April 14th, 2008

little review

Poem for Monday

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We spent another Sunday at Mount Vernon, this time because the British were coming! Actually it was a reenactment (though not a recreation, since there are no precise records) of the HMS Savage's incursions along the Potomac River, when the ship sent its boats to seize provisions from the plantations on the banks. The story at Mount Vernon is particularly interesting because Captain Thomas Graves offered to free any slaves who wished to join the British, and sixteen of George Washington's slaves did so; some were treated badly by the British and eventually returned, but they all knew that Washington was desperate for money and was considering selling them.

During the reenactment of the events of April 1781, Graves came ashore and quarreled with Lund Washington, George's cousin, who ran the estate while Washington was away fighting in the American Revolution. The British threatened to burn Lund's own property if he would not provision their ships, while Lund refused them every hospitality and demanded that they leave at once. The slaves debated whether to believe the British promises and break up their community at Mount Vernon -- a community already under threat from their master -- and some chose to leave. Meanwhile the British set up an encampment and threatened to burn down the mansion.

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After walking through the farm to see the lambs and the flowering trees along the river, we came home and went to dinner at my parents' -- my mother had leftover chicken from making chicken soup for Passover -- then came home and watched John Adams and The Tudors. I'm starting to feel like John Adams didn't have a single happy day in his adult life! Collapse ) As for Henry VIII, I like him less and less with each passing episode, which I suppose is rather the point -- Collapse ) Monday I get to see dementordelta and gblvr, yay!