Political Rage and the Hatred of Free Speech

By Frotho Canutus

I like some of the messages I see on bumper stickers, just not most of the ones that are mass produced with little substance behind them. That’s why I design my own. Unfortunately though, since Hillary Clinton lost the election she was supposed to win, my bumper stickers have become a liability. Apparently some liberals absolutely hate them. Telling the truth about Obama, Hillary and the Democrats has become increasingly dangerous in the United States since November 8th. Making points about politics and policies using facts is just simply intolerable in the minds of the losing Trump-haters.

Here is the first bumper sticker that attracted some miserable Democrat’s cup of joe.obamacare-bumper-sticker-coffe-copy1 I didn’t wash it off, and instead wore it as actual and symbolic proof of the left’s hatred for those who disagree with them. Sad.

Today, I went to the drive thru ATM at my bank. While waiting for the guy in front of me to finish his transaction I noticed a car driven by a man pull up behind me. Wondering how he would take my bumper stickers, I watched him. As he began to read them he at first shook his head, then he became more and more animated. I pulled up to the ATM as the vehicle in front of me pulled away. When I looked back again, the guy behind me was now going ape-shit. He was shaking his fists and flailing his arms wildly. He looked like he was shouting at my car at the top of his lungs. He was absolutely apoplectic. At this point I realized it would not be wise to stick around with my card in the ATM in case this maniac got out of his car and approached me, so I grabbed my card and left the scene before things escalated. You had to see the way this guy was behaving for yourself.

Here are some of the other bumper stickers that have brought out the most hateful reactions in people:


bumper-closeup-copyThe Trump voters have been accused over and over of being hateful people. In my experience it is the exact opposite.

I’ve decided therefore it’s time for the Hillary/Obama bumper stickers to come off. There’s no sense in attracting lunatics to take out their aggressions on me and my family. Besides, Hillary will not be running for President again in three years and Obama is a lame duck who will be gone in three weeks. Good riddance. Onward Trump!

For those of you reading this who don’t like my Obama/Hillary bumper stickers, please, tell me what is factually incorrect about them.


Hillary Hacked, or “EmailGate” – why it mattered

By Lucius Cincinnatus

Has anyone else noticed that many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters, now outraged over hacking by foreign governments, expressed little concern for it before the November election? When it came to light in 2014-15 that Mrs. Clinton was conducting her official State Department communications using a private email account on a home-brew server we were told it was no big deal. It was an odd position for some to take given that the Office of the Inspector General* did not see it that way in its official Report:

 “According to DS (Bureau of Diplomatic Security) and IRM (Bureau of Information Resource Management) officials, Department employees must use agency-authorized information systems to conduct normal day-to-day operations because the use of non-Departmental systems creates significant security risks.” (Office of the Inspector General’s Report, released May 2016, p.26)

“Among the risks is the targeting and penetration of the personal email accounts of Department employees, which was brought to the attention of the most senior officials of the Department as early as 2011.” (OIGR pp. 26-27)

Despite the seriousness of the issue, USA Today ran an opinion piece last June calling Clinton’s decision to conduct official business using an unapproved, in-home server a “non-scandal” and a “pseudo-scandal.” The piece was obviously designed to deflect criticism away from Mrs. Clinton and was very forgiving given that Mrs. Clinton actions may have increased her exposure to foreign hacking. The author of the piece must have slept through key parts of the Inspector General’s Official Report, which the author gave the impression he had read. For instance, he fails to mention the part of the IG’s report that says the Foreign Affairs Manual  (FAM), which is presumably issued to all State Department employees, warns that,

“…sensitive, but unclassified information resident on personally owned computers is generally more susceptible to cyber-attacks and/or compromise than information on government-owned computers connected to the Internet.” (OIGR pp.54-55)

With little more than a month to go before the election, the Huffington Post was still trying to downplay the seriousness of Clinton’s cyber security indiscretions: “Republicans Just Cannot Let The Clinton Emails Go.” It’s a headline crafted to make Republicans look like partisan attack dogs, however the issue was far more than just about some emails. Clinton conducted her official business using a personal email account and a home-based server in direct opposition to State Department policies.

The Inspector General’s Report states the issue very clearly:

“Secretary Clinton used mobile devices to conduct official business using the personal email account on her private server extensively, as illustrated by the 55,000 pages of material making up the approximately 30,000 emails she provided to the Department in December 2014. Throughout Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the FAM (Foreign Affairs Manual) stated that normal day-to-day operations should be conducted on an authorized Automated Information System, yet OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server. According to the current CIO (Chief Information Officer) and Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs. However, according to these officials, DS (Bureau of Diplomatic security) and IRM (Bureau of Information Resource Management) did not—and would not—approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of the restrictions in the FAM and the security risks in doing so.” (OIGR pp. 36-37)


Honest Hillary with her hand on the Bible. Secretary of State-Designate Hillary Rodham Clinton is being sworn in as the next Secretary of State after approval of her nomination. Photo: U.S. Department of State

“I was permitted to and used a personal email…” Hillary Clinton on Iowa Public Radio August 14, 2016

Is that so, honest Hillary?

“During Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the FAM also instructed employees that they were expected to use approved, secure methods to transmit SBU information and that, if they needed to transmit SBU (sensitive but unclassified) information outside the Department’s OpenNet network on a regular basis to non-Departmental addresses, they should request a solution from IRM. However, OIG found no evidence that Secretary Clinton ever contacted IRM to request such a solution, despite the fact that emails exchanged on her personal account regularly contained information marked as SBU.” (OIGR p. 37)

“One of the primary reasons that Department policy requires the use of Department systems is to guard against cybersecurity incidents….Consequently, the Department has issued numerous announcements, cables, training requirements, and memos to highlight the various restrictions and risks associated with the use of non-Departmental systems, especially the use of personal email accounts.” (OIGR p. 32)

“The use of personal email accounts to conduct official business has been a particular concern over the past several years. For example, on March 11, 2011, the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security sent a memorandum on cybersecurity threats directly to Secretary Clinton.” (OIGR p. 33)

The fact is that after repeated warnings about cyber security and the multiple threats to it, Hillary and her staff continued to intentionally disregarded State Department guidelines.

“DS and IRM reported to OIG that Secretary Clinton never demonstrated to them that her private server or mobile device met minimum information security requirements specified by FISMA (Federal Information  Security Management Act) and the FAM.” (OIGR pp.36-37)

“…OIG interviewed other senior Department officials with relevant knowledge who served under Secretary Clinton, including the Under Secretary for Management, who supervises both DS and IRM; current and former Executive Secretaries; and attorneys within the Office of the Legal Adviser. These officials all stated that they were not asked to approve or otherwise review the use of Secretary Clinton’s server and that they had no knowledge of approval or review by other Department staff.” (OIGR p. 37)

If Hillary’s supporters are so concerned now about foreign hacking and cyber security (as they should be) why were they so unconcerned when it was discovered that our Secretary of State was flouting the federal government’s own cyber security rules and regulations?

Unfortunately, double standards are used all the time by people who are careless with the truth.

*Part of the OIG’s mission is to perform “specialized security inspections and audits in support of the Department’s mission to provide effective protection to our personnel, facilities, and sensitive information.”

Three Cheers for Italy! Grazie!

Three cheers for Italian police officers Luca Scatà and Cristian Movio! They stopped the killer of Breitscheidplatz, Berlin early this morning in Milan, Italy. When the officers


The Breitscheidplatz killer lies dead in the street in Milan, Italy after a shootout with police. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer

asked the suspect for his papers at a checkpoint, the beast pulled out a .22 handgun and began firing on the officers. Officer Movio was hit in the shoulder, but his wound is not life threatening. It wasn’t long before the terrorist was shot dead by one of the officers.

These two officers showed remarkable courage and skill. Everyone should be grateful that officers Movio and Scatà prevented this monstrous beast from killing again.

Let’s discuss:

The citizens of the West must begin holding their leaders accountable for allowing jihadists to roam free among them and for inviting them into their countries in the first place. This particular terrorist could have been deported from Germany for a number of previous incidents. Why let a convicted alien arsonist loose into Germany society? Crazy right? But that’s what German authorities did. This guy had a rap sheet that made it clear he was a threat to German society, yet German authorities let him roam at will without deporting him. German leader Angela Merkel has recently opened the borders up and let something like 900,000 Muslim “refugees” into her country. The terrorist killed this morning in Italy was one of the “refugees” that came to Europe in 2011 during the so-called “Arab Spring.” Is suicide the official policy of Angela Merkel and Germany? Hopefully the European people will be wise enough to shut down this madness. The Germans should probably send Merkel into retirement next year when she is up for reelection. Of course, there needs to be a better alternative running against her.

Politicians like Angela Merkel and Barack Obama who do not control their borders are playing with fire. Often these politicians have bodyguards, make a nice living and then retire with their bodyguards and a nice pension. But the victims of their policies, at places like San Bernardino, Breitscheidplatz and Ohio State University do not have it so good.

Lucius Cincinnatus

Question: Once the man-hunt was on for the killer of Breitscheidplatz, how did he slip from Germany into France and then from France into Italy?

Whiney DNC Democrats Crack Open One Eye

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that some DNC Chair hopefuls are whining about President Obama and how he has left his party in a weakened state after eight years of rule. While that is probably true, what is far worse is that this President has left the entire United States in a weakened state, economically, diplomatically, militarily and racially. But as long as Democrats continue to put party over country, they will continue lose influence.

I do not expect the far-left can muster the self-control to flip these two priorities. Leopards do not change their spots. They still believe that deception, propaganda, and spin are the surest tickets to power. Their actions say so.

Remember, this is the party that asks coal miners for their votes as it winks at the radical environmentalists who want to ban the use of coal for energy. Did they not think the coal miners were smart enough to eventually figure out what was really going on? Since we are not supposed to burn coal anymore, may I suggest another use for it? Dialing Santa now.


The Christmas Miracle of 1776 – Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Nine Lives

Most patriotic Americans fondly associate the year 1776 with American Independence, but from the point of view of the Revolutionaries who were fighting to free themselves from English tyranny, it was a dreadful year. After several months and a string of battlefield defeats trying to defend New York City and its environs from the British invasion, George Washington’s dwindling Continental Army was barely hanging on for dear life.

For it was only less than two months after Congress declared Independence, that the Continentals were routed at the Battle of Brooklyn. Three American generals were captured, and 1,300 of Washington’s troops were either killed or wounded or captured. The battle left the Commander with the rest of his army nearly surrounded, with their backs pressed up against the East River. After the smoke from the battle settled,  Washington  made the decision to have his troops ferried across the mile-wide, tidal river under cover of darkness. It was a dangerous endeavor. The British, expecting a surrender, but preparing to finish the job if necessary waited out the night. When the fog cleared the next morning they could not believe their eyes. The Americans had escaped. Washington had used up the first of his nine lives. He was going to need to use a lot more of them.


Battle of Brooklyn by Alonzo Chappel, 1858. Shown at bottom right are American soldiers trying to escape into the swamp where many of them became sitting ducks.

Not long after Brooklyn, the Continentals suffered two more humiliating defeats, one at Kip’s Bay on the East side of Manhattan Island in September and another the following month at the Battle of White Plains. Then, in November, the Hudson River fort bearing the Commander’s name was captured. Washington had lost nearly half of his army in less than three months! Fearing another devastating blow, he ordered the Americans troops overlooking New York from the Jersey side of the Hudson River to abandon Fort Lee without a fight. From the British perspective, things were turning out as they might have expected, but for the Americans, the loss of New York was a major knock to the Revolutionary cause.


“Forcing a passage of the Hudson River, 9 October 1776.” English vessels are shown forcing their way north through a cheval-de-frise on the Hudson River. Fort Washington is on the right bank, Fort Lee on the left. On November 19th Fort Washington would fall into British hands. The painting is a copy by Thomas Mitchell after the original by Dominic Serres the Elder.

It is hard for us to understand the enormous difficulties Washington had to overcome as leader of Continental army. When he inherited the command of the American troops at Boston in early 1776 there was not even a real army to command. The troops had no flag, no uniforms, no money and little discipline. Most of the men were farmers with hunting rifles who were angry at the British for firing on their fellow citizens and for closing the port of Boston. British General John Burgoyne, who would soon learn a thing or two about the Americans’ ability to fight, referred disparagingly to Washington army, calling them, “rabble in arms.”

Numbers rarely favored Washington. Most people in the original thirteen American colonies did not support Independence from the mother country. Historians generally agree that only about one third did, another third remained loyal to King George, and the balance were afraid to choose one side over the other. Quaker preacher and artist Edward Hicks was very hard on the anti-war Quakers of the revolutionary period and chastised them for not supporting Washington and the Revolutionary cause: “Poor, contemptible, womanish weakness, which never felt the noble spirit of patriotism…”

Although Washington almost always projected confidence in front of his troops, from time to time would express his doubts and misgivings in private. Shortly after being placed in command, he confided to his friend Charles Reed,

“The reflection upon my Situation, & that of this Army, produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in Sleep. Few People know the Predicament we are In, on a thousand Acc[oun]ts….I have often thought, how much happier I should have been, if, instead of accepting of a command under such Circumstances I had taken my Musket upon my Shoulder & enterd the Ranks, or, if I could have justified the Measure to Posterity, & my own Conscience, had retir’d to the back Country, & lived in a Wig-wam.”

But one of Washington’s greatest traits was his ability to persevere during the most difficult of situations. Even when all appeared hopeless, he never let himself become overwhelmed by his doubts.

After the loss of New York, American General Henry Knox observed that, “The roads in Connecticut and New Jersey were filled with soldiers heading home.” Washington had no choice now but to make a full retreat across New Jersey with what was left of his battered army.


Sir William Howe, Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in America.

Taking advantage of his recent victories, Sir William Howe issued a Proclamation that offered pardon and protection to all colonists who would come forward and pledge an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. Historian, David McCullough says that it was an immediate success – Hundreds, eventually thousands, in New Jersey flocked to the British camps to declare their loyalty. Then, to make matters worse, on December 1st, with the British army and the German mercenaries hot on their heels, 2,000 more men left Washington’s army to go home as their enlistments periods expired. Washington’s immediate command dwindled to no more than 3,000 men barely fit and equipped for duty. “To many observers on both sides, it looked like the war for Independence was already lost.”

A few months later, American General Nathanael Greene reflected on how bad things had gotten towards the end of 1776,

“After the loss of Fort Washington and the Enemy crost over into the Jerseys, everything wore the face of abject submission. The Inhabitants of New Jersey and those of Pennsylvania lost all spirit. The time for which the old Troops stood engag’d expired as we were retreating through the Jerseys. Brigade after Brigade left us…. Had the Enemy push’t us hard they would have ruin’d us for we had not three thousand men.” (Nathanael Greene to CG January 20, 1777)

The British army pushed halfway through New Jersey and settled just 60 miles from the rebel capital at Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence had been announced to the world a few months earlier. A smaller force penetrated further inland to the college town of Princeton, following right behind Washington’s retreat.

On Dec 7th near Trenton, the American army crossed over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. Every boat on both sides of the river within 30 miles was gathered up in order to halt the enemy’s pursuit. “The long retreat that had begun in New York and continued from the Hudson to the Delaware was over.”[i] Shortly after Washington’s escape a British outpost was established at Trenton, where 1500 Hessian mercenaries were stationed under the command of Colonel Rall.

Then came more bad news: on December 13th, Major General Charles Lee, second in command behind Washington, was discovered by British scouts lingering at Widow White’s Tavern in New Jersey. The disgraced general was ceremoniously paraded off in his pajamas by his captors. That same day, Washington learned the Continental Congress had fled Philadelphia for the safety of Baltimore. Word got out that two former members of Congress had flipped sides and joined the enemy. In those waning days of 1776, all things must have looked very bleak indeed to the American rebels.

One of Washington’s perpetual worries was a lack of money to pay soldiers and buy supplies. One observer remarked that the Continentals made a “dreadfull appearance.” Many men had worn out all their clothes entirely. Many had no coats and wore only blankets; many had no shoes and wrapped their feet with what rags they could find. Edward Hicks described them as “the poor soldiers of 1776…whose footsteps were marked with their own blood.”

The Commander had another problem that was fast approaching – his army was about to shrink significantly given that hundreds of enlistments were about to expire on December 31st. With the revolutionary zeal so severely depressed it was unlikely there would be many new recruits showing up for duty. Washington knew he might only have 1,500 or 2,000 men left to fight against Howe’s massive army.[ii] On December 10th the General had explained in a letter to his cousin, Lund Washington,

“I wish to Heaven it was in my power to give you a more favourable Acct of our situation than it is—our numbers, quite inadequate to the task of opposing that part of the Army under the Command of Genl Howe, being reduced by Sickness, Desertion, & Political Deaths (on & before the first [of this month], & having no assistance from the Militia) were obliged to retire before the Enemy.”

On December 17th he added,

“The unhappy policy of short Inlistments, and a dependance upon Militia will, I fear, prove the downfall of our cause, tho early pointed out with an almost Prophetick Spirit.

“Our Cause has also receivd a severe blow in the Captivity of General Lee—Unhappy Man! taken by his own Imprudence!…Our only dependance now, is upon the Speedy Inlistment of a New Army; if this fails us, I think the game will be pretty well up, as from disaffection, and want of spirit & fortitude, the Inhabitants instead of resistance, are offering Submission, & taking protections from Genl Howe in Jersey.”   

As hopeless as things seemed in those final days of ‘76, one wonders if Washington ever considered sending in his resignation to Congress. Blame for losing the war could easily have been pinned on the states – they had not granted Congress the authority to raise funds to adequately supply the Continental army. In addition, an increasingly large number of Americans, whether out of cowardice or apathy, were unwilling to support war effort. But Washington had made a promise to Congress to “exert every power… for support of the glorious cause.” One of Washington’s most precious possessions was his honor, and he was not about to give that up. And the truth of the matter is that giving up was not a prudent option at that point. Surrender would lead to Washington’s personal ruin, and perhaps, even to his execution for treason.

But General Nathanael Greene noticed that his commander and friend seemed to gain strength from adversity; he “never appeared to so much advantage as in the hour of distress.”

“Upon the whole our Affairs are in a much less promising condition than could be wished, Yet I trust under the smiles of Providence, and by our own exertions, we shall be happy.” (George Washington to James Bowdoin December 18, 1776)

On December 22nd Washington wrote to his confidant, Charles Reed,

“Some Enterprize must be undertaken in our present Circumstances or we must give up the Cause.

“I will not disguise my own Sentiments that our Cause is desperate & hopeless if we do not take the Opportunity of the Collection of Troops at present to strike some Stroke. Our Affairs are hasting fast to Ruin if we do not retrieve them by some happy Event. Delay with us is now equal to a total Defeat.”

Washington closed the letter to his friend with a rare, emotional apology for writing so candidly, without his usual restraint,

“Pardon the Freedom I have used, [but]the Love of my Country, a Wife & 4 Children in the Enemy’s Hands, the Respect & Attachment I have to you—the Ruin & Poverty that  must attend me & thousands of others will plead my Excuse…”

The General knew he was nearing the end of the rope.

The Crossing

Born of desperation, a bold, daring stoke against the enemy was hatched. Washington had been looking for an opportunity to deal a blow that would “rouse the spirits of the people, which are quite sunk by our misfortunes.” On December 24th he called a meeting of his generals at the Thompson house to go over the final details of a secret plan they had been working on for several days. The Hessian outpost at Trenton would be their target. According to the latest intelligence, about 2,000 of the enemy were stationed there. Washington’s forces would cross the Delaware River at three different places and converge in a surprise attack on the occupied village. The largest of the three forces would be led by Washington and Generals Greene, Sullivan and Stirling.

Because the element of surprise was crucial, the crossing would begin on Christmas night under the cover of darkness. The attack was set for the next morning at 6 a.m., an hour before sunrise. Washington’s orders demanded absolute secrecy and discipline; “a profound silence to be enjoyn’d & no man to quit his Ranks on the pain of Death”

On Christmas Day the weather took a turn for the worse as a winter storm pushed in. The frigid river was swollen and filled with enormous chunks of broken ice. At 2 p.m. orders were given in camp to assemble the troops in preparation for their march. Once darkness fell, the men were ordered to the west bank of the Delaware at McConkey’s Ferry; it had already begun raining and was turning colder.


“The Passage of the Delaware” by Thomas Sully, 1819. Collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Note the symbolism of the half-rooted, weather-beaten tree, which looks as though it may not survive the winter.

The Durham boats used to ferry the troops and equipment would be piloted by Colonel Glover’s New Englanders. These were the same experienced watermen who had made possible the army’s escape from Brooklyn four months earlier. The flat-bottomed boats were about 40 to 60 feet long, about 6 to 8 feet wide and were maneuvered with poles and oars. Each boat could hold about 30 to 40 men standing shoulder to shoulder. General Washington crossed early and watched the painfully slow progress from the New Jersey side. There were enormous difficulties in getting the horses and heavy artillery on board the boats. Henry Knox, the Boston bookseller turned artillery commander was in charge of getting the cannon over. If there was anyone who could do it, it was Knox.

By 11 p.m. the storm had become much worse; the wind howled as the rain turned to sleet and snow. Sixteen year-old regimental musician John Greenwood recorded in his diary,

“Over the river we went in a flat-bottomed scow…we had to wait for the rest and so began to pull down fences and make fires to warm ourselves….when I turned my face to the fire, my back would be freezing….by turning myself round and round I kept myself from perishing.”


Washington Crossing the Delaware on Christmas night, 1776, by Emanuel Leutze, 1851. This iconic painting is not completely accurate. When Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Night it was stormy and the sky was probably pitch-black. The boats were also much larger than the ones pictured here. This enormous work is twelve feet high by twenty-one feet long.

Although the storm made the crossing extremely difficult, it was also a blessing because it helped conceal the Continentals from their enemy.[iii]

By the time all the troops and equipment got over to the Jersey side it was already 3 a.m. The plan was three hours behind schedule and the troops still had nine miles to march through freezing rain and snow. Washington realized they would probably not make it to Trenton before sunrise and therefore knew he might lose the element of surprise. He later explained to John Hancock, “I was certain there was no making a retreat without being discovered and harassed on repassing the river, [so] I determined to push on…” Four miles above Trenton the troops split into two; Sullivan’s column marched along the river road, Washington and Green’s marched along the Pennington road a little further east.

Weather is always a factor in war and although the storm provided cover that night for the army under Washington’s command, it prevented the other two bodies of troops, led by Cadwallader and Ewing, from getting over the river to join the intended surprise.

 Fröhliche Weihnachten! (Merry Christmas!)

When General Washington received a note from Sullivan saying the men’s guns were too waterlogged to fire, the Commander replied, “Tell the General to use bayonet.”

Both columns of troops reached the edge of Trenton around 8 a.m. Although it was already daylight when the attack began, the Hessians were still caught off guard and came rushing out of the houses and barracks in a state of confusion. There was much hand to hand fighting. When the Hessians rolled out a canon onto King Street, Captain Washington (a cousin of the General) and Lieutenant Monroe (a future President) rushed the cannon, captured it and turned it against them. Many Germans that could not escape to the south retreated to an apple orchard where Colonel Rall began to regroup them for a counter attack, but Rall was shot and fell from his horse. Soon the Hessians were surrounded with no choice but to surrender. The whole action lasted about 45 minutes. When it was over the Americans had captured nearly one thousand of the enemy. About twenty one of the mercenaries were killed, 500 escaped. Although two American soldiers froze to death on the march to Trenton, none were killed in the battle that morning and only four were wounded.


This engraving depicts General Washington immediately after the Battle of Trenton. The wounded soldier is probably the future President James Monroe.

The victorious Americans captured six brass cannons intact on their carriages, plus “3 Ammunition Waggons, [and] As many Muskets, Bayonets, Cartouch Boxes and Swords as there are prisoners, 12 Drums,” and 4 flags. Washington’s desperate gamble had paid off.

That same afternoon, fearing a counter offensive, Washington ordered his weary army to cross back over the river, with its prisoners, to the safety of Pennsylvania. Once over, the Commander assembled his ragtag band of men and thanked them for behaving so bravely and carrying the day. To win favor with the men whose enlistments periods were about to expire in a few days, Washington announced to the troops that the value of the supplies captured at Trenton would be divided as a prize among them.

Flush with the spirit of victory and a renewed optimism Washington hoped to find another opportunity to maintain momentum and inflict damage on the enemy. On December 30th he once again ordered the troops over to the Jersey side of the river. This crossing was even riskier than the one on Christmas. Washington knew the British would now be on high alert and if they attacked the Americans once they got over it would be difficult to retreat back to the safety of Pennsylvania. They went anyway.

Once back in Trenton, Washington made a new appeal to the men whose enlistments were about to expire. As an incentive to stay on for six more weeks, he offered the men a 10 dollar bounty. It worked.

Within less than a week, Washington would outsmart General Howe and his commanders once again. On January 2nd and 3rd the American army bypassed a nearby body of enemy troops and attacked British Lieutenant-Colonel Mawhood’s detachment at Princeton. In the heat of that battle, Washington commanded bravely from his horse, placing himself between the two armies who were firing upon one another. One young officer remarked after the battle,

“I shall never forget what I felt….when I saw him brave all the dangers of the field and his important life hanging as it were by a single hair with a thousand deaths flying around him.” [iv]

It was a miracle the Commander was not killed.

General Washington and his “rabble in arms” triumphed that day at Princeton, and the much needed victory helped to build on the renewed optimism brought on by the victory at Trenton a week earlier.

Imacon Color Scanner

General George Washington with the Princeton battlefield in the background. Painting by Charles Willson Peale.

So while people often remember 1776 for the creation and signing of Declaration of Independence, it was also the year when the War of Independence was almost lost. On January 1st 1777, Philadelphian Robert Morris, the “financier of the American Revolution,” sent his good wishes to General Washington for the new year,

“The year 1776 is over I am heartily glad of it & hope you nor America will ever be plagued with such another, let us accept the success at Trentown as a presage of future fortunate Events and under that impression I do most sincerely wish you a Successfull Campaigne in 1777…”

When the news of Trenton reached London, some in British government may have rationalized it as a minor setback, but for George Washington and the Friends of Liberty, it was a game changer. In one bold, desperate stroke Washington and his men turned gloom into hope. The Americans had proven they could outmaneuver and inflict damage on the most powerful army in the world.

Less than three years later, Lord George Germain, the British minister in charge of directing the war from London, reflected on Washington’s Christmas miracle in a speech before  the House of Commons,

“All our hopes were blasted by that unhappy affair at Trenton.”[v]

It’s likely the twin victories at Princeton and Trenton had a profound psychological effect on many Americans and breathed new life into the patriots’ cause. Had the officers and men of the American army not persevered in 1776 under Washington’s leadership, the war for Independence would probably have ended in complete failure. Now there was a glimmer of hope, but the bloody war would go on for nearly five more years. And final victory was never assured.

Note: Every year, on Christmas Day, crowds of people assemble on the banks of the Delaware at McConkey’s Ferry to watch the reenactment of Washington’s army crossing the Delaware on their way to Trenton.

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Frotho Canutus


Nearly two generations after the War of Independence, American military leaders were using the lessons gained at Trenton for inspiration. At the outset of the War of 1812, the Americans suffered two major humiliations at Detroit and Queenstown and they could not make good after boasting of their intention to take Montreal.

In the following letter of March 29,1813,* Secretary of War, John Armstrong compares their predicament to General Washington’s at the close of 1776. Recognizing that a turnaround was crucial, Armstrong explains to Commanding General Henry Dearborn that Washington was able to do it and so must they (excerpted):

“If our first step in the campaign, and in the quarter from which most is expected, should fail, the disgrace of our arms will be complete. The public will lose all confidence in us, and we shall even cease to have any in ourselves. The party who first opens a campaign has many advantages over his antagonist; all of which, however, are the result of his being able to carry his whole force against a part of his enemies. Washington carried his whole force against the Hessians, in New Jersey, and beating them, recovered that moral strength, that self-confidence, which he had lost by many preceeding disasters. We are now in a state of prostration that he was in, after he crossed the Delaware; but like him, we may soon get on our legs again, if we are able to give some hard blows at the opening of the campaign.”

(The first victory that would begin to rebuild confidence in the American Army was at the Battle of York, Upper Canada on April 27, 1813. There, the troops were personally led by New Jersey native, General Zebulon Montgomery Pike. Pike died from his wounds that day after the British gunpowder magazine exploded and the American Army lost one of its great young generals. Pike’s father had served faithfully served under Washington in the Revolution.)

*Sec. of War Armstrong to Maj. Gen. Dearborn, March 29th 1813 (found in Annals of Congress, Appendix, pp. 2361- 2362, American Memory, Library of Congress).


New Jersey: A History, by Thomas Fleming

A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789, by James Kirby Martin and Mark Edward Lender

National Archives – Founders Online: http://founders.archives.gov/?q=Volume%3AWashington-03-07&s=1511311112&r=229

1776, David McCullough

The Crossing, David Hackett Fisher

The War of the Revolution, Christopher Ward


[i] McCullough, 1776

[ii] Howe’s troop strength was estimated to be between 20,000 and 30,000 men.

[iii] McCullough, 1776

[iv] McCullough, 1776, p. 289

[v] Lord George Germain, from his speech as Colonial Secretary of State in British House of Commons, May 3, 1779

An Arrest has been made in the Hopewell Baptist Church Burning

(Update to our previous post.)

The  Delta Democrat Times, WREG News Channel 3, and other news agencies are reporting that Andrew McClinton, 45, of Leland, Mississippi has been arrested and charged with first-degree arson in the burning of the Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville Mississippi. McClinton is a black man, and is a member of the Hopewell church, whose congregation is predominantly African-American.


Andrew McClinton, 45 has been arrested and charged with first-degree arson.

Mississippi authorities who made the arrest have not indicated any motive for the arson. Surely, many people originally jumped to the conclusion that the arson must have been committed by a white, Trump-loving racist (the words “Vote Trump” were spray painted on the side of the church around the time it was torched). Some Hillary Clinton supporters will no doubt be privately disappointed by this new development. The arson was committed one week before the presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Hopefully an arrest will soon be made in burning of the Republican Party office in Hillsborough, North Carolina last October.