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Happy Evacuation Day


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For those not Irish and those so afflicted, compromise is possible.

 

In the early 1900s, after multiple waves of Irish immigration to Boston, there was a significant amount of political/social tension between the heavily Irish general population and the upper crust Brahmins/Yankees who to that point had controlled the politics of the city. With the rising Irish pushing for recognition, a demand arose for the State to declare St. Patrick's Day an official holiday, giving the Irish a day of respite and recognition that was particularly theirs. Horrified, the ruling Brahmins pushed back in the Legislature, but realized that the times were changing, and they could not hold the wall forever. The result? A compromise. The Legislature declared an official holiday in Suffolk County (Boston), Evacuation Day, which happened to land on the same day as St. Patrick's Day, commemorating the ejection of Gen. Howe's forces from the City of Boston by Washington and the Ticonderoga cannon. A good, solid historical reason for the new holiday, based upon the Revolutionary heritage of the Yankees, but giving all of the working Irish a day off to celebrate.

 

Erin go braugh, Yankee Doodle!

 

LL

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Good history lesson. I did not know this. Kinda like telling General Howe to get out of Dodge and take your crummy boats with you?

 

Ordering Col. Henry Knox to haul the captured cannon from Fort Ticonderoga, Gen. Washington put Howe's troops directly under his guns. That left Howe with the choice of retreat by sea or a charge up the Dorchester Heights. Howe reportedly feared a repeat of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and decided to withdraw to Nova Scotia. The first city occupied by British forces became the first city liberated.

 

I am in awe of Knox's accomplishments. The first officer with the assignment considered it to be impossible, and quit; his name was Benedict Arnold. Knox, a bookseller by trade, orchestrated the transport of 59 cannon, mortars and howitzers (including some 24 pounders nick-named "Big Berthas", measuring 11 feet long and weighing over 5000 pounds apiece) and 60 tons of supplies. The load was first moved by boat down Lake George in December. This was followed by hauling on sleds pulled by yoked oxen, across New York, over the frozen Hudson River, through Saratoga, and then to Albany; it snowed all the way. Some sleds broke through the river ice, but all submerged cannon were recovered. The train continued through the Berkshires, where locals came out to watch it pass; Knox loaded up some cannon and touched them off for entertainment. Proceeding across the length of Massachusetts, the cannon arrived in Cambridge, and were turned over to Washington.

 

Knox was named the first Secretary of War after the Revolution.

 

Somehow, men were bigger then......

 

LL

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Henry Knox, retired to the next town over from where I live. He developed a canal to transport goods from inland to the coast. He also build many roads in the area. Unfortunately after his daughter's death, his home in Thomaston, Maine was looted and squatters lived in it for many years. It was later torn down. The only surviving building left from his estate, was a servants quarters, and later was used as a train station on the Knox & Lincoln railroad ( later the Maine Central). Today it is home of the Thomaston Historical Society.

Today there is a reproduction of his mansion, with many of the furnishings from the original.

Knox was a very impressive person.

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