear to stall, insisting on uti possidetis

1814, November – British prepare invasion force

1814, December 9 – Invasion force off Louisiana coast

1814, Dec. 15 – Jan. 5 – Hartford Convention

1814, Dec 24 – Treaty of Ghent signed

1815, Jan. 8 – Main British force surrenders at NO, but navy continues attempt to control Mississippi

1815, January 17 – British naval force repulsed

1815, February 17 – Treaty ratified by US Senate

219. The results of the New Orleans conflict would have been far different had the British been less casual in the pursuit of what appears to have been their pivotal objective, control of the Mississippi valley.

220. For whatever the reasons, the British chose to first demonstrate their military superiority at Washington DC in August, but could have chosen to arrive off the coast of Louisiana in August, or even September, not December.

221. Little or no defensive preparations would have been made because the historically pivotal person who pulled that off would not have been on the scene. Andrew Jackson had suffered a gun shot wound in Nashville, Tennessee, and was bed ridden there for two weeks in September.

222. It would not be an unreasonable opinion to believe the defense of New Orleans would have resembled that of Washington DC…. British expectations would then have been replaced by fact, and the negotiations in Ghent could have resulted in several destructive paths of US history.

223. However, the actual results of the events shared here, and numerous others omitted for brevity, seemed to evidence unlikely fortuitous favor on one party and consistently bad luck accompanied by uncharacteristically poor judgment on the other. Thus, one crippling blow to the establishment of the original 48 states was averted.

224. Now, back to the committee from Hartford (#192) and their demands. After adjourning on Jan 5, they awaited the news of the most certain disaster at New Orleans. Instead, they were first shocked by the results of the lopsided American victory, then shortly thereafter by the news from Ghent. The overwhelming sense of relief and pride throughout the nation ended their anticipation of a possibly splintered USA or a constitution revised to their benefit. A second bullet was dodged.

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LS & T (180 – 201)

180. The period of time from 1812 into the year 1815 is of particular importance because events therein could have smothered the “infant USA” in the crib. This is not currently understood in America because our educators and textbook authors have apparently failed to consider motives, plans, opinions and events that were occurring on both sides of the Atlantic. As an attempt is made to lay these on the table, remember that trans Atlantic communication required three to six weeks, dependent upon types of sailing vessels and weather conditions.

181. By many accounts, the “War of 1812” should have never happened. But it did.

182. As the war began, certain things were true.

183. The greatest number of Britain’s forces were already at war with Napoleon.

184. New England states such as Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire hated the war because it impacted their trade with Europe. They hated Pres. Madison for his part in initiating the war. They resented the southern states because New England’s control of Congress was reduced due to the slave populations in those states. They aided the war effort as little as possible. There were riots in protest.

185. When battles did begin in earnest,the outcomes did not weigh heavily in favor of the US. Some Americans who got the idea of conquering British held Canada were repulsed after having burned public buildings in the Canadian capitol.

186. 1813, Britain proposed a meeting to treat for peace in Ghent, Belgium.

187. April 1814, Napoleon abdicated, and the full European naval and military force of Great Britain became available for use against America.

188. June 1814, American treaty officials were in Belgium, but, for whatever their reasons, the British did not arrive for another six weeks. A months long period of proposal and counter proposal began, and there seemed to be an act of chicanery afoot with the British continuing to insist on the inclusion of a term (uti possidetis) which meant each party would retain the area occupied at the time of ratification of a treaty.

189. August 20, 1814, British forces encountered a farce of resistance and began burning public buildings in Washington DC. Peculiarly, tornado type winds and rain struck DC quenching what flames that remained and killed two soldiers. As they prepared to leave, some 30 other men were lost in an explosion while destroying a store of American munitions.

190. Although the British failed to take Ft. McHenry at Baltimore, American public morale deteriorated.

191. Nov.26, 1814 Powerful British forces were assembling at the island of Jamaica, and arrived off the coast of Louisiana by Dec. 9.

192. Dec. 15, 1814 – Jan. 5, 1815 Massachusetts, having earlier toyed with the thought of separation from the Union over a matter of tariffs, participated in a convention at Hartford, Connecticut that included representatives from other New England states. The Hartford Convention delegates considered a “separation of sovereign states”, but decided to present a list to Congress that would amount to revising the US Constitution in their favor. That might possibly result in secession by the southern states which would have been ok with the New Englanders. They were well aware that the British were planning to attack New Orleans. The loss was assumed to be inevitable and thereby turn public opinion heavily in agreement with them. Personal searches have not found that the general population of the New England states voiced grave concern regarding the possible loss of the Mississippi.

193. The details of Andrew Jackson’s defense of New Orleans are extremely deserving of personal inquiry, but for this purpose a minuscule description must suffice.

194. The British possessed a vastly superior number of trained and experienced combatants who were led by two of the most battle proven British commanders. But, as their unfortunate luck would have it, the Red Coats could have been tagged as the “Bad News Bears of Britain”. Even British historian, Winston Churchill,described the final frontal assault as, “…one of the most unintelligent manoeuvres in the history of British warfare”.

195. The naval commander arrived first, failed to convince the pirates of Barataria Bay to join the British, failed to attack a still preparing Jackson and then let his guard down. This allowed Jackson to execute a night raid on the camp of an advanced party.

196. The military commander arrived, and the leaders quarreled among themselves.

197. Earthworks collapsed that would have allowed a large force to access the Mississippi under the cover of darkness and float down the river to out flank the defenders. A few forces were able to access the river, but the current swept them several miles off target.

198. Ladders that were prepared for scaling the American ramparts did not arrive when they could have been put to use.

199. Jan. 8, 1815, the British finally mounted their major attack under cover of a dense fog that originally obscured the view of the American marksmen. As luck would have it, the fog began to lift, and the British were clearly exposed.

200. Historical recordings of comparative casualties vary in exact numbers, but all agree on the almost absurd preponderance of British losses.

201. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, there were opinions, objectives and orders issued that are not addressed in our educational classrooms.

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LS & T (165 -179)

165. At the conclusion of the American Revolution, the western border of the new country was the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. France had claimed the land between the river and the Rocky Mountains and named it Louisiana. Later, Louisiana was ceded to Spain.

166. By the turn of the century (1800), the Mississippi River served to move 40% of US produce through the port at New Orleans which Spain alternately opened and closed to US shipping in spite of American rumblings of military conflict.

167. Then, as luck would have it, widespread events favoring the USA began to tumble onto the stage of history like dice out of a shaker.

168. First, a man named Napoleon came to power in France in 1799.

169. As luck would have it, Napoleon just happened to be a man who had illusions of creating a French empire that not only controlled Europe and other eastern hemisphere countries, but also included reassertion of French power in the west.

170. As luck would have it, Spain agreed to a secret treaty with France in 1800. That treaty returned the Louisiana territories to France, with Spain continuing to exercise public control.

171. In 1802 Napoleon deployed an invasion force of a reported 30,000 troops to the western hemisphere. There were two objectives:

  1. Quell a savage slave revolt in France’s most prosperous island colony, St. Dominique (Haiti)
  2. Establish permanent French military control of Louisiana

172. As luck would have it, by 1803, the former slaves and the French had engaged in a war of mutually horrendous acts of ruthlessness, and many thousands of the French troops had succumbed to the diseases of the island.  Their effective number had been reduced to less than 10,000.

173. As luck would have it, this turn of events served to set in motion a rapid change of the boundaries of the USA.

174. November, 1803 – France “assumed formal control” of Louisiana.

175. December, 1803 – France, needing money for other military conquests more than a presence in the western hemisphere, sold Louisiana to the USA.

176. There was another rarely shared event related to the Saint Dominique revolt and the anticipated presence of French troops. The island had afforded a safe haven for hundreds of “pirates”. With trouble all about, the pirates sought a more tranquil environment. As luck, for the US, would have it, they chose the coast of Louisiana, from whence they provided pivotal aid to the Americans, rather than the British, during the 1815 attack on New Orleans.

177. As for that War of 1812 with Great Britain, a person seeking to justify a predisposed opinion as to the identity of the perpetrator of the conflict can find evidence supportive of the opinion of his choice.

178. The only reason for the episode to be mentioned here is to begin closure of the sharing of these seemingly inexplicable “coincidences” that were necessary for the establishment of the USA.

179. Our education systems generally teach that the treaty resolving the conflict appeared to gain little or nothing for the US, but, as luck would have it, the young nation had just dodged a fatal historical bullet.

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LS & T (155 -164)

155. General Howe defeated Washington’s forces in battle and was in pursuit as they were forced toward the tip of Long Island. Then, as luck would have it, a brilliantly simple plan to crush the rebellion, with minimal British casualties, occurred to Howe. By brother Howe sailing his warships up the East River, preventing all possible escape or receipt of food and military supplies while bombarding the encampment from afar, General Washington and his soldiers would be forced to surrender. With that surrender and possible executions of those involved, Howe could foresee the rapid deterioration of further colonial resistance.

156. As luck would have it, heavy rains and strong adverse winds (does that sound familiar? #134) prevented the war ships from sailing upriver before nightfall.

157. During the night, the patriot army secured enough small boats to begin evacuation, but dawn was arriving with the need of a few hours to complete the escape. But, As luck would have it a dense fog formed over the river, and the necessary time was provided. The fog was so thick, Washington’s Major Ben Tallmage later recorded that he had difficulty in identifying a man six feet away. When the fog dissipated, and the warships were in place, the British found nothing.

158. Howe subsequently took the time to defeat Americans at two forts on opposite sides of the Hudson River and establish control of NY City. As luck would have it, winter weather was nigh, and Howe did not choose to take the field during those conditions. Besides, there were many Loyalists in NYC to assure his comfort. He did send General Charles Cornwallis with 10,000 British and Hessian (hired German’s) troops to spread out and steadily pursue and harass Washington’s depleted and suffering army.

159. Washington reached the Delaware River, secured enough boats to cross, destroyed the rest that were to be found and encamped nine miles upriver from Trenton, New Jersey.

160. After three weeks of encampment,Washington once more faced an existential crisis for his army and the fate of the new USA. Howe had assumed that the American army would be destroyed by the winter elements by spring, and that was an ever increasing probability. Disease, desertions, lack of proper clothing (some even had no shoes) demoralization and the end of enlistment dates on January 1 would shortly decimate his army. Waiting was defeat, and attacking probably meant death.

161. Washington determined to cross the Delaware during the night of December 25, march to Trenton and attack the 1200 Hessians stationed there before they awoke. The motto would be ,”VICTORY OR DEATH”. Unfortunately, complications arose, and the crossing required hours more than planned. Marching to Trenton, expecting to be greeted by a hail of enemy fire, the Americans discovered that Fortune had once again smiled upon them. As luck would have it, the Hessians badly over slept, and the result was a victory with more than 800 of the enemy to be paraded through the streets of Philadelphia. The spectacle of which served to reverse the rapidly declining morale through out the former colonies.

162. A logical plan was devised by General Burgoyne and officials in London. Burgoyne’s smaller forces stationed in Canada would attack to the south down the Hudson Valley and meet Howe’s forces moving north. Together, they would destroy the militias in New England and concentrate their combined numbers on Washington’s army to the south. As luck would have it, for what ever the reason, Howe apparently did not get the message, and instead, pushed his army toward Philadelphia. Burgoyne, having received no support from Howe, was defeated.

163. One of the British strategies was to psychologically demoralize the rebels by hunting down as many of the American civilian leaders as possible. With other details perhaps being informative but incidental, as luck would have it, an American outside a tavern in Louisa, Virginia overheard bits of conversation between some of Britain’s mounted Royal Dragoons. He understood that they intended to capture or kill Thomas Jefferson at Monticello the next morning. The man, John Jouett, road the 50 miles over the back trails throughout the night and was able to warn Jefferson.

164. I am persuaded that these and other previous items are logically supportive of the view that the establishment of the USA was made possible by an inordinate number of improbable events. I will leave the period of time up to 1787 with the words and opinion of Dr. Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. A few other fortuitous incidents occurring through early 1815 will be shared in forthcoming items .

From the records of James Madison, who had asked Dr. Franklin for the notes from which the address had been made:

“… In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor….”.

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