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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LS & T (142 – 154)

A wee reminder:

Small libraries of volumes may have been published regarding any one of these LS & T items that I am hoping to share with my children, grands & greats, and friends. However, each one is offered as a truth or personal testament that can stand alone.

These particular items are a continuation of support for the belief that a superior rationality, that we call God, established the USA. The use of satire continues to be employed.

142. As luck would have it, by 1600 AD, the only remaining unclaimed coastal area in the western hemisphere for evangelical Protestant people to occupy…….. also represented the foothold for the only land south of Canada that was to become a single country with thousands of miles of east to west territory, thousands of rivers and access to both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

143. As luck would have it, due to the events that served to occupy the interests of the British government, as opposed to the other Europeans, something unique in all of human history was allowed to occur.

144. The lack of concern for central control regarding their American colonies could have allowed a number of societal cultures to have developed. But, as luck would have it, two very unique features were to become ingrained in the colonial psyche. For some 100 years, the people began to experience an unaccustomed degree of ability to govern themselves. The ideal itself has served to provide greater participation in that governance. As for religion, the various Christian sects had found a land where none exercised dominion over all others.

145. This air of relaxed governmental control prevailed until comfortably into the 1700’s. Bye and bye, the mother country began to engage in what the colonists called coercive acts of the English Parliament (such as those enumerated in the US Declaration of Independence). This brought about the unauthorized organization of what the colonists called the Continental Congress. Some representatives supported efforts to mollify the problems with the British, while others were disposed to be more aggressive.

146. Although the minds of many people (mine included) gloss over at the mention of large numbers of historical dates, I believe it to be instructive to consider a brief timeline for the purpose of setting up what is to come.

147. September, 1774 – Continental Congress established

148. April, 1775 – Violent conflicts at Lexington and Concord

149. July, 1775 – Continental Congress established an army, under George Washington, for defensive purposes

150. July, 1776 – Several battles had been engaged, and the Declaration of Independence signed

151 August, 1776 – Attempting to prevent British establishment of permanent control of the Hudson River Valley at NY City, Washington encamped on Long Island with a reported force of less than 10,000

152. Until that date, as luck would have it, Britain had made little effort to deploy overwhelming force to crush the rebels. That changed.

153. Under the command of General William Howe was assembled a military land force of 30,000 or more. Howe’s forces were complemented by his brother Admiral Richard Howe’s reported 50 or more warships and 100 or more support vessels. The rebellious “Declaration of Independence” was about to be nullified less than two months after the signing.

154. No, the conspicuous “hand of Providence” was about to become manifest.

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FakeNews? Maybe Not. Manipulated? Yes.

4 hrs ·

I just have to do this now because of today’s Bryan, Texas newspaper, The Eagle.

The op ed page was covered by opinions from a California newspaper, a Washington DC news source, The Eagle Editorial Board and a political cartoon…. all of which were bashing and sometimes falsely extrapolating on Trump’s words that have been retaliations to biased media coverage. Since reading this morning’s paper, I understand that this was a coordinated effort involving hundreds of newspapers nationwide.

I’m not a fan of Trump’s every comment, but when the media beat their collective chests and deride anyone who would doubt their devotion to true and unbiased news, I have to resist the urge to regurgitate.

The following is a copy of a letter (required to be less than 300 words but could have been longer) that I have just zipped off to The Eagle (probably won’t be published).

If any of you are unaware of the stature of George Stephanopoulos, he was the senior adviser to Bill Clinton during the first term, then rapidly rose to become the “face” of ABC News.

The letter (Part of which has been previously shared): 

Righteous indignation expressed by the media over claims of bias in, and manipulation of, the news falls on deaf ears here.

The following information was gleaned from George Stephanopoulos’ book, All Too Human. His youthful arrogance had not yet been modulated by wisdom of political cunning.

Pg. 57 – Regarding the Gennifer Flowers affair, CeCe Connally of the Associated Press asked Bill Clinton if the story was true.
George wrote, “ ‘You can’t do that’, I barked at CeCe.”
“I went straight to a phone to call John King, the AP’s chief political reporter in Washington” and said, “You can’t put this (blank) on the wire”…. “The AP held off.”

Pg. 62 – George was pleased that two out of the three network news programs were slow to mention the allegations.

Pg. 67 – George described how Don Hewitt and Steve Kroft of CBS’s 60 Minutes program helped the Clintons during the Flowers controversy. Hewitt stopped the taping of the program twice to “coach” the couple. Hewitt even boasted that he had made JFK president, and that he could do the same thing for Bill.

Pg. 96 – Ted Koppel, of ABC’S Nightline program, “used his anchorman’s authority” to aid George in a debate with Phyllis Schlafly…. “All I had to do was fall in behind” and ridicule the Republicans.

Pg. 164 – In a discussion of media coverage of JFK, Clinton said, “The press always covered for him.”

Pg. 296 – George noted his “exhilarating” feeling when all three networks provided a “roadblock” for Bill after a prominent legislative defeat.

Pg. 266 – “No network covered the performance live” when Paula Jones made her sexual harrassement claims against Clinton.

Please compare the media coverage of Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick to that of Stormy Daniels.

Do the media promote fake news?  Maybe not.

Do they manipulate news?  Indubitably, Mr. Watson.

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LS & T (130 – 141)

130. Any full discussion of a supernatural superintending rationality being involved in the establishment of the USA would have to reach farther into the history of the world than is intended here. I would not hope to grapple with such a task.

131. With that said, if we are to even consider the possibility of the European’s colonizing their newly found “New World”, the indigenous occupants would have had to lack the advanced weaponry necessary to repel the invaders. As luck would have it, that was the case.

132. Suffice this item to point out one event that, as luck would have it, could have forever eliminated the existence of such places known as New England and Virginia.

133. In brevity, we see that the late 1500s found mortal enemies,Spain and England, engaged in Catholic and Anglican quarrels as well as Spain suffering English raids on their New World treasure ships. An invasion was planned to begin the subjugation of the island.

134. Spain launched their famous armada of 120 ships with more than 30,000 men to cross the small English Channel. Sparing lengthy details, as luck would have it, adverse winds repeatedly aided the English navy in the channel, and the wind itself eventually decimated the armada. The effort was never again attempted.

135. Placing due emphasis on the defeat of the Spanish Armada, there are several things that must be acknowledged as strong probabilities if the invasion had succeeded. England would not have been an independent country 12 years after the invasion. There would not have been a King James of England. There would not have been a King James Version of the Bible. The animus between Catholic Spain and Protestant churches was so strong that the latter would have been driven “underground”. No capitalist would have been allowed to finance Protestant migrations to the Americas. As noted in #132, there would have never been a section of the New World known as New England or Virginia.

136. The English speaking people were “Johnny Come Lately’s” in the New World colonization game. As luck would have it, the 100 years of the 1500’s found other Europeans exploring, colonizing and profiting while England was distracted by royal intrigues, conflicts with the Scotts and Irish, wars on the continent, threats of invasion and religious upheavals as Anglicans broke with the Church at Rome.

137. As luck would have it, when the English speaking people, not the crown, did get around to seeking a new environment, choices of landing a ship in the Western Hemisphere were quite limited.

138. As luck would have it, a colonial map of the Americas in the year 1600 would show that Spain, Portugal, France and the Dutch combined to occupy or claim almost all of the eastern coastlines.

139. The forbidden area for English landings, without including armed forces to contend with the other Europeans, extended from the southern tip of South America northward to the coast near French Quebec ………..except for one small strip. As luck would have it, that small strip of coastline available to the English began near the northern border of what is currently the state of Maine and traced southward to the northern border of what was known as Spanish Florida.

140. The various theories of why Spain did not claim all of the North American coast for themselves in the 1490s, or later, have become mental exercises for intellectuals. No matter what the reasons, as luck would have it, that area appears to have been improbably labeled, “reserved seating”, for a people with a strain of Protestant evangelism and possessing the message of the cross in their hands. Had the English engaged in colonization 100 years earlier, the colonists would have arrived with very different views of civil government and religion.

141. Regarding the sharing of these particular kinds of testaments, as the song of a recent era says, “We’ve only just begun…”

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