This Week in History: Battle of Harlem Heights, Constitution Day, Battle at Freeman’s Farm

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

George_Washington_by_Peale_1776Monday, September 15

On this day in 1780, George Washington writes of the death of Brig. Gen. Enoch Poor. Washington praised Poor as an “Officer of distinguished merit” with “every claim to be the esteem of his Country.” A simple announcement, given that the story of Poor’s death is one of history’s great unsolved mysteries! FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Tuesday, September 16

On this day in 1776, Americans won the Battle of Harlem Heights. It was a much-needed victory. Only weeks before, the Americans had suffered a crushing defeat at Brooklyn Heights. Following the defeat, they’d made a miraculous escape across the East River and into Manhattan, but they had been run out of New York City not too long after that. On September 16, George Washington received word that the British were advancing. He sent 150 rangers under Lt Col Thomas Knowlton to investigate. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Wednesday, September 17

On this day in 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution. When a Philadelphia matron asked Benjamin Franklin what the Convention had produced, Franklin famously responded: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Happy Constitution Day! MORE: (Facebook); (Instagram)

Bonus quote! George Washington: “The Revd Mr John Murray is appointed Chaplain to the Rhode-Island Regiments and is to be respected as such.” More about Washington’s appointment of a Universalist chaplain, here:

Bonus quote! Benjamin Franklin: “It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find [the Constitution] approaching so near to perfection as it does.” MORE:

Thursday, September 18

On this day in 1819, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention passes away. New Hampshire delegate John Langdon was once described by James Madison as “a true patriot and a good man; with a noble way of thinking.” Langdon was an international trader who quickly jumped into the fray when tensions with Britain began to rise. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Friday, September 19

On this day in 1777, the first battle of Saratoga is fought at Freeman’s Farm. British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne was then working his way toward Albany, but American Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates was in his way. Gates had stationed forces on Bemis Heights, an area overlooking the Hudson River. The position allowed Gates to aim his cannons at either the river or the road next to it. From there, the cautious general was content to wait for Burgoyne. That feeling was not shared by Benedict Arnold, Gates’s 2nd-in-command. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Bonus quote! George Washington: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men & citizens.” MORE:

Saturday, September 20

On this day in 1777, the British launch an attack that would be known as the Paoli Massacre. George Washington was then trying to protect Philadelphia from the British. He had men stationed near Schuylkill River, between British Gen. William Howe and Philadelphia. Other forces and militia were nearby, beginning to encircle Howe’s men. Washington sent roughly 2,000 men under Anthony Wayne to attack the British rear guard. Wayne decided to camp near Paoli and Warren Taverns as he waited for reinforcements. He thought that Howe had no idea where he was. He was wrong! FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Check out my Saturday morning presidential trivia!

Sunday, September 21

On this day in 1924, Calvin Coolidge gives an address to the Holy Name Society in Washington, D.C. Read what he had to say about living in “an impatient age” HERE: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram).