Tag Archives: Ben Franklin

Cornwallis surrendered October 19, 1781


Cornwallis surrendered October 19, 1781

Battle of Cowpens paintingAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

British Colonel Tarleton was known as ‘the bloody butcher’ for letting his dragoons bayonet and hack hundreds of surrendering American soldiers at Buford’s Massacre, May 29, 1780.

In January of 1781, Colonel Tarleton with 1,200 dragoons were pursuing American troops, but General Daniel Morgan led them into a trap at the Battle of Cowpens, killing 100 British and capturing 800.

When British General Cornwallis heard the news, he was leaning on his sword, and leaned so forcibly that it snapped in two.

Cornwallis gave chase, even abandoning his slow supply wagons along the way, but was unable to catch the Americans, now led by General Nathaniel Greene.

Providential flash floods and rising rivers allowed the Americans to escape.

Without supplies, Cornwallis was ordered to move his 8,000 troops to a defensive position where the York River entered Chesapeake Bay.

By this time, Ben Franklin and Marquis de Lafayette had succeeded in their efforts to persuade French King Louis XVI to send ships and troops the help the Americans.

French Admiral de Grasse left off fighting the British in the West Indies and sailed 24 ships to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, where, in the Battle of the Capes, he drove off 19 British ships which were sent to evacuate Cornwallis’ men.

De Grasse’s 3,000 French troops and General Rochambeau’s 6,000 French troops hurriedly joined General Lafayette’s division as they marched to help General Washington trap Cornwallis against the sea.

They joined the troops of Generals Benjamin Lincoln, Baron von Steuben, Modrecai Gist, Henry Knox and John Peter Muhlenberg.

Altogether, 17,000 French and American troops surrounded Cornwallis and, on OCTOBER 19, 1781, he surrendered.

Yale President Ezra Stiles wrote, May 8, 1783:

“Who but God could have ordained the critical arrival of the Gallic (French) fleet, so as to… assist… in the siege… of Yorktown?…

Should we not… ascribe to a Supreme energy… the wise… generalship displayed by General Greene… leaving the… roving Cornwallis to pursue his helter-skelter ill fated march into Virginia…

It is God who had raised up for us a…powerful ally… a chosen army and a naval force: who sent us a Rochambeau… to fight side by side with a Washington… in the… Battle of Yorktown.”

General Washington wrote:

“To diffuse the general Joy through every breast the General orders… Divine Service to be performed tomorrow in the several Brigades…

The Commander-in-Chief earnestly recommends troops not on duty should universally attend with that gratitude of heart which the recognition of such astonishing Interposition of Providence demands.”

The next year, October 11, 1782, the Congress of the Confederation passed:

“It being the indispensable duty of all nations…to offer up their supplications to Almighty God…the United States in Congress assembled…

do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe…the last Thursday, in the 28th day of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”

On September 3, 1783, the Revolutionary War officially ended with the Treaty of Paris, signed by Ben Franklin, John Adams, John Jay and David Hartley:

“In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.

It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain…and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences…

Done at Paris, this third day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.”

With the war over, Massachusetts Governor John Hancock proclaimed November 8, 1783:

“The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and Gratitude to the God of their salvation…

I do…appoint…the 11th day of December next (the day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer,

That all the people may then assemble to celebrate…that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel…

That we also offer up fervent supplications… to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish…and to fill the world with his glory.”

Ronald Reagan, in proclaiming a Day of Prayer, stated January 27, 1983:

“In 1775, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Prayer…

In 1783, the Treaty of Paris officially ended the long, weary Revolutionary War during which a National Day of Prayer had been proclaimed every spring for eight years.”

The Journal of the U.S. House of Representatives recorded that on March 27, 1854, the 33rd Congress voted unanimously to print Rep. James Meacham’s report, which stated:

“Down to the Revolution, every colony did sustain religion in some form. It was deemed peculiarly proper that the religion of liberty should be upheld by a free people…

Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle.”


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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Benjamin Franklin – an American Icon


Benjamin_Franklin_engravingAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

On JULY 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General of the United States, a position he held under the British Crown before the Revolution.

Franklin’s public career began when he organized Pennsylvania’s first volunteer militia during threaten attacks from Spanish and French ships.

He then proposed a General Fast, which was approved by the Colony’s Council and printed in his Pennsylvania Gazette, December 12, 1747:

“As the calamities of a bloody War…seem every year more nearly to approach us…there is just reason to fear that unless we humble ourselves before the Lord & amend our Ways, we may be chastized with yet heavier Judgments,

We have, therefore, thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People, to observe the same with becoming seriousness & attention, & to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent Supplications;

That Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the Rage of War among the Nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian Blood.”

Franklin published evangelist George Whitefield’s sermons, thereby spreading The Great Awakening Revival.

He established a volunteer fire department, a circulating public library, an insurance company, a city police force, a night watch and a hospital.

He set up the lighting of city streets and was the first to suggest Daylight Savings Time. He invented bifocal glasses, the Franklin Stove, swim fins, the lightning rod, and coined the electrical terms “positive” and “negative.”

In 1754, Franklin wrote a pamphlet, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” for Europeans interested in sending their youth to this land:

“Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised.

Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.

And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favor the whole country.”

On September 28, 1776, as President of Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin signed the State’s first Constitution, “the most radically democratic Frame of Government the world had ever seen.

It stated:

“Government ought to be instituted…to enable the individuals…to enjoy their natural rights…which the Author of Existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends…are not obtained, the people have a right…to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their safety and happiness…”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution continued:

“All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences…

Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right…

No authority…shall in any case interfere with…the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution added:

“And each member…shall make…the following declaration, viz: I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration. And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution had in Section 45:

“Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be…constantly kept in force…Religious societies…incorporated for the advancement of religion…shall be encouraged.”

At the end of the Revolutionary War, Franklin signed the Treaty of Paris, September 3, 1783, which began: “In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity…”

As Pennsylvania’s President (Governor), Ben Franklin hosted the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where on June 28, 1787, he moved:

“That henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning.”

Franklin composed his epitaph:

“THE BODY of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN – Printer.
Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out,
And stripped of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms;
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will (as he believed) appear once more,
In a new, and more beautiful edition,
Corrected and amended By The AUTHOR.”

Franklin wrote April 17, 1787:

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.

As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”


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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The Constitutional Convention was divinely inspired


 

Ben Franklin

American Minute with Bill Federer

 

The Constitutional Convention was in a deadlock over how large and small states could be represented equally.

 

Some delegates left.

 

Then, on JUNE 28, 1787, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin spoke and shortly after, the U.S. Constitution became a reality.

 

Franklin stated:

 

“Groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights…

 

In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection.

 

Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.

 

All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending Providence in our favor…

 

And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?”

 

Franklin concluded:

 

“We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’…

 

I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed…no better than the Builders of Babel.”

 

Ben Franklin gave another address at the Constitutional Convention, 1787, titled Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy:

 

“Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men…ambition and avarice-the love of power and the love of money…

 

When united…they have…the most violent effects.

 

Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall, at the same time, be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it…

 

What kind are the men that will strive for this profitable preeminence, through all the bustle of cabal, the heat of contention, the infinite mutual abuse of parties, tearing to pieces the best of characters?

 

It will not be the wise and moderate, the lovers of peace and good order, the men fittest for the trust.

 

It will be the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits.

 

These will thrust themselves into your government and be your rulers…”

 

Franklin explained further:

 

“There will always be a party for giving more to the rulers, that the rulers may be able, in return, to give more to them.

 

All history informs us, there has been…a kind of warfare between the governing and the governed; the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less…

 

Generally, indeed, the ruling power carries…and we see the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more.

 

The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans, and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure.

 

There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh-get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever.

 

It will be said that we do not propose to establish kings…But there is a natural inclination in mankind to kingly government…

 

They would rather have one tyrant than five hundred. It gives more of the appearance of equality among citizens; and that they like.

 

I am apprehensive, therefore-perhaps too apprehensive-that the government of the States may, in future times, end in a monarchy…and a king will the sooner be set over us.”

 

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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