Monday, December 31, 2012

Recap of 2012--Thank You!

First, a thank-you to all my readers.  Without you, this blog would not be where it is today.  If I have encouraged, inspired, or challenged any one of the readers of this blog, I am satisfied (but would like a comment!).  And if something in my writing has been unclear or slightly off-target, please point it out.

Quotes from great men appeared, whether on humility, or the use of the Bible.  Anecdotes, too, were shared during this year.  Some came from the 1755 Battle on the Monongahela, while one was on "Mercy at Prestonpans."

One series I see as especially important was on the five-year anniversary of Vision Forum's Jamestown Quadricentenial.  The Quadricentenial was a turning point for our family. 

The "Noble Women" series was continued for another 12 months.  This series pays tribute to some of the perhaps lesser-known, yet noble, women of the 17th and 18th Centuries.  In 2012, Madame de Drucour and Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska were honored, among others.

Also during this year, I posted "French and Indian War Gallery by Howard Pyle", to share some of that great artist's pictures of the 1754-1759 period.  This post was found and linked to by the author of "Flintlock and Tomahawk", which was a great blessing to me.

"Dance and Covenant Community" and "On the Buckley Rule" dealt with dancing and conservatism, respectively.

For 2013, what would my readers like to see?  Please drop me a comment if you have a topic/subject/etc which you would like me to cover!

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake. (Psalm 115:1)"  That is my prayer for the new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Favorite G. A. Henty Quote

This quote from page 8 of John Hawke's Fortune by G. A. Henty is one of my favorites:

"Never do a dishonourable action, be honest and straightforward, above all never tell a lie; were you to do so, putting aside the sin and shame of it, it would brand you as a coward.  Cowardice is the father of lying; a brave boy is not afraid of punishment for a fault that he has committed, but owns up to the truth and takes his punishment as a consequence of it, but the coward lies in hopes of escaping the penalty.  I don't know what your course in life will be, it is out of my power to aid you, and you have to fight your own way; but fight fair always, there is no disgrace in honest work, whatever it may be."

If any of my readers have any favorite Henty quotes, please post them in the comment section!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Madame Riedesel

"And the LORD God said, It is not good that man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him"--Genesis 2:13

Madame Frederike Charlotte Louise von Riedesel was born on July 11, 1746.  On December 21, 1762, she married Baron von Riedesel.  1776 saw Baron Riedesel and troops from Brunswick posted to Canada, to defend that colony against rebels.  Madame Riedesel and her children sailed to Canada in 1777, as Baron Riedesel led the German contingent of Burgoyne's expedition.  Madame Riedesel accompanied her husband, and observed the battles of the Saratoga Campaign.  Her husband was taken prisoner when Burgoyne surrendered, but was exchanged in 1780.

Madame Riedesel was loved by many, as this story from her Memoirs shows:
"One day I saw out of a window of my room, a fleet of thirty-five ships approaching under full sail, and shortly afterward, from another window, I perceived them all lying at anchor between us and the city.  My husband had many English under his command, and among others the light dragoons.  Although the English troops are proud, and, as it is said, difficult to manage, yet they loved my husband, and were perfectly contented under his command.  On one occasion, when the English officers were dining with us, my husband said to them that he would accompany them back to their camp; whereupon they very politely begged me also to go with the party.  I, therefore, seated myself in a carriage, and reached the camp in advance of them.  But I believe that they had sent word of my arrival ahead of me, for an officer came up, and, to my great perplexity, requested me to get out of the carriage and walk with him down the line.  Upon my complying with his request, I was greeted with all military honors, even to the beating of drums, which still more increased my confusion.  I remarked to the officer that this was not suitable to me, and that we German women were not accustomed to such distinctions.  But he at once very politely answered that their whole corps could not sufficiently honor the wife of a general who, as their commanding officer, treated them with so much kindness; and more than all this, they would never forget what I had done for their comrades at Saratoga.  Although no unmindful of all this, which was very flattering and agreeable, I welcomed the first favorable moment to get away."--pgs. 184-185, Letters and Journals relating to the War of the American Revolution, and the Capture of the German Troops at Saratoga by Madame Riedesel, translated by William L. Stone

She died on March 28, 1808.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Aughrim--Giving Glory to God

As a Providential historian (one who believes that God directs the affairs of men), it is discouraging to constantly hear how one man was "lucky" or "fortunate".  What is luck and what is fortune?  Man realizes that there is something beyond him, something that governs wind and cannonballs.  So G. A. Henty's analysis of Aughrim in Orange and Green came like a gulp of fresh air.

"Saint Ruth had directed the operations of the battle with as much skill as he had prepared for the assault. He had taken up his position on a point of the hill whence he had a complete view of the whole field of battle, and had moved his troops, with calmness and judgment, to meet each of the attacks made upon them; and when he saw the destruction of the English regiment in the centre, he exclaimed, in the full confidence of victory, "Now I will drive the English to the walls of Dublin!"

There was, indeed, but one hope, on the part of the English, of retrieving the day; namely, the success of the attempt to force the passage at Aughrim. But two horsemen abreast could pass under the castle walls. Saint Ruth was aware of the passage, but thought it impassable for cavalry. It might easily have been made so, by cutting a deep gap across it; but here, as at Athlone, his overconfidence proved his destruction. He had, however, taken the precaution to erect a battery commanding the passage, and had placed some battalions of infantry there.

General Talmash, who commanded the English cavalry, knew that the battle was lost, unless he could succeed at this point; and, at the head of his command, he led the way along the pass, which was not only narrow, but broken and encumbered with the ruins of the castle wall. Saint Ruth beheld the attempt of the cavalry with astonishment, and, with the remark: "They are brave fellows, it is a pity they should be sacrificed," sent orders for the Irish horse to move forward and prepare to charge them; and moved down the hill at the head of his officers to the battery.

There is no doubt as to what the result would have been, had the Irish horse charged. They were greatly superior in number, and the English cavalry who had got across the passage were still in confusion, and were suffering from the fire of the battery, and, indeed, even when in equal numbers, William's cavalry had never withstood the charge of the Irish. It seemed that nothing could avert the defeat of the body on which Ginckle's last hope rested.

But at this moment one of those events, by which Providence overrules the calculations of man, occurred. A cannonball struck Saint Ruth, as he stood in the middle of the battery and killed him instantly. The occurrence paralysed the Irish army. Sarsfield was away, there was no one to give orders, the news that some extraordinary calamity had happened spread rapidly, the men in the battery ceased firing, the cavalry, receiving no orders to charge, remained immovable."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Regiment de Fitz-James at Rossbach

The battle of Rossbach (November 5, 1757) was one of the worst French military disasters in the Seven Years' War.  A Prussian cavalry force under General Seydlitz shattered the advance guard of the French-Austrian-Imperial army.  General Hildenburghausen with two regiments of Austrian curaissers stood against Seydlitz.  They were joined by the Irish Regiment Fitz-James.  These brave men were unable to stand against Seydlitz's cavalry force, and the day was lost.
The heroism of Regiment Fitz-James, and two commanders of it, is told in the 1779 issue of Hibernian Magazine:

"What in Rosbach's bloody plain befel,
Ambitious Fred'rick's savage troops can tell
Where one stout legion of Hibernian blood
The fire of all the Prussian arms withstood;
Led by the Betagh twins, bright twins in fame,
Their goodness, valour, and their skill the same--
* * *
And when, with half his men, one brother fell,
The next, (a tale incredible to tell!)
With the small remnant of his slaughter'd band,
Their way cut thro' the Prussians, sword in hand.
Charm'd with such feats, the King withheld his fire,
And let these heroes unassail'd retire;
Had search made for their leader o'er the field,
That he might to his corpse all honours yield;
To pieces hew'd, his corpse was sought in vain,
Amidst the bleeding heaps of mangled slain."
(quoted from pg. 583, History of the Irish Brigades in the Service of France, by J. C. O'Callaghan)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Edward Braddock, described by Mrs. Bellamy

Edward Braddock--the first British general to fight on the North American continent.  His army was defeated and himself killed in the Battle on the Monongahela.  In the years following the battle, Braddock has not been portrayed well.  He appears as a brutal, self-confident general.

One person, however, knew and was known by Braddock very well: the actress Mrs. George Anne Bellamy.  She had, as she says, "been known from my infancy" by General Braddock.

She gives this interesting account:

"This great man having been often reproached with brutality, I am induced to recite the following little accident, which evidently shews the contrary.
"As we were walking in the Park one day, we heard a poor fellow was to be chastised; when I requested the General to beg off the offender.  Upon his application to the general officer, whose name was Drury, he asked Braddock, How long since he had divested himself of brutality, and of the insolence of his manners?  To which the other replied, "You never knew me insolent to my inferiors.  It is only to such rude men as yourself, that I behave with the spirit which I think they deserve."--pg. 29, volume 3, An Apology for the Life of Mrs. George Anne Bellamy, found here

Not only does Mrs. Bellamy recount that Braddock was not as brutal as he seemed, she even writes in a stated effort to dispel the idea!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Sermon by Jonathan Boucher, Loyalist

Jonathan Boucher was a pastor in Virginia.  When the American War for Independence broke out, Boucher remained loyal to Great Britain.  He quickly decided to relocate to England, because his parishioners were hostile to his views.  In fact, he carried a pistol with him into the pulpit.  One of Boucher's last sermons in the colonies contains this remarkable quote:
"True liberty, then, is a liberty to do every thing that is right, and the being restrained from doing any thing that is wrong.  So far from our having a right to do every thing that we please, under a notion of liberty, liberty itself is limited and confined--but limited and confined only by laws which are at the same time both its foundation and its support."


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Madame de Drucour

"A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches"--Proverbs 11:15

I have not yet found when Madame Marie-Anne Aubert de (Courserac) Drucour was born.  She married the Chevalier de Drucour circa 1750 (If any of my readers could fill in these dates, please drop me a comment, and cite your sources).
In 1754, the Chevalier de Drucour was appointed governor of New France's island fortress of Louisbourg.  Marie-Anne accompanied him and quickly became beloved by the residents of this mighty fortress.  Historian J. S. McLennan describes her: "Madame Drucour, a daughter of the Courserac family which had given many officers to the French navy, did her part in making his regime popular.  She was a woman of intelligence, gracious towards every one, and succeeded in making Government House extremely attractive.
"Later events show that, in addition, she was a woman of rare heroism and a devoted wife.  It may be noted, in passing, that the first and last Governors of Louisbourg both married widows, were splendidly mated, and left them in extreme poverty.  Madame de Drucour was the widow of a Savigny. She received a pension of 1000 l., but died only a few weeks after her husband, about the time, October 1763, it was granted."--pgs. 233-34, Louisbourg: From its Foundation to its Fall 1713-1758, by J. S. McLennan.

During the Siege of Louisbourg (1758), Madame Drucour proved her worth yet again.  As Francis Parkman wrote in his Montcalm and Wolfe:
"Drucour, on occasion of a flag of truce, wrote to Amherst that there was a surgeon of uncommon skill in Louisbourg, whose services were at the command of any English officer who might need them. Amherst on his part sent to his enemy letters and messages from wounded Frenchmen in his hands, adding his compliments to Madame Drucour, with an expression of regret for the disquiet to which she was exposed, begging her at the same time to accept a gift of pineapples from the West Indies. She returned his courtesy by sending him a basket of wine; after which amenities the cannon roared again. Madame Drucour was a woman of heroic spirit. Every day she was on the ramparts, where her presence roused the soldiers to enthusiasm; and every day with her own hand she fired three cannon to encourage them."

The French, after a long and stubborn defense, were defeated, and Louisbourg passed into English hands.  But Madame Drucour's reputation continued, even after the surrender, to be rewarded:
"It was embarked, Pichon claimed, “with as much tranquillity, as if it had been going upon a voyage of pleasure” and Drucour received “all the honours which a person of his rank deserved.” Each day throughout the siege Mme Drucour had fired three guns to encourage the French troops, and after the surrender she assisted “all the unfortunate people that had recourse to her mediation.” Amherst paid her compliments at parleys during the siege, and after the capitulation Boscawen granted every favour she asked. The Drucours sailed from Louisbourg on 15 Aug. 1758, exactly four years after their arrival."--from
Madame de Drucour is one of the most interesting and most noble women of the French and Indian War, if not of the entire 18th century.
Note: Rene Chartrand's Louisbourg 1758 has a painting of Madame Drucour firing the cannons on pgs. 66-67.  I know of no other picture of her.

Monday, November 5, 2012


"Some of our nineteenth-century Christians seem ashamed to perform before others an act of worship; which is proof, to say the least, of a shrinking or cowardly spirit.  The followers of Mohammed, who have the courage of their convictions wherever they may chance to be, will seven times daily make their prayers to Allah under the eyes of the more timid Christians."--pg. xiii, Cameron of Lochiel by Philippe Aubert de Gaspe, translated by Charles G. D. Roberts

The burial service of General Montcalm, picture from,

Monday, October 29, 2012


When one contemplates how great God is, one cannot but be struck with how vile man and all man's works are.  Even our best works are worth nothing to God, yet we trust in them.  But God brings his children from trust in their works to trust only in Him, as Jeremiah says:

23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.--Jeremiah 9:23-24

One of the best illustrations of this in literature is in C. S. Lewis's Prince Caspian.  After the 2nd Battle of Beruna, High King Peter introduces Prince Caspian to Aslan:

"Welcome, Prince," said Aslan. "Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?"
"I — I don't think I do, Sir," said Caspian. "I'm only a kid."
"Good," said Aslan. "If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Queen Maria Clementina (Sobieska) Stuart

"Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."--Ephesians 5:24

Maria Clementina Sobeska was born on July 18, 1702.  She was the granddaughter of King John Sobieski, who had rescued Vienna from the Turks in 1683.

In 1718, Maria Clementina agreed to marry the Jacobite king-in-exile, James III.  However, news of the marriage leaked out and the Princess was arrested and confined in Inspruck.  Chevalier Wogan (who had negotiated the marriage) was commissioned to free her.  The mission seemed nearly impossible.  However, Wogan and his little expedition located and freed the Princess, then set out back to Rome.

"...the Princess was able to proceed on her journey, during which she charmed her companions by her affability and cheerfulness."--pg. 312, History of the Irish Brigades in the Service of France

"The Princess appears to have borne with a patience and courage beyond her years."--pg. 84, Memoirs of the Pretenders by John Heneage Jesse

Maria Clementina Sobieska married James III on September 3, 1719.  He said that his new bride had "the loveliness of seventeen with the sound sense and discrimination of thirty." She had two sons, Charles Edward (a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Charlie), and Henry Benedict.  She died January 18, 1765.

Friday, October 5, 2012

James Radcliffe, Earl of Derwentwater

The Earl of Derwentwater was one of the noblemen who joined James III during the Jacobite Rising of 1715.  He was captured after the Battle of Preston, tried, and condemned to death.  His wife visited George I in person and pleaded for her husband, but to no avail.  Lord Derwentwater was executed on February 24, 1716.

"'Lord Derwentwater,' says his associate, the Rev. Robert Patten, 'was formed by nature to be universally beloved; for his benevolence was so unbounded, that he seemed only to live for others.  He resided among his own people, spent his estate among them, and continually did them kindnesses.  His hospitality was princely, and none in that country came up to it.  He was very charitable to the poor, whether known to him or not, and whether Papists or Protestants.  His fate was a misfortune to many who had no kindness for the cause in which he died.'  Smollett also has awarded a passing encomium to the memory of Lord Derwentwater, which deserves to be his epitaph. 'He was an amiable youth,' he says; 'brave, open, generous, hospitable, and humane: his fate drew tears from the spectators, and was a great misfortune to the country in which he lived; he gave bread to multitudes of people whom he employed on his estate; the poor, the widow, and the orphan rejoiced in his bounty.'"--pgs. 61-62, Memoirs of the Pretenders and their Adherents by John Heneage Jesse

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chevalier de Bernetz

I enjoy collecting two things: books and military miniatures (a.k.a. toy soldiers).  My collection of soldiers is about the French and Indian War and made by two manufacturers: Frontline Figures and John Jenkins Designs.  Three soldiers in my collection belong to Frontline Figures set FPW.1, which contains General Montcalm and two senior officers.

One of the officers is an engineer or artillery officer (from 1755 to 1759, artillery and engineers wore the same uniform).  The other one is a senior officer of the French regular regiment Royal-Roussillon, likely Chevalier de Bernetz.

"Of the Chevalier de Bernetz, Lieutenant-Colonel in command of the Royal-Roussillon, Montcalm said: 'With courage worthy of his extraction, this officer is very intelligent and well-placed at the head of a corps.'"--pg. 27, Montcalm at the Battle of Carillon by Maurice Sautai

 As a senior officer, and a Chevalier of Saint-Louis at that, I (1) trimmed his waistcoat with gold lace; (2) trimmed his coat and coat pockets with the same; (3) painted the cockade in the hat white; and (4) added the Cross of Saint-Louis on his coat.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

French and Indian War Gallery by Howard Pyle

Howard Pyle was one of the most important American illustrators during the late 1800s-early 1900s.  He wrote and illustrated Men of Iron and Robin Hood, among other projects.  He also influeced one of my personal favorite artists, N. C. Wyeth.  Pyle was commissioned several different times to paint scenes from the French and Indian War (1754-1763).  Note: all pictures included here are, as far as I know, in the public domain.  Pyle died in 1911.

This collection opens with young Major Washington and his dejected troops trudging back to Virginia after their defeat at Fort Necessity.  Fort Necessity only opened the war, however, and soon General Braddock and the 44th and 48th were sent to expel the French.  On July 9, 1755, Braddock's troops, led by the grenadiers, collided with the French and Indians.  In a two-hour long battle, Braddock was mortally wounded and taken from the battlefield in a cart.  He died and was buried four days later.

The French had defeated Braddock, but the days of their empire were numbered.  In 1758, General Jeffrey Amherst captured the fortress of Louisbourg, key to the Saint-Lawrence.  In this painting, an officer of the Volontaires-Etrangers negotiates with the British officers regarding the surrender of Louisbourg.

One year later, General James Wolfe would besiege Quebec, defended by General Marquis de Montcalm.  On September 13, the two generals and their armies would fight on the Plains of Abraham.  Wolfe died before the battle had finished, but the wounded Montcalm lingered until September 14.  In this painting, Montcalm rides into the city through the Saint-Louis gate.  A crowd of frantic civilians swarms around him and the remnants of the French force.  But Montcalm's arm is up, as though to still the tumult.  "It is nothing, it is nothing, do not cry for me, my good friends."

Monday, September 10, 2012

James II on the Monmouth Rebellion

In 1685, Charles II died and his brother James succeeded him to the throne as James II.  James Scott, Duke of Monmouth was an illegitimate son of Charles and launched a rebellion in the same year to gain the throne for himself.  At Sedgemoor, his army was crushed and dispersed.  The Duke himself would be executed.  Here are James II's Meditations on the Battle of Sedgemoor:

Upon the defeat of Monmouth and Argyll, and suppressing those rebellions.
"Not unto us, O Lord, but to thy own blessed Name give all the glory." Awake my soul, and speedily preserve thy richest sacrifice of humble praise. Awake, and summon all thy thoughts, to make haste and adore thy great preserver and redeemer. Arise, my soul, to thee these joys belong; arise and advance thyself on high, and leave here below all earthly thoughts, and fly away with the wings of the spirit; fly to that glorious land of promise, and gladly salute those heavenly regions. Let us now consider, O Lord our God, let us thankfully remember what thou art to us. Thou art the great beginning of our nature, and glorious end of all our actions; thou art the overflowing source from whence we spring, and the immense ocean into which we tend; thou art the free bestower of all we possess, and faithful promiser of all we hope; thou art the strong sustainer of our lives, and ready deliverer from all our enemies. When we have applied our utmost cares, and used all the diligence that lies in our power, what can we do, but look up to thee, and second our endeavours with prayers for thy blessing! When we have implored thy gracious mercy, and offered thee our dearest sacrifice to obtain it, what can we do, but submit our hopes, and expect the issue from thy free goodness, we know, and thou thyself has taught us. "Unless thou defendest the city, the guard watches in vain." We know, and our own experience tells us, unless thou reachest forth thy hand, we are presently in danger of sinking. Sometimes, O Lord, thy all-wise Providence seems to sleep, and permits the storm to grow high and loud; yet never fails to relieve thy servants who faithfully call upon thee in the day of trouble. "I will extol thee, O Lord, for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. Now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; yea I will sing praises unto the Lord."
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I am helped. Therefore with my song will I glorify and praise him; the Lord is the saving strength of his anointed. When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercies of the Most High he shall not be moved."
Impute not to me, O Lord, the blood of my subjects, which with infinite unwillingness and grief hath been shed by me in my just and necessary defence, but wash me with that precious Blood which hath been shed for me by my great Peace-maker, Jesus Christ.

Quotation from, a highly recommended website, containing over 100 original documents.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Empress Anne of Russia

"Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."--Romans 12:20

Anne, Empress of Russia was born on February 7, 1693.  She married Frederick Wilhelm on November 11, 1710 and was crowned Empress of Russia on April 28, 1730.  Anne was not a model empress, being capricious, as well as rejecting the "Conditions", an early form of constitution to limit the monarch. 

In 1733, the War of the Polish Succession broke out.  France backed King Stanislas I while Austria and Russia supported Augustus III.  Comte de Plelo organized a French expedition to relieve Stanislas who was besieged in Danzig.  In a daring attack, Plelo was killed and his small army dispersed.  The Russians captured the remainer of the French expedition and shipped them to St. Petersburg.  In honor of her victory, Anne held a fete at the palace, which she compelled the French to attend:
"The Empress, however, seemed to have treated them with kindness otherwise.  On that same occasion at the palace, the officers were even allowed to wear their swords in Her Majesty's presence, and they were entertained as guests.  The Empress also gave to every common soldier a coat lined with sheep-skin, and every officer one lined with fox-skin, when the weather turned cold."--pg. 30, War of the Polish Succession by Vajiravudh, Prince of Siam

R. Nisbet Bain adds: "'It must be confessed,' wrote Mr. Rondeau some time later, 'that Her Majesty has been very kind to the three French regiments, most of whom would have perished here of cold if the Tsaritsa had not been so good to give every common soldier a greatcoat lined with sheepskin, and to every officer one lined with fine foxskin.'"--pg. 225, The Pupils of Peter the Great by R. Nisbet Bain (quotation from Rondeau: Dispatches)
This illustration by the author depicts the French officers and Empress Anne (center).  On the dais (raised platform) stands a nobleman and the elite Grenadier-Guards.  The captain of the Grenadier-Guards wears a green waistcoat, while the two soldiers wear red.  Comte de la Motte is bowing to the Empress and the officers stand behind him, in the uniforms of Regiments Blesois, Perigord, and La Marche, some with long greatcoats.  A gathering of gentlemen (including an officer of the Preobrazenskiy Guards) and ladies watch the captives.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Generosity at Carillon

After Montcalm's victory at Fort Carillon, the French recovered the English wounded and combed the battlefield for trophies.  One captain of Regiment Bearn recovered a miniature.

A miniature portrait,
similar to the one recovered by d'Aubrespay
"Note: The English officer asked the return of a picture of Mrs. Bever left on the battlefield, her husband, a colonel, having been killed.  It was in the possession of Sieur d'Aubrespay, captain in the Bearn regiment, who at once gave it back to him.
M. Rigaud de Vaudreuil, Governor of Montreal, brother of the Governor General of Canada, like him, born and baptized in this colony, advised him to sell the picture very high.  One would not be embarrassed in France at the answer made him by a person of quality, an officer, and a Frenchman." (Adventure in the Wilderness: The American Journals of Louis Antoine de Bougainville, pg. 248-9)

The colonel that Bougainville refers to is mentioned in the Journal of Captain John Knox, pg. 192:
"Samuel Beaver, appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 46th Regiment, February 2, 1757; Colonel in America, January 25, 1758."

An inspiring story of honor and generosity found in Bougainville's invaluable Journal.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart

"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice; and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.  Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice"--Proverbs 23:24-25

"Adieu, my dear child.  Serve your creator in the days of your youth.  Consider virtue as the greatest ornament of your sex.  Follow close the great pattern of it, your mother, who has been, no less than myself, over-clouded with calumny.  But time, the mother of truth, will, I hope, at last make her virtues shine as bright as the sun."--advice from James II to his young daughter Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart

Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart was born on June 28, 1692 to James II, King of England and Mary of Modena.  She was born in France, as by 1692 King James had been forced to flee there following the "Glorious Revolution".  James himself said that Louisa had been sent by God to him as a consolation in his distress.  The young princess in exile became very popular with the French for her kind nature.  There were plans for her to marry Charles XII of Sweden, but they fell through. 

She died on April 18, 1712, regretted by many, French and English alike. 

A French noble wrote this to a friend: "My Lord, I send to you by these the sad and deplorable news of the much lamented death of the Princess Royal of England who died of the smallpox the 18th of this month at St Germains who as she was one of the greatest ornaments of that afflicted court, so she was the admiration of all Europe; never Princess was so universally regretted. Her death has filled all France with sighs, groans and tears. She was a Princess of a majestical mien and port; every motion spoke grandeur, every action was easy and without any affectation or meanness, and proclaim'd her a heroine descended from the long race of so many paternal and maternal heroes..."

Even Louis XIV himself, the "Sun King", personally wrote a letter to Queen Anne to inform her of the death of her sister.  Lord Dartmouth records that the letter contained "the highest character that ever was given to any princess of her age."

Despite her short life (living almost twenty years) Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart was loved by all for her uprightness.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mercy at Prestonpans

Prince Charles and his Highland army cheering after the Battle of Prestonpans.  
A captured cannon can be seen in the foreground

So inconceivably rapid was the onset, that the Camerons and Stewarts of Appin on the extreme left had swept over Whitefoord's artillery before he had time to fire more than five hasty rounds.  The guard, overwhelmed in the wave of tartan, made a brief stand behind the guns and then fled for their lives, leaving the two brave officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Whitefoord and Major Griffith, to the mercy of the enraged Celts.  Griffith was severely wounded and made prisoner, Whitefoord alone remained at his post, and when asked by Stewart of Invernahyle to surrender, made a desperate lunge at his antagonist with his sword by way of answer.  Invernahyle adroitly caught the point of the weapon in his targe, and in another instant Whitefoord would have met his fate at the hands of Invernahyle's stalwart miller, who seeing his laird in danger raised the Lochaber-axe he was carrying to cut down the obstinate Lowlander, but fortunately for that officer, Invernahyle was able to restrain his excited clansman, and Whitefoord seeing the utter futility of further resistance yielded to his magnanimous preserver."
"Whitefoord did not forget his obligation to Invernahyle, and after Culloden, when that chieftain was a fugitive among the hills, the brave colonel made the most strenuous efforts to secure his pardon, threatening to resign his commission if a protection was not granted for the lives and property of his preserver's wife and children.--Vide Introduction to "Waverley."
from pg. 98, volume 2, Life and Adventures of Prince Charles Edward Stuart by W. Drummond Norie

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Cross at Carillon

On July 8, 1758, the British army of General James Abercromby--16,000 strong--attacked the French defenses outside Fort Carillon during the French and Indian War (1754-62).  For the entire day, the British infantry struggled through the dense abbatis (sharpened logs) which the French had hurriedly constructed.  Every time, however, they were thrown back by General Montcalm's 3,000 French regulars.  Near the end of the day, the 42nd "Black Watch" Highlanders attacked.  A few penetrated the abbatis, climbed the wall, and fought hand-to-hand with the French until being bayoneted.  At c. 6:00, the British attempted one more attack, but were thrown back.  The rangers and provincial (colonial) troops covered the retreat of the British army.

This battle was Montcalm's greatest victory, and he knew who had given it to him.  When it became clear that the British had retreated, he erected a cross with this inscription:

"Quid dux? Quid miles?
Quid strata ingentia ligna?
En signum! En victor! Deus hic,
Deus ipse, truimphat!"

In 1911, William Charles Wood translated the Latin into English, while keeping the poetry:

"General, soldier, and
Ramparts are as naught!
Behold the conquering Cross!
'Tis God the triumph wrought!"

Oh, for more Christians and historians to see all of life as this general saw it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Theresa Sobeska, Electress of Bavaria

"He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me"--Psalm 55:18

"The lamentable situation of the Electress and her children appealed strongly to the chivalry of Marlborough.  "It has made my heart ache," he wrote to the Duchess, "being very sensible how cruel it is to be separated from what one loves."
"On November 10 a treaty was concluded by the King of the Romans and the Bavarian representatives, whereby the Electress undertook to disband her husband's army, to surrender his fortunes, and to restore his conquests.  In return she was permitted to reside at Munich, to receive a sufficient revenue, and to maintain a personal guard of 400 men."--pp. 245, 251, Wars of Marlborough by Frank Taylor

Theresa Kundegarde Sobieska was born in 1676.  In 1695, she married Maximilian II Emmanuel, Elector of Bavaria.  1695 was the middle of the Nine Years War, as France and the Holy Roman Empire clashed in Europe.  The Nine Years War ended in 1697, and Bavaria enjoyed peace.

But the peace was broken in 1702 with the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession.  Max Emmanuel changed sides, joining France against the Holy Roman Empire.  This new Franco-Bavarian force was poised along the Rhine, until the Duke of Marlborough shattered it at the Battle of Blenheim.  The Elector with the remains of his army joined the French in their retreat, leaving his wife as vice-regent of Bavaria.  The Allies wasted Bavaria with fire and sword, to compel the Elector to surrender.  On November 10, 1704, the Electress signed a treaty with the Holy Roman Emperor.  When the war ended in 1713, the Elector returned to his dominions, which had been saved for him by his wife, Theresa Kundegarde Sobieska.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rushdoony on the Bible

"Too often, the modern theologian and churchman goes to the Bible seeking insight, not orders.  Indeed, I may go to Calvin, Luther, Augustine, and others, to scholars Christian and non-Christian, for insights, for data, and for learned studies, but when I go to the Bible I must go to hear God's marching orders for my life.  I cannot treat the Bible as a devotional manual designed to give me peace of mind or a 'higher plane' of living: it is a command book which can disturb my peace with its orders, and it tells me that I can only find peace in obeying the Almighty.  The Bible is not an inspirational book for my personal edification, nor a book of beautiful thoughts and insights for my pleasure.  It is the word of the sovereign and Almighty God: I must hear and obey, I must believe and be faithful, because God requires it. I am his property, and His absolute possession.  There can be nothing better than that.  To be my own property and possession in a meaningless world is the ultimate in misery and grief.  But when the great and high God, possessor of heaven and earth (Gen. 14:19, 22), makes me His elect possession by the adoption of grace through Jesus Christ, I must answer to His every enscriptured word, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth" (I Sam. 3:9-10). This is God's calling and requirement of me, and it is my privilege to hear and obey, for His word is life, and it is health (Ps. 119)."--pgs. 691-692, Institutes of Biblical Law, volume 2, by R. J. Rushdoony

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial 5 years later part 4

5 years ago today, the Quadricentenial changed locations.  The organizers moved headquarters from the Mariott Hotel to Sherwood Forest and Fort Pocahontas.  Owned by a great-grandson of President John Tyler, Fort Pocahontas was also a battlefield in the American Civil War. 

The day began with the "Children's Parade."  We arrived a little too late, so the parade had already started.  My brother, sister, and I were caught up in the parade--in the girls' section!  So for half an hour, two lads in three-cornered hats tramped alongside hundreds of girls.

We reached the big tent, and listened to many lectures.  While in the tent, I also heard a man who would be my favorite musician: Mr. Charlie Zahm.  Also on Friday, we rode on a hot-air balloon.

While monuments had been erected in 1807, 1857, 1907, and 1957, none were officially planned for 2007.  That is, until Vision Forum announced that they were creating their own monument.  They called the children of America to donate just $1 apiece to build a monument.  Many dollars came in, including some from us.  And today, five years ago, the monument was unveiled and dedicated.  Being a part of constructing the monument was--and is--important to me.

A flood of people pours to examine the Children's Monument, including me (with blue waistcoat, camera, and three-cornered hat).  Picture from

Beneath this tile lies the time capsule to be opened in 2107.  It contains, among other things, the names of the donors to the Jamestown Children's Monument.

The Girls' Parade!  The two lads in three-cornered hats in the parade are me and my brother.  Picture taken from A Comprehensive Defense of the Providence of God, disc 12 "Opening Ceremonies", 1:25

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial 5 years later part 3

The Jamestown Quadricentenial was an important event to our family--perhaps the most important event of the decade to us.  Without it, we would not have seen other Reformed Christian families trying to live by the Bible instead of man's opinion.

Five years ago today, our day was more free than it had been all that week.  We had toured Yorktown on Monday, Jamestown on Tuesday, and Williamsburg on Wednesday.  This left Thursday free for something else.

We listened to a lecture delivered by a man whom we had heard only the Monday before when he announced his topic.  His announcement was so good that we altered plans to hear his lecture. Called Another Generation, this lecture would introduce us to Mr. Geoffrey Botkin.  Five years later, we are still receiving benefit from the Botkin family.

With no tours booked for Thursday, we embarked on the boat tour.  The day was somewhat cold and the wind gusted over the river in large quantities.  If we went inside, it was impossible to hear Mr. Smith, our tour guide.  But if outside, we would quickly get cold.  Back and forth we went.  However, the view of Jamestown from the river was interesting.

Near the end of the tour, we trooped up the stairs to the top deck, listening to Mr. Smith, who was now talking quite excitedly.  On that boat tour we met another man who would influence me: Dr. R. C. Sproul, Jr.  His Biblical Economics Curriculum (released in 2011) has shaped my understanding of economics, which before was woefully lacking.  If you will ever deal with money, barter, or making and selling products, you need to go through Biblical Economics.

That night, we were treated to a lecture by Mr. Patrick Henry (actually Mr. Robert Schumann, but it was difficult to tell the difference).  He was one of the best re-enactors I have ever seen.  He knew so much about Patrick Henry, it was as though we watched Henry himself.

View of Jamestown as some the new colonists might have seen it

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial 5 years later part 2

The Jamestown Quadricentenial was possibly one of the most important events our family attended.  Without the dedication of Vision Forum to honor those whom the cynical world called "a bunch of British buffoons", our family would likely be much different.
Five years ago, our day opened with three lectures: one on Indians by Mr. Doug Phillips, another on Indian legal systems by Col. John Eidsmoe, and (my favorite) Warfare: the Powhatans vs. the Englishmen by Mr. William Potter.

After finishing the lectures, we hurried to Colonial Williamsburg for our tour.  The reconstructed 18th Century town was very interesting, and touring it with Dr. Marshall Foster added much information.  When his tour finished, we walked around Williamsburg--dressed in authentic 18th Century costume.

While Williamsburg was excellent, the evening proved the high point of the day.  A play was presented entitled Heroes of Jamestown.  The play was well done, presenting the importance of remembering those who struggled and died to found our country, (purchase of the DVDs created from the Quadricentenial's lectures includes Heroes of Jamestown).  After the play, I collected autographs from the actors.  One would impact me in a remarkable way.
"To Jordan,
Keep the Faith!
Hebrews 12:1-2"
This had a long-term effect on me, and Hebrews 12:1-2 continues to be one of the most important Biblical passages for me.
How many of my readers attended the Jamestown Quadricentenial? Please leave me a comment if you did, or if you were edified by hearing about it!

Dr. Marshall Foster leads the tour

Our family at Colonial Williamsburg

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial--5 Years Later part 1

2007 marked the 400th birthday of our nation.  While officials grumbled about the 104 "invaders" who "Christianized Indians", Vision Forum dauntlessly led a "celebration" of our nation.  Our family was one of the almost 4,000 people who joined them.  Five years later, I remember the Jamestown Quadricentenial as a turning point for our family and for me personally.

Five years ago today, we toured Jamestown with Stephen McDowell.  We saw the monuments and statues which other celebrations had erected.  We even saw the Magna Charta Tree (which we had become familiar with shortly before this...)
One of the most fascinating parts of the tour for me was Jamestown Church, and the bell tower.  Built in 1639, this is one of the oldest structures in the United States.  The church itself was interesting, with wooden benches, old brick foundations, and the 10 Commandments on the wall.  The walls also contained a plaque to Chanco the Christian, who warned Richard Pace of Opechancanough's intended attack on the settlers.
Our family sitting in front of the 1907 monument

Me and my siblings in front of the statue of Captain John Smith

Inside Jamestown Church

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jean Graham, Viscountess of Dundee

"These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace.  In this world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world"--John 15:33

Jean Cochrane was born c. 1662 to a Covenanting family.  In 1684, she was courted by a young colonel of the Royal (Scottish) Regiment of Horse named John Graham of Claverhouse.  On June 10 of the same year, she married him.

In 1688, the "Glorious Revolution" broke out and Graham, now Viscount Dundee drew sword in defense of King James II.  When he departed from his house, his wife encouraged him in his mission. 

"Follow your glorious fate, where King and Country call you; where honour, and loyalty, and the ardour of your own noble nature, prompt you.  Go where glory waits you!"  Thus spake she, all unconscious of a last farewell.  Yet the heavy sigh, and sad countenance belied her lips.  And as far as her eyes could penetrate through space, she strained them after the departing figure of her heroic husband.--selection from The Grameid by James Philip of Dalimericlose, quoted on pg. 541, Mark Napier, Memorials and Letters Relative to the Life and Times of John Graham of Claverhous, Viscount of Dundee.
His wife was not wanting in her support to him.  She secretly sent him money to fund his campaign. and even corresponded with William Livingstone (lieutenant-colonel of the Scots Dragoons) to join Dundee; the plan, however, was defeated.

In 1689, Dundee was killed at Killiecrankie.  Five years later, Jean Graham married William Livingstone.  She did not have long to live after her second marriage, being killed by the collapse of a house in 1695.

Her dauntless spirit against all odds, and her tireless endeavors to aid her husband should inspire those who hear of the deeds of Jean Graham.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Advice from James II

James II (left); the Duke of Berwick (center) and young James III (right)

Today, many Christians seem to be confused about who is qualified for political office.  I addressed one facet of this problem in my article "On the Buckley Rule".  However, King James II of England understood these concepts much better than most Christians today.  His advice to his son is excellent, being founded on Exodus 20.
"Be very careful in the choice of your chief ministers; it is of the last concern to you, it being impossible for a prince to do all himself. They must not only be men of good sense and sound judgment, but of great probity [integrity] and well founded as to Christianity, and that it appear by their way of living; for a loose liver, or one that by his actions or discourses shows himself profane or atheistically inclined, never trust or rely on, for how can you expect that those that fly in God Almighty's face everyday, can be thoroughly true to their king, when what they think thwarts their worldly interest is not consistent with their loyalty?...
"You ought to take the same care in the choice of your domestic servants, and such as you employ in any place of trust, for besides the reasons already given, it will make you beloved by all good men, and encourage others to lead more Christian lives, or at least hinder them from giving public scandal, when they see profane and loose-livers discountenanced. And let not any ones being a Catholic exempt him from these rules..."

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Different Kind of Courage part 3 of 3

Not All Spies Serve Their Country
André, Tallmadge, and the Culper Ring all served their respective countries, but William Heron (known as Hiram to the British) did not.  His greatest loyalty was money, but he also enjoyed velvet breeches and gold-headed canes.  Heron was a member of Connecticut’s Congress and a friend of Continental General Samuel Parsons. After Benedict Arnold joined the British, Heron told Oliver De Lancey, the new British spymaster, that he knew another general named Parsons who wanted to follow Arnold.  De Lancey was excited, and “Hiram” said that De Lancey should send Parsons some money, to encourage his loyalty (which Heron pocketed).  At the same time, he was employed by Washington to spy on Loyalists.  Hiram kept promising results to De Lancey for over a year, until Major Beckwith took command as British spymaster.  Beckwith realized that Parsons, despite all the money that had been sent to him, would never come over.  Heron’s health was poor and he quit spying, but continued on to a nice career in the Connecticut Congress.  No one ever guessed that he had been a double agent spying for both sides until many years after his death.
Spies in the American Revolution, whether on King or Congress’s side, required a different kind of courage than a soldier.  A soldier was in danger whenever a battle was being fought, but the rest of the time was fairly quiet.  A spy, on the other hand, was always in danger of being arrested by the enemy.  Despite the danger, Washington’s spies in the Culper Ring worked tirelessly, and, in God’s providence, were a major cause of the Continental victory. But God’s blessing was not confined to successful spies.  Major John André won respect from both friend and foe, illustrating after his death the saying in Proverbs: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to live at peace with him.”—Proverbs 16:7

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Different Kind of Courage part 2 of 3

Spying For the King
The British spy system was far weaker than Washington’s, because they had better scouts to gather information. A scout was a light-armed soldier sent ahead of the main body to locate the enemy and bring back detailed reports about them, such as how many soldiers they had.   If an army in the War for Independence had good scouts, it did not need to rely as heavily on spies, and if their scouts were rather lackluster, spies were required.   The British had some of the best scouts on any side in the entire war because Loyalists, especially in the Queen’s Rangers and Banastre Tarleton’s British Legion made wonderful scouts, due to their knowledge of the country.  The 17th Light Dragoons were also very useful because they were mounted and could move fast, but Washington’s cavalry scouts were rather weak (they suffered from a lack of good horses). 
General Clinton had some clever ideas to get secret messages through enemy lines.  He wrote a letter to General John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, to be read with a special hourglass-shaped overlay.  By putting the overlay over the letter, a secret message would be revealed.  While Clinton’s letter said, “I own to you that I think the business will quickly be over now.  Sir W’s move just at this time has been capital.  Washington’s have been the worst he could take in every respect”, the overlay revealed Clinton’s true message: “I own to you that I think Sir W’s move just at this time the worst he could take.”[i]  Another idea of Clinton’s was a hollow silver bullet with a message inside.

Major John André took command as chief British spymaster in 1779 and greatly improved the British spy system.   André soon met an important leader who was planning to join the British.  His name was Benedict Arnold, and he commanded the important fortress of West Point.  Arnold believed that Congress had forgotten about his achievements at Quebec (1775) and Saratoga (1777), where he broke Burgoyne’s army without help from his commander Horatio Gates.  He was not happy with his lack of promotion while Gates, who did nothing at Saratoga, had been promoted to Major-General and was now commander of the entire Southern Department.  In addition, he was not pleased with the alliance with France, had endured a court-martial, and had married a stout Loyalist, Margaret “Peggy” Shippen. He planned to join the British, who were glad to have such a high-ranking general with them and would appreciate him more than Congress and Gates ever had, and give them West Point.  André and Arnold met several times to plan all the details, because Arnold wanted a large sum of money and a command in the British Army.  Arnold planned to surrender West Point when Washington was near, and Major Tallmadge might even be in the area.  To capture West Point, Washington, and Tallmadge, would be a war-winning blow.
Andre is visited by some Continental soldiers during his arrest
Picture by Howard Pyle
Finally, Arnold was ready to make his move.  He gave a pass for the bearer “John Anderson” to go through Continental lines and patrols.  André set out, but was stopped by three wild armed men.  Andre believed them to be British, but they were not.  They were more interested in his watch, money, and fine boots than any other cause.  When they took André’s boots off, they found a map of West Point and papers telling where the Continental troops were located.  John Paulding, the only militiaman in the trio who could read, read the papers.  The three decided to take André along to the local Continental colonel, who sent him on to Washington.  André said that he was an officer taken prisoner, not a spy, and that he was arrested while between the British and American lines, both of which statements were true.  Clinton would not exchange Arnold for André, but the Continentals needed to pin the blame on someone.  Many on both sides (including General Washington) regretted André’s death, for he was a gentleman of courage.  In fact, André and Tallmadge became good friends while André was under arrest.  After his death, he was fondly remembered by all.  The British erected a monument to his memory, gave his mother and sisters a pension, his brother a knighthood (André never married and had no children), and buried him in Westminster Abbey.  After the war, Tallmadge defended him in Congress against John Paulding, who wanted an increase in his pension for catching André (he didn’t receive it).
Arnold escaped to British lines and hunted spies in New York before becoming a less-than-remarkable British general who raided Connecticut and Virginia.  Robert Townsend quit work in the Culper Ring, worried about what might happen if Arnold arrested him.  In 1781-82, the Culper Ring silently dissolved, and its members resumed normal life.

[i] Fred B. Wrixon, Codes, Ciphers, Secrets and Cryptic Communication (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2005)—p. 490