This Week in History: Monroe’s birthday, Washington inaugurated, Rhode Island declares independence



Happy Sunday!  Attached is a summary of my “morning history” posts from this past week.  Enjoy and have a great week!

Monday, April 28

On this day in 1788, Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It is perhaps a bit odd that anti-Constitution forces failed to mount a more effective defense in Maryland. The state was the home of Luther Martin and John Mercer, both of whom had walked out of the Constitutional Convention in disgust. MORE: (Facebook); (Google+)

Bonus quote! Nathanael Greene: “We fight get beat rise and fight again. The whole Country is one continued scene of blood and slaughter.” MORE:

Bonus quote! In honor of James Monroe’s birthday: “It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. . . .” FULL QUOTE:

Tuesday, April 29

On this day in 1827, American patriot Deborah Samson (or Sampson) dies at the age of 66.  She is best known for disguising herself as a man so she could fight in the American Revolution.  Samson was obsessed with the conflict between Britain and America.  She noted that “my mind became agitated with the enquiry—why a nation, separated from us by an ocean more than three thousand miles in extent, should endeavor to enforce on us plans of subjugation . . . .”  She determined to sign up as a soldier.  FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+)

Bonus quote! Ronald Reagan: “There is another road that leads to permanent recovery. It begins with a responsible budget now. . . . [T]his is no time for “politics as usual”; [we] want an end to runaway taxes, spending, government debt, and high interest rates.” MORE:

Washington's_InaugurationWednesday, April 30

On this day in 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States. Many phrases from Washington’s inaugural speech were quite memorable. But did you know that Washington almost gave an entirely different speech?  The first draft of the speech was a 73-page production that bore little resemblance to the final product. Fortunately, Washington ended up rewriting it, most likely with the help of James Madison. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+)

Bonus quote! George Washington: “No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People 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.” More here:

Thursday, May 1

On this day in 1777, Benjamin Franklin writes to Samuel Cooper; he describes the sentiments of Europeans regarding the American Revolution. Franklin was serving as an ambassador for America in France at the time. MORE:  (Facebook); (Google+)

Friday, May 2

During this month in 1789, George Washington receives a letter from the United Baptist Churches of Virginia. These Baptists were worried about their freedom! Would their religious freedom be “sufficiently secured” with the new Constitution in place? Washington responded: “If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical Society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it.” MORE: (Facebook); (Google+)

Bonus post! At about this time in 1788, Alexander Hamilton (a.k.a. Publius) was writing Federalist Paper No. 81: “[T]here is not a syllable in the plan under consideration which DIRECTLY empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State.” MORE:

Saturday, May 3

On this day in 1775, the Massachusetts Committee of Safety commissioned Benedict Arnold as a colonel. It had been only two short weeks since the “shot heard round the world” at Lexington and Concord.  At the end of that conflict, the British found themselves under siege, trapped in the city.  Arnold’s task was to take 400 men to “the Fort at Ticonderoga, and use your best endeavours to reduce the same, taking possession of the cannon, mortars, stores, &c. . . .”  The hope was that the cannon could be brought back to Cambridge and used to obtain an advantage against the British. FULL STORY:; (Facebook) (Google+)

Check out my Saturday morning presidential trivia!

Sunday, May 4

On this day in 1776, Rhode Island renounced its allegiance to King George III.  The state’s action came a full two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.  Rhode Island was “the first colony to declare its independence,” “the first of the American colonies to repeal by official legislative act its allegiance to King George III,” and the first to commit an “overt act of violence against the British authorities,” according to the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+)

Bonus quote! James Monroe: “Having duly considered the bill . . . , it is with deep regret, approving as I do the policy, that I am compelled to object to its passage and to return the bill to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, under a conviction that Congress do not possess the power under the Constitution to pass such a law.” MORE: