The Price They Paid

Posted July 4, 2015 By John C Wright

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Four were imprisoned.

George Walton was captured after being wounded while commanding militia at the Battle of Savannah in December 1778, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge (three of the four Declaration of Independence signers from South Carolina) were taken prisoner at the Siege of Charleston in May in 1780, where they endured the ill treatment typically afforded to prisoners of war during their captivity. Richard Stockton of New Jersey was “dragged from his bed by night” by local Tories after he had evacuated his family from New Jersey, and imprisoned in New York City’s infamous Provost Jail like a common criminal.

A number of signers saw their homes and property occupied, ransacked, looted, and vandalized by the British (and even in some cases by the Americans).

Three had sons slain.

Abraham Clark of New Jersey saw two of his sons captured by the British and incarcerated on the prison ship Jersey. John Witherspoon, also of New Jersey, saw his eldest son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown in October 1777.

Nine signers died during the course of the Revolutionary War. One signer, Button Gwinnett of Georgia, died from wounds, but ironically those were received not at the hands of the British, but from a fellow officer with whom he duelled in May 1777.

Many lost their fortunes. Some lost everything.

Braxton invested his wealth in commercial enterprises, particularly shipping, and he endured severe financial reversals during the Revolutionary War when many of the ships in which he held interest were either appropriated by the British government (because they were British-flagged) or were sunk or captured by the British.

McKean was a delegate to the Continental Congress (of which he later served as president), President of Delaware, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, and Governor of Pennsylvania. In a letter he wrote to his friend John Adams in 1777, in which he described how he had been “hunted like a fox by the enemy, compelled to remove my family five times in three months, and at last fixed them in a little log-house on the banks of the Susquehanna, but they were soon obliged to move again on account of the incursions of the Indians.”

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Rutledge, and Middleton.

Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Benjamin Rush, Robert Morris had homes in areas that were occupied by the British during the war.

Cornwallis had turned the home of Thomas Nelson, who had succeeded Jefferson as governor of Virginia, into his headquarters. Nelson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, had led three Virginia brigades, or 3,000 men, to Yorktown and, when the shelling of the town was about to begin, urged Washington to bombard his own house. And that is where Washington, with his experienced surveyor’s eye, reputedly pointed the gun for the first (and singularly fatal) allied shot. Legend has it that the shell went right through a window and landed at the dinner table where some British officers, including the British commissary general, had just sat down to dine. The general was killed and several others wounded as it burst among their plates.

Francis Lewis represented New York in the Continental Congress, and shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence his Long Island estate was raided by the British, possibly as retaliation for his having been a signatory to that document. While Lewis was in Philadelphia attending to congressional matters, his wife was taken prisoner by the British after disregarding an order for citizens to evacuate Long Island. Her captivity was a hardship, she had already been in poor health for some time and died a few years later.

John Hart’s New Jersey farm was looted in the course of the Revolutionary War (possibly due his status as Speaker of the Assembly), and he remained in hiding in nearby mountains.

Lewis Morris indeed saw his property was appropriated, looted, and burned by the British when they occupied New York.

Philip Livingston lost several properties to the British occupation of New York and sold off others to support the war effort, and he did not recover them because he died suddenly in 1778, before the end of the war.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

They gave you and me a free and independent America. Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn’t. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

 

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Prayer Request

Posted July 4, 2015 By John C Wright

A reader asks for your prayerful help, dear readers:

I just found out a couple of days ago that my son, my only child is most likely somewhere on the autism spectrum. With my (admittedly slight) understanding of it, he’s probably not a bad case, but I really have no idea what this means. A part of me is scared that he’s going to be a child his entire life. . . . I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s that bad. But I don’t really know, and I am so terrified, and so broken up. This is the worst news I have had in my entire life, and I’m more confused and frightened than I can explain. I could really use a few people before God’s throne on my behalf.

You owe me nothing. If you don’t, I won’t be upset at all. But if you could post this request, just saying that I’m a regular reader and occasional commenter, I’d appreciate it.

We can pray both for his comfort and his cure.

The fear that one will not love a crippled child or a retarded one was a fear that bedeviled me back in my youth, when I was an atheist and had only my own mental resources on which to draw. These evils do happen, but God gives the soul the power to love abundantly and to put fear aside easily. God grants peace. Love is self sacrifice, not self regard, and to care for a child maimed in mind or body is not only possible, but rich and strange in ways that cannot be put in words.

And miracles happen, and some sufferings are joined with the sufferings of Christ and work to aid the redemption of the world.

And miracles happen, and some sufferings are taken away as if they had never been.

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Larry Correia and his Twit Service!

Posted July 3, 2015 By John C Wright

The world reeled in flabberghastizement to read this generous announcement from the International Lord of Good Sense, Larry Correia:

So the author of 50 Shades of Grey did a Twitter Q&A, and in a series of events that came as a shock to exactly nobody on the internet except for the author and her publicist, trolls showed up to mock the hell out of her. The author was unprepared and it was a public relations disaster.

Meanwhile, I am an author who loves to fight with morons on Twitter.

That is why I am excited to offer an exciting new free lance service to publicists. The next time you want to do a Q&A wi…th your author on Twitter, simply retain my services and give me temporary access to your author’s Twitter account. The author can answer all the legitimate fan questions, and I’ll respond to the trolls as if I’m the author. Trust
me. Fans love it when an author takes on a whole internet and wins.

For a low fee of $1 per character I will handle all of those pesky idiots for you. Is your author too kind to tell them to shut their stupid hipster faces? I’m not! Order now, and I will throw in the F word absolutely free! That’s right, every time I use the F word in a tweet it costs you nothing. This means huge savings for you.

But wait, there’s more! Retain my services now, and I’ll give you half price on special terms like Douchebag, Goony Beard Man, Rainbow Haired She Twink, Assclown, and more!

For more information and a collection of my greatest hits, contact my spokesmanatee, Wendell, at CorreiaTech headquarters, Yard Moose Mountain, Utah.

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The Feast of Sts Peter and Paul

Posted June 30, 2015 By John C Wright

A reader writes and asks:

John, convince me not to turn to Islam after what just happened earlier today with the Supreme Court ruling, because right now, I’m trying to think of ways to commit something that I know is heinous while minimizing my digital fingerprint.

Sir, I cannot convince you, but I can tell you what convinced me. Here is the tale:

I was in Chattanooga, visiting a science fiction convention, when, on the Christian Sabbath, I went to a basilica which was all of four blocks away.

The nave was decorated with solemn beauty, and was sublime. Thanks to the miracle of the Information Age, I can find and show you a picture. Imagine you have just stepped off of a hot street in a warehouse district whose wealth and beauty sagged and departed around the turn of the century, and you see this: Read the remainder of this entry »

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Reviewer Praise for THE GOLDEN AGE

Posted June 29, 2015 By John C Wright

A rather favorable review:

http://www.rachelneumeier.com/2015/06/23/recent-reading-the-golden-age-trilogy-by-john-c-wright/

Here is one remark about the ideal reader which I thought worthy of note:

The ideal reader: In order to be engaged by this trilogy, I think the reader has to enjoy complicated, ornate, nonstandard settings; technological extrapolation; and exposition. I think plot readers are going to like it better than character readers.

I think that readers who particularly enjoy Kim Stanley Robinson should give The Golden Age trilogy a try. Robinson is the better writer – in particularly, a lot of his description and exposition reads like poetry – but then, Robinson is an outstanding writer who’s been at it a lot longer.

This trilogy also makes me think of stories like Ringworld by Larry Niven and the Gaian trilogy by John Varley. I would also actually be very curious to know what readers who love Ancillary Justice would make of The Golden Age trilogy, because despite the differences between the two works, in some ways I think they are doing similar things.

If you’ve read The Golden Age, what else would you consider similar?

Now I need to read The Player of Games to compare that utopia with this one …

My comment:

Ironically, the first review I ever received as a professional writer was from someone who vehemently and viscerally disliked the very same passage this reviewer mentions as the one that engaged her sympathy and attention, namely, the gentle bickering of man and (almost) wife.

I have not had the pleasure of reading ANCILLARY JUSTICE, but I have read PLAYER OF GAMES, and did see some of the parallels and polar opposites with that most imaginative of works.  The approach toward what constitutes a utopia is very different indeed.

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Tor and the Volunteer Thought Police Department

Posted June 24, 2015 By John C Wright

As noted before, a conflict of interest requires I recuse myself from expressing either support or opposition to the boycott of Tor, my publisher, urged on by my readers. Obviously I would prefer to retain the goodwill of both.

Also obviously, I would prefer the matter be solved in a civil and professional fashion.

To some readers this might seem logically to imply that the solution requires that the uncivil and unprofessional persons whose extracurricular activities led to this debacle depart from Tor, and let the rest of us, the professionals, simply get on with the business of writing and selling books.

I allow myself to express no opinion on that point, but I do note that Tor cannot prosper without the goodwill of readers whereas the readers certainly can prosper without the illwill of Tor.

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Quotha: The Fully Christian Society

Posted June 23, 2015 By John C Wright

From Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:

… the New Testament, without going into details, gives us a pretty clear hint of what a fully Christian society would be like. Perhaps it gives us more than we can take. It tells us that there are to be no passengers or parasites: if man does not work, he ought not to eat. Every one is to work with his own hands, and what is more, every one’s work is to produce something good: there will be no manufacture of silly luxuries and then of sillier advertisements to persuade us to buy them. And there is to be no ‘swank’ or ‘side’, no putting on airs. To that extent a Christian society would be what we now call Leftist. On the other hand, it is always insisting on obedience—obedience (and outward marks of respect) from all of us to properly appointed magistrates, from children to parents, and (I am afraid this is going to be very unpopular) from wives to husbands. Thirdly, it is to be a cheerful society: full of singing and rejoicing, and regarding worry or anxiety as wrong. Courtesy is one of the Christian virtues; and the New Testament hates what it calls ‘busybodies’.

If there were such a society in existence and you or I visited it, I think we should come away with a curious impression. We should feel that its economic life was very socialistic and, in that sense, ‘advanced’, but that its family life and its code of manners were rather old fashioned—perhaps even ceremonious and aristocratic. Each of us would like some bits of it, but I am afraid very few of us would like the whole thing. That is just what one would expect if Christianity is the total plan for the human machine. We have all departed from that total plan in different ways, and each of us wants to make out that his own modification of the original plan is the plan itself. You will find this again and again about anything that is really Christian: every one is attracted by bits of it and wants to pick out those bits and leave the rest.

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Left, Right, Texan

Posted June 23, 2015 By John C Wright

As my latest six-book trilogy stars a futuristic Texan, I thought I had to pass along this observation.

https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/the-difference-between-liberals-conservatives-and-texans/. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Laudato Si

Posted June 23, 2015 By John C Wright

Someone asked me my opinion of the Pope’s recent encyclical letter,
Laudato Si which the Leftstream Press reported as being in support of the theory of Man-caused Global Flooding/Drought and Warming/Cooling.

I have not had the opportunity to read the encyclical, but friends of mine brought quotes from it to my attention. Hence this column is merely my flippant first impression, unmingled with any serious purpose of close study.

Without reading it I can say two things.

First, I am a loyal son of the Church and believe and follow everything she teaches authoritatively. No Catholic can dissent from the teachings of theology contained within the letter.

Sorry, halfcatholics and latitudinarians and Laodiceans. You knew what you were signing up for when you got baptized, abjured the devil and his angels, and the world and its false glamour, and vowed fidelity instead to the world’s creator. The World’s dark prince and the World’s bright maker are at odds, and you chose a side.

Second, these remarks I see here quoted out of context do not seem to fit the Leftfoot, sorry, the Leftwing narrative. It reads like what every orthodox Catholic theologian has said since Saint John was assumed to heaven, differing only in nuance and emphasis. That gives me pause for thought, and an excuse for mockery. Maybe the Pope is Catholic after all, and not Progressive? Hmm….

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Tomorrowland

Posted June 22, 2015 By John C Wright

Tomorrowland.

0

This is a movie about jetpacks.

I almost did not go to see this film because a film reviewer I trusted panned it, criticized it, said it was a mess. But since I have been burned by reviewers I trusted before, I trusted my instinct, and let my daughter take me as a Father’s Day gift.

Never trust reviewers. Never. This movie made me feel like flying.

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