On 30 March 1781, two hundred thirty years ago, British sailors from armed vessels anchored in the Potomac River near Saint Clement’s [Blackistone] Island, and attempted to land at Stratford Landing as part of a mission to destroy and loot the plantation houses along both sides of the river. From his home Chantilly, which had a good view of the island, Richard Henry Lee, Lieutenant of the Westmoreland militia, watched the movements of the ships. The British launched smaller craft to approach the shoreline while the large ships fired cannons to cover the attack. Richard Henry Lee met them with a small, ill-armed group of local citizens. In the skirmish that followed, the Westmoreland militia repelled the attackers, killing one British sailor who was buried on Stratford beach.
JOHN MILES DUVALL was born about 1750, in Saint Mary’s County. During the Revolutionary War he served in the Maryland militia. He also signed an Oath of Allegiance to the rebel government and furnished supplies to the continental army. After the war, he removed to Virginia where he was living when he died.
From reading Don Frederick, a blogger for the Los Angeles Times, I have learned that presidential contender Barack Obama is a direct descendant of this Revolutionary War patriot. Mike Rowley, the head of the Iowa branch of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, sent an invitation for membership to Obama’s Senate office just last week. He noted that genealogical research had concluded that through his mother’s side of the family, Senator Obama shares a blood line with John Miles Duvall of Maryland.
In urging Senator Obama to join on with the Society, Rowley also wants to invite Obama to a cemetery in Montrose, Iowa, later this month, where homage will be paid to Cato Mead, the only black Revolutionary War soldier known to have lived and died in the Hawkeye State of Iowa.
Rowley invoked Mead’s name in part to call attention to legislation in Congress — whose sponsors include Chris Dodd, Obama’s rival in the Democratic presidential race — to build a new monument in Washington commemorating, as the effort’s website spells out, the more than 5,000 blacks who volunteered to fight in the American Revolution.
We tracked down Rowley, 50, at his home in a Des Moines suburb and, in elaborating on his letter, he displayed the political savvy we’ve come to expect from Iowans. He said that even though time is growing short, he hoped to organize the event at Mead’s grave site while Iowa is awash with presidential wannabees (Dodd also has been invited). Once the state’s Jan. 3 caucuses are over, he agreed, candidate visits to Iowa will be few and far between. (“Barack Obama’s Family Tree”)
I already wrote about Barack Obama being a kissing cousin of both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney: “Too Much Sleuthing Going On.” With Senator Obama almost enfolded in the arms of the Sons of the American Revolution”, how long can it be until an invitation is forthcoming for Hillary Clinton to join the Daughters of the American Revolution?
Learn More: The American Revolution
The image, Sons of the American Revolution plaque on a gravestone, is subject to copyright by Monceau. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution ed” pool.
On a frigid morning in March of 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, the Hancock House in Salem County, New Jersey was the site where more than thirty local militia men were ambushed and brutally murdered by British soldiers. This image, memorial, was originally uploaded by Ben McLeod. It is posted here from favorites. Linked at Mudville Gazette's "Open Post".