The Patriot Went to the Dogs
October 6, 2010

The Ficticious Mars and Jupiter Showed Up with Gibson Probably Due to The Inspiration of a Real Life Story of General Washington and General Howe's Dog

Battle of Brandywine Sept 11, 1777

On This Date in History:  Following its victory at the Battle of Brandywine, the British Army captured Philadelphia and the troops camped in Germantown just north of the city.  American General George Washington decided a little counter-attack was in order as part of an attempt to surprise the British in their camp.  It seemed to be a grand opportunity since Washington was in the rather fortunate position of outnumbering his foe with about 11,000 men under his command while, his counterpart, General William Howe, commanded about 8,000 British and Hessian soldiers.  Thus, we have the outline for the Battle of Germantown which proved to be an engagement of note in the American Revolution.

Troop Movements Battle of Germantown

Now, Washington’s plan called for 4 columns to attack the British and “precisely 5 oclock with charged bayonets without firing.”   Basically, General Washington was trying to duplicate the surprise attack that he successfully initiated against the Hessians at Trenton on Dec. 25, 1776.  However, things didn’t work out so well because on the morning of October 3, 1777 the American columns were all well short of their respective planned starting positions.  The surprise element went by the wayside when a British piquet discovered one of the columns and fired some shots to warn of the impending attack.  That particular piquet was reinforced by a light infantry battalion that required great effort to push back.  Howe rode up to take a look for himself but his view was impeded by an early morning fog.  His initial notion was that his piquet had simply encountered an American raiding party. 

Chew House Fighting Was Fierce

British Colonel Musgrave was in charge of the light infantry battalion and had them fall back and establish a strong position at the home of Chief Justice Benjamin Chew.  The Americans made a strong assault on the stone home, complete with artillery support.  Well, American General Adam Stephen was supposed to follow orders and continue an attack on the British right wing.  Instead, he heard the commotion going on at the Chew House and ordered his men to turn and attack there.  That was not part of General Washington’s plan. 

Stephen's House May Be More Celebrated Than The Owner (Click For Details)

 In the Meantime, American General Nathanael (Nathaniel)  Greene had his men attack the British line as ordered and he broke through.  Stephen, for his part, went on beyond Chew House to continue the attack where, in the fog,  he ran into a brigade commanded by Brigadier General Wayne.  The two forces took up arms against one another.  The trouble was, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne’s Pennsylvania Brigade was on the same side as the men under Stephen.  I suppose the Americans must have put up a pretty good fight with one another because both forces withdrew and fled.  A result of the Battle of Germantown was that the Americans determined that General Stephen was incapacitated by drunkeness and he was drummed out of the service with his command given to the Marquis de Lafayette even though Lafayette had just had his 20th birthday!  That in itself holds some importance but there were more significant aspects to the outcome of the battle.   

Germantown Loss May Have Been Big Winner For Americans

In the end, the British suffered 500 casualties and the Americans lost 1000.  50 Americans were killed while assaulting the Chew House, which ultimately was a diversion from the original plan.  The Americans were forced to withdraw and most histories report the Battle of Germantown as a British victory since they held the field.  In fact, General Washington had to withdraw some 16 miles to escape the harrassment by British light dragoons.  However, sometimes a loss can be a victory.  In Vietnam, the TET Offensive was a total military disaster for the North Vietnamese but it was the turning point in the war as the American people withdrew their support for the war effort.  In the same way, while Washington’s effort was a big flub-a-dub at Germantown, the French were pretty impressed by the American’s ability to raise and army and mount an attack and were less concerned about the results.   Many historians point to the American failure at Germantown as providing profound influence on the French Court to support the American independence effort.   But, the British weren’t entirely successful either.  General Howe did not follow up and destroy Washington’s army.  Instead, he let General Washington flee to fight another day.  Maybe Howe was looking for his dog.

Note From General Washington to General Howe Concerning Dog

You see, General Howe had a dog that had wandered onto the battlefield and, as the Americans withdrew, the dog followed with them.  He ended up in the camp of General Washington.  Now, Washington was a lover of all dogs and when he saw that the dog’s collar had the name of his counterpart on it, on this date in 1777, he had a messenger ride all the way back to the British camp with the dog and a courteous note from General Washington related to the returning of the pooch.    Some say that its an indication of just how much Washington loved dogs and of the honorable and magnamimous nature of General Washington.  However, while it may have been all that, it was also a pretty shrewed move on the part of George Washington.  The note which was delivered to the British read, “General Washington’s compliments to General Howe. He does himself the pleasure to return him a dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the Collar appears to belong to General Howe.”  The story may have softened the view of British regulars toward General Washington but, no doubt, Washington’s courier most likely was able to report British and Hessian troop stregnth and positions back to headquarters.  Many of Washington’s men wanted to keep the dog in order to taunt the enemy but Washington knew that his act of kindness not only was a good bit of propaganda but also a great source of intelligence.

Gibson Probably Borrowed Dog Idea For The Patriot From Real Life Incident At Germantown

You see a seen similar to this true story in the fictionalized Mel Gibson movie called The Patriot.  In that film, the Gibson character of Benjamin Martin returned two Great Danes to British General Cornwallis.  I suspect  that Gibson took the real story and simply used it as a model for their story.  That is not unusual in “historical” movies.  They often borrow parts of other stories and then add them to their movie to make it more compelling for the audience.  The scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where they use too much dynamite to rob a train car probably came from the real-life misadventure of Al Jennings who really did use too much dynamite when he blew up the entire mail car in his 1898 train robbery attempt.  The Patriot was not well receieved by my historical academic bretheren for many similar items.  The main character, Martin, was not a real person but instead was based on  different people, the principal being Francis Marion with other contributors being Thomas Sumter, Elijah Clarke, Andrew Pickens and Daniel Morgan.  The problem that I have with all of that is that all or any one of these men have true stories that could be extremely compelling. 

Tavington Portrayal Ruffled Some British Feathers

The bad guy in the movie was William Tavington who was based on the real life British Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton.  Apparently some in Britain were not too enthused with the way in which the Tavington/Tarleton character was portrayed.  The UK Ambassador to the US didn’t have kind words for the entire movie.  For some reason, Gibson even made General Charles Cornwallis 10-15 years older than he really was and I have yet to figure out the rationale for that except that actor Tom Wilkinson was available.  I liked the movie but I am always afraid that people will think that its all a true story and that is how come Americans become ignorant of their own history.  It is suprisingly full of technical mistakes as well as historical inaccuracies.   Just remember, when Hollywood makes a story based on “history” it is usually loosely based on fact and full of “artistic license.”

Weather Bottom Line:  Beautiful weather will continue.  I saw today at one point the dew point was running in the 30’s which is awfully dry.  That means the temperatures will drop at night nicely and warm up nicely in the afternoon.  Look for upper 70’s for Wednesday and Thursday and low 80’s into the weekend.  We’ll probably nudge into the mid 80’s by Sunday afternoon.  A cold front will slip through on Monday and take temperatures down a peg but its so dry I doubt that there will be much in the way of rain.   I had to remove my sunflowers which just killed me but they were done.  The squirrels have been enjoying their bounty.  It’s really amazing how strong those 13 foot sunflowers are and the breadth of their root systems.  Then again, its not really all that amazing when you consider that they have to be able to support themselves with the weight of a flower full of seeds thats over a foot across and the windy weather they have to put up with.  But…the stalks are still pretty formidable.  I raised them from babies, protected them from critters and watered them dutifully only to put them in their final resting place.  Always sad.

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When the State of Franklin Tried To Become America’s 14th State
August 23, 2010

United States Map 1783-1803 includes inset that features State of Franklin

On This Date In History: In Colonial times, the Crown made the rules and in 1763, England decreed that no settlements be made west of the Appalachian mountains.   This decree was known as the Proclamation of 1763 and the intent was to prevent an escalation of fighting between English settlers and Native Americans. 

Note that Extreme Western NC and East Tennessee Are Beyond The Boundary of the 1763 Proclamation

After the French and Indian War, English settlers poured over the mountains into the region formerly inhabited by the French.  The Indians of the region formed an alliance under the Ottawa chieftain Pontiac in an effort to push back the intrusion.  The proclamation was designed to give London control over westward expansion rather than provincial governments.   The Native Americans really weren’t too keen on the proclamation because one of the provisions was that they had to cede more land for European settlement.  But, they went along as they felt it was probably the best deal that they could get.  The Cherokee worked hard to quickly draw the boundaries so as to preclude further White settlement.  Nevertheless, frontiersman refused to abandon their outposts…remember Daniel Boone was running around what is now Kentucky in the 1760s.

Painting of Franklin in 1785 Looks As if Ben Were Asked About His Feelings Toward Having a State Named For Him

Several of the original coastal colonies stretched westward deep into the continent and colonial governments had a difficult time maintaining control of their western territories.  In the 1670’s, revolt in western parts of Virginia led to Bacon’s Rebellion.  In the case of the North Carolina Colony, the western boundary was the Mississippi River.  The vast majority of inhabitants lived on the coastal plain, east of the Appalachian Mountains and they enjoyed the most services for their taxes and they also controlled the political system.   Much as the folks in western Virginia in the 1670’s, people living in the western portion of North Carolina felt as if they had no representation in any political system and that they were forced to pay taxes in support of the regions along the coast.  In 1772, hundreds, if not thousands, of folks in the mountains of what is now eastern Tennessee formed the Watauga Association.  The effort was mainly for defense against the Indians but it also gave them a unified political voice.   When the American Revolution came about, the Wataugans used their expert aim with their long rifles to defeat the British at King’s Mountain, South Carolina under the leadership of John ” Nolichucky Jack” Sevier.   After the Revolution, the state of North Carolina wasn’t any nicer to the region than the king had been as they taxed the Wataugans “grievously….without enjoying the blessings of it.”

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

In 1784, it was apparent that it was politically impossible to effectively control the vast region of  North Carolina  and the state legislature offered to cede the Tennessee lands to the federal government.  In response, the Wataugans held  a convention and on this date in 1784 representatives of the people who lived in what is now eastern Tennessee voted to found the 14th state of Franklin.  Even though the new “state” was named for him, Ben Franklin declined an invitation to visit but Thomas Jefferson approved of the move. They even elected John Sevier as Governor. But, they got a little ahead of themselves as only 7 of the 13 states agreed with Jefferson and the Constitution said that they needed 9 to gain statehood. Meanwhile, back in the North Carolina capitol of Raleigh, the state rescinded their offer of secession of its western lands to the federal government  and arrested Sevier as a traitor!   Undeterred, the state of Franklin continued to operate on its own until 1789.   This was an illustration of the difficulty of the time as Raleigh making laws and decrees was one thing but being able to enforce the law in the west was another story.  Eventually, in  North Carolina gave in, pardoned Sevier and forgave the settlers back taxes and once again ceded the western lands to the Tennessee territory of which Franklin became part.  When the territory was admitted to the Union in 1796, Sevier was elected its first Governor.

James Alex Baggett Wrote About the Union Cavalry From Tennessee

 In truth, East Tennessee is a legal distinction as is Middle Tennessee and Western Tennessee.  According to the Tennessee Constitution, no more than two state supreme court justices can come from any of the regions, thus insuring that each part of the state is represented on the state’s highest court.  But, the regions also were, and to some degree still are, differentiated by their socioeconomic level.  In the 1860’s, the eastern part of the state was the poorest of the three regions and had, by far, the fewest number of slaves.  Yeoman farmers had little in common with wealthy slave owners.  At the 1861 state secession convention, 29 counties in East Tennessee and 1 in Middle Tennessee spoke out against secession and threatened to once again form an independent state aligned with the Union.   While they did not rejuvenate the state of Franklin, the folks in East Tennessee maintained their independence.  During the Civil War, most of the mountain folks of East Tennessee remained loyal to the Union and proved to be a real thorn in the side of the Confederacy, much as they had to the King and to North Carolina. 

Kevin T Barksdale Wrote About the Lost State of Franklin

If the US was ever invaded, I have thought there were parts of the country that would never be conquered and East Tennessee is near the top of my list.  Today, one can find State of Franklin Blvd east Elizabethton, TN; I’ve driven by it before it may even be in North Carolina but I can’t find it on a map.  Just north of that Elizabethton is the town of Watauga.  Not far to the east in North Carolina is Watauga County.  Curiously, the town of Franklin, TN is nowhere near the region as it can be found south of Nashville.

Weather Bottom  Line:  As it turns out, the storms on Saturday morning robbed the atmosphere of so much energy when the front came through on Saturday night, it had nothing to work with.  I should not have been so wishy washy.  Declaring “If” and “Maybe” is not really making a forecast.  My bad.  We will be dominated by high pressure with relatively dry air in the region so for the week ahead, highs in the upper 80’s will feel quite refreshing.  I really do think we’ve turned the corner on excessive heat for this year.

George Washington Preferred Cincinnatus Over King George
May 22, 2010

General Washington Would Not Be King!

Treaty of Paris-From L to R: John Jay, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Henry Laurens, William T. Franklin...the rest were too Chicken to Show up

On this date in History:  In 1782, there was some chaos in the new nation.  There was a shortage of funds to pay foreign debts and Congress was arguing about what to do.  Beyond that, while the British had surrendered at Yorktown, there was no peace treaty with the mother country and many thousands of Royal troops remained in the colonies.  Skirmishes and small battles continued on part of the frontier.  In general, the major fighting for the colonies was over but true independence would not come until November 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris

Adams, Franklin and Jefferson collaborated on the Declaration of Independence But Jefferson Had the Mightiest Pen

Now, most of leaders in the colonial independence movement were from the wealthy classes and were, for lack of a better word, the elites.  Many of the founders were well educated in a classical sense and were some of the wealthiest members of society.  John Hancock was a merchant who was recognized by many historians as the richest of all those in America at the time.  General George Washington was not rolling in cash but the value of his land holdings put his net worth near the top of the list.  Thomas Jefferson enjoyed some financial success but his business decisions were not always sound.  But, his knowledge of historical ideas and his ability to master the language gave him a tremendous ability to express ideas and ideals.  John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson were charged with writing an independence declaration.  Adams and Franklin pushed Jefferson to actually pen the document because they acknowledged his greater written skills.  The ideals put forth on the Declaration of Independence were not new ideas as they had been espoused in the past, most notably by John Locke.  But, it was the way that Jefferson expressd those ideals that makes the document so remarkable.  Jefferson wrote  that “Bacon, Locke and Newton … I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences.”  

George Washington considered himself a planter much along the lines of the Roman tradition of Cincinnatus.  Early in the Roman empire, the Senate ruled Rome.  In a time of war, land holders were called to come and form an army to defend the empire.  In such a time of strife, a dictator was appointed and given temporary powers to rule until the end of the conflict.  Cincinnatus was called to duty in 458 BC and successfully led the defense of Rome.  When the conflict was over,  he resigned his position and returned to his farm.  This was the Roman tradition until around the time of Julius Caesar, who never relinquished the lucrative dictator position.  When several senators got together and murdered him, assassination was introduced into the world of politics.  When Augustus came to power, he remained as dictator but returned much of the rule of Rome to the Senate in the tradition of Cincinnatus while he controled the army on the frontier of the empire.  Augustus preferred to be called “principate” or “first citizen” rather than Caesar.    While Jefferson was greatly influenced by Locke, Washington’s demeanor was patterned after Cincinnatus.   

General Washington Resigning His Commission to Congress. He Voluntarily Surrendered Absolute Power, Not Once, But Twice. The Definition of the man, his character and integrity.

In the atmosphere of an unsettled and uncertain condition that prevailed in the colonies between Yorktown in October 1781 and the Treaty of Paris in 1783,  a proposal arose from officers in the army to settle the situation by proclaiming George Washington as King George I.  He had the ability to seize absolute power since he was the well respected leader of the entire Continental Army.  And many colonists put their Faith in his hands.  Yet,  On This Date in 1782, General George Washington refused to become king when he quickly dispatched such notions, writing from his headquarters in Newburgh, NY  that no such occurrence in the war gave him ”…more painful sensations…” than such talk.  He said that viewed such expressions with “abhorrence and reprehend with severity.”   The officer who had written the proposal to the general was admonished when Washington concluded, “if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or  posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind and never communicate, as from yourself, or anyone else, a sentiment of the like nature. ”    The word of General Washington was formidable, thus saving the Democracy before it even really got started. The Constitution was adopted in 1787 and the General became the first President in 1789.  Eight years later, for a second time,  General Washington voluntarily gave up power when he refused to be nominated for a third term even though he had been elected twice as President by a unanimous vote of the electoral college.  Not once, but twice, did General Washington refuse the temptation of absolute power.  In the tradition of Cincinnatus, he returned to his farm where he died in 1799. 

Augustus Known as Principate; Washington as Father

While we do not refer to Washington as “first citizen” like Caesar Augustus, he is commonly referred to as the “Father of the Country.”  A 1788 settlement along the Ohio River became a village in 1802 and took the name of Cincinnati in honor of George Washington, though some accounts say that the moniker was derived from The Society of the Cincinnati .  Nevertheless, the Society of the Cincinnati also was formed by Revolutionary War soldiers who wished to promote the virtues of Cincinnatus.  By extension, those were also the  virtues espoused by General Washington who served as the first President General of the Society of Cincinnatus.  And the nation has largely followed the tradition of Cincinnatus as demonstrated by Washington.   The United States has been involved in a number of armed conflicts but, more often than not, does not control territories following the end of hostilities.  More to the point, politicians followed the tradition of Washington and limited themselves to just two terms in office, until Franklin D. Roosevelt broke the tradition by being elected to four consecutive terms in office.  Shortly thereafter, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was ratified making the tradition of Washington the law of the land: no one can serve for more than two terms as President of the United States.

From Your Son, Dopey

From Your Son, Dopey

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD

Many of us have our own form of Cincinnatus or George Washington who has influenced their life.  On this date a long long time ago, Robert B. Symon, Sr. was introduced to the world. And the world has been a better place for it. I’m hoping to one day live up to the old man but I haven’t quite gotten there. When I was a kid and he helped coach my football or baseball teams. the other guys on the team always told me that my dad was their favorite coach. They said he was nice. Today, I realize that is true. I think we all wish that we could be a person whom about people would say, “you know, I’m a better person for having known him” or “I’m just a little happier for having known him.”  My dad is one of the few people I know in life that I think that is the case. Come to think of it, Snow White is too. One would think that if I am surrounded and influenced by such people, some of it would rub off on me. Well, there’s always tomorrow.

Weather Bottom Line:  We had a storm that produced some funnel clouds and excitement on Friday evening.   There were also some wind damage reported in a few spots in Southern Indiana and large hail reports in Crawford, Franklin and Anderson counties in Indiana and Kentucky.   Rainfall totals were varied with some places getting around a half inch of rain while others about 3 times that in a short period of time.  It’s all over with now and look for temperatures in the mid to perhaps upper 80’s for the week ahead with rain chances being slim and none.

America’s First Woman To Serve as Combat Soldier
May 21, 2010

An Artist Rendering of America's First Woman Soldier

General Washington Was Not the Only American Revolution Hero

On This Date in History:  Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown in October 1781.  This effectively ended the American but not officially.  That did not come about until the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.  So, there was still plenty of fighting going on in the colonies.  Guerrilla bands raped and pillaged in the relative no-man’s land between the colonial lines at Peekskill, NY and the British boundary at Yonkers, NY.  For some reason, these marauders were known as “cowboys.”  I never understand when bad guys get monikered with the “cowboy” name because it tends to impugne the nobel profession. 

If they Knew that Deborah Would become famous, maybe they could have gotten a better artist for posterity

Anyway, in early to mid-June 1782,  there was a skirmish near East Chester, NY in which colonial Private Robert Shurtleff was slashed across his left cheek with a saber.    In early July, another skirmish broke out and this time the young Private took a musketball to the thigh.  Instead of accepting medical attention, Shurtleff crawled into nearby woods and remained until the wound healed over.  Shurtless rejoined the 4th Massachusetts Regiment and marched into battle against the Mohawk Indians in the Adirondack Mountains.  Shurtleff later came down with what was described as a “malignent fever.”  It’s possible that the fever was a result of the leg wound but most accounts suggest it was a bout of influenza.  There was no avoiding the doctor this time as Shurtleff was taken to the hospital.  Delirious with fever, Shurtleff was examined by Dr. Barnabas Biney who soon discovered that the young private was a woman!

A Little More Flattering Sketch of Deborah

Deborah Sampson was a descendant of the Pilgrims as she was related to Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford.  She felt a desire to join in the revolutionary cause and chose her course.  Trouble was, women were not allowed in the army.  So, she tried to enlist as Timothy Thayer.  Apparently, it was no problem for her to pretend to be a man as she was tall and said to be as strong as most men.  I suppose that she also could party as well as any man because she made the mistake of celebrating her enlistment by indulging at a local tavern.  I’m not sure what she did but an account says that “she all too clearly revealed her identity.”   Not only was she tossed from the army, but the church exommunicated her for “very loose and un-Christian-like” behaviour as well as wearing men’s clothes.  But, Debbie did not give up.

Statue of America's First Female Soldier

Instead, she walked 75 miles to Worcester, MA where she enlisted as Robert Shurtleff and on this date in 1782, Deborah Sampson, a.k.a. Robert Shurtleff, enjoyed her first full day in the army, having successfully enlisted for the second time the previous day. Sampson was perhaps the first woman to serve in the armed forces of America, which of course was in the Continental Army as the United States had not officially been formed.   Deborah had apparently fooled her family as, following the saber wound, she wrote home that she was working in “a large but well regulated family.”  I suppose she thought that was not a lie and, when closely examined, it could be considered a truthful statement.  The army could be considered a family and it certainly was well regulated.   Well, Dr. Biney tried to keep the secret for a while but was forced to spill the beans after his niece fell in love with the “handsome young soldier.”  

Wonder How Maj. General John Patterson Broke the News To General Washington That He Had a Girl in the Continental Army?

I’m sure that his niece was crushed to find out that he was a she. Or maybe, she was crushed because her uncle, in a letter praising Shurtleff,  told General John Patterson that Shurtleff was Sampson and Patterson told General Washington who had her honorably discharged on October 23, 1782.  When the 4th Massachusetts Regminet marched through the street in review, Deborah wore a dress as they passed and not a soul recognized her.  Later she married Benjamin Gannett of Sharon, MA and had 3 kids with him.  In 1792, she successfully petitioned for her back-pay.   You may also find references to Sampson as Deborah Sampson Gannett or as “Deborah Samson” as the family apparently originally did not include a “p” in the spelling of the name. 

Slight Risk Today Methinks Might Should be Expanded South

Methinks that Wind Might Be the Issue in Our Area just south of the 15% probability line

Weather Bottom Line:   I told you a few days ago that the unsettled weather would persist through the end of the week and today will be the last hurrah.  It could be the most active too as we are in a slight risk for severe weather.  The parent low that caused all the ruckous in the South Central Plains is lifting up from the southwest and will pass to our west.  We should be plenty warm and humid enough but it remains to be seen if we get a kicker.  My guess is that the weak frontal boundary will be able to work with reasonably favorable winds and ample instability to provide some tough t’storms.  I would think that hail and strong winds will be the biggest threat in the late afternoon but it wouldn’t be out of the question for a relatively small scale tornado to perhaps spin down off the edge of a bow echo.  I betcha we get pretty windy and have a round of heavy rain…like we need it.  But, my sunflowers certainly are doing well as is my new baby poplar tulip tree.  After this stuff passes, we will have an extended period of warm and mostly rain free weather for the forseeable future.

The King Should’ve Asked The People First
March 24, 2010

If George Had Only Asked First....

French and Indian War Became Part of A Very Expensive Anglo-French Conflict

On This Date in History:  Following the French and Indian War, Britain was left with a huge war debt.  That particular conflict began in 1754 but got folded into  a larger scale European  war between the French and English that became known as the Seven Years War that concluded in 1763.  Londoners were getting tired paying higher taxes to pay for the war and so the Crown had to look for other sources of income.  King George III had risen to the head of the monarchy at age 22  at the death of his grandfather.  Now, the previous two kings had been rather weak and Parliament had seized the lead in establishing policy in the English government.  With the encouragement of his mother, George removed from power the coalition of Whigs who had been running the government.  He used patronage to establish a new coalition that would allow him to have control over Parliament.  While the old Whig coalition had been quite stable, George’s new coalition created ministries that proved not to last too long with each lasting in office but a couple of years.

Colonists Weren't Too Kind to Agents of the Crown

With the new regime and the end of the war, a new policy was set forth:  the American colonies would start to pay for their defense.  But, the colonists had been pretty much left alone almost from the outset of settlement and so any direction from across the pond was not well received.  This was especially the case since the Crown didn’t ask the assemblies of each colony but instead made decrees.  If you think about it, it really wasn’t too unreasonable for there to be some expectation for the colonies to pay for part of the costs associated with running a colonial system.  And I suspect that the colonists would have agreed.  But,  the British government passsed new laws without the advise or consent of the colonial assemblies and that ran counter to their perceived rights as Englishmen.  No matter what Parliament passed, the colonists were against it.  The Sugar Act of 1764, the Currency Act of 1764 and the odious Stamp Act of 1765 all were resisted by the colonies.  Ben Franklin was  a colonial agent in London and had long argued that the resistance was to internal taxes; taxes and duties from London on products and services that originated in the colonies.  Franklin had differentiated between these internal and external taxes or duties slapped on good imported into the colonies.

Redcoats Were Not Welcome in New York

  Charles Townsend had ascended to parliamentary power following the incapacitation of William Pitt.  He listened to Franklin and so he issued the Townshend Program that included the Townshend Duties which were taxes put on lead, paint, paper and tea imported into the colonies.  Well, in spite of what Franklin had argued, the colonies didn’t like that either because to the merchants and people taxes proclaimed by any body except for the a colony’s assembly ran counter to the rights of Englishmen.  But, perhaps a more destructive portion of the Townshend Program had nothing to do with taxation but instead actual power.  Townshend had proclaimed that the New York Assembly, the legislative body voted into office by the citizens of New York, was disbanded until it accepted the terms of the Mutiny Act of 1765.   Most people are famliar with the Mutiny Act by a more common term: The Quartering Act of 1765

Working With Colonial Assemblies Instead of Ruling By Decree Might Have Saved the Colonies For George III

During the French and Indian War, British generals had a difficult time getting provisions and quartering  from the colonies for regular Army members.  When requested, most colonies eventually voted to provide for what was requested but the process was difficult.  As part of the effort, Lt. General Thomas Gage had convinced the New York Assembly to provide quartering of British regulars.  That legislative action expired January 1, 1764.  So, instead of getting the colonies to each pass quartering legislation, Parliament just issued the blanket Mutiny Act that included the Quartering Act of 1765 which required colonial governments to not only to provide a place for troops to lay their heads, but also food and supplies.  And, neither the soldiers or the British government would pay for it.  The colonists thought that since the war with the French was over there was no need for permanent British troops since they had never been stationed in America prior to the F&I War and Parliament had no right to compel such servitude without local legislative approval.  The British said that the troops were necessary to defend the borders against Indian attacks and, as subjects, they were bound by Parliamentary Acts.    The Quartering Act was passed on this date in 1765 and when 1500 British troops arrived in New York in 1766, the New York Assembly refused to make appropriations for them in any manner and they were forced to bunk on board the ships.   See, the colonies felt like they had rights of self governance while King George looked at them as subjects to the rule of Parliament.

Tis Easy to Attact a Bear With Honey...Something George Should Have tried

The central government was probably reasonable in many of their requests.  The colonists had in fact been providing for the British troops when the need was brought to their attention by General officers who negotiated with the assemblies.  A large part of the Quartering Act was the fact that the Parliament and the king did not ask but instead imposed thier will on the people.  Was it a good thing? Probably.  Was it just? Probably.  Did the people understand it? No.  Had they simply gone to the assemblies like General Gage had, then there might not have been much of an issue.  It could be argued that same line of thinking might have held with all of the taxation efforts.   But, King George III wanted to show who held the power and so instead of convincing the people that it was in their best interest and necessary to accept these provisions, he instead wished to impose his authority.  The result was a revolution from a bunch of otherwise loyal British subjects who tried to remain Englishmen but eventually felt that they had no voice.  And therefore, they had no choice but to seek their independence.

SPC Thunderstorm Risk For Thursday

Thursday Evening 8 PM

Weather Bottom Line:  The forecast is running along as expected. Wednesday we pushed toward 70 in spite of increasing cloud cover.  There is a southern system running along Dixie that will help trigger rain in our area and perhaps some t’storms on Thursday with temperatures in the 60’s.  But, as I mentioned on Tuesday, the biggest threat for any real thunderstorm activity or even severe weather for that matter will be well to our south.  The SPC got on board and put out an outline suggesting the same thing that I did on Tuesday with the edge of the t-storm activity just on our doorstep but the biggest threat for some action will be South.  There is a cold front running down from the Northwest late Thursday evening that will pick up the system but we could see some shower activity the first part of Friday with improvements as the day progresses.  Saturday looks pretty nice with highs in the low 60’s.    Then Sunday another southern system passes us to the South and again brings rain but not real threatening conditions.  I suspect that we’ll be fine for churchgoers but rain chances increase by the afternoon.

The Cry For Liberty That Echoes For the Ages
March 23, 2010

Patrick Henry 1736-1799

On This Date in History:  When one visits Colonial Williamsburg, a popular and common person you find wandering the streets is Patrick Henry.  Henry was born on May 29, 1736 in Hanover County in the Virginia Colony.   He was home-schooled and later studied the law on his own.   One of the homes that is prominent at Colonial Williamsburg is that of the Randolph family and Patrick Henry took his attorney’s examination before several prominent lawyers including John and Peyton Randolph

Henry Delivers His "Treason Speech"

Henry was a firey orator and was an early advocate of protest against what he saw as unjust oppression by the Court of King George III.  In 1763, he proclaimed that if a king vetoed a local law voted on by a local assembly, then that king was no longer the people’s patriarch, but instead was  “a tyrant who forfeits the allegiance of his subjects.”  When he brought his protest of the Stamp Act to the House of Burgesses on May 30, 1765 his arguments are said to have bordered on treason.  When he called out, “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third…” calls of treason rang from the gallery but Henry merely continued with his rant to the point that his argument won over the rest of the burgesses.  This is known as the “Treason Speech.”

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

Words can be powerful weapons but left on their own, they are simply words.  Those words can call for action though and when the call for action is a call to arms, then those words take on a different meaning altogether.  On this date in 1775, not only did Henry issue a appeal to arms, but also an appeal to the Almighty.  Patrick Henry’s speech read in part, ” There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free–if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!”  When we hear that the founders intended on a separation of church and state, clearly if that was the case they did not intend for individuals to be separated from God because in the 6 paragraphs of Henry’s speech, he mentions or calls on God 5 times.  In fact, the most famous line of Patrick Henry that is well known to most Americans was preceded by his final call for Divine intervention:  “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Nearly Every Painting of Henry Giving a Speech Shows Him with his Arm Raised

While Patrick Henry is closely associated with Williamsburg, his call to “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” was made at St. John’s Church in Richmond.  Apparently, Henry’s theatrics were so overwhelming that the exact verbiage of his speeches were lost on the listener.  Perhaps that is why the text of Henry’s speech was not published until 1816 and that was done after William Wirt pieced the speech together after interviewing numerous people who had witnessed the event first hand.  Nevertheless, it is difficult to say for certain that all of the words are exactly what Henry said or if there were ommissions.  One thing that is for certain, the conclusion was unforgettable and “give me liberty or give me death” has lasted through the decades and will no doubt continue to do so.  According to Charles Cohen, Thomas Jefferson was impressed with Henry, but also had a difficult time recalling exactly what the emotional orator had said.  “Although it was difficult, when [Henry] had spoken, to tell what he had said, yet, while speaking, it always seemed directly to the point. When he had spoken in opposition to my opinion, had produced a great effect, and I myself had been highly delighted and moved, I have asked myself, when he ceased, ‘What the devil has he said?’ and could never answer the inquiry.”

Patrick Henry's Speech Helped Spur the Call To Arms

So, what’s the big deal about this speech? I mean, after all, Henry had been making lots of imflammatory speeches.  One has to consider that the Boston Massacre had taken place in March 1770 which had followed the 1765 Stamp Act Crisis.  Then came the Boston Tea Party in 1773.  After all of these events, colonists had tried to reason with the British Parliament and the King.  The crown thought that the colonists were being unreasonable and just plain difficult. Still, the talk of revolution was not all that prevalent.  Then, in 1774, the first Continental Congress  ,led by first Continental Congress President Peyton Randolph, met and determined that crackdowns going on in the Massachusetts Colony represented a threat to the liberty of all the colonies.  The Continental Congress called on continued resistance to the Coercive Acts, a general boycott of British goods and for the establishment of colonial militias.  Naturally, when Parliament heard of this, especially the notion of raising an army of sorts, it declared that the American colonies in rebellion in February 1775.  Massachusetts had worked taking up arms but no other colony acted.  When Patrick Henry made his speech(video of re-enactment) in Richmond, it was at a convention to consider the issue.  When Henry finished, the room sat silent as the audience may have reacted as Thomas Jefferson had described and so they had to take a moment to understand what had been said.  Slowly, it sank in and the room filled with shouts of approval.  The delegates voted to make military preparations and that set the stage for the American Revolution.  It was one thing for the rabble rousers in Boston to take up arms.   But when the Virginia colony made the move it signaled to the others that there was no turning back and it was Patrick Henry who served as the catalyst.

Weather Bottom Line:  Chilly start Tuesday morning led to a seaonally mild afternoon with highs in the low 60’s.   I betcha we get to the upper 60’s on Wednesday.  Clouds will be increasing but it will still be a great day.  Thursday a storm system passes us to the South and will bring a pretty good chance for rain with some t’storms but I think the strongest storms will be well South.  We get a pokey front coming in from the north around the same time so clouds and showers on Friday will be around with Saturday improving and not too cool before another front messes up Sunday a little.   I”m lazy..have an exam to make up for my students and it’s pretty boring so I’m not telling anything more..that’s all you need to know.

Some Rich Becoming Poor-A Good Thing? Remember the State of Franklin?
August 22, 2009

Good Times Over?

Good Times Over?

Bernie Madoff Might Like This

Bernie Madoff Might Like This

With the economy as it has been, there have been stories of woe from people losing their jobs and 401K plans shrinking. Pension plans have been in peril and investments for non-profit organizations have put a strain on those charities. If you think about it, if you have a lot of money, you have to put it somewhere. Most people don’t have a mattress big enough to stuff millions of dollars under. Even if its in the bank, then you probably would have several banks because there is a limit on the insurance. So, people will invest in real estate, stocks, bonds and such. Well, stocks and real estate really took a hit so people with the most money have lost the most, in some cases on paper, but in others its real losses because they are forced to sell assets at deflated prices to cover other needs. This article from the New York Times claims that the “Super-Rich” are shrinking in numbers. Do you think its a good thing to have the wealthy lose their money? Is it better to have a society in which everyone has a little money or with a stratified class structure?

On This Date In History: In Colonial times, the Crown made the rules and in 1763, England decreed that no settlements be made west of the Appalachian mountains. Nevertheless, frontiersman refused to abandon their outposts…remember Daniel Boone was running around what is now Kentucky in the 1760s. In 1772, hundreds, if not thousands, of folks in the mountains of what is now eastern Tennessee formed the Watauga Association, mainly for defense against the Indians. When the Revolution came about, the used their expert aim with their long rifles to defeat the British at King’s Mountain, South Carolina. Their leader was John ” Nolichucky Jack” Sevier. After the Revolution, the state of North Carolina wasn’t any nicer to the region than the king had been as they taxed the Wataugans “grievously….without enjoying the blessings of it.”

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

In 1784, North Carolina offered to cede the Tennessee lands to the federal government but the Wataugans prepared for a convention on this date in 1784 which led to a vote to found the 14th state of Franklin. Even though the new “state” was named for him, Ben Franklin declined an invitation to visit but Thomas Jefferson approved of the move. They even elected John Sevier as Governor. But, they got a little ahead of themselves as only 7 of the 13 states agreed with Jefferson and the Constitution said that they needed 9 to gain statehood. Meanwhile, back in Raleigh, the state of North Carolina took their western lands back and arrested Sevier as a traitor! The state of Franklin continued to operate on its own until North Carolina gave in, pardoned Sevier and forgave the settlers back taxes. Franklin became part of the Tennessee territory and when the territory was admitted to the Union in 1796, Sevier was elected its first Governor.

The folks in Eastern Tennessee maintained their independence though. During the Civil War, the mountain folks of East Tennesee remained loyal to the Union and proved to be a real thorn in the side of the Confederacy, much as they had to the King and to North Carolina. If the US was ever invaded, I have thought there were parts of the country that would never be conquered and Eastern Tennessee is near the top of my list.

Weather Bottom Line:  This is a very odd pattern.  Remember the month of July and Louisville not getting to 90 degrees for the first time ever?  It was a weird thing in that the pattern was not typical summer.  Then for half of August, we’ve had a typical pattern but this big trof digging down and the behavior of Hurricane Bill look more like an Ocotober pattern, not August.  This trof is deep as it digs all the way down into the Dixie states and it features a deep low rotating vort lobes around, much as we would see in the winter.  Typically, that would bring snow showers or flurries.  In this case, the clouds and cooler air will hold us in the 70’s for highs over the weekend with an occasional passing sprinkle or light shower.  Look for a cool start for church Sunday morning with temps in the 50’s for many.  Could be the same on Monday.  I’m thinking I won’t need the air conditioner for at least the first half of the work week ahead.  No significant rain chances appear on the horizon.

Origin of Purple Heart; End Game for Hurricane Felicia
August 7, 2009

Badge For Military Merit

Badge For Military Merit

On This Date in History:

The first United States medal “for military merit” ever given to enlisted men was created by none other than George Washington  On this date in 1782. General George Washington established what was known as the Badge For Military Merit.   The badge consisted of a silk heart stitched on a purple background as was to be awarded for “any singularly meritorious action.”  The first recepients on August 7, 1782 were Sgts. Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissel.  Recipients of the  award could go through any checkpoint of guards or sentinels without challenge.  The Badge for Military Merit is only known to have been given to  these three individuals.

HistoryMedalGeorgeThe whole thing was largely forgotten for 150 years until Army Chief of Staff Charles Summerall tried to get Congress to re-establish the award in 1927.  I guess he had no clout because nothing was done until his successor, General Douglas MacArthur took his place an in 1931.  Congress established the “Purple Heart”  shortly after MacAurthur became Chief of Staff, partially in recognition of Washington’s 200th birthday.  It consists of a gold bust of Washington on a purple ribbon. Unlike the original award, the modern “Purple Heart”   is awarded to any soldier who is killed or wounded in action or for those who suffer maltreatment as a POW.
Felicia
Felicia forecast track 8pm EDT 8/6/09

Felicia forecast track 8pm EDT 8/6/09

Hurricane Felicia:  If for some reason you are looking for hurricane action, you have to look in the Pacific.  The Atlantic has been quiet..almost completely quiet.  Felicia had been a robust hurricane and is still pretty formidable as it moves closer to the Hawaiian Islands.  In the satellite image, you will note two cyclones.  The weaker one is the dying tropical storm Enrique which is in colder waters and encountering unfavorable upper level winds.  Felicia will stay in a decent environment for another day or so but then get a short period of slightly cooler water, but more importantly, upper level winds that should chop it up pretty good. Therefore, the forecast calls for a tropical storm brushing the Hawaiian Islands in a few days.  Don’t cancel your vacations.  Here is the discussion from my old bowling buddy, Dr. Jack Beven.

HURRICANE FELICIA DISCUSSION NUMBER  14
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   EP082009
800 PM PDT THU AUG 06 2009

FELICIA HAS CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION OVER THE PAST SEVERAL
HOURS….WITH A WELL-DEFINED EYE AND EYEWALL CLOUD TOPS COLDER
THAN -70C IN SOME AREAS.  SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES ARE 115 KT
FROM TAFB AND SAB…AND THAT IS THE INITIAL INTENSITY FOR THIS
ADVISORY.  THE CIRRUS OUTFLOW IS GOOD IN THE WESTERN SEMICIRCLE AND
FAIR ELSEWHERE.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS 300/10.  FELICIA IS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE
MID/UPPER-LEVEL SUBTROPICAL RIDGE…WITH A LARGE LOW-LEVEL RIDGE
DOMINATING THE AREA NORTH AND WEST OF THE CYCLONE.  WATER VAPOR
IMAGERY SHOWS AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW NEAR 23N153W.   THE DYNAMICAL
MODELS FORECAST THE LOW TO MOVE SLOWLY WESTWARD AND STRENGTHEN…
CAUSING A BREAK IN THE MID/UPPER-LEVEL RIDGE EAST OF HAWAII AND A
MID-LEVEL RIDGE TO DEVELOP NEAR THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.  THE MOST
LIKELY RESULT OF THIS EVOLUTION IS THAT AFTER 48 HR THE MID/UPPER-
LEVEL CIRCULATION OF FELICIA WOULD HAVE ITS WESTWARD MOTION
BLOCKED…WHILE THE LOW-LEVEL EASTERLY WINDS PUSHES THE LOW-LEVEL
CENTER WESTWARD.  THIS WOULD CAUSE FELICIA TO SHEAR APART AND THE
REMAINING LOW-LEVEL CENTER TO MOVE GENERALLY WESTWARD.  THE
DYNAMICAL MODELS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THIS SCENARIO…
ALTHOUGH WITH SOME SPREAD.  THE GLOBAL MODELS…GFS…NOGAPS…
UKMET…AND ECMWF…ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE
ENVELOPE…WHILE THE HIGH-RESOLUTION HURRICANE MODELS…GFDL…
HWRF…AND GFDN…ARE ON THE LEFT SIDE.  THE NEW FORECAST TRACK IS
SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY…WITH A LITTLE MORE SOUTHWARD
MOTION AFTER 72 HR OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE HIGH-RESOLUTION MODELS.
THE TRACK IS NEAR THE CENTER OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE.

FELICIA IS CURRENTLY IN A LIGHT SHEAR ENVIRONMENT…AND THIS SHOULD
CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 48 HR OR SO.  DURING THAT TIME…THE CYCLONE
SHOULD WEAKEN AS IT MOVES OVER PROGRESSIVELY COOLER SEA SURFACE
TEMPERATURES.  BETWEEN 48-72 HR…VERTICAL WIND SHEAR IS FORECAST TO
INCREASE AS FELICIA ENCOUNTERS THE WEATHER SYSTEMS DESCRIBED ABOVE
AND ASSOCIATED UPPER-LEVEL WESTERLIES.  THE DYNAMICAL MODELS SHOW
THE MID/UPPER-LEVEL CIRCULATION OF FELICIA DISSIPATING AS THIS
HAPPENS…WHICH OCCURS EVEN THOUGH THE FORECAST TRACK MOVES THE
CYCLONE OVER WARMER SSTS DURING THAT TIME.  THE INTENSITY FORECAST
FOLLOWS THIS SCENARIO AND CALLS FOR FELICIA TO CONTINUE WEAKENING
AFTER 48 HR.  WARMER SSTS AND LESS-HOSTILE ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS
ARE FORECAST SOUTH OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS…AND IF FELICIA MOVES
TO THE LEFT OF THE FORECAST TRACK THE AFTER-48 HR WEAKENING COULD
BE SLOWER THAN CURRENTLY FORECAST.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL      07/0300Z 16.9N 133.6W   115 KT
12HR VT     07/1200Z 17.8N 134.9W   105 KT
24HR VT     08/0000Z 18.7N 136.6W    90 KT
36HR VT     08/1200Z 19.4N 138.9W    75 KT
48HR VT     09/0000Z 19.8N 141.5W    65 KT
72HR VT     10/0000Z 20.0N 147.0W    45 KT
96HR VT     11/0000Z 19.5N 152.5W    35 KT
120HR VT     12/0000Z 19.0N 157.5W    25 KT

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN

Weather Bottom Line:  It’s not quite official yet, but an NWS preliminary report indicates July 2009 was the coldest on record for the Ohio Valley.  That region includes 9 states.  So, we weren’t alone.  If you missed it, July 2009 was the first time in history that Louisville did not record a 90 degree day. 
***
Henry's Ark is great fun for everyone

Henry's Ark is great fun for everyone

Twas a good day on Thursday. It was warm but humidity levels were low. Snow White and I visited Henry’s Ark, she liked my birthday present and she wore it for her birthday dinner at the Tumbleweed on the river.  We watched the people sculling and are planning on joining them soon.  It was very comfortable with all of the windows open.  But, that will soon change.  Friday should be similar to Thursday but I suspect we’ll have some high clouds by the afternoon as a warmfront approaches from the southwest.  Its not out of the question for a stray shower Friday night with the passage of the warm front but right now it looks like there just won’t be enough moisture to do anything.  But, the warm front will make its presence felt over the weekend.  For the first time in many weeks, we finally get a familiar summer pattern with high pressure building in the Southeast.  That will give us a southerly flow.  Temperatures will climb to the low 90’s and humidity levels will toughen up quite a bit.  It does not appear that another front comes down to give us real rain chances until next Wednesday.  The other thing that this just might do is create a larger scale pattern that may make tropical cyclone formation and retention more possible in the Gulf and Caribbean.

Jim Morrison Conspiracy Theories Rival Those of Michael Jackson; The Wall Street Witch; General Washington
July 3, 2009

 
Lizard King Still Walking the Earth With Elvis?

Lizard King Still Walking the Earth With Elvis?

 Independence for the big Door:

Morrison Shrine/Grave

Morrison Shrine/Grave

Jim Morrison died in a Paris bathtub on this date in 1971. He officially died of heart failure though a drug overdose was suspected. Just like with the conspiracy theories concerning the recent death of Michael Jackson, some of which suggest Jackson’s death was a fake,   almost immediately claims that Morrison really wasn’t dead hit the news.  Had there been a world wide web, I’m sure that the blogosphere would have been going wild.  Many conspiracy theorists floated the idea that Morrison was tired of his fame so he faked his own death.   That was the one that I always heard but there are a bunch of Jim Morrison conspiracy theories out there.  There was even a notion that the J. Edgar Hoover led FBI had him knocked off in an effort to stop the hippie movement.  I think his grave is some sort of haven or shrine for those who…well…I don’t know what they do or think. You can take the Jim Morrison Grave Tour on the web if you like.

On This Date In History:  Hetty Green died on this date in 1916. Who is Hetty Green? Why the Witch of Wall Street! Seems kinda sexist to call a rather ornery rich woman a “witch” when rich old coots might be called “tough” or “hard nosed.” Anyway, she is said to have learned to read the financial pages at age 6. She inherited a million dollars from her father at age 30. At that point, she became quite shrewd as she bought Civil War Bonds when others thought it was a bad investment. She made a mint. Basically, she took her million inheritance and increased it 100 fold. But, she was rather odd in that she lived like a pauper. Supposedly, Hetty married so that her heirs would be her children and not other relatives that she didn’t care for. She kept an office in a bank from which she negotiated a rent free lease. She moved from hotel to hotel to avoid paying property taxes. Hetty had a son and a daughter and when her boy hurt his leg in a sledding accident, she took him to a charity hospital. Well, hospital personnel recognized her and demand that she pay. She refused and decided to treat the child’s injured leg herself. He ended up losing the leg. She forced her children to eat as she did, which was ham sandwiches. Some call her thrifty, others a miser or the Witch of Wall Street. She is but one of a list of eccentric wealthy Americans.  Hetty died on this date in 1916 of a stroke suffered while arguing with a maid over the price of milk!! Can you imagine what she would be like with today’s rising prices?

Wonder if Hetty's Dog Was Toto?

Wonder if Hetty's Dog Was Toto?

Don’t worry, The Who may have been aware of the story because the Kids Are Alright. Hetty left each child $50 million. The more famous J.P. Morgan was worth a reported $70 million and her wealth equaled that of Henry Ford. In 2008 dollars, her fortune would have been near $2 Billion.

See what happens when you watch your pennies? She may have been a witch, but she was probably the wealthiest witch Wall Street had ever seen. Here’s a Forbes list of early wealthy Americans.

On This Date In 1775, Virginia planter and former British officer George Washington strode before the Continental Army, drew his sword and formerly took command as General of the Armies. While some opposed his appointment, he was chosen because of his leadership and because, as a Virginian, it was hoped he could bridge the differences between the southern colonies and those in New England. Washington had accepted the appointment two weeks prior under the stipulation that he not be paid except for reimbursement of expenses.
I Think The General Liked This Painting

I Think The General Liked This Painting

While he is called the “father of the country” I think much is lost regarding Washington. He was quite remarkable and he really set the tone for the nation today. After he led the defeat of the most power nation on earth, Washington had all of the power. He had political power and the loyalty of the army. Other men in his position might have seized the reigns of power in the nation. There was some fear he may strike up a dictatorship. But he voluntarily gave up his sword and returned to Virginia. In 1787, the fledgling nation called again and he took the position of President of the Constitutional Convention. It is said his quiet resolve was inspiring to the delegates as they argued and compromised over a document that would last the ages. He was elected as the first President and won an overwhelming re-election. He could have served another term but instead, voluntarily gave up power for a second time.
FDR Broke Washington Tradition

FDR Broke Washington Tradition

Until Franklin Roosevelt, no one broke the two term tradition, though US Grant came reasonably close to gaining a third consecutive term. The two term tradition became a point of law following the passage of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution which was ratified in 1951. If you think about it, that is the general tone of the nation. How many other nations in history have conquered as much territory and defeated so many nations in battle and then voluntarily given up the spoils? Again, I take you to his farewell address of 1796 in which you can see all of the wisdom poured forth for the nation he helped to build. Washington died in 1799 from what most think was a cold or the flu….though there is speculation that he would have lived except for the practice of bleeding a patient. Washington himself may have been the cause of his own demise as he supposedly urged the doctor to let him bleed after the doctor was going to close the wounds. Speculation is that Washington bled to death. Here is the text of George Washington’s  farewell address, that is often quoted and paraphrased, in case you missed it before. Look for all of the items that would apply today and also look for his interesting take on religion in society.

Weather Bottom Line:  Really not much change in the story line for the Fourth of July weekend.  Today will be great with tons of sun and a high in the mid 80’s.  A low will be ejecting out of the southwest and get up to say, Memphis on Saturday.  That should be sufficient to throw over some moisture and create some isolated t’storms in the afternoon.  The short makes its closest approach on Saturday evening and that is when t’storm activity will have its greatest risk.  I intimdated that the SPC might widen its slight risk area and they have done so such that Louisville is barely in the risk region.  As I said previously, not a slam dunk for strong storms but not totally out of the question.   There will be clouds sticking around on Sunday with the risk for rain probably being greatest in the first half of the day.   As the long wave pattern continues to slowly shift, we should be out of the influence of the Great Lakes trof that brought us such cool weather the past few days and a slight ridge will start building in.  There’s a chance for a shortwave to come through the flow on Monday perhaps bringing a t’storm chance then, but otherwise, the signature of next week will be our afternoon temperatures moving back into the upper 80’s.
DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   1257 AM CDT FRI JUL 03 2009
  
   VALID 041200Z – 051200Z
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM THE UPPER OH VALLEY INTO
   THE SRN PLAINS…
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER ERN PARTS OF WY AND CO…
  
   …SYNOPSIS…
   QUASI-STATIONARY UPPER LOW OVER THE LOWER GREAT LAKES IS FORECAST TO
   PERSIST INTO SATURDAY…WITH AMPLITUDE OF THE ERN US LONG WAVE
   DIMINISHING.  THIS WILL RESULT IN BROAD WNWLY FLOW ALOFT ACROSS MUCH
   OF THE US FROM THE NRN/CENTRAL INTERMOUNTAIN REGION TO THE ATLANTIC
   COAST…DOWNSTREAM FROM AN UPPER RIDGE AXIS OVER THE INTERMOUNTAIN
   WEST. 
  
   AT THE SURFACE…A LOW IS FORECAST TO MOVE ESEWD ACROSS THE MID MS
   VALLEY TOWARD THE UPPER OH VALLEY BY THE END OF THE PERIOD…WITH A
   TRAILING COLD FRONT MOVING SWD ACROSS THE OZARKS AND INTO THE SRN
   PLAINS. A QUASI-STATIONARY FRONT WILL EXTEND EWD FROM THE LOW. 
  
   …MID MS VALLEY INTO THE OH VALLEY…
   AN MCS IS EXPECTED TO BE ONGOING AT THE START OF THE PERIOD OVER
   PARTS OF NRN MO…ERN IA AND NRN/CENTRAL IL.  THE CONVECTIVE SYSTEM
   WILL BE PRIMARILY ELEVATED TO THE NORTH OF THE SURFACE LOW AND
   QUASI-STATIONARY FRONT…MAINTAINED BY STRONG LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE
   AND WARM ADVECTION LIFT NEAR THE NOSE OF A 50 KT SWLY LOW LEVEL JET.
   GIVEN THE BACKGROUND 35-45 KT MID LEVEL WINDS AND RESULTANT STRONG
   VERTICAL SHEAR…THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR A FEW SEVERE STORMS TO OCCUR
   IN THE SRN PART OF THE MCS DURING THE MORNING…ALTHOUGH WEAK
   INSTABILITY SHOULD LIMIT THE OVERALL SEVERE THREAT.  STORMS MAY
   INTENSIFY BY LATE MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON AS STRONG DIURNAL HEATING
   OCCURS ALONG THE SRN EDGE OF THE CONVECTIVE CLOUD SHIELD OVER PARTS
   OF THE MID MS VALLEY AND UPPER OH VALLEY.  CONTINUED FAVORABLE
   LOW-LEVEL AND DEEP LAYER SHEAR WILL ENHANCE STORM ORGANIZATION AND
   INTENSITY…AND MAY COMPENSATE FOR WEAK MID LEVEL LAPSE RATES ACROSS
   THE AREA.  DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND HAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH
   STRONGER STORMS…WHICH SHOULD DIMINISH AFTER 03Z.
  
   …SRN PLAINS INTO THE OZARKS…
   AIR MASS IS EXPECTED TO UNDERGO SUBSTANTIAL DIURNAL HEATING AHEAD OF
   THE ADVANCING COLD FRONT…AND WHEN COUPLED WITH SURFACE DEW POINTS
   IN THE 60S TO LOW 70S…WILL RESULT IN MLCAPE OF 1000-2000 J/KG.
   STRONG HEATING WILL GRADUALLY WEAKEN THE CAP DURING THE
   AFTERNOON…AND LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE ALONG THE FRONT WILL PROMOTE
   DEVELOPMENT OF SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS.  ALTHOUGH MID LEVEL
   WINDS/DEEP LAYER SHEAR WILL BE MODEST AT BEST…LARGE
   TEMPERATURE/DEW POINT SPREADS ASSOCIATED WITH A RELATIVELY DEEP
   MIXED LAYER…AND DRIER AIR IN THE MID LEVELS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO
   LARGE DCAPE VALUES INDICATIVE OF ENHANCED DOWNDRAFT INTENSITY AND
   THREAT FOR DAMAGING WIND GUSTS.  THERE WILL ALSO BE A THREAT FOR
   LARGE HAIL WITH STRONGER CELLS.  SEVERE THREAT IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD
   SWD ALONG THE FRONT AND ASSOCIATED OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES THROUGH THE
   EVENING HOURS.
  
   …ERN PARTS OF WY AND CO…
   WEAK UPSLOPE LOW LEVEL WINDS ARE FORECAST TO DEVELOP OVER THE ERN
   SLOPES OF THE ROCKIES ON SATURDAY AS A WEAK SURFACE RIDGE MOVES INTO
   PARTS OF SD AND NEB.  THIS WILL MAINTAIN SURFACE DEW POINTS IN THE
   LOW 50S…AND CONTRIBUTE TO AN UNSTABLE AFTERNOON ENVIRONMENT WITH
   MLCAPE AROUND 1000-1500 J/KG.  THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY TO DEVELOP
   OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN DURING THE AFTERNOON AND MOVE EWD/ESEWD INTO
   THE HIGH PLAINS WITHIN A BAND OF 25-35 KT MID LEVEL FLOW.  DEEP
   LAYER SHEAR WILL BE SUFFICIENT FOR ORGANIZED STORMS TO
   DEVELOP…INCLUDING A FEW SUPERCELLS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING LARGE HAIL
   AND STRONG WIND GUSTS THROUGH THE EVENING HOURS.
  
   ..WEISS.. 07/03/2009
 
7/3 SPC convective outlook for 7/4/09

7/3 SPC convective outlook for 7/4/09

President Obama’s Speech and History. The “other” Paul Revere. Air France Crash Weather Analysis
June 4, 2009

President Greeted Warmly in Cairo

President Greeted Warmly in Cairo

 Airbus Crash: First off, I want to start off with a very compelling analysis of the weather conditions and the possible relation to the potential cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447.  This link from Anthony Watts is elaborate, but still should be clear to even novice individuals.

President Obama’s Speech in Cairo: 

President Obama gave a speech at Cairo University in which he said the following: 

  “It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra, our magnetic compass and tools of navigation, our mastery of pens and printing, our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires, timeless poetry and cherished music, elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
 
The origin of Islam as a religion seems to go back to Muhammad in the early 7th century.  However, since Islam claims to be based on all previous prophets, then it is argued that the religion actually goes back to the beginning of man. There apparently was a schism in Islam following the death of Muhammad.  I am not an Islamic expert, but this is how I understand it.  Nevertheless, here is what my sources cite as the origins of historical items mentioned by the President: 
Euclid

Euclid

Al-Khwarizmi: Greatest Mathmatician of his time?

Al-Khwarizmi: Greatest Mathematician of his time?

Origin of Algebra:

 Most Americans claim it is the Greeks, specifically pointing to Euclid, as insinuates a University of Hawaii professor. However, at Ball State, a professor indeed points to  Al-Khwarizmi, who was from Baghdad in the 8th and 9th centuries. Algebra as we know it was probably a developmental thing with no one individual being able to claim the title of “father of algebra.”  This historical outline indicates it was many other people in other civilizations could make the same claim. civilizations that contributed.  While it does not mention Al-Khwarizmi, it does mention the work of Brahmagupta, who was from India and lived just prior to Al-Khwarizmi.  It indicates that the work of Brahmagupta was translated into Arabic and it would make sense then that Al-Khwarizmi built on the work of the Indian mathematician.  So, someone who was probably Muslim did indeed play a part in the development of Algebra, but many

Which Way?

Which Way?

 The Magnetic Compass:  The magnetic compass was invented by the Chinese.  It is unclear when it was used for navigation.  This site claims that it was brought to Europe from China by Arab traders.  Other sources say that the earliest writings of the use of the compass for navigation was by the Europeans in the 12th century and the earliest known written account by an Arab was in the 13th century and he makes reference to having seen someone 40 years earlier using the device. 

Pens:this site claims the first use of an ink pen was in Egypt in the 10th century. Egypt became Islamic with the “Islamic Conquer of Egypt in 642 AD”

Printing:The Iran Chamber Society dates printing in Iran to the 17th Century. The first movable type printing press is generally known to be Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440.  There is some evidence that there was an earlier version in China.  The State University of New York at Suffolk claims that block printing also goes to Asia.

 Arches:This encyclopedia reference puts the use of arches in many cultures but its earliest reference is in Ancient Babylon in 4000BC.  Keep in mind, this was well before Muhammad was even born.  That seems to be a leap that arches were born from an Islamic culture when Islam wasn’t even established yet.  That would be like saying the Indians were Christian because many became so later.  But, keep in mind, the President did not say that arches were invented by Muslims.
Arches Used But Not Invented by Romans

Arches Used But Not Invented by Romans

Understanding of disease spread-this seems impossible to nail down.  Sorta like “jobs created or saved”
 
 Overall, I’d give the President a C+.  Some items of mention are largely not known by Americans but others are either wrong or really squishy.
Never Heard of Jack Jouett? He Saved Thomas Jefferson With a Daring Ride

Never Heard of Jack Jouett? He Saved Thomas Jefferson With a Daring Ride

On This Date In History:  Everyone knows about Paul Revere’s ride with him crying out “the British are coming” and the Old North Church “one if by land, two if by sea.”  But what about Jack Jouett?  He may have done as much or more to save the Revolution on June 4, 1781.

The Virginia Assembly was convening in Charlottesville, Va.  Jouett was a captain in the Virginia Militia and the 27-year-old was hanging around the Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa County.  There he saw part of the 250 Redcoats whom he found out were on their way to Charlottesville to capture the Assembly…including Thomas Jefferson.  Jouett took off into the night and rode 40 miles through dense wilderness that was dangerous by day and possibly deadly by night.  Unlike Revere, he didn’t travel by nice well-traveled roads.  It’s amazing that he got through because most people couldn’t have made the trip in one day let alone one night.  He arrived at Jefferson’s door at Monticello at dawn, his face swollen and scratched from branches that whacked him to and fro on his harrowing trip.  Nevertheless…when the British arrived, the Assembly was gone, including Jefferson.  So, the lesson may be that if you are trying something clever…stay out of taverns.  And, I think we should start a new rhyme about Jack Jouett.

Now listen Children now sit right back, and hear the tale of Captain Jack

He rode through the night and was slapped in the face

He rescued Jefferson from a dangerous place!

Weather Bottom Line:  As I warned for a few days….It was cool today with highs in the 60’s.  I told you that the models were much cooler than the prevailing forecasts by the TV foofs.  I was in Indy today and it was sunny.  We will get pretty good weather through the weekend.  Cool lows in the 50’s tonight and Friday night.  Wouldn’t be surprised if some folks in the northern part of the viewing area are in the upper 40’s.  Temps will moderate to mid to upper 70’s Friday. Low to mid 80’s on Saturday and mid to upper 80’s on Sunday.