Tampa Chapter - October 2018
Revolution History note
Chapter Facebook Page
Color Guard Opportunities
Other Dates of Interest
The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will be held on Saturday, October 20, at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace. Please remember to pay on your way in and keep your receipt for the waitress. If possible, the room will be open and set up by 11:30 for social time and lunch. The formal meeting will start around 12:00 Noon. The street address for the Golden Corral is: 11801 N 56th St.
Tampa, FL 33617
September is Constitution month but due to presenting the new SAR Life Saving Medal to two Tampa Police Department officers, we had to postpone our program on the Constitution until this month. Compatriot Bob Yarnell will talk about the “Great Compromise”. He wants to assure everyone this talk will be less controversial, less abstract and more matter of fact than his talk last May.
At our September meeting we recognized five new members whose applications were approved over the summer by National SAR. Pictured below (left) are three generations of the Greene family, grandfather James I, father James II and son Daniel. Missing from the picture is son and Eagle Scout James III. Also, below (right) is Norman Roberts, all pictured with Chapter President John Goolsby.
The focus of our September meeting was presentation of the new SAR Life Saving Award to Officer Daniel Hill and Lt. Samuel Rojka of the Tampa Police Department. These two TPD officers responded to a call at a residence and prevented an attempted suicide by pulling the individual from a running car in a closed garage and performing CPR twice, to keep the individual alive, until the EMS team arrived. The hospital later reported that she survived the ordeal and would be returning home. Pictured below (l-r) are Lt. Rojka, Officer Hill and Chapter President John Goolsby.
American Revolution Notes:
This month we begin a two-part series on the historiography of the American break with England. The first installment covers the main trends in the 18th and 19th centuries. Next month will focus on the 20th century.
The topic of what is taught in schools about the American break with England - when it is taught at all - is a subject that has been discussed frequently by SAR members. Over the next two months we’ll look at how the events from 1763-1776 have been interpreted by historians over the years.
Up until the mid to late 19th century most history was written by statesmen, government officials and military men...men who had been involved in the events they wrote about. There are problems with history written this way but there is the opposite problem that the further in time you are removed from an event, the harder it is to ascertain the truth. This is especially true when looking at the historiography of the American Revolution.
First Generation Historians – Freedom, Liberty, and Constitutional Principals
The best of the first generation of people to write about the American Revolution is David Ramsey. He lived during the Revolution, participated in it and knew many of the people involved. He maintains the break with England came about due to constitutional issues. His emphasis is on freedom, liberty and philosophical principles, not economic factors or British “tyranny.” The English colonist in North America viewed their colonial legislatures relationship to them as the equivalent of the Parliament to England. The Parliament in London legislated for England, the legislatures in North America legislated for their respective colonies. Distance from London, the long period of benign neglect by the British government, the predominance of small/medium land owners who farmed their own land with the resulting lack of an institutional class structure in the colonies all combined to further the view that the colonial legislatures represented the residents of the colonies. Therefore, they could not be represented by the Parliament in London.
Thus, Ramsey explains, the Stamp Act became the main catalyst that led to the break with England. Additionally, Ramsey states, once Parliament repealed the Stamp Act and the colonists saw the success of their boycotts opposing the Townshend Duties, they began to realize England needed them just as much, if not more, than they needed England.
Ramsey does not castigate George III or call him a tyrant. He identified three main reasons that events got out of hand and why the Government in London could not adequately understand and deal with the problem. First was pride. They had just beaten France and Spain in a war that had spanned the globe, they weren’t going to let the American colonies question how they were being governed. Next, he mentions inflexibility. England acquired an empire as a result of the peace of 1763. The already existing bureaucracy was slow and cumbersome and could not govern that empire. Layering on additional bureaucratic offices simply made the bureaucracy even more unwieldy and inflexible.
Lastly, he mentions that, quite simply, England did not have the men in government who could deal with the problem. Many, he states, were good, well meaning men but they were caught up in a situation too complex and demanding for their average capabilities.
Ramsey emphasized the importance of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and mentioned that those opposed to the break with England were either reticent by nature and did not speak up or were cowed by the radicals, thus giving the impression that the break with England enjoyed more popularity than it did.
Ramsey’s history of the American Revolution is fair and balanced. The main cause was the constitutional principle of the supremacy of Parliament which was
Second Generation Historians – The Myth Makers
The second generation of historians who wrote about the American Revolution can best be described as the myth makers. The best example of this is George Bancroft who is still regarded as a titan among American historians. He wrote his first history during the days of the Andrew Jackson ascendancy and the beginnings of the mass migration west. Therefore, he looked back on the American Revolution as a Golden Age, the Age of Giants, Act 1 in the great American drama unfolding in the mid-19th century. He believed that the American Revolution was part of God’s plan for America and was necessary to usher in a new age of human progress.
Since the United States had no ancient history full of myth and legend to anchor its history, Bancroft and his generation created them from the participants in the Revolution.
As to the causes, Bancroft stated in his history that the various acts passed by parliament after 1763 were a conscious English plan to subvert liberty. That George III was an authoritarian who declared war on freedom. It was Bancroft who fixed the image of the wicked King George III and, because of his own beliefs regarding free trade, focused on the Navigation Acts and Townshend Duties as main causes of the break.
Bancroft wrote well. His good writing and his positive take on the Revolution and the people involved resulted in his books selling well. Many Americans read his history and schools used it to teach the Revolution. His books influenced the writing and thinking about the American revolution for most of the 1800’s.
Additionally, he piggybacked his history onto what is known as the Whig interpretation of history. Its leading spokesman was Thomas Babington Macaulay. The Whig interpretation of history states that the past is an inevitable progression of events that leads to greater liberty, enlightenment and democracy. Bancroft put the American Revolution into that interpretation by adding that it was the next necessary step on the long road that stretched back to the Magna Carta.
From the President - The new face book page for the Tampa Sons of the American Revolution is Tampa Sar. The password to add anything is American1776.
Please feel free to upload pictures or comments. Invite all your friends to look.
Color Guard Opportunities
§ On September 28, past president Dick Young participated in the Presentation of Colors at the opening banquet of the Fall National SAR Leadership Conference in Louisville KY.
§ At the Fall Board of Management meeting of the Florida SAR in Kissimmee, Chapter President John Goolsby, Chapter VP David Bryant and Dick Young participated in the Presentation of Colors at the BOM Banquet. Pictured below are Goolsby and Bryant shown as the Colors are presented. At this meeting, Dick Young was presented with the SAR Silver Color Guard Medal.
§ On November 10, the Tampa Chapter will walk in the Veterans Day Parade on the grounds of the James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa.
§ On December 15, the Tampa Chapter will participate in the Presentation of the Colors and laying of the wreaths at the Wreaths Across America Ceremony at American Legion Post #5 on Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.
Everyone may participate, in uniform or not, at both events. Details will be discussed at this and future meetings.
Dates for the fall are below but few program particulars are available at this time.
Oct. 20 The Great Compromise presented by Compatriot Bob Yarnell
Nov. 17 Annual Law Enforcement & Fire Fighter Commendations
Dec. 15 Wreaths Across America Ceremony at American Legion Post #5
Jan Officer Installation
Other Dates of Interest
Oct 30 Honor Flight Mission #36
Nov 10 Veterans Day Parade at Haley VA Hospital
Nov 11 Veterans Day
Dec 15 Wreaths Across America
Feb 2 Florida SAR Winter BOM & Rumbaugh Oration Contest
Feb 22 George Washington’s Birthday
Children of the American Revolution Activities
The Fort Brooke Society of the Children of the American Revolution held its first meeting of the year on Sunday Oct 14 at Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park. The C.A.R. has been invited to join us at the Haley Hospital Veterans Day Parade and at the Wreaths Across America Ceremony and will hold a short meeting in conjunction with those events. Any of your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, under the age of 22, are invited and encouraged to join them at these events and meetings.
Chapter Website—remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website. http://www.tampasar.org/
One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick. Another is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone that should be the recipient of these cards please mention it to Chaplain Sessums or one of the other officers at our next meeting.
Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the editor.