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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 25 July
On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress sent an “Address to the Assembly of Jamaica.” The address explains the congress’s decision to include Jamaica in the embargo of British goods, as Jamaica was a British colony at the time. Jamaicans were thanks for their attempt, although unsuccessful, to intervene with the British Crown on behalf of the colonies. Jamaican lawmakers were reassured that the Continental Congress expected no further help from the island, that it did not blame the Jamaicans for their part in things, and that they are considered a friend of the American colonies. 1
One notable birthday on this day in 1750, that of Henry Knox. Knox was born into poverty, leaving school in his youth to support his mother and brother. He owned his own bookshop in Boston by the age of 21. Knox had an interest in military strategy and did much reading on the subject until he joined the militia. General Washington noticed a rampart Knox had designed and appointed him Chief of Artillery, and Knox rose in the ranks to Major-General. Knox is famous for a particular feat during the war. Early in the war, Knox “suggested the idea of a fraternal organization for officers of the Continental Army.” That eventually led to the founding of The Society of the Cincinnati. In 1776, Knox “carted sixty tons of captured cannon from Fort Ticonderoga in New York to Dorchester Heights, driving the British from Boston Harbor.” After the war, Washington chose Knox to be the first U.S. Secretary of War. After serving in that position for a decade, Knox and his family retired to an estate in Maine. There he delved into many businesses, established a local church, started local militia groups and employed people from all ranks of life. 2
1 “Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789,” Library of Congress American Memory, memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@lit(jc00270))
2 “Henry Knox: Self-made Man, Patriot and Entrepreneur,” Montpelier The General Henry Knox Museum, knoxmuseum.org/knoxbio.html; “Henry Knox,” www.history.army.mil/books/Sw-SA/Knox.htm; “The Origins of the Society,” The Society of the Cincinnati, societyofthecincinnati.org/about/history/origins