Little Bits of History

August 18

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 18, 2017

1940: Britain’s Hardest Day. By June 1940, Nazi Germany had taken over Western Europe and Scandinavia. Britain refused to negotiate a peace with Hitler and so he issued (Wehrmacht) Directive No. 16 on July 16. Operation Sea Lion was the German code name for their plan to invade the British Isles. In order for Germany to invade the island nation, they had to have air superiority over Britain. The Luftwaffe was ordered to destroy the Royal Air Force before land troops could swarm the islands. Hermann Goring was given the task of planning the destruction of the RAF. The primary target for this assault was the RAF Fighter Command.

The Luftwaffe carried out a number of attacks in July and early August attacking shipping in the English Channel with little success. They had a particularly daring plan scheduled for August 13. On that day, Adletag, or Eagle Day, they planned a concerted attack on British airfields but it was a failure. In order to destroy the RAF, they had to trap planes on the ground and so redoubled their efforts on this day. The German’s assumed British air strength was depleted by previous attacks but their numbers were off. Even as August wore on and the RAF suffered losses, they had more planes and pilots in reserve than Germany knew about.

The Germans thought they would need to take out 300 existing British planes. But Great Britain had 855 serviceable machines and another 289 at storage units and 84 at training centers. With 1,438 fighters at the disposal of the RAF, Britain was up to the challenge of defending itself from the air. Britain had been planning air defense since spring and understood the imminent danger even before France fell. They did not, however, believe dogfights could take place, since the faster planes would exert too much g-force for bodies to tolerate. They knew they needed to defend the air by placing anti-aircraft guns around the perimeter of their island.

There were several attacks waged in various parts of England on this day. Both sides suffered great losses but Germany’s losses were far heavier. Britain had 27-34 fighters destroyed compared to Germany’s 69-71. But the RAF also lost 29 planes on the ground with another 23 damaged. In the air, they had 39 planes damaged while Germany had 31 damaged. Ten Britons were killed with another 19 wounded while there were 94 Germans killed, 25 wounded, and 40 captured. Both sides lost more aircraft on this day than at any point in the Battle of Britain, including September 15. Because of these heavy losses, the day became known as “The Hardest Day”.

The laurels for the day’s action went to the defenders.

he aim of the Luftwaffe was to wear down the Fighter Command without suffering excessive losses in the process, and in this it had failed.

It cost the attackers five aircrew killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, for each British pilot casualty. In terms of aircraft, it had cost the Luftwaffe five bombers and fighters for every three Spitfires and Hurricanes destroyed in the air or on the ground.

If the battle continued at this rate the Luftwaffe would wreck Fighter Command, but it would come close to wrecking itself in the process. – all from Alfred Price

 

 

August 17

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 17, 2017

1549: The Prayer Book Rebellion comes to an end. There are several names for the rebellion/revolt which took place in Devon and Cornwall in England. During the 16th century, England broke away from the Catholic Church. As part of that process, the Book of Common Prayer was presented as a rule book for the change in religious practices, rites, and services. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, was the author of the book and one of the leaders in the enforcement of it. This was a widely and wildly unpopular change, especially in areas steeped in Catholicism. Along with decades of poor economic conditions and the raising of prices for everyday needs, the citizens revolted.

Traditional processions and pilgrimages were banned and any symbols of the Catholic Church were confiscated. In Cornwall, William Body was in charge of enforcing Cranmer’s rules and believed it included religious shrines, which he desecrated. This led to his murder on April 5, 1548. A poll tax was levied on sheep and Cornwall was a sheep farming district. The local aristocratic leadership wasn’t local anymore with Lord Russell residing in London. Locals had more of a free reign in expressing themselves and their dissatisfaction with the system. The area was not at all keen to be part of England in the best of times and often tried to separate themselves from London’s rule.

The Act of Uniformity made it no longer legal to hold religious services in Latin, the Catholic method. Instead, the liturgy had to be done in English. This outraged the citizens of Devon and Cornwall who partly spoke Cornish and didn’t understand the English version. The parishioners of Stamford Courtenay in Devon forced the priest to revert to Latin and this was the sparking event which triggered the entire pent up anger of the region and began a revolt. After decades of oppression at the hands of the British aristocracy, the peasants, whose way of life was being systematically dismantled, declared to “Kill all the gentlemen”.

In London, King Edward VI and his Privy Council sent in troops to “pacify” the rebels as well as instructing Lord Russell to take an army into the region and with mercenary soldiers, bring about a military solution to the problem. There were several different military engagements between June 6, 1549 and this date. At the Battle of Sampford Courenay, Russell had amassed troops numbering about 8,000 and greatly outnumbered the rebels. They were able to overrun the last holdouts to the rebellion. Although leaders were able to escape, they were tracked down and executed. In all, about 5,500 died in the revolt which was totally quashed and the Common Book of Prayer continued to be used throughout the country.

Kill all the gentlemen and we will have the Six Articles up again, and ceremonies as they were in King Henry’s time. – slogan of the rebellion

And so we the Cornyshe men (whereof certen of us understande no Englysh) utterly refuse thys newe English. – from the eighth Article of the Demands of the Western Rebels

I am often asked about my attitude to the Prayerbook Rebellion and in my opinion, there is no doubt that the English Government behaved brutally and stupidly and killed many Cornish people. I don’t think apologising for something that happened over 500 years ago helps, but I am sorry about what happened and I think it was an enormous mistake. – Bishop of Truro (June 2007)

West Cornwall was inhabited by a population of Celtic descent, which was mostly Cornish speaking; the western part of East Cornwall was inhabited by a population of Celtic descent, which had largely abandoned the Cornish tongue in favor of English; and the eastern part of East Cornwall was inhabited by a population of Anglo-Saxon descent, which was entirely English speaking. – Mark Stoyle

 

 

August 16

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 16, 2017

1869: The Battle of Acosta Ñu is fought. It was part of the Paraguayan War, also called the War of the Triple Alliance and the Great War in Paraguay. Paraguay stood against the Triple Alliance of Argentina, the Empire of Brazil, and Uruguay. The war lasted from 1864 until 1870 and with an estimated 400,000 deaths was the deadliest and bloodiest war in Latin America’s history. Paraguay had a strong army prior to the war’s start but by the end, had lost about 70% of their male population. They were forced to cede territory to Argentina and Brazil at the end.

The Paraguayan Army suffered a total collapse and after conventional warfare was no longer possible, President Francisco Lopez waged a guerrilla war for another 14 months. By the time of this particular battle, the Paraguayan Army was in rapid retreat. Asunción, Paraguay’s largest city and capitol, was occupied by Alliance forces but Lopez refused to surrender. Instead, he fled the city and vowed to continue fighting to the end. The Brazilian commander, Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias, opined the war was militarily over and fighting should cease. The Brazilian emperor, Pedro II, wanted to keep fighting until Lopez was completely quashed.

Caxias refused to continue the fight and resigned. The emperor’s son-in-law, Luís Filipe Gastão de Orléans, Count of Eu, took command of the Brazilian Army. He brought the troops to Caacupe, even though Lopez had fled to Caraguatay. Count d’Eu sent the army’s 1st Corps in pursuit of Lopez. After securing Caacupe, the Alliance troops engaged with the rearguard of the Paraguayan Army on this day at Acosta Ñu, or Acosta’s Field. The field was about 4.6 square miles which was perfect for the Brazilian cavalry. They charged at 8 AM and had the infantry follow up. The Paraguayan retreated across the Yagari River and were outflanked.

The Paraguayan Army was filled with young boys, some with mustaches drown on their faces. As the Alliance soldiers attacked, these frightened children would cling to them and beg for mercy. They were decapitated without hesitation. As they were surrounded, the children tried to flee, but the Brazilian commander ordered the field to be set on fire and the children were killed by the blaze. Of the 3,646 Paraguayans involved in the battle, 2,000 were killed and 1,500 were wounded or captured. The Brazilian army lost 182 and had 420 wounded. In Paraguay, this date is remembered as Children’s Day, a national holiday to commemorate the many children who died in this battle.

Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful. – Kailash Satyarthi

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. – Sigmund Freud

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. – Berkeley Breathed

Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. – H. P. Lovecraft

 

 

August 15

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 15, 2017

1843: Tivoli Gardens opens. Located in Copenhagen, Denmark, it is the second oldest operating amusement park in the world. The oldest is also in Denmark. Tivoli is the most visited park in Scandinavia (almost 5 million people per year) and the fourth most visited in Europe, behind Disneyland Paris, Europa-Park, and Efteling. It was originally called Tivoli & Vauxhall, alluding to the Jardin de Tivoli in Paris and Vauxhall Gardens in London. Georg Carstensen was granted a five-year charter from King Christian VIII with the task of creating the park. The King noted that when “people are amusing themselves, they do not think of politics” and therefore granted about 15 acres for the project.

The land was originally outside Copenhagen in the fortified glacis outside the West Gate. To get to Tivoli, patrons had to travel through Vesterport. The park, even from the very start, had a variety of amusements. Buildings were erected in an imaginary Orient style and housed a theater, band stands, restaurants, and cafes along with flower gardens. There were mechanical rides even in the early days and at opening, there was both a merry-go-round and a scenic railway. After dark, colored lamps were lit in the gardens making them a stunning attraction. On special days, a fireworks display could be seen overhead as well as reflected in Tivoli’s lake.

There have been many upgrades over the nearly two centuries of entertainment. The first in 1874 saw The Pantomime Theatre (also built in a Chinese style) taking over many smaller venues. Even now, Columbine and Harlequin perform and since it is pantomime, all audiences can enjoy the show. In the 19th and early 20th centuries there were human exhibitions included. In 1943, Nazi sympathizers burned many of the buildings, including the concert hall. Temporary buildings were used until replacements could be built within a few weeks’ time. In 1914, a wooden roller coaster was added to the park and remains in operation today. Rutschebanen has an operator controlling the speed so it remains safe to ride. It’s top speed in 31 mph.

Rutschebanen is joined by three other roller coasters with the last built in 2004. The Demon has a top speed of 48 mph. Aquila was added in 2013 and is a giant swing generating centrifugal power generating up to 4G. Fatamorgana, a Condor ride, was added in 2016. There are also many kiddie rides available to amuse the younger crowd. There are other attractions with a Tivoli Festival held yearly from May 14 to September 8 with more than 50 different events included. Also on site are a number of performing arts venues offering a range of productions. The park also offers a Halloween Fest in October and Christmas Holidays in December. The builder declared it would never be complete and new things are being added continually.

Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished, – Georg Carstensen, in 1844

The way I see it, love is an amusement park, and food its souvenir. – Stephanie Klein

In an amusement park, you can go on a roller coaster that carries you up and down, or you can go on another kind of ride that whirls you around in a circle. Similarly, there are different sorts of entertaining experiences in the theater. – Wallace Shawn

I’m not here for your amusement. You’re here for mine. – John Lydon

 

 

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August 14

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 14, 2017

1987: Kai Lama is raided. Santiniketan Park Association, Great White Brotherhood, or The Family was a New Age group formed in the mid-1960s in Australia under the leadership of Anne Hamilton-Byrne. She was a yoga teacher and said to be very charismatic. Born in 1921, she attended religious and philosophical discussion group meetings at the home of Raynor Johnson in 1964. These took place outside Melbourne and his home was called Santiniketan. He purchased the adjoining property and named the combined setting Santiniketan Park and built a lodge there, as well, in 1968. Most of the group were middle class professionals and many of them were doctors and nurses. Johnson referred his students to Hamilton-Byrne’s hatha yoga classes.

The Family began to believe Hamilton-Byrne was the reincarnation of Christ and a living god. She was likened to Buddha and Krishna, other enlightened beings. The group held a conglomeration of beliefs, mixing Christianity and Eastern mysticism. By the 1970s, many of the staff from Newhaven Hospital in Kew, a private psychiatric hospital, were also members of The Family. Many of the patients at Newhaven were treated with LSD. The hospital eventually came under investigation for some of their more outlandish treatments.

Hamilton-Byrne, with the help of her many medical associates, was able to adopt fourteen infants and young children between 1968 and 1975. Three of them were told they were her natural born children, the rest were told they were adopted. They were kept in seclusion at Kai Lama, a rural property near Eildon, Victoria. They were home-schooled by their Aunties and Uncles. They were often severely disciplined, often for little or no reason. They were beaten and starved as well as given a host of psychotropic drugs to keep them sedated. As teenagers, they were given LSD, placed in seclusion, and were initiated, into what is uncertain.

Sarah Hamilton-Byrne was one of the children who had been told Anne was her natural mother. She wasn’t. When Sarah was a teenager, she became more and more rebellious and she was banned from The Family in 1987 at the age of 17. She was befriended by Helen D who had been investigating the group and Sarah was able to work with two policewomen who she trusted. On this day, they raided Kai Lama and removed all the children from their “care”. Several of the aunties and uncles were criminally charged. Anne was extradited back to Australia, but the only thing she was charged with was making false statements regarding adoption. Sarah died at the age of 46, suffering most of her life as aftereffects of her time with The Family.

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. – Michael J. Fox

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. – Richard Bach

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. – Alex Haley

If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. – Thich Nhat Hanh

August 13

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 13, 2017

1942: The Development of Substitute Materials get official approval. The project was undertaken by the US, the UK, and Canada under the US Army Corps of Engineers. Headquartered at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, it eventually became known as the Manhattan Project. Major General Leslie Groves was the overseeing head and J Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory. The project began modestly in 1939. The year before Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman discovered nuclear fission in Germany. The theoretical explanation put out by Lise Meitne rand Otto Frisch made the development of an atomic bomb a possibility, at least in theory.

Scientists fled Nazi Germany and brought tales of the possibility of this new bomb technology being developed by the Nazis. Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner drafted the Einstein-Szilard letter and warned President Roosevelt of the possibility and the President was duly impressed. Einstein signed the letter, did not ever work on the Manhattan Project, and later said that had he known Germany would not succeed in developing the bomb, he wouldn’t have supported the US working to do so. The US began increased research into uranium-235 isotope and plutonium.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, work increased with “enthusiasm” and a sense of urgency. The US declared war on Japan and Germany and study into this new line of weaponry was essential. In May 1942, their proposals were being finalized and requested a budget of $54 million for construction of bombs, $31 million for R&D, and $5 million for contingencies. This was sent to the executive office and approval came back on June 17 with “OK FDR” written on the document. Security for the project was tightened and work began in earnest. Oak Ridge and Los Alamos were the two main sites for the project but there were several others areas in the US and Canada where essential work was also undertaken.

Two types of bombs were developed but the Thin Man gun-type design proved impractical. The uranium and plutonium issues were eventually solved. Little Boy, another gun-type bomb, was developed. Fat Man, an implosion-type weapon was also developed. They managed to create the bombs and the first firing test was carried out on July 16, 1945 in New Mexico. Successfully completed, two bombs (the only other two bombs in the world at the time) were dropped on Japan the following month, bringing a Japanese surrender. The Manhattan Project cost about $2 billion ($27 billion today) to complete and had about 130,000 people working on it. The project was officially disbanded on August 15, 1947.

The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country. – J. Robert Oppenheimer

In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war. It makes a blitzed Pacific island seem like an Eden. The damage is far greater than photographs can show. – Wilfred Burchett

I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the earth will be killed. – Albert Einstein

I always go back to Harry Truman: Should we drop an atomic bomb to save 100,000 lives? That’s a hell of a decision to make. Did he make that decision by himself? No, he had advisers. – Lee Iacocca

 

 

August 12

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 12, 2017

1883: The last quagga dies. The animal was a subspecies of South African zebras. Originally thought to be a separate species altogether, DNA studies have been done and it was found that the quagga is the southernmost subspecies of the plains zebra and particularly close to Burchell’s zebra. The quagga name was derived from the call the animal made which sounded like “kwa-ha-ha”. The horselike zebralike animal was about 8.5 feet long and about 4 feet at the shoulder. Different from other zebras, the stripe pattern was usually brown and white and stopped at the shoulder or covered only the front part of the body.

European settlers were aware of the differences between more northern zebras which are are also colloquially called quagga, and these animals which came from what is today South Africa. There is little evidence of the animal in the fossil record but it is depicted in cave art attributed to the San whose history goes back 35,000 years. The animal was thought to travel in herds, like zebras do today, and had 30-50 individuals in the herd. Europeans at the time of their discovery called them wild and lively but were said to be more docile than the more usual black and white zebras we see today. They were quite numerous in the Karoo of Cape Province and the southern part of Orange Free State in South Africa.

As more Dutch came to the region and began farming, the herds of quagga were hunted because they competed with the domesticated livestock as both foraged for food. Most of the animals were killed but some were taken to Europe to be displayed in zoos. Breeding programs were unsuccessful and the animal was hunted to extinction in the wild by 1878. On this day, the last zoo specimen died at a zoo in Amsterdam. Only one specimen was ever photographed and that was at the London Zoo. There are only 23 skins preserved today.

As DNA studies grew, the first extinct animal to have their DNA analyzed was the quagga. The Quagga Project is an attempt by South Africa to selectively breed plains zebras to resemble the quagga. First suggested in 1955 and taken up in more earnestness in 1971, the idea was slow to get off the ground. Since it was found to be a subspecies of the zebra after the DNA was read, the idea became more feasible. In March 1986 the project was begun and the following year, nine zebras were selected to begin the selective breeding process. The Project’s first foal was born in December 1988. In 2005, Henry, the first to be considered quagga- like because of his striping, was born. The first fifth-generation Rau quagga was born in 2013. By 2016, the Quagga Project listed 116 animals in 10 locations with six individuals showing a strongly reduced stripe pattern. Their goal is to get 50 such quagga.

There’s no limit to how much you’ll know, depending how far beyond zebra you go – Dr. Seuss

Every time I look at a zebra, I can’t figure out whether it’s black with white stripes or white with black stripes, and that frustrates me. – Jodi Picoult

How fast does a zebra have to run before it looks gray. – Demetri Martin

A zebra does not change its spots. – Al Gore

 

 

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August 11

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 11, 2017

3114 BC: The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar begins. It was a non-repeating base-20 and base-18 calendar used by many pre-Columbian cultures, most notable the Maya and is sometimes called the Mayan calendar. By working backwards and using our current Gregorian calendar, the beginning date has been calculated. The Long Count calendar was used on monuments in the region. Dates on these can be calculated by combining the 260-day Tzolk’in and the 365-day Haab’ calendars. This gives a total of 18,980 unique dates before repeating.

By using many of our current calculating methods, we can ascertain that the first day of the Long Count calendar was this day. Unless it was September 6 by using the Julian calendar or -3113 in astronomical year numbering. This date uses the GMT correlation which is a mathematical method for aligning ancient dates with our current method of marking time. By ancient tradition of 13 b’ak’tuns of time passing since the Creation, it was calculated the event took place on this day, according to the Maya. This is when Raised-up-Sky-Lord caused three stones to be set by three other gods at Lying-Down-Sky, First-Three-Stone-Place. At that point, the sky was still black, but the cosmos now had pillars on which to raise the sky.

Because the calendar is not pure base-20, there are convoluted methods used in numbering which causes the second digit from the right (and only that digit) to roll over when it reaches 18. It should be noted the Long Count calendar was no longer in used when Europeans first came to the New World, but k’atuns and tuns were still in use for marking time. B’ak’tun was created by modern scholars to help with the epochs. The syntax for using the Long Calendar was complex and Maya monuments where inscribed with complicated systems. The date would be given before other inscriptions were added to the stela.

There are several of these inscriptions remaining today and they have been carefully studied to ascertain their messages. The earliest one is at Takalik Abaj in present day Guatemala and dates from 236 – 19 BC. There are several more stela located at six sites with half of them on the western edge of the Mayan kingdom and the other three are found several hundred miles to the west. This has led to speculation that the Mayan calendar actually predates the Mayans. The Tuxtla Statuette found near La Mojarra in present day Veracruz, Mexico has the most recent date calculated to March 12, 162 AD. In 2012, according to some misunderstanding of the calendar, the world was supposed to come to an end. It didn’t.

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. – Andy Warhol

Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years. – Ausonius

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late. – William Shakespeare

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind. – Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

 

August 10

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 10, 2017

1966: During construction, the Heron Road Bridge collapses. The bridge was being built in Ottawa, Ontario and connected Baseline Road with Heron Road over the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal. John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada from 1957 to 1963, pushed for a new bridge to ease east-west traffic. Ottawa mayor, Charlotte Whitton, opposed the idea. In 1961 Diefenbaker threatened to reduce federal grants to Ottawa by the cost of the bridge if the city continued to refuse building it. By 1964, an agreement to build was signed by the municipality, province and nation. Initially, it was planned to have two three lane bridges, one for eastbound and one for westbound. It was about 1,000 feet long and budgeted at $2.5 million.

On this day, there were about 70 workers pouring 2,000 tons of concrete on the east side of the southern span of the bridge. The wooden falsework, the framing used in construction work to hold component pieces in place until the structure can sufficiently support itself for advancement, failed at 3.27 PM. The workers fell off the bridge to the ground below, a distance of 50 to 65 feet. The collapse also caused rebar, cement, wood, concrete, and other building materials to drop on top of them. The force of the collapse triggered Dominion Observatory’s seismometer and they issued a statement. There had been no earthquake, but the shock came from the collapse itself.

Some rushed away from the collapse before also being thrown into the mass of debris and some rushed toward the injured to help with rescue efforts. The current major of Ottawa, Don Reid, arrived with bolt cutters. In all, there had been 183 workers at the bridge with nearly one-third of them injured in the collapse. Most of these were taken to Civic Hospital. Since it was change of shift, there was double staff available to take care of the nearly 60 people pouring into the ER. Many of the workers were recent European immigrants and did speak English fluently. They had no identify papers on them and were covered in concrete.

Civic was the closest hospital and yet, both Ottawa General Hospital and National Defence Medical Centre were staffed to receive patients, each only got two admissions. Rescue efforts continued for twelve hours, but it became too dark to use rescue machinery. Only nine people died including the project’s resident engineer and the site foreman. Investigation into the reasons for the collapse found that the falsework was not properly built and lacked enough diagonal bracing. Green wood had been used and it was weaker than seasoned wood and collapsed under the weight of the poured cement. The bridge was finished a year later and in 2016 the name was changed to the Heron Road Workers Memorial Bridge in order to honor those killed in this accident.

Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo. – Desmond Morris

Each material has its specific characteristics which we must understand if we want to use it. This is no less true of steel and concrete. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I’ve begun to look at the world through apocalypse eyes. Our society, which seems so sturdily built out of concrete and custom, is just a temporary resting place, a hotel our civilization checked into a couple hundred years ago and must one day check out of. – Neil Strauss

Architecture has its place in the concrete world. This is where it exists. This is where it makes its statement. – Peter Zumthor

 

 

August 9

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 9, 2017

1842: The Webster-Ashburton Treaty is signed. The Aroostook War, aka the Pork and Beans War, was a conflict between the United States and the United Kingdom over the border between the US State of Maine and the British colony of New Brunswick. When the Revolutionary War ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, there was no definitive mention of the actual border between the new country and her northern neighbor, still a part of the British Empire. Massachusetts began issuing land grants in its District of Maine to Americans even though some of the land was already owned and lived on by British North Americans (what would become Canadians). The Jay Treaty of 1794 was supposed to settle the question with the boundary being the St. Croix River.

There were still questions about a northern border and during the War of 1812, the British occupied much of eastern Maine for eight months. The Treaty of Ghent ended that war with the line held at the 1783 date which still was not entirely settled. Maine became separate from Massachusetts in 1820 and the state’s border was of concern. The British were of the opinion the state was claiming land far to the north of where they should be. The question remained a hot item with both sides laying claim to the same lands. In 1830, as America was gathering data for the census, the issue became even hotter. It was found that treaties and maps were in disagreement and there were many areas of concern. Although no actual fighting ever took place and this War had no casualties, militias were called out as tensions rose.

On this day a new treaty was signed by Daniel Webster, US Secretary of State, and British diplomat Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton. The treaty established the border between the British North American colonies, and later Canada, and the United States. It settled on a line from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains. It gave shared use to the Great Lakes, named seven crimes subject to extradition, and called for an end to the slave trade on the high seas. The treaty also retroactively confirmed the southern boundary of Quebec which had been improperly surveyed in the late 1700s.

The crimes listed for extradition did not included slave revolt or mutiny which would allow an estimated 12,000 fugitive slaves to remain outside the US and safe on Canadian soil. As part of the treaty, the US was required to cede about 5,000 square miles to Britain along the Maine border – including the Halifax-Quebec Route. However, the US was allowed to keep 7,000 square miles of disputed wilderness territory in Maine and another 6,500 square miles of land along the Minnesota-Canada border. Most of the negotiations for the treaty, held over ten months’ time, were done at the Ashburton House on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. which is now a US National Historic Landmark.

Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together.

A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.

Failure is more frequently from want of energy than want of capital.

We are all agents of the same supreme power, the people. – all from Daniel Webster