Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Women And Children First

British army at Pensacola: MD Loyalist Officer, PA Loyalist Officer, German Waldeck Regiment Private, MD Loyalist Private, picture from

The phrase "Women and children first" is an excellent summary of nineteen hundred years of Christian influence on men. It follows the principle given in 1 John 3:16: "Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." In short, the strong die that the weak might live. This is changed today, based partly on the theory of Evolution, where the weak die that the strong might live.

While "women and children first" is associated with RMS Titanic or HM Troopship Birkenhead, the principle was also seen far before either of those.

After the Continental victory in the American War for Independence, hundreds of soldiers, men, women, and children loyal to Great Britain sailed for Canada. One of the transports for the Loyalists was the Martha, carrying 2 regiments: Maryland Loyalists and 2nd Battalion, DeLancey's Brigade, in addition to women and children. As they sailed to Canada, the ship struck rocks in the Bay of Fundy, on September 23, 1783. The long boat was smashed by one of the masts falling, and only the jolly-boat and cutter remained. The cowardly captain turned the jolly-boat loose on the waves and sailed for shore in the cutter.

This next portion is quoted from Maryland Loyalists web site "Having lost their homes and possessions, the Maryland Loyalists were exiled to Canada. While sailing to their new homes, their ship, HMS Martha, ran aground in the Bay of Fundy and sank. It is said that, after putting their wives and children into the small boats, the remaining Marylanders formed up into ranks on the main deck as the ship went down."

Perhaps some of the nearby inhabitants came out with their boats to the wreck and picked up the women and children before the soldiers (the captain discouraged any from visiting the site of the wreck, but it did not succeed). In any case, some of the passengers on board the Martha were saved. This provides a testimony both of "the weak die for the strong" as the captain did, and "the strong die for the weak", as the Maryland Loyalists did.

Loyalists arrive in Canada

Monday, December 5, 2011

Adrienne de la Fayette

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life--Proverbs 31:12

He married, at the age of sixteen, the daughter of the Duke d'Ayen, of the family of Noailles--somewhat younger than himself;--and at all times the noble encourager of his virtues--the heroic partner of his sufferings--the worthy sharer of his great name and of his honorable grave. ...This admirable lady, who, in the morning of life, had sent her youthful hero from her side, to fight the battles of constitutional freedom, beneath the guidance of Washington, now goes to immure herself with him in the gloomy cells of Olmutz.--Edmund Everett, orator

Adrienne de la Fayette was born on November 2, 1759. At the age of fourteen, she married Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roche-Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de la Fayette. Lafayette sailed for America to assist the colonies in the American War for Independence and became not only a major-general in the Continental Army, but also one of Washington's closest friends.

He returned to France after the war was over and enjoyed life with his family, until the French Revolution broke out. Lafayette supported it, but only in moderation. He believed in a constitutional monarchy, not anarchy or tyranny. But the Revolution became more and more bloody, until Lafayette fled to Holland. The Austrians were at war with France and arrested Lafayette. After moving him a few times, they finally locked him up in Olmutz prison.

Adrienne had been imprisoned by the Revolutionaries and was in ever-present danger of being executed. However, the Americans were able to protect them and eventually Madame de la Fayette was released. She and her two daughters (her son Georges-Washington had been sent to America) immediately travelled to Olmutz, where they rejoined Lafayette. After a new general named Napoleon had humbled the Austrians, a peace treaty was signed and Lafayette was free.

Adrienne had sacrificed much for her husband, even (many historians believe) her health. On Christmas Eve, 1807, she died, much to the grief of Lafayette, who never remarried. Her last words were, "I am all yours".

"She is a good and amiable lady, exceedingly fond of her children...passionately attached to her husband!!! A French lady and fond of her husband!!!"--Abigail Adams