Tampa Chapter – April 2019
Revolution History note
Chapter Facebook Page
Color Guard Activities & Opportunities
Other Dates of Interest
The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will be held on Saturday, April 20th at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace. Please remember to pay on your way in and keep your receipt for the waitress. Social time and lunch will precede the meeting. The formal meeting will start around 12:00 Noon. The street address for the Golden Corral is:
11801 N 56th St.
Tampa, FL 33617
This is our Annual Youth Awards Program, with special emphasis on the JROTC cadets. We will recognize Cadet Victoria App of Middleton HS as the Tampa Chapter winner of the Enhanced JROTC Award. Cadet App's application has been for forwarded to the Florida SAR JROTC Committee to participate in the state competition. Let’s have a good turnout to show our support to these young people who have participated in the SAR Youth Programs.
In March, Past President Charles Klug made an excellent presentation on George Washington’s “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior”. Young Washington probably heard these from an early teacher and may have copied them as a writing exercise; nevertheless, he tried to live by them for the rest of his life.
We also recognized two new members.
American Revolution Notes
Over the next few months we’ll explore some of the “rest of the story” – what happened after the War for Independence and what happened to some of lesser known characters after the war.
Whatever happened to the firebrands of the revolution? When you think of the radical firebrands who were important in bringing about the break from England the names of Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine usually come to mind. Yet, after the war, they mostly disappeared from the public square. What happened to them?
Samuel Adams: Leader of the Sons of Liberty
Following the war Adams kept a low profile. He supported the suppression of Shay’s Rebellion, believing their grievances could be addressed through the ballot box. When the Constitution was sent out for state approval, He was elected a delegate to the Massachusetts ratifying convention. He had qualms about it, writing to Richard Henry Lee that he did not like a “National Government instead of a Federal Union of States.” But he said very little during the debates and, in the end, voted in favor of ratification, much to the distress of the Massachusetts anti-federalist who looked to him for leadership1. Behind the scenes he aided in the fight for the addition of amendments to the Constitution and liked the bill of rights. While devoting himself mostly to local governmental positions and concerns, he did serve as Lt. Governor and Governor in the 1790’s. He died in 1803.
Samuel Adams Thomas Paine Patrick Henry
Thomas Paine: author of Common Sense
Before the war had ended, Paine returned to England. In 1792 he published the Rights of Man, defending the French Revolution against those in England who disapproved of it. This led to the British government declaring him an outlaw and he moved to France. In France the revolutionary government imprisoned him because he opposed the execution of Louis XVI. While in prison he began work on his anti-church text Age of Reason. Due to the efforts of the American envoy James Monroe, he escaped the guillotine and was released in 1794. He remained in France until 1802 when he received an invitation from Pres. Jefferson to return to the United States. Once in the United States he learned that his work and effort on behalf of the Revolution had been erased and forgotten, primarily due to his anti-church religious beliefs. He died in New York in 1809.
Patrick Henry: The son of thunder
Both during and after the war Henry served as Governor of Virginia. In between he served in the Virginia House of Delegates for several terms. In 1790 he retired from public life to get his finances in order, spend more time with his family, make sure they were situated properly and would be taken care of after his death. During the 1790’s George Washington at various times offered him a seat on the Supreme Court, the job of Secretary of State and appointment as Minister to Spain. Henry turned them all down, preferring to be close to family and not risk incurring debt as a public official as had happened during his last term as Governor. Gov. Richard Henry Lee offered him a seat in the Senate and President John Adams offered him appointment as Minister to France. Henry declined them as well.
Following the war, he roused himself only rarely for political battles. He led the opposition to the Constitution at the Virginia ratifying convention. While Virginia ratified the Constitution, Henry’s devotion to liberty and the rights of the people kept him popular among Virginians. Indeed, during the ratification debates, when Gov. Randolph referred to the people as “the common herd,” Henry took great exception. A duel was narrowly averted, and his popularity soared2.
In the early 1780’s Jefferson wanted a new Virginia Constitution based on abstract theory. Henry said that Virginia had a practical constitution that met the needs of the people of Virginia and that there was no need to change just for the sake of change. This frustrated Jefferson so much he wrote in a letter to Madison that since no new Virginia Constitution could be had while Henry lived “we must pray for his death.”
In 1798 when the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, (written by Madison and Jefferson) passed the legislatures, Henry roused himself again. At the request of Washington, Henry allowed himself to be put forward for a seat in the House of Delegates to oppose Jefferson and Madison. The people of his district elected him but before the legislature met, he died. The years he spent away from the public square with his family and devoting himself to his law practice allowed to him leave his family comfortably situated3.
Thomas Paine maintained his radical views to the end, though in France he witnessed firsthand the problem of radical revolution based on abstract rights run amok.
Samuel Adams lived a quiet life and while some people thought he should have been more vociferous in the fight over the Constitution and Bill of Rights, he was content with what the Revolution had wrought and thought any new problems could be solved by temperate debate, listening and the ballot box.
Patrick Henry remained popular in Virginia and while on the surface he seems to have mellowed, he stayed consistent, even if often away from the public square.
Three men critical to the revolution. Three different paths in the aftermath. Yet, each has left their mark on our nation’s history.
1 See the column from the March 2018 Newsletter on the Massachusetts ratifying convention for more details.
2 See the column from the May 2018 Newsletter on the Virginia ratifying convention for details.
3. Much of the information on Henry after the war, especially on his relationships with Jefferson and Washington is from Jefferson and the Virginians: Democracy, Constitutions, and Empire by Peter Onuf.
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 Activities & Opportunities
Tampa Compatriot Young attended the Commemoration of the Last Naval Battle of the Revolution on Merritt Island (March 9) where he marched with the Florida SAR Color Guard and the Commemoration of the Battle of Thomas Creek (March 30) in Jacksonville where he led a combined Florida and Georgia SAR Color Guard. He was there both as a representative of the Florida SAR and the Tampa Chapter. Flag streamers were presented and will passed on the Chapter at the April meeting.
May 7 Honor Flight Welcome Home St Pete/Clearwater Airport
May 27 Memorial Day Various
June 11 Honor Flight Welcome Home St Pete/Clearwater Airport
June 14 Flag Day Various
July 4 Independence Day Various
April 20 Youth Program Recognition
May 18 Tampa Bay History Center (tentative)
Other Dates of Interest
May 10-11 State BOM & Annual Meeting, Kissimmee
July 5-10 SAR Congress, Costa Mesa, CA
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.