Tag Archives: American history

The Battle of Brooklyn Heights began August 27, 1776


Battle of Brooklyn HeightsAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

British forces left Boston and headed to New York.

General George Washington moved his troops to New York, fortifying Brooklyn Heights.

Enthusiasm was high and Washington’s ranks swelled to nearly 20,000.

Before long, hundreds of British ships filled New York’s harbor, carrying 32,000 troops.

It was the largest invasion force in history to that date.

The thousands of wooden masts of the British ships were described as looking like a forest.

In Congress, May 1776, General William Livingston made a resolution which passed without dissent:

“We earnestly recommend that Friday, the 17th day of May be observed by the colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer,

that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins…and by a sincere repentance…appease God’s righteous displeasure,

and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ obtain His pardon and forgiveness.”

In New York, General Washington ordered his troops, May 15, 1776:

“The Continental Congress having ordered Friday the 17th…to be observed as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer,

humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please Him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the arms of the United Colonies,

and finally establish the peace and freedom of America upon a solid and lasting foundation;

The General commands all officers and soldiers to pay strict obedience to the orders of the Continental Congress;

that, by their unfeigned and pious observance of their religious duties, they may incline the Lord and Giver of victory to prosper our arms.”

On July 9, 1776, messengers from Philadelphia delivered to New York a copy of the Declaration of Independence, which Washington had read to his troops.

The Declaration mentioned God four times:

“Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…”

“All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

“Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of
our Intentions…”

“With a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence.”

Citizens of New York pulled down the statue of the ‘tyrant’ King George and classes were stopped at King’s College, which later reopened as Columbia College.

On AUGUST 27, 1776, the Battle of Brooklyn Heights (Long Island) began.

It was the first major battle after America had officially declared its independence, and it was the largest battle of the entire war.

Washington expected an attack from the sea, similar to what the British did at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Instead, 10,000 British troops landed a distance from New York and a British loyalist led them through Jamaica Pass, marching all night long to make a surprise attack on the Continental Army from behind.

An estimated 3,000 Americans were killed or wounded compared to only 392 British casualties.

As General Washington watched 400 soldiers of the First Maryland Regiment charge six times directly into the British lines, allowing the rest of the Continental Army to find cover, he exclaimed:

“Good God, what brave fellows I have lost this day.”

British General Howe trapped the 8,000 American troops on Brooklyn Heights with their backs against the sea.

That night, Washington made the desperate decision to evacuate his entire army by ferrying it across the East River to Manhattan Island.

The sea was boisterous where the British ships were, but providentially calm in the East River allowing Washington’s boats to transport troops, horses and cannons.

The next morning, as the sun began to rise, half of the America troops were still in danger, but a “miraculously” thick fog lingered blocking the evacuation from being seen by the British.

Major Ben Tallmadge, Washington’s Chief of Intelligence, wrote:

“As the dawn of the next day approached, those of us who remained in the trenches became very anxious for our own safety, and when the dawn appeared there were several regiments still on duty.

At this time a very dense fog began to rise off the river, and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments.

I recollect this peculiar providential occurrence perfectly well, and so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man at six yards distance…

We tarried until the sun had risen, but the fog remained as dense as ever.”

General Washington was on the last boat that left Brooklyn Heights.

Had the Americans not been able to evacuate, the war would have ended there.

As it happened, the British never again had such an opportunity to capture the entire American army at one time.

Washington wrote later that year, August 20, 1778:

“The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this-the course of the war-that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith.”

While in Brooklyn, New York, November 1, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of enemy tactics during World War II:

“Those forces hate democracy and Christianity as two phases of the same civilization.

They oppose democracy because it is Christian. They oppose Christianity because it preaches democracy…

We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religions bound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality…”

FDR concluded:

“Whoever seeks to set one nationality against another, seeks to degrade all nationalities.

Whoever seeks to set one race against another seeks to enslave all races…

So-called racial and religious voting blocs are the creation of designing politicians who profess to be able to deliver them on Election Day…

But every American citizen…will scorn such unpatriotic politicians.

The vote of Americans will be American – and only American.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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Alexis de Tocqueville on America


Alexis de Tocqueville

American Minute with Bill Federer

Alexis de Tocqueville was born JULY 29, 1805.

A French social scientist, he traveled the United States in 1831, and wrote a two-part work, Democracy in America (1835, 1840), which has been described as:

“the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written.”

In it, de Tocqueville wrote:

“Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things, to which I was unaccustomed.

In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country…”

De Tocqueville continued:

“They brought with them…a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe, than by styling it a democratic and republican religion…

From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.”

De Tocqueville wrote:

“Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it…This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation.”

De Tocqueville observed:

“The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God…

Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same.”

De Tocqueville added:

“In the United States the sovereign authority is religious…There is no country in the whole world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence than in America…

America is still the place where the Christian religion has kept the greatest real power over men’s souls; and nothing better demonstrates how useful and natural it is to man, since the country where it now has the widest sway is both the most enlightened and the freest.”

De Tocqueville continued:

“In the United States the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people…Christianity, therefore reigns without obstacle, by universal consent…”

De Tocqueville continued:

“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.”

In Book Two of Democracy in America, de Tocqueville wrote:

“Christianity has therefore retained a strong hold on the public mind in America…In the United States…Christianity itself is a fact so irresistibly established, that no one undertakes either to attack or to defend it.”

In August of 1831, while traveling through Chester County, New York, Alexis de Tocqueville observed a court case:

“While I was in America, a witness, who happened to be called at the assizes of the county of Chester, declared that he did not believe in the existence of God or in the immortality of the soul. The judge refused to admit his evidence, on the ground that the witness had destroyed beforehand all confidence of the court in what he was about to say. The newspapers related the fact without any further comment.

The New York Spectator of August 23d, 1831, relates the fact in the following terms:

‘The court of common pleas of Chester county (New York), a few days since rejected a witness who declared his disbelief in the existence of God.

The presiding judge remarked, that he had not before been aware that there was a man living who did not believe in the existence of God; that this belief constituted the sanction of all testimony in a court of justice: and that he knew of no case in a Christian country, where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief.’”

In Democracy in American, Vol. II, (1840), Book 1, Chapter V), Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

“Mohammed brought down from heaven and put into the Koran not religious doctrines only, but political maxims, criminal and civil laws, and scientific theories.

The Gospels, on the other hand, deal only with the general relations between man and God and between man and man. Beyond that, they teach nothing and do not oblidge people to believe anything.

That alone, among a thousand reasons, is enough to show that Islam will not be able to hold its power long in an age of enlightenment and democracy, while Christianity is destined to reign in such age, as in all others.”

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote to Arthur de Gobineau, October 22, 1843 (Tocqueville Reader, p. 229):

“I studied the Koran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Mohammed.

So far as I can see, it is the principle cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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Henry Clay – a brief biography


 

Henry Clay (1777-1852)

 

American Minute with Bill Federer

 

“I would rather be right than President,” answered Henry Clay, when told his abolitionist position would cost him the election.

 

Clay was 3 times a candidate for President, once only 5,000 votes short.

 

The son of a Baptist minister, Henry Clay studied law under George Wythe, served in Congress over 40 years and was Speaker of the House 6 times.

 

Henry Clay stated in 1841:

 

“Patriotism, which, catching its inspiration from the immortal God…prompts to deeds of self-sacrifice, of valor, of devotion, and of death itself – that is public virtue, that is the noblest, the sublimest of all public virtues.”

 

Clay was part of the “Great Triumvirate,” with Daniel Webster and John Calhoun which led Congress during the early 1800′s.

 

He helped negotiate the treaty ending the War of 1812 and was key to John Quincy Adams being the 6th President instead of Andrew Jackson.

 

In 1824, Clay supported Greeks who wanted freedom from the Muslim Ottoman Empire, and he supported South Americans wanting freedom from Spain.

 

Abraham Lincoln described Henry Clay in a eulogy, July 6, 1852:

 

“When Greece rose against the Turks and struck for liberty, his name was mingled with the battle-cry of freedom.

 

When South America threw off the thraldom of Spain, his speeches were read at the head of her armies by Bolivar.

 

His name…will continue to be hallowed in two hemisphere… Clay was without an equal…He exorcised the demon which possessed the body politic…

 

Clay’s efforts in behalf of the South Americans, and…in behalf of the Greeks, in the times of their respective struggles for civil liberty are among the finest on record.”

 

In 1832, when an Asiatic Cholera epidemic ravaged New York, Henry Clay recommended a Day of: “Public humiliation, prayer and fasting to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity.”

 

Henry Clay was second cousin’s of abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, and in 1816, helped establish the American Colonization Society to aid free American blacks in founding Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa.

 

Clay addressed the Kentucky Colonization Society in Frankfort, 1829:

 

“Eighteen hundred years have rolled away since the Son of God, our blessed Redeemer, offered Himself on Mount Calvary for the salvation of our species…

 

When we shall, as soon we must, be translated from this into another form of existence, is the hope presumptuous that we shall behold the common Father of the whites and blacks, the great Ruler of the Universe, cast his all-seeing eye upon civilized and regenerated Africa, its cultivated fields, its coasts studded with numerous cities, adorned with towering temples dedicated to the pure religion of His Redeeming Son?”

 

Known as “The Great Compromiser,” Clay opposed the Mexican-American War, and struggled to maintain the Union between the North and the South by proposing “The Compromise of 1850.”

 

Henry Clay told the Senate, February 5, 1850:

 

“I hope it will not be out of place to do here, what again and again I have done in my private chamber, to implore of Him who holds the destinies of nations and individuals in His hands, to bestow upon our country His blessing, to calm the violence and rage of party, to still passion…

 

May I not ask of Him too, sir, to bestow on his humble servant…the blessing of his smiles, and of strength and ability to perform the work which now lies before him?…

 

I implore…Heaven…that if…the dissolution of this Union is to happen, I shall not survive to behold the sad and heart-rending spectacle.”

 

Nine year before the Civil War began, Henry Clay died from tuberculosis, JUNE 29, 1852.

 

The first to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, a statue of Henry Clay was placed in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall by the State of Kentucky.

 

Fifteen counties across America were named for him.

 

In 1957, a Senate Committee headed by John F. Kennedy named Clay one of the 5 best Senators ever.

 

Rep. John C. Breckinridge recalled Henry Clay as having said:

 

“The vanity of the world, and its insufficiency to satisfy the soul of man, has been long a settled conviction of my mind.

 

Man’s inability to secure by his own merits the approbation of God, I feel to be true…

 

I trust in the atonement of the Saviour of mercy, as the ground of my acceptance and of my hope of salvation.”

 

Henry Clay warned the Senate, July 22, 1850:

 

“If there be a war…I will not assert what party would prevail…for you know, sir, what all history teaches…that few wars…have ever terminated in the accomplishment of the objects for which they were commenced…

 

Think alone of our God, our country, our consciences, and our glorious Union…without which we shall be torn into hostile fragments, and sooner or later become the victims of military despotism, or foreign domination…”

 

Clay continued:

 

“What will be the judgment of mankind…who are looking upon the progress of this scheme of self-government as being that which holds out the highest hopes…of ameliorating the condition of mankind…

 

Will not all the monarchs of the old world pronounce our glorious republic a disgraceful failure?…

 

It is possible that, for the chastisement of our sins and transgressions, the rod of Providence may be still applied to us, may be still suspended over us…

 

I pray to Almighty God that it may not lead to the most unhappy and disastrous consequences to our beloved country”

 

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

 

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