This Week in History: British & American spies executed, Ethan Allen captured!

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

Nathan_Hale_1925_Issue-half-centMonday, September 22

On this day in 1776, Captain Nathan Hale is executed by the British. His final words? “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Hale was attempting to help George Washington’s army, then fighting a series of battles in and around New York. Washington was desperate for information about the British. He asked Lt. Col Thomas Knowlton to help him recruit volunteers. He needed spies! FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram);

Bonus quote! Ronald Reagan: “A young author in Poland has written a book of fables in which he describes countries in terms of color. “The United States,” he says, “is blue, like infinity. The possibilities are endless.” Well, I would agree.” MORE:

Bonus quote! Chester Arthur: “The Constitution defines the functions and powers of the executive as clearly as those of either of the other two departments of the Government, and he must answer for the just exercise of the discretion it permits and the performance of the duties it imposes.” MORE:

Tuesday, September 23

On this day in 1762, Seth Capron is born in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He was a Patriot who served with George Washington during the American Revolution, yet his most important contribution was in an entirely different field. It was something surprisingly ordinary—and yet still very remarkable! He began the nation’s first cotton mill in New York, along with some business partners. Later, they started the first wool factory, even importing the first merino sheep into the country. FULL STORY:

Bonus quote! George Washington: “The want of a Chaplain does, I humbly conceive, reflect dishonor upon the Regiment, as all other Officers are allowed. The Gentlemen of the Corps are sensible of this, and did propose to support one at their private expence—But I think it would have a more graceful appearance were he appointed as others are.” MORE: (Facebook); (Instagram)

Wednesday, September 24

On this day in 1789, George Washington signs the Judiciary Act, which established the federal court system and gave Washington the authority to nominate six U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Washington nominated John Jay as the first Chief Justice. Can you believe that the Senate confirmed Jay only two days later? Wow. How things change! FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Thursday, September 25

On this day in 1775, Ethan Allen is captured at Montreal. He’d long wanted to lead an invasion into Canada. “I will lay my life on it,” he declared in one letter, “that with fifteen hundred men, and a proper artillery, I will take Montreal.” The Continental Congress authorized an invasion of Quebec, but did not choose Allen to lead the forces. You can imagine that Allen was pretty unhappy! FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Bonus quote! Calvin Coolidge: “The real fact is that in a republic like ours the people are the government, and if they cannot secure perfection in their own economic life it is altogether improbable that the Government can secure it for them. The same human nature which presides over private enterprise must be employed for public action.” MORE:

Friday, September 26

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress appoints Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Thomas Jefferson as “commissioners to the court of France.” Earlier that year, Congress had appointed a committee to propose a framework within which America might conduct its foreign relations. On July 18, a “Plan of Treaties” was presented to Congress. It had been drafted almost single-handedly by John Adams. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Saturday, September 27

On this day in 1780, General George Washington receives an offer of help from a group of women in Maryland. Many of my history posts have to do with glorious moments in a battle or a specific brave act. Perhaps lost in the shuffle is the fact that many ordinary citizens were doing their best to contribute to the revolutionary cause from their homes, albeit in smaller ways. Many, many Americans wanted their freedom!! Perhaps they didn’t always quite know how to help. But they jumped in and did whatever they could. In this instance, the First Lady of Maryland, Mary Digges Lee, turned to the women of Maryland for help. They took up a collection for the Continental Army! FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Check out my Saturday morning presidential trivia!

Sunday, September 28

On this day in 1781, French and American forces begin a siege of Yorktown. The British had made a few mistakes that led to this moment. In the days and weeks just before the siege, General Charles Cornwallis was established with his troops in Yorktown, Virginia, near Chesapeake Bay. His commanding officer, General Sir Henry Clinton, was stationed with his troops in New York. On the American side, George Washington was working with the French and planning his next steps. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Bonus quote! Thomas Jefferson: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” MORE: