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Posts Tagged ‘revolutionary war’

Denning

Transcription: ERECTED BY THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM DENNING, THE PATRIOTIC BLACKSMITH AND FORGER OF WROUGHT-IRON CANNON DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR BORN 1737 DIED 1830

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Paul Revere's Grave

Paul Revere’s Ride
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

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Stephen Thompson Jr.

When I see a tombstone like this, it really highlights how different the culture I live in is from that of people who lived in the same place just one or two hundred years ago. When I was 14, I was finishing middle school and going into high school, going to dances, playing soccer, singing in the choir and playing violin. My brother had different hobbies, but his fourteenth year followed the same basic pattern. There was a war going on then, thousands of miles away in a place called Kuwait that I don’t think I’d heard of before, but there was no one I had ever met fighting in it and no real concern that my brother or I would be affected by that war, and we definitely had no chance of fighting in it until we were at least 18. But when Stephen Thompson Jr. was fourteen, he was a drummer boy in a war that was happening around him. Even if he hadn’t chosen to join the army, his life would have been altered by the hostilities.

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Smith John

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Stevenson

A NSDAR Real Daughter was a member of the the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution who was in fact the daughter of a Revolutionary War patriot.  I use the word “patriot” rather than “soldier” because the DAR recognizes any woman who can prove that their direct, blood ancestor “aided in achieving American independence.”  This broader definition includes such things as signing the Declaration of Independence, participating in the Boston Tea Party, supplying medical care to the wounded, and providing material support to the Revolution.  As the first DAR chapters were founded in 1890, there were not a huge number of “real daughters” still alive to join, but Anne Stevenson Marshall was one.

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Denny

William Denny
Born Chester Co. PA.1737
Settled near Carlisle 1745
Coroner 1768-1770
In service with militia 1778
Comm. of Issues 1780
As Contractor build Carlisle Court House 1765
Died about 1800

Agnes Denny, His Wife
Born 1741 Married 1760
Grand-daughter of Richard Parker who settled near Meeting House Spring 1724
A woman of great energy and intelligence, a devout Christian

I broke up the inscription on the stone so that it is easier to read, since William Denny’s accomplishments are run together and just flow from line to line without clear punctuation. This stone has a plethora of information about a man of many talents, but the line that caught my eye was actually about Agnes Denny. The stone notes that Agnes was the granddaughter of a “Richard Parker who settled near Meeting House Spring” in 1724. I think I know the Meeting House Spring. The Silver Spring Meeting House, now the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, is where my mother and stepfather attend church and were in fact married. The name derives from the Silver family, that owned the land nearby the spring. There has been a congregation meeting at the site since at least 1734, and the current stone church building dates from 1784.

Silver Spring Meetinghouse

Silver Spring Presbyterian

Silver Spring Presbyterian

Silver Spring Presbyterian

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These are the only three individual tombstones in the Sandusky Cholera Cemetery. Considering that the cholera epidemic victims were buried a mass grave according to every source I’ve looked at, it’s doubtful that the placement of the stones is very exact.

Fanson John

Ransom Joseph

Ransom Robert

Most sites that refer to these three victims of the cholera epidemic (or more accurately, the stones for these three men) refer to them as the Ransoms, but I would like to do some more digging.  The surname on two of the stones appears to be Ransom, but the last one (first on in my post), looks more to me like Fanson.  Even if the first letter of the last name is an “R,” the last letter appears to be an “n” rather than an “m.”  I also noticed that Robert and Joseph served with the Connecticut troops but John served with Vermont militia.  So what is it – a carving mistake?  unclear records? Was the third man a relative whose name spelling and pronunciation varied slightly?  Is it just a coincidence that would blend in a larger cemetery but is obvious in one where only a handful are honored with individual markers?

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