Battle of Oriskany
The Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777 was one of the bloodiest battles in the North American theater of the American Revolutionary War and a significant engagement of the Saratoga campaign. An American party trying to relieve the siege of Fort Stanwix was ambushed by a party of Loyalists and allies of several American Indian tribes Iroquois; this was one of the few battles in the war in which all of the participants were American. The American relief force came from the Mohawk Valley under General Nicholas Herkimer and numbered around 800 men of the Tryon County militia plus a party of Oneida warriors. British commander Barry St. Leger authorized an intercept force consisting of a Hanau Jäger detachment, Sir John Johnson's King's Royal Regiment of New York, Indian allies from the Six Nations Mohawks and Senecas and other tribes to the north and west, Indian Department Rangers, totaling at least 450 men; the Loyalist and Indian force ambushed Herkimer's force in a small valley about six miles east of Fort Stanwix, near the village of Oriskany, New York.
Herkimer was mortally wounded, the battle cost the Patriots 450 casualties, while the Loyalists and Indians lost 150 dead and wounded. The result of the battle remains ambiguous; the apparent Loyalist victory was affected by a sortie from Fort Stanwix in which the Loyalist camps were sacked, damaging morale among the allied Indians. The battle marked the beginning of a civil war among the Iroquois, as Oneida warriors under Colonel Louis and Han Yerry allied with the American cause. Most of the other Iroquois tribes allied with the British the Mohawks and Senecas; each tribe was decentralized, there were internal divisions among bands of the Oneida, some of whom migrated to Canada as allies of the British. The site is known in Iroquois oral histories as "A Place of Great Sadness." The site has been designated by the United States as a National Historic Landmark. In June 1777, the British Army, under the command of General "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne, launched a two-pronged attack from Quebec. Burgoyne's objective was to split New England from the other colonies by gaining control of New York's Hudson Valley.
The main thrust came south across Lake Champlain under Burgoyne's command. St. Leger's expedition consisted of about 1,800 men, who were a mix of British regulars, Hessian Jägers from Hanau, Indians of several tribes, including the Mohawk and Seneca of the Iroquois, Rangers, they traveled up the Saint Lawrence River and along the shore of Lake Ontario to the Oswego River, which they ascended to reach the Oneida Carry. They began to besiege a Continental Army post guarding the portage. Alerted to the possibility of a British attack along the Mohawk River, Nicholas Herkimer, the head of Tryon County's Committee of Safety, issued a proclamation on July 17 warning of possible military activity and urging the people to respond if needed. Warned by friendly Oneidas on July 30 that the British were just four days from Fort Stanwix, Herkimer put out a call-to-arms; the force raised totaled 800 from the Tryon County militia. Setting out on August 4, the column camped near the Oneida village of Oriska on August 5.
While a number of the militia dropped out of the column due to their lack of conditioning, Herkimer's forces were augmented by a company of 60 to 100 Oneida warriors, led by Han Yerry, a strong supporter of the Patriot cause. That evening, Herkimer sent three men toward the fort with messages for the fort's commander, Colonel Peter Gansevoort. Gansevoort was to signal the receipt of the message with three cannon shots, sortie to meet the approaching column. Due to difficulties in penetrating the British lines, these couriers did not deliver the message until late the next morning, after the battle was underway. St. Leger learned on August 5 from a messenger sent by Molly Brant to her brother Joseph Brant, the Mohawk leader who led a portion of St. Leger's Indian contingent, that Herkimer and his relief expedition were on their way. St. Leger sent a detachment of light infantry from Sir John Johnson's Royal Yorkers toward the position that evening to monitor Herkimer's position, Brant followed early the next morning with about 400 Indians and Butler's Rangers.
Although many of the Indians were armed with muskets, some were not, only carried tomahawk and spear. On the morning of August 6, Herkimer held a war council. Since his force had not yet heard the expected signal from the fort, he wanted to wait. However, his captains pressed him to continue, accusing Herkimer of being a Tory because his brother was serving under St. Leger. Stung by these accusations, Herkimer ordered the column to march on toward Stanwix. About six miles from the fort, the road dipped more than fifty feet into a marshy ravine, where a stream about three feet wide meandered along the bottom. Sayenqueraghta and Cornplanter, two Seneca war chiefs, chose this place to set up an ambush. While the King's Royal Yorkers waited behind a nearby rise, the Indians concealed themselves on both sides of the ravine; the plan was for the Yorkers to stop the head of the column, after which the Indians would attack the extended column. At about 10 am, Herkimer's
A liberty pole is a tall wooden pole used as a type of flagstaff, planted in the ground, surmounted by a Phrygian cap. The symbol originated in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of Roman dictator Julius Caesar by a group of Rome's Senators in 44 BC. After Caesar was killed, the leaders of the assassination plot went to meet a crowd of Romans at the Roman Forum. In his "Apotheosis of Venice" Paolo Veronese has the ascendant Venice flanked by several symbolic persons, one of whom represents Liberty, dressed as a peasant hoisting a red Phrygian cap on a spear. During the French revolution, the Roman pileus was confused with the Phrygian cap, this mis-identification led to the use of the Phrygian cap as a symbol of liberal democratic republicanism. Liberty poles were erected in town squares in the years before and during the American Revolution; some colonists erected liberty poles on their own private land. An violent struggle over liberty poles erected by the Sons of Liberty in New York City raged for 10 years.
The poles were periodically destroyed by the royal authorities, only to be replaced by the Sons with new ones. The conflict lasted from the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766 until the revolutionary New York Provincial Congress came to power in 1775; the liberty pole in New York City had been crowned with a gilt vane bearing the single word, "Liberty". Under the Sedition Act of 1798, authorities indicted several men in Massachusetts for erecting a liberty pole bearing the inscription "No Stamp Act, No Sedition Act, No Alien Bills, No Land Tax, downfall to the Tyrants of America. In some locales—notably in Boston—a liberty tree rather than a pole served the same political purpose. During the Siege of Boston on August 1, 1775, a tall liberty pole was erected on Prospect Hill, a fortified high-ground overlooking the road to British-occupied Boston. Both the "Appeal to Heaven" Pine Tree Flag and Grand Union Flag are reported to have flown on Prospect Hill; the 76' long liberty pole was a ship's mast, captured from the British armed schooner HMS Diana, in the aftermath of the Battle of Chelsea Creek on May 27 and 28, 1775.
When an ensign was raised on a liberty pole, it would be a calling for the Sons of Liberty or townspeople to meet and vent or express their views regarding British rule. The pole was known to be a symbol of dissent against Great Britain; the symbol is apparent in many seals and coats of arms as a sign of liberty and independence. During the Whiskey Rebellion, locals in western Pennsylvania would erect poles along the roads or in town centers as a protest against the federal government's tax on distilled spirits, evoke the spirit embodied by the liberty poles of decades earlier; the arbres de la liberté were a symbol of the French Revolution, the first being planted in 1790 by a pastor of a Vienne village, inspired by the 1765 Liberty Tree of Boston. One was planted in front of the City Hall of Amsterdam on 4 March 1795, in celebration of the alliance between the French Republic and the Batavian Republic. In 1798, with the establishment of the short-lived Roman Republic, a liberty tree was planted in Rome's Piazza delle Scole, to mark the legal abolition of the Roman Ghetto.
After resumption of Papal rule, the Vatican reinstated the Roman ghetto. The image of Liberty holding a pole topped by a Phrygian cap appears on many mid- and late-19th-century U. S. silver coins. These are broadly classified as United States Seated Liberty coinage. Liberty Pole, unincorporated community, United States Maypole Fort Gaddis
Red coat (military uniform)
Red coat or redcoat is a historical item of military clothing used though not worn, by most regiments of the British Army from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The scarlet tunic continues to be used into the 21st century, with several armed forces of the Commonwealth of Nations adopting them as their full dress and mess dress uniforms. From the mid-17th century to the 19th century, the uniform of most British soldiers included a madder red coat or coatee. From 1873 onwards, the more vivid shade of scarlet was adopted for all ranks, having been worn only by officers and all ranks of some cavalry regiments. There had been instances of red military clothing pre-dating its general adoption by the New Model Army; the uniforms of the Yeoman of the Guard and the Yeomen Warders have traditionally been in Tudor red and gold. The Gentlemen Pensioners of James I had worn red with yellow feathers. At Edgehill, the first battle of the Civil War, the King's people had worn red coats, as had at least two Parliamentary regiments".
However none of these examples constituted the national uniform that the red coat was to become. In Ireland during the reign of Elizabeth, the soldiers of the queen's Lord Lieutenant of Ireland were on occasion referred to as "red coats" by the native Irish, from the colour of their clothing; as early as 1561 the Irish named a victory over these royal troops as Cath na gCasóga Dearga meaning'The Battle of the Red Cassocks' but translated as the Battle of the Red Sagums – sagum being a cloak. Note the Irish word is casóg but the word may be translated as coat, cloak, or uniform, in the sense that all of these troops were uniformly attired in red; that the term redcoat was brought to Europe and elsewhere by Irish emigrants is evidenced by Philip O'Sullivan Beare, one of the many thousands of fugitives from Tudor and early Stuart Ireland, who mentions the'Battle of the Redcoats' event in his 1621 history of the Tudor conquest, written in Latin in Spain. He wrote of it as "that famous victory, called'of the red coats' because among others who fell in battle were four hundred soldiers brought from England and clad in the red livery of the viceroy".
O'Sullivan alludes to two other encounters in which the Irish won the day against English'red coats'. One concerns an engagement, twenty years in 1581, during the Second Desmond Rebellion, in which he says "a company of English soldiers, distinguished by their dress and arms, who were called "red coats", being sent to war by the Queen were overwhelmed near Lismore by John Fitzedmund Fitzgerald, the seneschal"; the other relates to a rout by William Burke, Lord of Bealatury in 1599 of "English recruits clad in red coats". English sources confirm. In 1584 the Lords and Council informed the Sheriffs and Justices of Lancashire who were charged with raising 200 foot for service in Ireland that they should be furnished with "a cassocke of some motley, sad grene coller, or russett". Russet was chosen. Again, in the summer of 1595, the Lord Deputy William Russell, 1st Baron Russell of Thornhaugh writing to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley about the relief of Enniskillen, mentions that the Irish rebel Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone had "300 shot in red coats like English soldiers" – the inference being that English soldiers in Ireland were distinguished by their red uniforms.
The Red Coat has evolved from being the British infantryman's worn uniform to a garment retained only for ceremonial purposes. Its official adoption dates from February 1645, when the Parliament of England passed the New Model Army ordinance; the new English Army was formed of 22,000 men, divided into 12 foot regiments of 600 men each, one dragoon regiment of 1000 men, the artillery, consisting of 900 guns. The infantry regiments wore coats of Venetian red with blue or yellow facings. A contemporary comment on the New Model Army dated 7 May 1645 stated "the men are Redcoats all, the whole army only are distinguished by the several facings of their coats". Outside of Ireland, the English Red Coat made its first appearance on a European continental battlefield at the Battle of the Dunes in 1658. A Protectorate army had been landed at Calais the previous year and "every man had a new red coat and a new pair of shoes"; the English name from the battle comes from the major engagement carried out by the "red-coats".
To the surprise of continental observers they stormed sand-dunes 150 feet high fighting experienced Spanish soldiers from their summits with musket fire and push of pike. The adoption and continuing use of red by most British/English soldiers after The Restoration was the result of circumstances rather than policy, including the relative cheapness of red dyes. Red was by no means universal at first, with grey and blue coats being worn. There is no known basis for the myth that red coats were favoured because they did not show blood stains. Blood does in fact show on red clothing as a black stain. Prior to 1707 colonels of regiments made their own arrangements for the manufacture of uniforms under their command; this ended when a royal warrant of 16 January 1707 established a Board of General Officers to regulate the clothing of the army. Uniforms supplied were to conform to the "sealed pattern" agreed by the board; the style of the coat tended to follow those worn by other European armies. From an early stage red coats were lined with contrast
Siege of Fort Ticonderoga (1777)
The 1777 Siege of Fort Ticonderoga occurred between 2 and 6 July 1777 at Fort Ticonderoga, near the southern end of Lake Champlain in the state of New York. Lieutenant General John Burgoyne's 8,000-man army occupied high ground above the fort, nearly surrounded the defenses; these movements precipitated the occupying Continental Army, an under-strength force of 3,000 under the command of General Arthur St. Clair, to withdraw from Ticonderoga and the surrounding defenses; some gunfire was exchanged, there were some casualties, but there was no formal siege and no pitched battle. Burgoyne's army occupied Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, the extensive fortifications on the Vermont side of the lake, without opposition on 6 July. Advance units pursued the retreating Americans; the uncontested surrender of Ticonderoga caused an uproar in the American public and in its military circles, as Ticonderoga was believed to be impregnable, a vital point of defense. General St. Clair and his superior, General Philip Schuyler, were vilified by Congress.
Both were exonerated in courts martial, but their careers were adversely affected. Schuyler had lost his command to Horatio Gates by the time of the court martial, St. Clair held no more field commands for the remainder of the war. In September 1775, early in the American Revolutionary War, the American Continental Army embarked on an invasion of Quebec; the invasion ended in disaster in July 1776, with the army chased back to Fort Ticonderoga by a large British army that arrived in Quebec in May 1776. A small Continental Navy fleet on Lake Champlain was defeated in the October 1776 Battle of Valcour Island; the delay required by the British to build their fleet on Lake Champlain caused General Guy Carleton to hold off on attempting an assault on Ticonderoga in 1776. Although his advance forces came within three miles of Ticonderoga, the lateness of the season and the difficulty of maintaining supply lines along the lake in winter caused him to withdraw his forces back into Quebec. General John Burgoyne arrived in Quebec in May 1777 and prepared to lead the British forces assembled there south with the aim of gaining control of Ticonderoga and the Hudson River valley, dividing the rebellious provinces.
His British Army troops consisted of the 9th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 47th, 53rd and 62nd regiments, along with the flank companies of other regiments left as a garrison in Quebec. The light infantry and flank companies formed the army's advance force, were commanded by Brigadier General Simon Fraser; the remaining regulars, under the leadership of Major General William Phillips, formed the right wing of the army, while the left was composed of German Alliess under the command of Baron Riedesel. His forces consisted of the Rhetz, Specht, Barner regiments, along with one regiment of grenadiers and another of horseless dragoons from the Brunswick Army, Regiment Erbprinz and Creuzbourg's Jäger Corps from the Hesse-Hanau Army. Most of these forces had arrived in 1776, many participated in the campaign that drove the American army out of Quebec; the total size of Burgoyne's regular army was about 7,000. In addition to the regulars, there were about 800 Indians, a small number of Canadiens and Loyalists, who acted as scouts and screening reconnaissance.
The army was accompanied by more than 1,000 civilians, including a pregnant woman, Baroness Riedesel with her three small children. Including these non-military personnel, the total number of people in Burgoyne's army was more than 10,000. Burgoyne and General Carlton re-sited the troops at Fort Saint-Jean, near the northern end of Lake Champlain, on 14 June. By 21 June, the armada carrying the army was on the lake, they had arrived at the unoccupied Fort Crown Point by 30 June; the Indians and other elements of the advance force laid down such an effective screen that the American defenders at Ticonderoga were unaware of either the exact location or strength of the force moving along the lake. While en route, Burgoyne authored a proclamation to the Americans, written in the turgid, pompous style for which he was well-known, criticized and parodied. American forces had occupied the forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point since they captured them in May 1775 from a small garrison. In 1776 and 1777, they undertook significant efforts to improve the defenses surrounding Ticonderoga.
A peninsula on the east side of the lake, renamed Mount Independence, was fortified. To the north of old Fort Ticonderoga, the Americans built numerous redoubts, a large fort at the site earlier French fortifications, a fort on Mount Hope. A quarter-mile long floating bridge was constructed across the lake to facilitate communication between Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. Command at Ticonderoga went through a variety of changes early in 1777; until 1777, General Philip Schuyler had headed the Continental Army's Northern Department, with General Horatio Gates in charge of Ticonderoga. In March 1777 the Continental Congress gave command of the whole department to Gates. Schuyler protested this action, which Congress reversed in May, at which point Gates, no longer willing to serve under Schuyler, left for Philadelphia. Command of the fort was given to General Arthur St. Clair, who arrived only three weeks before Burgoyne's army; the entire complex was manned by several under-strength regiments of the Continental Army and militia units from New York and nearby states.
A war council held by Generals St. Clair and Schuyler on 20 June concluded that "the number of troops now at this post, which are under 2,500 effectives and file, are inadequate to the defense", that "it is prudent to provide for a retreat". Plans were made for retreat along
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument
The Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Fort Greene Park, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, is a memorial to the more than 11,500 American prisoners of war who died in captivity aboard sixteen British prison ships during the American Revolutionary War. The remains of a small fraction of those who died on the ships are interred in a crypt beneath its base; the ships included HMS Jersey, Hope, Stromboli and others. Their remains were first gathered and interred in 1808. In 1867 landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, designers of Central Park and Prospect Park, were engaged to prepare a new design for Washington Park as well as a new crypt for the remains of the prison ship martyrs. In 1873, after urban growth hemmed in that site near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the remains were moved and re-interred in a crypt beneath a small monument. Funds were raised for a larger monument, designed by noted architect Stanford White. Constructed of granite, its single Doric column 149 feet in height sits over the crypt at the top of a 100-foot-wide 33 step staircase.
At the top of the column is an eight-ton bronze brazier, a funeral urn, by sculptor Adolf Weinman. President-elect William Howard Taft delivered the principal address when the monument was dedicated in 1908. During the Revolutionary War, the British maintained a series of prison ships in New York Harbor and jails on shore for prisoners of war. Due to brutal conditions, more Americans died in British jails and prison ships in New York Harbor than in all the battles of the American Revolutionary War; the British disposed of the bodies of the dead from the jails and ships by quick interment or throwing the bodies overboard. Following the end of the war in 1783, the remains of those who died on the prison ships were neglected, left to lie along the Brooklyn shore on Wallabout Bay, a rural area little visited by New Yorkers. On January 21, 1877, the New York Times reported that the dead came from all parts of the nation and "every state of the Union was represented among them."Officials of the local Dutch Reformed Church met with resistance from the property owner when they sought to remove the bones to their churchyard.
Nathaniel Scudder Prime reported on "skulls and feet and legs sticking out of the crumbling bank in the wildest disorder". Edwin G. Burrows described the skulls on the coast "as thick as pumpkins in an autumn cornfield". During construction at the Naval Yards, workers were not sure what to do with the bones, they started to fill casks and boxes, they were reburied on the grounds of the nearby John Jackson estate. "near twenty hogsheads full of bones were collected by the indefatigable industry of John Jackson, esq. the committee of Tammany Society, other citizens, to be interred in the vault." The monument's dedication plaque estimates that 11,500 prisoners of war died in the prison ships, but others estimate the number to be as high as 18,000. The movement to commemorate the dead only took off when political differences between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans deepened in the last years of the eighteenth century and the latter took up the question of a memorial in response to the Federalist erection of a statue of George Washington in 1803.
The Tammany Society, headed by Benjamin Romaine grew into a Republican organization. On February 10, 1803 Republican Congressman Samuel L. Mitchill asked the federal government to erect a monument to the fallen, but had no success They turned their efforts to a grand ceremonial re-interment of the prisoners' remains, emphasizing less the construction of a monument than something more suited to the common man. Tammany formed the Wallabout Committee in January 1808, their efforts took strength from renewed anti-British feeling stemming from British incidents in 1806 and 1807. When President Thomas Jefferson enacted the Embargo Act of 1808, Tammany and the Republicans used their plans for a re-interment as part of their campaign to bolster anti-British sentiment. On April 13, 1808, there was a ceremony to lay the cornerstone of a planned vault. A grand ceremony of re-interment followed on May 26, 1808; the state voted to provide the Tammany Society $1,000 to build a monument. The Society pocketed the monument was never built.
A small square building stood above the 1808 vault with an eagle mounted at the point of the roof. It was located on a triangular plot of land near the Brooklyn Navy Yard waterfront in what is now called Vinegar Hill. A wooden fence with thirteen posts and bars painted with the names of the original thirteen states was erected in front. At the entrance through the fence, an inscription said: "Portal to the tomb of 11,500 patriot prisoners, who died in dungeons and prison-ships, in and about the City of New-York, during the Revolution." The remains were put in long coffins made of bluestone. Extra space was provided in case more bones were discovered during continuing renovations in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Little was done to repair or maintain the vault and the original monument was in a state of disrepair and neglect. In 1839, Benjamin Romaine purchased the land where the Martyrs were buried, in a tax sale from Henry Reed Stiles for $291.08. That year on July 4, 1839, Benjamin Romaine made an appeal for support to build a monument.
In this appeal, Romaine talked about the monument and his intention to use his Revolutionary War pension for the monument. On January 31, 1844, Benjamin Romaine died and was interred in the crypt as he had been a prisoner of war on the ships. In the nineteenth century, the idea of erecting of a monument on the vault site attracted only occasional interest until 1873 when an appropriation of $6,500 was established for a new mausol
Stamp Act Congress
The Stamp Act Congress, or First Congress of the American Colonies, was a meeting held between October 7 and 25, 1765, in New York City, consisting of representatives from some of the British colonies in North America. Parliament had passed the Stamp Act, which required the use of specially stamped paper for legal documents, playing cards, calendars and dice for all business in the colonies, was going into effect on November 1, 1765; the Congress was organized in response to a circular letter distributed by the colonial legislature of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, consisted of delegates from nine of the eighteen British colonies in North America. All nine of the attending delegations were from the Thirteen Colonies that formed the United States of America. Although sentiment was strong in some of the other colonies to participate in the Congress, a number of royal governors took steps to prevent the colonial legislatures from meeting to select delegates; the Congress met in the building now known as Federal Hall, was held at a time of widespread protests in the colonies, some of which were violent, against the Stamp Act's implementation.
The delegates discussed and united against the act, issuing a Declaration of Rights and Grievances in which they claimed that Parliament did not have the right to impose the tax because it did not include any representation from the colonies. Members of six of the nine delegations signed petitions addressed to Parliament and King George III objecting to the Act's provisions; the extra-legal nature of the Congress caused alarm in Britain, but any discussion of the congress's propriety were overtaken by economic protests from British merchants whose business with the colonies suffered as a consequence of the protests and their associated non-importation of British products. These economic issues prompted the British Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act, but it passed the Declaratory Act the same day, to express its opinion on the basic constitutional issues raised by the colonists. In the aftermath of the French and Indian War, the British Parliament sought to increase revenues from its overseas colonies, where the cost of stationing troops had become significant.
Parliament first passed the Sugar and Currency Acts in 1764 aimed at raising money for the Crown, through the tighter regulation of colonial trade. These acts had brought protests from colonial legislatures, but had skirted the idea of direct taxation by structuring their revenues as trade-related excise duties. Prime Minister George Grenville noted at the time of the Sugar Act's passage that a stamp tax might be necessary raising concern and protest in the colonies. With the Stamp Act of 1765, Parliament attempted to raise money through direct taxation on the colonies for the first time; the act required that all sorts of printed material carry a stamp to show that the tax had been paid. Use of the stamped paper was required for newspapers, court documents, commercial papers, land deeds, almanacs and playing cards; the revenue was to help finance the operations of the empire, including the cost of stationing troops in the colonies, without seeking revenue through the established colonial assemblies.
In June 1765, the Massachusetts Assembly drafted a letter, sent to the legislatures of "the several Colonies on this Continent" to "consult together on the present circumstances of the colonies". Nine colonies selected delegates to attend the congress: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and South Carolina. All of the delegates selected were members of their colonial legislative bodies; the methods by which delegates were selected were in some cases unorthodox. In Delaware known as the "Three Lower Counties" of the Penn proprietors, assembly members held informal meetings in each of the three counties, in each case selecting the same three delegates. In New York, the assembly had been prorogued and was judged unlikely to be summoned by Lieutenant Governor Colden to consider the Massachusetts letter; the assembly's committee of correspondence, consisting of its New York City delegates, discussed the letter and decided under the circumstances to assume the authority to represent the colony.
New Jersey's assembly politely declined to send delegates before adjourning in late June, but after political sentiment against the Stamp Act became more pronounced, Speaker Robert Ogden called an extra-legal assembly in late September that chose three delegates. Governor William Franklin was upset at this action, but took no action beyond protesting the unusual meeting. Maryland's assembly, prorogued because of a smallpox outbreak, was called into session by Governor Horatio Sharpe to consider the Massachusetts letter on September 23, delegates were chosen; the colonies that were not represented at the congress did not send delegates for a variety of reasons. The Virginia and Georgia assemblies were deliberately prevented from meeting by their governors. New Hampshire chose not to send delegates due to an ongoing financial crisis in the colony. North Carolina Lieutenant Governor William Tryon had prorogued the assembly for other reasons, there was apparently