Friday, December 28, 2012

A Whiggish Dictionary of Politicks

Virtual Represenation:  Legal Thievery[1]

      A whig satire of 1795, hostile to the Crown and Government, friendly to America and the French Republic.  Some things never change...

A Political Dictionary


explaining the
illustrated and exemplified in the
of the following
among many others.

The King, Queen, Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Pope Pius VI. Emperor, King of Prussia, The Tigress of Russia, Dukes of Brunswick, Portland, Richmond, Newcastle, London. Earls Chatham, Fitzwilliam, Darlington, Spencer, Mowe, Chesterfield. Lords Grenville, Mornington, Moira, Mountmorris, Mulgrave, Fitzgerald, Harvey. Judges Kenyon and Loughborough. Hon. Frank North. Sirs George Saville, Gilbert Elliot, Francis Molyneux, Watkin Lewes, Roger Curtis, Sydney Smythe, Francis Sykes, Richard Hill. Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, Madam Schwellenbergen. Messrs. Pitt, Fox, Burke, Dumourier, Warren Hastings, Wyndham, Powis, Dundas, Thornton, Wilberforce, Reeves, Arthur Young, George Hanger, Charles Jenkinson, Colonel Tarleton, Brook Watson. Aldermen Curtis, An­derson, Le Mesurier, Sanderson. Bishops and Clergy. Charles I. and Louis XVI.

by the late
author of the Jockey Clubs, &c.
London; printed for D. I. Eaten, No. 74. Newgate-Street.

A voluptuary (The Regent) under the horrors of digestion
Js. Gy. design et fecit.[2]


—Mr. Pitts’s surplus fund, his Majestey’s civil list, and the combination of kings, to restore priesthood, aristocracy, and monarchy in France.


—new taxes; an increase of influence to the Crown, and of misery to the Poor.


—a jewel that dazzles he eye of the vol­gar by its extrinsic splendor; the gewgaw and pa­geantry which it displays, reconciles the nation to a bauble which costs a million annually to support, drained from the virtue of industry, and the sweat of labour. Partial splendour, public calamity.


.—Messrs. Pitt and Dundas, when so intoxicated with liquor, as not to be able to articulate their words, engaging a vast majority in the House of Commons to precipitate their country into a war with France; the festivities of Brighton, Holwood, Wimbledon, Gordon House, Downing­street; the Duke of Norfolk drinking common gin with the Royal Sovereign, at her lodgings in Strand­lane.

A Response to the Suspension of Habeus Corpus, Newton [3]


—in the Alarmist vocabulary, signifies every thing morally and physically impossible; equal wisdom, equal strength, equal wealth, &c. &c. but equality truly signifies, both in France and England, as well as every where else, equal rights;” a right of every citizen, not disqualified by nature or crime, to the protection and benefits of society; a right of voting for the election of those who are to make laws by which he himself is to be bound; by which, his liberty, his property, and his life are affected, and an equal right of exerting to advantage the genius and talents which he may possess--the equal rights of nature.

Favourite (Royal)

—Weak and arbitrary princes, from the first establishment of monarchy, down to the present day, have always had their favourites, their Minions, there Knights of the Back Stairs; many of who have eventually fallen just sacrifices to the vengeance of a people who could no longer endure their outrages and enormities. A wise Prince has no other favourites than the people. He can have no right to squander superfluities on favourites,—to keep up prodigal establishments for them, while the nation is crushed by a weight of taxes, and a majority of it reduced almost to a want of necessaries: but, as nothing an be more capricious than a monarch’s fancy, the situation of these gentry is not the most enviable or secure; and the examples yielded by history are rather a drawback on their tranquillity. They may be compared to sun-dials, which, while the sun shines upon them, all the world are eager to consult, but are at once forsaken, and left to their fate, as soon as he has withdrawn his rays.


—a term of reproach never to be forgiven, if applied to a lady of fashion.

Habeas Corpus

—hitherto considered as the palladium of British liberty, but now, by an act of Parliament, suspended. On account of this suspension, Messrs. John Horne Tooke, Hardy, Thelwall, Joyce, Richter, and others, have for many months languished in prison, without any specific charge, and without, as their first commitment, any prospect of being brought to trial. If Britons can thus be treated by ministers, what is liberty? what is despotism?

[1]  Virtual Representation, 1775.  Pub. Unk. 1 Apr 1775.  Lord Bute aims a blunderbuss at America, with an MP giving Government the use of Amerca's property., accessed 28 Dec 2012.
[2]    H. Humphrey, 1792 July 2d, London, accessed 28 Dec 12.  Prince of Wales, George IV.

[3], accessed 28 Dec 12.  John Bull breaks wind at a broadside of King George, in response to Pitt's intention to suspend Habeas Corpus.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Virginia's Frontier Spies, 1781

Joseph Martin to Arthur Campbell Washington
                                        Long Island, Virginia the 22d April 1781


     I Returnd to this place on friday last after a Tour of 19 Days.  It happend very fortunate our going out at the Time we Did as there was a large Body of Indians Collected in powel's Valley which we should most certainly have fallen in with if Majr. Lewis had not alarm'd them.  I was at one Camp wheare there could not be less than a hundred.  Several other trails of Smaller parties all making towards the mouth of powels River only one partie which Seemd the fresehest which We followed about thirty miles below Cumberland Gap Came up with htem Incampt Surrounded them undiscovered But the Camp being so close we Could not Discover them before they run out.  We fired about thirty Guns on them.  Seveeral of the Seem'd to be Badly wounded.  The Cain was so thick they Could not be presued on horseback  We got five guns Blankets shot pouches &c.  On  one of their horses was wrote in full John Brown.  They said Brown was killd in Cumberland Gap which induced me to believe it is the party that always watches that place. 
      By such a body as was Collecting it appears that they Either Intended to attack the Stations or strike a heavy Blow on our frontiers.  I made no stay at the Camp but pushed on as fast possible for about seventy miles further being still on fresh sign when the men stopt and refused to go any further Saying I was taking them to Chickamogga that we was To weak their provisions near out and their horse Tyerd.  I Did Everything in my power to prevail on then to Go about ten miles further but Could not.  I am Convinced we was withint a few miles of Some Town as I saw whear they took in meat on horseback the blood not dry on the bushes.  They have Taken a number of horses that way this Spring.  Should write more particular but Mr. Price will deliver this to you who will Give you a particular account of the whole.  In the mean time I Beg leave to onform you that I an very Desirous of going to the End of the path we left if men and provision Can be had at any rate as our frontiers must Expect Great Distress from that quarter if they are not Broke up.
      Mr. Price Says if he Meets with your approbation he Can Raise 50 men at any time.  He has behaved very well on this Tour being on of the Spies.  Our whole stock of provision of seting out from the Cove was 2 1/2 of [lbs?] Bacon and a half Bushel of Corn pr. man.  Our Strenght 65 men Including officers.
      I am Sr. with Great Regard your most obd Sert,
                                                                                 JOS MARTIN

P  S  The Body of Indians Broke on our approach as we saw sign of several small parties makeing home.  I Cant hear whether Colo. Savier [Sevier] went to mee the Messenger was sent to the nation or not.  I am Told these was a woman and Child Killd on lick Creek last week.  Should any news arrive from the nation shall send you Imediately.  I am very Desireous of hearing the news from Cornwallace.  Beg you will write me by the first Opertunity.    JM.[1]

[1] Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 5, Julian P. Boyd, ed.,  Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ, 1952. (534-5).

A Rum Cove and a Shabby Doxy...

Fronticepiece of my spoof-chapbook, 50 odd-pages
of shameless behaviour and affrontery

I recently stumbled across a site with some excellent references for 18th and early 19th century English "cant" or slang, while writing a farsical chapbook based upon the ficticious life of the younger brother of one of our Serjeants in the First Virginia Regiment.  Captain Hannibal Plourde is the Master of the FANNY, a privateer Brig named after a "Shabby Doxy" who is employed by a certain Mr. Elias Wandringhands at the Crowing Cock (a ficticious alehouse in Yorktown). This all started as several spoofs of the Virginia Gazette published for living history events-in which we most recently find the author of the chapbook, one Captain Hannibal Plourde, is currently being sued by Edmund Pendleton and General Woodford for defamation.  The site,  Words from Old Books, is instrumental in not only decrypting some of the language in O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin series and Tristram Shandy, but also in adding to the realism of period language for the lower and middling classes. I've been sifting through it to improve-or rather, debase-my impression as private soldier.  But, I wonder, as in our time, was street language incorporated into gentlemens' speech, in an attempt to be shocking or fashionable? 

From  A Collection of the Canting Words and Terms, both ancient and modern, used by Beggars, Gypsies, Cheats, House-Breakers, Shop-Lifters, Foot-Pads, Highway-Men, &c;
Taken from The Universal Etymological English Dictionary, by N. Bailey, London, 1737, Vol. II, and transcrib'd into XML Most Diligently by Liam Quin.

A BLIND ALE-HOUSE:  one fit to conceal a pursued or hunted Villain.

RAKE:  Rake-hell, Rake shame, a lewd Spark or Debauchee.

SHABBEROON:  A Raggamuffin, which is to say a tatterdemallion.

RUM-COVE:  A great rogue.

SCOTCH WARMING-PAN:  A Wench; or to break wind in bed

SHABBY DOXY:  A down-on-her luck wench or trollop

Ironically these are all part of plot and character-development for Captain Plourde.

Capt Plourde is the contemporary of such famous men as the Baron d'Botetourt, Lord Dunmore (The old Scotch -ss), Patrick Henry, Edmund Pendleton, Thomas (Tom) and Randolph (Randy) Jefferson, General Woodford, and of course Miss Sally Hemings.  He is also associated with the less than famous Silas Chumbottom, Erasmus St. Withold O'Brien, Goosens Van Der Poot, and Elias Wandringhands and the now-infamous Fanny, Fat Bess and Patty Chumbottom.

In his book, Captain Plourde explains the truth surrounding smuggling in Virginia, the Gunpowder Affair, Patrick Henry's resignation from the army, and Tom and Randy's competitions for Sally Hemings.  Although this started as an inside joke for a few friends in the First Virginia-should I post this in serial format?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Prickett's Fort

Prickett's Fort was built in 1774, by Jacob Prickett, during Dunmore's war as a private fort where families from the Monongehela Valley could "fort up" in times of Indian Attack.  During the revolution militia under Colonel William Haymond operated from its walls.  Today, its a West Virginia State Park, and this weekend (Dec 7-9), the non-profit Memorial Foundation associated with the fort is holding their market fair... which I wish I could get out there this year...maybe next year.


Photo by Jacob Turner

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas at Carlyle House, 1777.

        After leaving the walls of Fort Mifflin and the return of its rifle companies from the victories at Saratoga in 1777, the First Virginia settled down for the winter at Valley Forge.  A few fortunate souls returned to Virginia on recruiting duty, to fill the vacant ranks.
        On December 1st, we made our way to Carlyle Historical Park in Alexandria Virginia.  Carlyle House was the home of John Carlyle, second son of a Scottish Baron.  Carlyle established his import business just prior to the Seven Years War near what was a tobacco warehouse in a village that would become the colonial seaport of Alexandria, Virginia.  Carlyle married Sarah Fairfax, securing his place in the Virginia aristocracy.  He was also the particular friend of George Washington and served as commissary general to the Virginia Forces in both the Seven Years War and the American Revolution.

Preparing the fire for some liberated chickens.
Alas, the chickens sentenced.

Loafing...we seem to do quite a bit of this,

Captain Dean, of the artillery,  haranguing the crowd,
as he is often wont to do

Roast chicken, skeletonized.

Mrs. Sarah Fairfax Carlyle at her embroidery

Take one fiddler, add a handful of soldiers and one punchbowl of lemon shrub:
instant party.
The local chirgeon.
             Old Saw-Bones, lurking in the Carlyle's cellar.  I believe I'll return to the fiddler and the lemon shrub. I've a better chance of keeping all my limbs.

Firing the Christmastide Guns

        Then off to Gadsby's Tavern for an evening of yuletide merriment, "fathoming a bowl" of lemon shrub, ale, &c, &c.  Our annual "mess night" gave us an opportunity to pour over the latest copy of the Virginia Gazette, enjoy each other's company, recall the follies and misfortune as 1777 winds down, and attempt a few songs, to the melodies of Mr. Hall's English guitar.

A memento of our Mischianza.

Mr. Hall regaling the party with his loquatious wit.