Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Washington And The Newburg Conspiracy...!

This happened on this day in history,and shows just what a hands on type of president George Washington was.

It probably took a lot of courage to take this step. Certainly couldn't have been easy, but George was never one to take the easy way out.

It's a shame that some of our leaders don't man up and put the country first, and think of the party lines later! Unfortunately, we all know that will never happen! Still, it would be nice if more politicians would follow the example set by Washington way back in 1783. Taken from the pages of the History Channel, here is the story!

On the morning of March 15, 1783, General George Washington makes a surprise appearance at an assembly of army officers at Newburgh, New York, to calm the growing frustration and distrust they had been openly expressing towards Congress in the previous few weeks. Angry with Congress for failing to honor its promise to pay them and for its failure to settle accounts for repayment of food and clothing, officers began circulating an anonymous letter condemning Congress and calling for a revolt.

When word of the letter and its call for an unsanctioned meeting of officers reached him, Washington issued a general order forbidding any unsanctioned meetings and called for a general assembly of officers for March 15. At the meeting, Washington began his speech to the officers by saying, "Gentlemen: By an anonymous summons, an attempt has been made to convene you together; how inconsistent with the rules of propriety! How unmilitary! And how subversive of all order and discipline..."

Washington continued by pledging, "to exert whatever ability I am possessed of, in your favor." He added, "Let me entreat you, gentlemen, on your part, not to take any measures, which viewed in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity, and sully the glory you have hitherto maintained; let me request you to rely on the plighted faith of your country, and place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress."

When he finished, Washington removed a letter from his breast pocket that he had received from a member of the Continental Congress. He hesitated for a moment as he looked down at the letter before fumbling to retrieve a pair of spectacles from his pocket. Before reading the letter, Washington, in an almost apologetic tone said, "Gentlemen, you must pardon me. I have grown old in the service of my country and now find that I am growing blind." The eyes of most of his audience filled with tears. The content of the letter became irrelevant as the assembled officers realized that Washington had given as much or more in the service of the new nation as any of them. Within minutes, the officers voted unanimously to express confidence in Congress and their country.

In a letter to the Continental Congress dated March 18, 1783, Washington wrote to assure the body that the unrest of officers was over, writing, "The result of the proceedings of the grand convention of the officers, which I have the honor of enclosing to your Excellency for the inspection of Congress, will, I flatter myself, be considered as the last glorious proof of patriotism which could have been given by men who aspired to the distinction of a Patriot army; and will not only confirm their claim to the justice, but will increase their title to the gratitude of their country."

Why can't we elect some leaders that want to lead? Why must everything be decided by what's good for the "party" and not by what's good for the Country? Why can't the people in charge behave like men and not like puppets? Why is it so hard for them to understand that they are here to to serve the people of the country and NOT the other way around?

I'm sure that someone somewhere has the answers...but I don't! After all, I'm just one of the masses. Seems like the popular belief in the Capital is that we have to be protected from ourselves, in spite of what we feel! Again, this is just my opinion!

Let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit!


Baby Sis said...

Bubba -

While I agree with your sentiments, the "forbidding of any unsactioned meetings" and the following plea to place full confidence in the Congress sounds pretty much like the gobbledegook we hear from Washington these days to me.

Sounds like the President was doing just what this one does; getting invloved in what was not really his place.

Don't throw stones - just what it sounds like to this reader. I'm still for small government and work for your own wealth - fewer government handouts and taking responsibility for your self and your actions. Sound like a teabagger to you?

Big hugs -

JoJo said...

Thanks for this post, very interesting.
Washinton was a great leader.
Could you please pass the pot my way enjoying the kitchen today.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sis...
While I agree that those tactics would not work in this day and age, I can't help but think that what Washington had in mind was to avert any more fighting and for everyone to have more faith in the power of democracy!

It was a different time, and the whole process of changing from the power of the throne...to the power of the people was new! New not only to us, but to the world!

I have no doubt that Washington knew the officers could stage a successful revolt if they wished, but was asking instead for a chance to allow the new born system to run it's course!

I can only imagine that everyone was tired of fighting and that George wanted to keep fresh in the minds of the congress just what their attentions should be focused on.

You know how I feel about politics today, but back then, when the system was new and struggling, it was still possible to convince congress that their job was important! It was also important, I think, to remind them that the eyes of the people were on them and paying close attention to what they did!

Back then, it was called leadership! Today it would be called terrorism! But, as I say, that was another world...and what was good for the new country back then is NOT what is acceptable for us today!

Just sort of thinking out loud here, Sorry to ramble on, but please don't think my statements on the early workings of congress compare in any way with my current thoughts about the mob of criminals in charge now!

Thanks for coming by today and for the discussion! That, after all, is what this whole country is all about! Open and informed discussion!Started by the leaders and finished by the will of the people!


Hey JoJo...
Glad to see you are in front of the computer again and well on the road to recovery!

I knew you were way too frisky to keep down long!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Spokes... said...

You left out the part of the tale which relates to Washingtons' handlers.

See there was a poll conducted that seem to show he shouldn't read the letter but then a focus group said he should. So ole George fumbled with his glasses a bit whilst he was trying to decide. But it worked out alright for hime but it could have gone a whole other way so that's why the politician of this modern time always check with their people before they decide how many sheets of paper to use way long before they have to wipe and they continue to $!@t in high cotton!

HermitJim said...

Hey Spokes...
I'll bet that if George had handlers, they certainly had their hands full!

I was thinking that the reason he fumbled around for his glasses and the letter, was to have time to remind all present that he had given as much as they did, but to do so without actually saying it!

Political theater at it's best!

Thanks for coming by today!

Marjie said...

And now the cursed election season is already in full swing, or full fumble. I'd really just like a little down time, wouldn't you?

As for leaders who want to lead, well, I have to say that Scott Walker and Chris Christie aren't following what's popular. I hope it works out for them, and for the populations of their states, as well.

judysquiltsandthings said...

The last 'common man' to get elected to the Office of President was probably Harry S Truman or Dwight D. Eisenhower. You don't get elected to Congress or the Presidency without a LOT of money. Which means you were born into a privileged (moneyed) class or you sold your soul (principles) a long time ago. If you were to develop a conscience or principles the money would dry up and you wouldn't get re-elected.

Which lead me to another thought. This country was created by a wealthy, educated class who felt infringed upon by the government of the day, and they reserved the right to vote, in the beginning, to themselves (land-owners). I doubt until the wealthy of today feel infringed upon will there be a change in the way our government is ran.

I have also wondered, if the right to vote were once again reserved for land owners(farmers) if we would return to the Constitutional Rule. I haven't meet very many stupid farmers, have you?