GustavusConynghamWhile American soldiers were fighting the British at Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, and Monmouth, this brave young Philadelphian was striking hard blows, all alone, at the same powerful enemy off their own coasts. During this period his fame, in the line of his service, was exceeded by that of no one, not even by that of John Paul Jones.

Through one of those unknown processes by which certain men seem to be raised up for certain emergencies, such a man appeared in Gustavus Conyngham.  Feared by the British.  Adored by the French.  Celebrated by the Americans.  He soared to the pinnicle of fame during his prime, then, like so many heroes of the Revolution, without whom we would still be subjects, he faded from memory.  He deserves our sincere gratitude.

The arrogant assumption of the English Government of a right to govern them as denizens of conquered countries by the arbitrary laws of conquest, left them no choice but to become the slaves of arbitrary power or to exercise the great right of rebellion against tyranny which is so emphatically recognized in "Magna Charta." 
We've all heard it, "No taxation without representation!"  Here we have a concise explanation of exactly why the colonists believed that they had the right to resist the will of the English Parliament when the bill for the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) came due in 1763. The British Government had borrowed heavily to finance the war, and as a consequence the national debt almost doubled. British officials set their sights on the colonies to pay their "fair share" of empire, and expected obedience from deferential subjects.  Why did things go so wrong?

The events of the day on which blood was first shed, in the contest between Great Britain and her colonies, served to show that if the Americans were unacquainted with military discipline, they were not destitute of either courage or conduct, but knew well how, and dared, to avail themselves of such advantages as they possessed. A kind of military furor had by this time seized the inhabitants of the colonies. They were willing to risk the consequences of opposing in the field, their juvenile ardor to the matured strength of the parent state, and in this resolution they were encouraged to persist, by recollecting the events of the nineteenth of April. 
On April 19, 1775, the bonds of kinship that had, until that time, made Englishmen of the colinists in North America, were forever broken.  A contest was begun that would result in freedom or subjugation for people pushed to such a limit that they would forsake all comfort, and become traitors and outlaws to the nation they had been happily attached to and ardently supported for generations.  "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

The war for American independence was marked by many critical events which were beyond human control or remedy. Some of these changed the relations of contending armies in a single night. More than once, a few hours of unexpected rain, wind or fog, were enough to assure lasting results. These determining events, because belonging to the sphere and operation of physical laws, are not beyond the recognition of nature's Master. They testify very clearly at least, the absolute uncertainty of the best human plans, whether for peace or war, and the value of the promptness which seizes every opportunity as it passes, and thus gives shape to material issues which are ripe for solution.
“The Man must be bad indeed who can look upon the events of the American Revolution without feeling the warmest gratitude towards the great Author of the Universe whose divine interposition was so frequently manifested in our behalf.”  So stated George Washington. It is a fact that many who fought for American independence believed that more than human effort secured our freedom.  Was our good fortune blind luck, or something more?

My husband said but little that morning. He seemed serious and thoughtful; but never seemed to hesitate as to the course of his duty. As he led the company from the house, he turned himself round, and seemed to have something to communicate. He only said, "Take good care of the children," and was soon out of sight.  In the afternoon he was brought home a corpse. He was placed in my bedroom till the funeral. His countenance was pleasant, and seemed little altered. 
We've all seen the bumper stickers: "Freedom Isn't Free." How many friends and neighbors have died to first gain, and then retain the rights that many Americans today cannot even recite?  Lives cut short.  Families torn apart.  We should know their names.  Issac Davis was a patriot who gave all for the Cause.  We should remember and honor him.

carringtonAll articles in this category were taken from "Battles of the American revolution, 1775-1781," written by Henry B. Carrington, published in the Centennial year 1876.  Henry Beebee Carrington (March 2, 1824 – October 26, 1912) was a lawyer, professor, soldier, and prolific author. Carrington was an active anti-slavery Whig, and helped organize the Republican Party in 1854.  He was an officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War and in the Old West during Red Cloud's War. A noted engineer, he constructed a series of forts to protect the Bozeman Trail, but suffered a major defeat at the hands of the warchief Red Cloud.    Read entire Wikipedia article.

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