December 25, 2015

"General Washington, who spoke a lot about Providence and the Almighty Being, less about God, and nothing about Jesus Christ..."

"... surprised the hung-over Lutheran Hessians garrisoned at Trenton, on the morning after Christmas. On the English side General Charles, Lord Cornwallis, the last British commander, was of a different breed from the early commanders, the conciliatory and peace-seeking brothers, General Sir William Howe and Admiral Richard, Lord Howe. Cornwallis and his armies marched through the South burning barns, crops, towns, and devastating stores. In Virginia he took particular pleasure in ravaging Governor Thomas Jefferson’s possessions, making off with livestock (which was cricket) and cutting the throats of colts (which was not). Jefferson accused him of a 'spirit of total extermination.'"

Sebastian De Grazia, "A Country With No Name: Tales from the Constitution."

38 comments:

Big Mike said...

Cornwallis's subordinate officer who attacked Jefferson's home was Banastre Tarleton, also known to the American army as "Butcher Tarleton" after he allowed his troops to slaughter American troops attempting to surrender at the Battle of Waxhaw Creek. In the Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot" Tarleton was depicted as an older man called "Tavington," however during the Revolutionary War he was actually a fairly young man. There's a wiki entry for Tarleton here, including his portrait by Joshua Reynolds. In the portrait Tarleton is not only depicted as a young man, but so effeminate (despite the allegorical horses rearing the background) that at first glance he appears to have breasts.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

It's interesting that the author chose to insert the commentary regarding the alleged lack of Christ in Washington's religious utterances right before introducing the "hungover Lutheran Hessians." It's almost enough to make a person wonder if he has some type of agenda apart from the recitation of history. I bet Cornwallis was a "raging Christian" or somesuch, as well.

PB said...

The founders of this country were Deists. An oft ignored fact.

Roughcoat said...

Yes, I can see why you chose Christmas Day to post this historical fact. Yes.

Michael McClain said...

We'll attack you at night when you're drunk after celebrating your holiday. We're Americans. Think about it.

David Begley said...

Our Founding Fathers - lead from the front by George Washington - waged total war against our then enemy.

Why are we using half-measures and making concessions to radical Islam? I especially don't think our first Secretary would do that "deal" with Iran.

What Would Jefferson Do? WWJD.

Birkel said...

Providence and the Almighty Being having nothing whatsoever to do with God.
/sarc

Hagar said...

Wrong again Mr. Begley. The revolutionary war was to a large extent a civil war. In fact it was a civil war until the British government conceded that the revolution had succeeded and agreed to negotiate a settlement.

And American farmers and merchants were happy to sell the British army (including foreign mercenaries) food and other supplies, since they had real money to pay with, while Gen'l Washington mostly had just Continental scrip.

Mac McConnell said...

We will kill you in your sleep on Christmas.
http://politicalhat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/america-we-will-kill-you-in-your-sleep-on-christmas.jpg

chickelit said...

General Washington, who spoke a lot about Providence and the Almighty Being, less about God, and nothing about Jesus Christ..

I'd wager he spoke even less of Big Benevolent Government, a namesake City-State, and an Army of Rodhams.

Once written, twice... said...

The Founding Fathers were men of science and reason. They were not hillbillies.

David said...

According to David Hackett Fischer, it is a myth that the Hessians were hungover.

Quaestor said...

According to David Hackett Fischer, it is a myth that the Hessians were hungover.

Hessians are not Prussians. Perhaps they were just indifferent soldiers.

Quaestor said...

Once written, twice... wrote: The Founding Fathers were men of science and reason. They were not hillbillies.

And consequently would have found certain trolls who frequent this blog to be utter bores.

Sebastian said...

"What Would Jefferson Do?" What he did, or tried to do, in North Africa -- at the very least. J had no illusion about Muslims, particularly after the memorable encounter he and Adams had with the Tripoli envoy in London.

Mark said...

Washington was baptized into the Church of England. He was vestryman in (Anglican) Truro Parish, overseeing the affairs at Pohick Church. He served as a churchwarden for three terms, helping to care for the poor. He also attended other churches in his travels.

jimbino said...

Washington must be so happy to have "god" polluting all his quarters and dollar bills. A man of science and reason, he won the war but lost the country to superstition and hoary religion.

Jupiter said...

"Jefferson accused him of a 'spirit of total extermination.'"

Which same spirit would later be evident in Sherman's March to the Sea.

Birkel said...

"jimbino" is sonl goddamned stupid, it makes me laugh.
Bless its heart.

D. B. Light said...

Although many of the "founders" were strongly influenced by Deism, and some could reasonably be called "Deists", they also felt, as did George Washington, that religion was a social good and that their position as social leaders imposed upon them an obligation to be ostentatiously religious. Whatever his private doubts, George Washington was overtly religious and as president made a point of attending religious services every Sunday. Jefferson's actions during the Revolution were something less than admirable. As Governor of Virginia he absented himself for long stretches of time, presumably seeking solitude in which to write commentaries on the laws of Virginia. He was only saved from impeachment by a British invasion that forced the Virginia Assembly to flee Richmond. At least he wasn't playing golf.

Original Mike said...

Mac McConnell said:
"We will kill you in your sleep on Christmas.
http://politicalhat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/america-we-will-kill-you-in-your-sleep-on-christmas.jpg"


Here's a better one

James White said...

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington

Drago said...

jimbino: "Washington must be so happy to have "god" polluting all his quarters and dollar bills."

LOL

Your assertion is written in the present tense.

Ponder.

Shorter: Washington leads American colonies to Victory over England.....jimbino hardest hit.

Jupiter said...

Lincoln was equally free with references to Providence, God and the Almighty, and equally silent on the particulars. Thoughtful men had a difficult time accepting the idea of a timeless and immortal Deity who, having no conceivable need of reproduction, was nonetheless male, and having no female counterpart, used a mortal woman to produce a Son, only to slaughter Him in order to save humanity from a damnation He had Himself ordained, upon a sinful nature He had Himself created. But in a world which had yet to read and digest Darwin's theories (Origin of Species, 1859), it was, to use Jefferson's word, self-evident, that there must be a Creator. His nature and purposes were less clear.

Aside, of course, from endowing the especial objects of his creation with certain unalienable rights.

Jupiter said...

I suppose that Jefferson felt that the Creator responsible for the infinite complexity of Nature could credibly be cited as the grantor of a few unalienable rights. I wonder where my fellow atheists imagine our rights come from. Thomas Jefferson?

William said...

The absolute worst way of spending Christmas is being murdered in your sleep. That said, I don't think going on a midnight march to murder people in their sleep is such a terrific way to celebrate Christmas either. Those who didn't get the Playstation this year for Christmas should remember this and stop bitching.

The Godfather said...

Merry Christmas jimbino.

Michael K said...

"The Founding Fathers were men of science and reason. They were not hillbillies."

It's amusing to see modern leftists try to understand men who live 200 years ago and had grown up in an entirely different world.

You and jimbino would be quick work for the Indians who lurked outside civilization.

Static Ping said...

Once written, twice... said...
The Founding Fathers were men of science and reason. They were not hillbillies.


Hahahahahaha!

Their views on current political matters would make Ted Cruz look like Bernie Sanders in comparison. For that matter, a large percentage of them were farmers, which is not surprising since most of the economy was agriculture. If George Washington was instead named Francis Poole and lived in Tennessee, you'd call him a hillbilly. He could be a highly successful Harvard educated lawyer living outside Nashville and you'd call him a "hillbilly."

Remember, the first rule of trolling is if no one takes you seriously, you are just a clown.

jimbino: What, no unicorns? You are slipping! At least toss me a narwhal or something.

AllenS said...

Pretty sure Washington never talked about same sex marriage.

RAH said...

Fascinating. The first comment lead me to wiki Tarleton who I was aware of and then I got to Pedro or Peter Francisco wiki entry,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Francisco. The Giant of Virginia. 6 foot 8 and over 200 ponds He was a very good fighter and absconded with 8 of nine horses from Tarleton's band.

Hagar said...

Washington, also known as "our Farmer George," ran Mount Vernon as an industrial enterprise, including the country's largest whiskey distillery.

Quaestor said...

Washington, also known as "our Farmer George,"

As opposed to their "Farmer George," i.e. George III, who was particularly fond of that epithet, though there's little evidence that anybody but the King himself used it.

n.n said...

The inclusion of God and Christ are both explicit in context and implicit by reference. Someone seeking to marginalize another man would deny both the direct and circumstantial evidence. It's a weak attempt to misrepresent the character of American conservatism established by The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the religion, faith, and tradition of the Founders.

Jupiter said...

AllenS said...
"Pretty sure Washington never talked about same sex marriage."

Nonsense. It's right there in the Constitution.

Nichevo said...

Anybody remember the stuff against taking the Lord's name in vain? That I believe is why it was common to use epithets and descriptors not specifically name in God or Jesus. More like the Creator, the Savior, the Redeemer.

Mac McConnell said...

Original Mike, thanks. n.n., ditto.

Markham S. Pyle said...

It is always depressing when people who don't understand 18th C Virginia Low Churchmanship try to make an argument as to the General's views from what they think is silence.

Even in the 20th C, and after the Tractarians had had their impact, Dorothy L. Sayers, who as the daughter of East Anglian rectory knew whereof she spoke, had the fictional incumbent of Fenchurch St. Paul, Mr. Venables, use the term "Providence" rather than "God," despite his being (like his counterpart in Paggleham, Herts) as High Church as his parish would allow (The Nine Tailors, London: Gollancz 1934); Agatha Christie has the term as common currency among the churchly gentry of St Mary Mead: not only does Miss Marple use it regularly, so too does that "man of the world" Sir Henry Clithering, late Commissioner of Scotland Yard (see, e, g., The Thirteen Problems (London: Collins Crime Club 1932); in the US, The Tuesday Club Murders (New York: Dodd, Mead 1933)); and Mr. Roundhay, the incumbent of a Cornish parish in 1897, uses it in speaking to Holmes and Watson in "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot." Everything that has mana implicates tapu; and if we are to deduce Deism whenever a speaker uses periphrasis or synecdoche to avoid naming God directly, every observant Jew is Deist – which is a reductio well beyond absurdum. It is unwise to build grand edifices upon sand; it is foolish to do so in those who don't know the ground of Virginia churchmanship in Washington's day.

It really ought to stop.