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His Signature Cost Him Everything – Saturday Stories

Saturday-Stories-HartJohn Hart of New Jersey was one of the most persecuted of the Signers by the British. Hart had gained his early education at home and apparently took it much farther by his own efforts, judging by the later offices he held.   But for the most part, he was a farmer and content to be one.

He and his wife had thirteen children, a large and happy family. Then Hart was selected Read More…

Eating Through A Keyhole – SATURDAY STORIES

Saturday-Stories-Abraham-ClarkIt’s a little known fact that the War of Independence was one of the most atrocity-free wars in history.  That is, on the part of the Americans.

The British on the other hand, commonly looted or burned homes, assaulted defenseless women, stole or killed livestock belonging to civilians and treated clergymen with contempt because of their role in fomenting the revolution.  

One preacher in Trenton, New Jersey was stabbed with a bayonet.  A dead American soldier was hacked to pieces by British cavalrymen.  But one of the greatest atrocities committed by the British and their Hessian allies was their treatment of American prisoners. Read More…

Few Paid A Higher Price ~ SATURDAY STORIES

Saturday-Stories-JailOf all the men who courageously signed the Declaration of Independence, few paid a higher price for their patriotism than Mr. Francis Lewis, a delegate from New York.

His sufferings began early in the War of Independence. In the fall of 1776, British Colonel Birteh led his troops toward the fine country estate of Francis Lewis on Long Island. He intended to see Lewis hanged as a traitor at his own home. But finding that Lewis was away at the time, Birteh instead took out his hatred on Mrs. Lewis.

The poor lady was forced to watch as her home was destroyed. British soldiers exhibited the most vicious forms of vandalism as they stole her silver, clothing, china, clocks, food and drink. She had to watch as her husband’s library-a rare luxury in those days-was burned. Before her eyes, her lovely estate was ravaged and torn apart.

Then she was taken prisoner and locked up, for no crime but that of being the faithful wife of a patriot. Taken away as a captive on horseback, she soon found herself locked in a tiny cell with no furniture but a toilet bucket. She was given no change of clothing, no bed to lie on and only the most meager scraps of food.

Finally, after many months, George Washington was able to free her in a prisoner exchange. But the poor, aging lady’s health had been so devastated by her captivity that she died soon afterward.

Francis Lewis finally returned to his home in 1783, he saw only rubble remaining of his beautiful house and cultured acres. He survived the war as a bereaved and impoverished man.

Lewis never rebuilt his lovely home. He spent his remaining years in the homes of his sons. He had paid a great price for his patriotism but lived to see his children enjoy the fruits of his sacrifice as they raised their own children in peace and liberty.

 

 

 

Let It Burn ~ SATURDAY STORIES

Saturday-Stories-KnoxLexington and Concord had been disasters for the British. Attacking the American militia at Lexington at dawn on April 19, they had killed a handful of patriots and moved on to capture military supplies stored at Concord. But Paul Revere, William Dawes and others had spread the alarm throughout the county and the Minutemen converged by the hundreds. Most of the weapons and ammunitions at Concord had been removed or hidden. The British soldiers destroyed some gun carriages and some barrels of flour, but little else was found.

Then things turned decidedly against them. The Concord Minutemen had fled the town at the approach of the superior British numbers, but had reformed beyond the river. Their numbers were being augmented by men arriving from neighboring communities. When the redcoats fired on them, the farmers returned fire and the War of Independence had begun. The British commander turned his men around and began an orderly withdrawal toward their base in Boston. But their retreat soon turned to a rout as American muskets began to harass their ranks from behind trees and stone walls. The proud British column was thrown into confusion as Minutemen swarmed along the path of their march. Finally, they met reinforcements and the remainder of their retreat to Boston was conducted in safety.

But then began the siege of Boston. The city was in British hands, though some of the residents remained. Now the question for the Americans was how to drive the redcoats out of the city?

The answer came from Fort Ticonderoga. Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys had seized the fort from the British without firing a shot. Its 55 cannons had been brought by the ingenious American officer Henry Knox on ox-drawn sleds across the winter snow. Now, under cover of night, they were installed on the hills surrounding Boston. A perfect threat to convince the British commander to give up!

But there were obstacles, and one of them was John Hancock. Hancock was President of the Continental Congress. He was quite wealthy, and both his mansion home and most of his business property was located in Boston. They couldn’t bombard the city without making a pauper of one of the greatest of the Patriot leaders. Hancock must be consulted.

When asked what he thought of the plan, Hancock never hesitated. His personal interests must not interfere with the survival of the colonies in freedom. Bombard Boston if necessary, he said. He would take his chances with the rest of his American brethren who had property in the city.

As it turned out, it was not necessary. The guns were placed overnight and when the British woke up the next morning and saw their frowning muzzles pointing at them from heights which gave unimpeded access to their deadly missiles, they gave up the city. Arrangements were made to evacuate the city. General Washington agreed to let them go in peace and the British agreed not to burn the city.

John Hancock, great patriot and first signer of the Declaration of Independence, had been willing to kiss his wealth goodbye if necessary for the good of his country.

Profiles-of-Valor

 

This story and many more are included in Profiles of Valor by Marilyn Boyer

The Show Is About To Start – Tuesday Teaching Tips

Tuesday-Teaching-Tips-4thConsider planning an Independence Day play.

Kids not only learn about Independence Day, but help others to learn too.

We had the kids learn some of the actual words of the signers for the play. They had a blast!

 

America’s freedom was won by 17-year-old’s!

Boys-of-Liberty-Library-Collection-2

It’s true.  The average age of American soldiers in the Revolutionary War was seventeen.
 
It was mostly teenagers who fought King George’s veterans to a standstill and broke the chains of tyranny, freeing thirteen scattered colonies to form the greatest nation the world had ever seen.
 
This eye-opening truth should inspire you and your children to believe that they too can be great and do great things while still young. That’s important in a society that treats young people as second-rate; that doesn’t expect them to really grow up until they’re in their twenties-if then!
 
But a hundred years ago, young people thrilled Read More…