This Day In Founding Fathers History – 25 January

Mike Church's Founding of America Audio CD sets (3) Road to Independence, Fame of Our Fathers & The Spirit of 76

Mike Church's Founding of America Audio CD sets (3) Road to Independence, Fame of Our Fathers & The Spirit of 76

On this day in 1776, a memorial in honor of Brigadier General Richard Montgomery was authorized, the first national memorial to be authorized by Congress. Montgomery was one of the first generals of the American Revolution to die on the battlefield during the attempt to capture Quebec. “Resolved, That, to express the veneration of the United Colonies for their late general, Richard Montgomery, and the deep sense they entertain of the many signal and important services of that gallant Officer…and for transmitting to future ages, as examples truly worthy of imitation, his patriotism, conduct, boldness of enterprize, insuperable perserverance, and contempt of danger and death; a monument be procured from Paris, with an inscription, sacred to his memory, and expressive of his amiable character and heroic achievements.” Benjamin Franklin was charged with finding an artist to render the memorial. He commissioned Jean-Jacques Caffieri, an official sculptor to the French crown. Once finished, the monument was shipped to the U.S. but nearly lost. In 1787, the Common Council of New York made the recommendation to have the memorial installed at St. Paul’s Church, where it stands to this day, only recently restored to its former glory. 1

In 1787 on this day, Captain Daniel Shays and 2,000 of his fellow farmers launched an attack on the arsenal in Springfield, Massachusetts. They had organized into three groups, with plans to surround the armory. Shays led one group, with Eli Parsons and Luke Day leading the others. Day sent a message to Shays that he would not be prepared to attack until the 26th but the message was intercepted. Shays and Parsons followed through with the plan, but when they arrived they were fired upon by General Shepard and his troops, with four men being killed and 20 wounded. The men retreated and regrouped but the rebellion was virtually over at that point. 2

1 “The General and The Monument,” www.trintiywallstreet.org/news/blogs/the-archivists-mailbag/the-general-and-the-monument; “Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Thursday, January 25, 1776,” Library of Congress Online
2 “Rebels Attack Springfield Arsenal,” Mass Moments, massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=30; “Shays’ Rebellion,” Wikipedia