“We fix on our Standards and Drums the Colony arms, with the motto, Qui Transtulit Sustinet, round it in letters of gold, which we construe thus: God, who transplanted us hither, will support us.” – From a letter regarding the Lexington Alarm dated Wethersfield, CT., April 23, 1775. See “The Way of Liberty: the English Colony of Connecticut in New England”.
For two centuries after his death, American school children have known George Washington as the “Father of His Country”. When the great First President died in 1799, Congress adopted the eulogy given my his fellow Virginian, Henry Lee: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” At the dawning of the 21st century the Commanding General of the Continental Army seems to be headed for the dust bin of history. Last year in a poll G.W. ranked about seventh, behind Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
This quote from George Washington is located inside the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.: “I have no lust after power but wish with as much fervency as any Man upon this wide extended Continent, for an opportunity of turning the Sword into a plow share.”
The above quotation comes from a letter written by General Washington at Trenton Falls, on December 20th, 1776. British General Howe had suddenly decided to put his army into winter quarters, after chasing and harassing the Continental Army through New Jersey for months. Howe stationed his troops at seven cantonments from the Hudson River to the Delaware. The illustrated quote is from a letter that George Washington wrote to the Continental Congress, describing the situation he then faced.
Thomas Nelson, Jr., was a soldier, statesman, colonial-era governor and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was commander of the Virginia Militia during the siege of Yorktown and legend has it that when he learned that British General Cornwallis was using his own home, Nelson House, as his headquarters, he urged General Washington to shell it. He even offered five guineas to the first man to hit his house.
The surrender at Yorktown, Virginia brought an end to the American Revolutionary War. Less than 100 years later, however, the village of Yorktown was nearly destroyed during the War Between the States.
Thomas, a son of ‘Scotch Tom’, who established the Nelson family in Yorktown, was for many years Secretary for the Colony of Virginia. This comfortable and spacious home attracted Lord Cornwallis who needed a headquarters near his main defense on the east side of town. The British commander remained here through much of the siege until Allied gunners made the house untenable. Its foundations are to your left. (“Secretary Nelson House” marker at Yorktown)
In great deeds something abides;
On great fields something stays.
Forms change and pass;
Bodies disappear but spirits linger,
To consecrate ground
For the vision place of the soul.
And reverent men and women from afar,
And generations that know us not
And that we know not of…
Shall come…to ponder and to dream….
And the power of the vision
Shall pass into their souls
Colonel Joshua Chamberlain – October 3, 1886