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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 9 May 2013

On this day in 1754, Benjamin Franklin’s “Join, or Die” was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette. The political cartoon depicted a snake cut into segment with each segment representing a colony. 1

Collier's RaidIn 1779 on this day, British Commodore George Collier dispersed his forces at Fort Nelson and raided Norfolk, Virginia. Many ships were set on fire and a large quantity of war supplies and tobacco were destroyed. 2

James Pollard EspyOne notable birthday on this day in 1785, that of James Pollard Espy. Espy, a meteorologist, was known as the “Storm King.” He developed a convection theory of storms, which was the first correct explanation for the thermodynamics of cloud formation and growth. Espy became the meteorologist to the War and Navy Departments. He also used the telegraph to assemble weather observation data to study the progress of storms, which was the basis for scientific weather forecasting. 3

Another notable birthday on this day in 1800, that of John Brown. Brown was an abolitionist who is best remembered for his raid on the armory at Harper’s Ferry. Brown was born in Connecticut and grew up mainly in Ohio. He was raised to revere the Bible and hate slavery, and his passion for both grew over the years. As his business ventures failed, Brown turned to orchestrating the liberation of slaves. He saw himself as commissioned by God to make slave owners pay for their sins. Brown was captured at Harper’s Ferry and, after a trial, was found guilty of treason against Virginia. He was hanged at Charlestown in 1859. 4

John Brown at Harper's Ferry

 

1 “Join, or Die,” Creating the United States, Library of Congress, MyLOC, www.myloc.gov/Exhibitions/creatingtheus/DeclarationofIndependence/RevolutionoftheMind/ExhibitObjects/JoinorDie.aspx
2 “1779,” The Revolution Day By Day, The American Revolution, National Park Service, www.nps.gov/revwar/revolution_day_by_day/1779_main.html
3 “James Pollard Espy,” Wikipedia.org; “James Pollard Espy,” NNDB, www.nndb.com/people/165/000166664
4 “John Brown,” www.civilwarhome.com/johnbrownbio.htm

 

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