Category: Historic Characters


Charles Cornwallis was born at Grosvenor Square, London on December 31, 1738 being the eldest son of Charles Earl Cornwallis and Elizabeth Townshend. He graduated from Clare College, Cambridge who then studied military science and getting trained in a military academy on Turin, Italy. Cornwallis returned home after now knowing the news that his father died and took his seat in the house of lords in 1762 when he was already a lieutenant captain. While being part of the House of Lords Cornwallis was in favor of the colonies and voted against the stamp and intolerable acts.

In 1768 Cornwallis got married with Jemima Jones having 1 daughter named Mary and a boy called Charles. Because of the birth of his children, Charles stepped away from military service for some time but when the war with colonies begins he is promoted to major general by king George 111 in 1775.

In 1776 Charles was then sent to America where he plays a key role in General Howe capture of New York and was then preparing his return to ome for winter but had to stay to deal with General George Washington in the side of the patriots. Cornwallis unsuccessfully attacked Washington and later had his rearguard defeated at Princeton in 1777. Cornwallis was blamed for the defeat in Princeton but next year Charles had the key to win the battle
of Brandywine.

Cornwallis later on could go back to England but stay for little time as in 1779 he was called again now to join Clinton in America. Charles participated in the battle at Monmouth against Washington troops again. Charles had to travel back home again but this time because of his wife’s death in February 1779. This made him to devote completely to the army and now control of his troops again now in southern colonies where he moved successfully until he reach Yorktown. Washington raced south to Yorktown, Virginia with a tactic that left Cornwallis away from the supplies that he called on from Georgia, Charles desperate tried to infect the patriots with small pox sending ill solders or to escape by the river but resulted useless. The situation confronted led Cornwallis to surrender his army in 1781 giving an end to American Revolution as patriots managed to undergo the most powerful army of the world.

After his defeat in the colonies, Cornwallis travels to India in 1786 becoming a governer-general but when is time finished he was then sent to Irland also as a governer-general. after Irish rebellion Charles passed the act of union of Ireland with England. Charles Cornwallis quit from the army in 1801 and traveled to India again but died 2 months later after arriving on October 5, 1805.

The American Revolution War is known for having lots of turns in the tides of war, lots of surprises, and lots of mistakes. But it is also known for being a war where many people who were not American nor British died fighting for a cause many of them, didn’t even know existed.
A very well known group of people that fought during this great war were the Hessians. German mercenary troopers that were hired by George the Third of England, to fight in the American Colonies. They were called Hessians for two reasons: One them being that, out of the 30,000 that fought in the American Revolution, a group of 12,000 soldiers came from Hesse-Cassel, German; all the others came from various German villages. The second reason was that the name “Hessians” was another word for saying “assassin”.

King George knew very well, that fighting in another continent would prove a challenge, since he would need to transport his entire army by ship and that would take months and months of organization and preparation, besides the costs for hiring and maintaing troops was very high by that time. It was cheaper to simply hire these people and give them food and a place to quarter them. The Hessians were paid with a very small salary. The majority of the money went to the prince who owned them, but the good side for the soldiers in this, was that they were allowed to stay with whatever they found while, they were looting a city or seizing a fort and the prince wouldn’t care one bit if the soldiers found an Aztec treasure. He just wanted his British coin for the hiring

And speaking about hiring, the Hessians were not hired as individuals as the slaves were. They were hire in regiments, or groups of soldiers which consisted on: jäger (infantry soldiers), hussars (calvary soldiers), three heavy artillery companies and four battalions of grenadiers. The jäger, by the way, were divided into three subcategories: for close quarter combat, the musketeers; for mid range combat, the fusiliers; and for long range shooting, the chasseurs (which are sharpshooters, or marksman).

Jaegers

Hussars

Artillery

Grenadier Battalions

The Hessians were present in almost every battle in theAmerican Revolution since their arrival in Staten Island, New York on August 15, 1776. They were used as garrison troops to protect conquered cities, in order to have more British troops available for fighting the Patriots in battle, but this strategy was not welcomed by many Americans. Even loyalists saw this as a very low move, by the British king. If he had the strongest army and navy in the world by that time, why was he hiring german speaking troops to fight for him in America? They saw this as a sign of weakness and overconfidence, and also hated the fact that Hessians had no respect for British or non-British civilians. All people who lived in America, but did not wore an army uniform was badly treated Hessian troopers and remember that one of the British acts, The Quartering Act of 1776, states that all civilians must give shelter and food to soldiers fighting under the crown’s orders, whether if they liked it or not, and Hessians WERE fighting under the crown’s orders. Many Americans and even loyalist turned to the Patriot side, when they saw themselves being ordered and even insulted in their own homes, by some foreigners who didn’t even speak the same language.

By the end of the war, as mentioned before, about 30,000 Hessian troopers fought in the American Revolution War, from which about 18,000 returned home, 5000 settled in North America, 6000 died because of illness or accidents, and only 1200 died fighting. And although the British lost the war, no one can deny that Hessians provided a precious aid to the British army, and judging by this statistics, they were also very well-trained soldiers just 1200 Hessians died in battle, compared to the almost 8000 troops Patriots lost while fighting. It was a good investment indeed, although in the end because of many tactical mistakes made by the British, the war was ultimately lost to the Patriots.

“He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny…” -Grievance taken from the Declaration of Independence

Although there are many things to know about this British monarch, and all of his achievements and mistakes he made during his reign. He will focus only of those that are related to American Revolution and some of early life to give some background to his life.

George the Third was born in London on June 4th, 1738. He was the grandson of George the second and son of the Prince of Wales, Frederick. From his early childhood George was very committed to his studies and knew how to speak both German and English. He was the first British monarch to study science systematically and this showed people that he was a very profitable prospect to take the crown after his grandfather. Although he will be remembered by many people as a flawed rather incompetent ruler.

On 1760, when George was 22 years old, he succeeded to the crown, when his grandfather George the Second, died suddenly because of natural causes at the age of 77. But, what George the third didn’t expect was that he inherited a kingdom that will soon fall into political instability

George the Third of England

George the Second of Great Britain

The first years of his government, were the years of the Seven Year War

, and although the British had won this war and became the dominant power of Europe and America; the spoils of war were huge and the year after the British victory, the British farms produced a very little income in comparison to other years. British had to find a way to earn Revenue besides taxing themselves, and started to bombard the colonists with lots of taxes, known as acts. Soon Americans started calling these acts the Intolerable Acts.

One very interesting fact about George the Third was that he was kind of like a puppet to Parliament, he had a “blind” confidence that Parliament would always make the right decisions, even when he doubted about their success. He would always approve any proposition of law, act, or action that Parliament gave to him. Most of the actions of the crown in America were actually the Parliament’s will, and King George the third just authorized them the permission to do so.

Actions taken by George the Third, involving the colonies

On the year 1763, George the Third signed the Royal Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting the colonies to move west from the Appalachians, that way they could expand South into the Spanish Florida and North into Nova Scotia.

Approved the Sugar, Stamp, Townshend, Quartering, and Intolerable Acts that taxed the colonists, without them having any kind of representation.

Refused the Olive Branch Petition and sent British soldiers into America to impose authority.

Hired German mercenaries, known as the Hessians to fight the colonists.

Extended the war as much as he could, since he didn’t wanted to lose all the territory his monarchy had work so hard on, and wanted colonists to remorse for their insults against the crown.

Signed the Treaties of Paris and returned Florida to Spain, in 1783. On the Treaties of Paris, he accepts defeat in North America and also accepts the Independence of the colonies from Britain.

The signing of the Treaty of Paris

Later in his reign, George the Third encounters more wars against the French and Napoleon, but this time George the third recovers reputation by defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. But later, he started to suffer from dementia, after the death of one of his daughters. Being so old, by the year 1810, he became completely blind and increasingly deaf. On his last week alive he was unable to walk, and finally died at Windsor Castle on January 29, 1820, just four hours after the death of one of his sons. For the rest of his family it was a very tragic day. Especially, for his favorite son, Frederick, the Duke of York, who stood be his side, during his last days.

“Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Britain” – George the Third

Loyalists

Loyalists… well they were against many of the Patriots ideas and sided with the king; that’s why they earned a place in our post.

There was 1/5 of the colonists that were loyal to Britain; this people were called “loyalists”. Loyalists were wealthy people known to have sold out everything to get a position at England government. This was believed to be true for many years and persons, but it was just a stereotype. Very few were like this, but many others were just farmers and normal people that were loyalists for the reason that they hated the militia drafts and because for them is was ridiculous to go and fight against the British army who was back then so powerful, that it could go over any other nation, not to mention the colonists.

Loyalists started to express their ways of thinking through out the colonies by newspapers, trying to disperse their ideas everywhere, but patriots decided then to shut down the loyalist newspapers so this couldn’t happen. Patriots also started to ask for taxes that were even more expensive then the British ones. Loyalists didn’t understand that those taxes were to build the great army they needed to fight Britain. Loyalist now were angry for two more things: because patriots didn’t gave them freedom of speech and because the taxes, which were more expensive.

Slaves also ended up becoming loyalists, because many of these people worked for the patriots, and because of the hate they felt for there owners taking away their liberty. They decided then to go on to the other side. Many of them escaped just to go join the British army to help “destroy” their owners. Native Americans also were also appealed by Loyalism. Because British seemed to protect the land west to the Mississippi and were trying to remove the colonists from this land, many Native Americans sided with the Colonists.

Loyalists mostly felt insecure throughout the colonies, because Patriots could torture them, so many moved to Boston where the Red Coats where established. Although Boston was under siege, they felt safer there,having the British army to protect them.

20120930-103428 p.m..jpg

John Hancock

Now don’t misunderstand this John Hancock with the one of the movie Hancock, although they might have the same name, one is Will Smith acting as a superhero, but the other one is a prominent statemen and merchant of the city of Boston and an actual hero of the American Revolution.

John Hancock was probably one of the wealthiest man that lived during those times in the colonies. Although his father died when he was young boy, Hancock was adopted by his aunt; and uncle and from them he inherited a shipping business that provided him with a lovable amount of profit. But don’t think of Hancock as a rich boy who had slaves and servants do all the work for him. Although he did had slaves, Hancock had an iniciative to prove himself a worthy man. He graduated from the Boston Latin School and later enrolled on the Harvard College where he received his bachelors degree.

Hancock was, by this times, very oriented to business, he didn’t cared that much for politics since, they didn’t concern him; but as tension among Britain and the colonies, began to appear after the Seven Year War. He started to take roll in politics affairs, starting with the  approval of the Sugar, Stamp and Townshend Acts, he soon started to use his funds to finance the colonial cause against these taxation without representation, since these taxes started to harm his profit and the colony of Massachusetts itself.

After a while, Hancock started to get used to this taxes, but many other merchants refused to pay them, and soon started to smuggle imported merchandise from the dutch or the swedes into the colonies in order to avoid these taxes. Knowing these duties officers in Boston are vigilant and have their eyes opened in case they see a posible smuggler’s shipment.  On May 9, 1768 these officers spot the boat “Liberty” , which is John Hamcock’s property. They notice the ship contains a cargo of Madeira wine, 25 pipes of it to be exact, and started to get suspicious since the ship had a cargo that needed only 1/4 of its carrying capacity. They assumed that John Hancock had only paid taxes for those 25 pipes, but he had hidden many more on a secret compartment on the ship and was planning to unload them in the night, without paying the duty taxes for it. They didn’t have any proof of this, but they forboded to unload the “Liberty” and accused John Hancock as a criminal smuggler.

He was sent to two trials, at the first trial he lost the case, and the ship “Liberty” was confiscated and used to enforce trade regulations, although it didn’t took long before some angry colonists burned it down in Rhode island, one year after confiscation. And on the second trial, having John Adams as his lawyer, he faced the charges of having unloaded 100 pipes of wine, illegaly without paying duties for them. If Hancock was sentenced guilty, he would have to pay a fine that tripled the value of these wine shipment, and these added up to £9,000! Luckily for Hancock after 5 months of proceeding these trials, charges were dropped for unknown reasons and John Hancock was left alone for a while.

Many colonists got really angered for this incident, and saw Hancock as a martyr to the cause of the Patriots. They instantly, took the first opportunity they found to take revenge for that, and the Boston Tea Party occured. But on the other hand, loyalists and the British crown saw Hancock as a smuggler, a thief, a man with no honor who was swimming on dirty money, he was even named “King of the Colonial Smugglers” and was thought to be the head of all smuggling operations. But historians have not found any proof of him being a smuggler of any kind, and that the mayority of his money was earned with honest work and trade.

Now going a big further in time, John Hancock was hated by the British for being such an important member of the Revolution in the colonies. He became the president of the Second Continental Congress and during the War for Independence he was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and maybe his most remembered and significant action was to be the first, of all representatives to sign the Act of Independence of the United States of America. His large and stylish signature was the first one to be on a document, that would change the world forever.

Samuel Adams

Many people in history are remembered because of the great things they did during lifetime. Some like Johannes Gutemberg, are remembered for creating very efficient inventions, some others like Michaelangelo are known for being the mastermind behind magnificient masterpieces of artwork, and others like Mother Theresa or Siddartha Gautama are known for their noble teachings and their great kindness, humbleness and solidarity towards the other people.
But the list that makes up, people remembered taking a mayor role in an event that changed completely the entire human history is very short.
The people who make up this list, are those who by their bold, courageous and noble actions were able to overcome the odds, no matter how big their disadvantage was, and triumphed in the name of liberty, justice and equality, people like Samuel Adams.

But who is this guy anyway? Well, Samuel Adams was known for being a prospect of Boston politics. He was the son of a merchant and brewer, but he lacked the skills that his dad possessed. He was a poor brewer, and a terrible man for business, but what he lacked in those areas, he excessed in politic matters. Along his life, he went from being a simple tac collector in the city of Boston, to the elected governor of Massachusetts in 1794- 1796.
And not only that, but he was also a delegate to the First Continental Congress and most importantly the leader of the Sons of Liberty

He along side with John Hancock, were the Bostonian leaders who showed an advocated passion of achieving independence from Britain, even before the Revolution Wars were fought. When the Stamp act, Sugar act, amd Townshend Act came to Boston, it was Samuel Adams the one who influenced and convinced the colonists to protest against these unfair taxes placed on them without any kind of representation.
When the Boston Tea Party came around, Samuel Adams played his part of the gsme. Adams was responsible for making a meeting at Old South Meeting House in Boston. In which they argued that the ship known as “Darthmout” and other two could leave the Boston harbor, without paying the import duties. But governor Hutchinson, who was current governor of the time, refused to allow the ships to leave without paying taxes. It was here that Adams said “This meeting can do nothing further to save the country,” but ss the popular story says, this wasn’t what the British thought, but it was actually a signal phrase to let the patriots know that the “Tea Party” had begun. He then pretended sttempted to control the large groups of people that were trying to leave, while 30 to 120 men disguised as Mohawk Indians and threw 342 chests full of tea into the ocean. When the deed was done, Adams told the people, “that’s why I dind’t want you to leave, because the meeting wans’t over, just yet…” and when the British claimed that was an intolerable act of vandalism and insubordination, Samuel Adams argued that those actons were actually principled protests and the only ways for the people to defend their legitimate rights.

He also, helped out in the guidance of the Congress towards issuing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he helped draft the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution, and when all this was done he decided to retire from the Congress, and went back to Massachusetts to take a political charge or office and it was here that he was elected the governor of Massachusetts. He later died in October 2nd, 1803.

As the speaker and human right activist Malcolm X “El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz” said this man defended his rights and freedom “By any means necessary.” And in the end that was the factor that him so famous and known among the colonists, and so worth of writting a biography for the historians of those times