Archives for April 2014

A Conversation with a TEOTWAWKI Survivor, by Rachel M.

In honor of the 239th Anniversary of The Battles of Lexington and Concord, I am sharing a piece that I did not write.  (If you live near Colorado Springs and would like me and a group of my fellow LibertySeeders to come tell your group the stories of April 19, 1775, either get in touch with me or go to the LibertySeed website to schedule a presentation.)

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Thursday, Dec 5, 2013

It’s not every day I get the chance to visit with a TEOTWAWKI survivor – but when I do, I listen up. That opportunity presented itself yesterday, when I was privileged to interview Paul.
An individual of small frame yet sizeable strength of mind and determination, Paul experienced the end of the world he knew and lived to help create a new one. Not only did he survive the collapse, but he proved to be a key leader and connector in his community as it struggled through the extended period of political upheaval, economic failure, widespread violence, and nefarious pillaging. Paul also dealt with treachery from friends and neighbors, epidemic disease, death threats, cessation of trade, prolonged lack of necessary supplies, and international contempt – as well as the death of two children.

Fortunately for me, he was not shy about sharing his story.

Exceptional leadership grabs my interest, and I had many questions for this extraordinary gentleman. Right away, I wanted to know: to what do you credit your survival? What were the most important things you did to ensure that you, your family, and your community would make it through the collapse? What lessons can you teach us?
His answer was most unexpected.

Preparing for Liberty

When I think of how I’d survive a collapse, my mind jumps to things like stockpiling supplies, starting a garden, learning to shoot, being able to live off-grid, or having a strategic bug-out location. All of those did indeed come into play, and were critical components of survival for Paul and his community. However, I soon realized he had a completely different perspective than most preppers with whom I’ve spoken.

As I heard Paul’s story, it became obvious to me that while we often have a laser focus on preparing to survive the impending collapse, his community had gone farther and made preparations for survival after the collapse. In other words: yes, he had to have practical necessities and skills to make it through whatever came his way – but what then? After the world as he knew it ended, was his community prepared to help create a new one?

As it turns out, they were indeed as well prepared as they could be, for they had men among them who knew very well what they were about. They wasn’t preparing merely for survival; they were preparing for liberty.

I wish you could all sit down in a room with Paul and listen to him relate his own story and the lessons learned from it. Unfortunately, that will not be possible. Paul died in 1818, 43 years after his famous midnight ride warning the colonists that the British Regulars were out to seize their gunpowder. However, we can still hold conversations with him, and the others in his community who survived the end of the world as they knew it, if we become students of history.

Liberty: Dead or Alive?

The spirit of liberty was alive and well in the hearts and minds of Paul Revere and his fellow American colonists in the 1770s as they endured the horrors of war and worked hopefully, against great odds, toward a new future, seeking to preserve freedom and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity.
What about now, and what about us? As you look around in your family, your neighborhood, your city, your state, and your country, do you see the spirit of liberty alive and well? Quite frankly, I don’t. 
This begs the question: how do we plant and nurture the seed of liberty in the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans?

Allow me to present to you the LibertySeed, a branch of Project Appleseed of the Revolutionary War Veterans Association.

From Appleseeds to LibertySeeds – A New Option

Project Appleseed, a national organization and activity of the 501(c)(3) Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA), is gaining recognition for its rifle marksmanship clinics held all over the country. In addition to learning the best fundamentals of traditional marksmanship, participants at an Appleseed shoot are treated to a re-telling of the events of April 19, 1775 – the day the American Revolutionary War began, and the day our heritage was born.

Until recently, those interested in hearing the history presented at an Appleseed event had to attend the two-day clinic at the range. Now, you have a 90-minute alternative option: the LibertySeed.
A LibertySeed is an indoor event consisting of the history portion of an Appleseed shoot. An RWVA instructor will come, free of charge, to your location and present the events of April 19, 1775 in a manner suitable for your group. You can request a presentation at a church retreat, a Boy Scout troop meeting, a gun club luncheon, a grassroots political meeting, a homeschool book fair or conference, or even a group of your family and friends gathered in your home.

Think of a LibertySeed presentation as a conversation with a TEOTWAWKI survivor: you get to hear vivid accounts of the preparations made, the networking put into place, the brilliant minds who sparked fires of liberty, and the faithful men who carried on and endured more pain than we can imagine. As you hear this fascinating history – your story – you will begin to understand why our nation’s government was set up the way it is. You will regain motivation to make the best possible use of the freedoms you have been given. You will come to understand that our forefathers used the bullet box to set up a system of government which we can influence in much easier forms: through the ballot box and the soapbox .
All this you get at a LibertySeed, as you hear of men who “knew very well what they are about.”

Men Who Know Very Well What They Are About

Before April 19, 1775, Lord Hugh Percy of the British forces held the colonials in disdain, considering them inept, uncouth backwoodsmen. However, after observing their skill and resolution that day, he wrote home with a completely different opinion: “Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob, will find himself very much mistaken. They have men amongst them who know very well what they are about.”
He was talking about men like John Parker, captain of the Lexington Training Band – a man dying of tuberculosis who chose to spend his last days burning resolute determination into the souls of his men as they faced off against far superior forces, instead of considering himself exempt from serving…

Men like Isaac Davis, captain of the Acton Minutemen, who raised his sword at the North Bridge when a charge was deemed necessary and declared, “I have not a man who is afraid to go!” – and women like his wife, 29-year-old Hannah, who let him walk out the door that morning leaving her with four deathly ill children and a sickening premonition that was realized a few hours later when his corpse was carried into her parlor, a musket ball having pierced his chest and taken his life…

Men like 80-year-old Deacon Josiah Haynes, who turned out with the militia and set a rapid pace on the road, leaving the young minutemen panting behind him, until he was killed during the Regulars’ nightmarish retreat from Concord – killed while leading his townsmen from the front…

And men like Paul Revere, who became famous for words he never spoke (instead of, “The British are coming!” he actually called out, “The Regulars are out!” since everyone at that time was British), while key facts about his midnight ride– such as his capture by a British patrol before he reached Concord—remain unknown to most Americans…

As a LibertySeed presentation offers the gripping stories of these and many other men and women, it helps you to educate your children and your community on their nation’s heritage. You can play an important role in the survival of the spirit of liberty in our country simply by scheduling a LibertySeed presentation.

How To Schedule a LibertySeed

To schedule a LibertySeed presentation, simply contact the RWVA through the site LibertySeed.org. A volunteer instructor in your area will work with you to organize the details of the presentation, creating an event tailored to your needs.

A typical LibertySeed presentation is often 90 minutes long and includes all Three Strikes of the Match – the three encounters between the colonial militia and the British Regulars on April 19, 1775 that culminated in the beginning of the Revolutionary War. However, the timeframe and contents can be adjusted.

For example, the RWVA has conducted LibertySeed presentations at elementary and junior high schools, political club meetings, church retreats, convention workshops, prepper expos, gun shows, backyard picnics, or even around a restaurant table after a ladies’ range day. You may request a luncheon speaker who will give a condensed history in 20-30 minutes, or a female volunteer who can address your women’s group, or a presenter who is experienced at working with children to tell the Three Strikes in an engaging and interactive format for a homeschool co-op. Your event can be private – only for you and your friends, or public – posted on LibertySeed.org for your community to attend.

There is no charge to you or your guests for a LibertySeed event. RWVA volunteers consider it a pleasure and an honor to reawaken their fellow Americans to our shared heritage of liberty, and they give their time generously in an effort to bail out the sinking ship that our nation has become.

How Are You Preparing for Liberty?

Perhaps it’s too late to save America. Perhaps the ship has already sunk too far and a complete national collapse is inevitable. Or perhaps not, if we are zealous to reawaken the spirit of liberty in ourselves and our countrymen.

As you’re preparing for the survival of TEOTWAWKI, consider a conversation with those who’ve been there already. Sure, learn survival skills and be wise about stocking up necessary supplies for whatever may come your way. But don’t forget about the real goal of prepping – not just getting through, but keeping the spirit of liberty alive and well. It may be that, among all the seeds you want to have for your survival, the LibertySeed is the most important. Be sure to get yourself one.
Copyright 2005-2012 James Wesley, Rawles – SurvivalBlog.com All Rights Reserved

The Coercive Acts – The Intolerable Acts

join-or-die-flagThis is a brief down-and-dirty, so to speak, on the Coercive Acts/Intolerable Acts.  Just a quick overview to refresh your memory.  April 19th didn’t happen in a vacuum and sometimes we have to step back and look at the forest.

The Boston Tea Party occurred on December 16, 1773.  Obviously, the act was not well received back in London and the Parliament felt compelled to do something to punish the people of Boston.  The result was The Coercive Acts.  That’s what Parliament called them.  The Colonists called them The Intolerable Acts.  Here’s what they did:

  • 1.  Closed the port of Boston to ships coming or going.
  • 2.  Disbanded the Massachusetts Provincial government.
  • 3.  Any official accused of a crime would be taken back to England for trial.
  • 4.  Forced the Colonists to quarter British soldiers in their homes.

We hear over and over and over – well you get the picture – that Colonists revolted because of “No taxation without representation.”  Hogwash.  There was a minute element of that but the Intolerable Acts pushed them over the top.  The people of the Colonies watched as Boston was strangled.  Innocent people were being punished by the King for acts committed by just a few.

Had it not been for the Boston Committee of Donation working non-stop to get out their rallying cry – “we suffer in the common cause” – and engaging all the Colonies in the mission, the working class people of Boston would have starved to death.  (I’ll post another blog on this topic soon.)

Disbanding the Provincial governments was also a big deal.    This was, in Captain Levi Preston’s words, how the Americans had “always ruled ourselves.”

These Intolerable Acts took effect in June, 1774.  If things were shaky before these Acts, now they were positively explosive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab the Tar and Feathers

feathering

Retribution; – tarring and feathering; – or – the patriots revenge by James Gillray

Recently I watched the mini-series John Adams.  I was enthralled with seeing the locations and people that have become so important in my life.  (Yes, I know these were not the “real” people.  But that didn’t change my reaction to seeing them.)

One of the most dramatic moments in this series included Sam Adams and John Adams watching as a Loyalist was tarred and feathered.  In the scene, Sam was almost jubilant while John was aghast at the violence of the torture.  Quite frankly, I was shocked to see them strip the man naked before the crowd and pour burning, black tar down his body.  The man screamed in agony.  Then, they emptied bags of feathers all over him and rode him on a rail.  It was horrible to watch.

But, was it accurate?  Or was it just a bit of propaganda?  (I’m always leery seeing how Hollywood portrays History.)

Well, apparently it wasn’t altogether accurate.  I have since learned that our modern tar – what they use on the roads – black and blistering hot – was not the same tar they used for this punishment.  The tar they used was pine tar.  Though it was hot enough to burn, it rarely did enough damage to mention.  It was mostly hot and sticky.  Perfect for sticking the feathers to.  Often, they didn’t even strip the offender before putting the tar on him; they just put it over his cloths.  And most often, they applied it with a mop, further cooling it before it hit skin.

There are a few historical accounts in which the tar left marks.  But those were the exception rather than the rule.  This “torture” was done more for humiliation than for inflicting pain.  Here’s a link to more information.

An now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bedford Flag

BedfordFlagThe Bedford flag is the only flag thought to be carried by the Insurgent forces on April 19th, 1775.  It was carried by Nathaniel Page, of the Bedford Minutemen.  Bedford is about five miles northeast of Concord.

But the flag itself dates back to even before the French and Indian war.  It was commissioned for a Massachusetts cavalry unity by Nathaniel’s father in 1737.  As a cavalry flag, it was not the size we think of for other Revolutionary War Flags.  It measured 27″ long by 29″ wide and was made of crimson silk damask.  This flag still resides in the Bedford Public Library.

Their website describes the flag this way:  “Into the rich red damask is woven a pattern of pomegranates, grapes, and leaves.  The design is painted on both sides of the flag, mainly in silver and gold.  The emblem consists of a mailed arm emerging from clouds and grasping a sword.  Three cannonballs hang in the air.  Encircling the arm is a gold ribbon on which the Latin words “VINCE AUT MORIRE” (Conquer or Die) are painted.”

Nathaniel told his grandson the story of April 19th, when he carried this little flag to Concord and into history:  “Our people were not surprised when the messenger reached this house…  We had agreed at the last drilling to meet, in case of alarm, at the tavern in the center of the town, kept by Jeremiah Fitch, sergeant of the militia company.  The horseman banged on the house and cried out, ‘Up, Mr. Page, the regulars are out.’  We were not long at our preparations, and were soon at the tavern.”

When they reached concord, Nathaniel and the Bedford Minutemen remove and hide stores before joining the Concord militia at the North Bridge.