Posts Tagged ‘Life Guards’

Become the ‘Life Guards’ of Your Country!

March 30, 2010

TORY COMPLIMENTS TO GENERAL HARRISON.

“Harrison is a Federalist.” — Just what might be expected of the disciple of Jefferson.

“Harrison is a Coward and a Granny.” — What else could we expect the favorite pupil of that old Coward and Granny, Wayne, to be.

“Harrison was beaten at Tippecanoe.” — Yes, and the Indians ran away and killed themselves in a frolic.

“Harrison was not at the Battle of the Thames.” — Just so, and Proctor surrendered to a ghost.

“Harrison lives in a log cabin, and should be called the Log-Cabin Candidate.” — Fool that he was, not to take, when he had the opportunity, enough of the people’s money to build a fine house, and live RESPECTABLY in his old age. No Tory would have been so silly.

“Harrison, while he lived in Cincinnati, begat three Indian children at Prairie du Chien.” — Rather an unusual feat for a Granny. He must have gone as far and as often “a courtin” as the Ohio Fund Commissioners went “to raise the wind;” and he must have been more successful.

“Who ever heard of Harrison? Who is he?”

Of him, Col. Johnson, (Vice President) thus spoke in the House of Representatives whilst a member of that body:

“Of the career of Gen. Harrison I need not speak — the history of the West is his history. For forty years he has been identified with its interests, its perils, and its hopes.

Universally beloved in the walks of peace, and distinguished by his ability in the councils of his country, he has been yet more illustriously distinguished in the field. During the late war, he was longer in actual service than any other General Officer; he was, perhaps, oftener in action than any one of them, and never sustained a defeat.

But the Whigs must not quote him any more, for the Tories mean to cast him off. — His name is disagreeable to the British, with whom the Tories are in great feathers.

“Harrison abused Maj. Croghan.” It is true that Croghan said he did not; but then Croghan was a coward, and dared not resent ill-treatment from his superior officer.

We have not room for any more of these pretty things this week; but we intend to keep our readers informed of all the slanders that the malignity of the Tories prompt them to publish against the Father of the West.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 4, 1840

An Eloquent Record.

WILLIAM H. HARRISON was born in Virginia on the 9th February, 1773.

In 1791, when 19 years of age, he was appointed by Washington an Ensign in our infant army.

In 1792, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant; and in 1793, joined the legion under Gen. Wayne; and in a few days thereafter, was selected by him as one of his aids.

On the 24th of August, 1794, he distinguished himself in the battle of the Miami, and elicited the most flattering written approbation of Gen. Wayne.

In 1795, he was made a Captain, and placed in the command of Fort Washington.

In 1797, he was appointed by President Adams, Secretary of the North Western Territory and ex officio Lt. Governor.

In 1798, he was chosen a delegate to Congress.

In 1801, he was appointed Governor of Indiana, and in the same year, President Jefferson appointed him sole commissioner for treating with the Indians.

In 1809, he was re-appointed Governor of Indiana by Madison.

On the 7th Nov. 1811, he gained the great victory of TIPPECANOE.

On the 11th September, 1812, he was appointed by Madison Commander-in-chief of the North Western Army.

On the 1st May, 1812, the siege of Fort Meigs commenced; lasted five days, and was terminated by the brilliant and successful sortie of Gen. Harrison.

On the 31st July, 1812, the battle of Fort Stephenson occurred.

On the 5th October, 1813, he gained the splendid victory of the THAMES, over the British and Indians under Proctor.

In 1814, he was appointed by Madison one of the Commissioners to treat with the Indians, and in the same year, with his colleagues, Gov. Shelby and General Cass, concluded the celebrated treaty of Greenville.

In 1815, he was again appointed such Commissioner, with Gen. M’Arthur and Mr. Graham, and negotiated a treaty at Detroit.

In 1816, he was elected a member of Congress.

In January, 1818, he introduced a resolution in honor of Kosciusko, and supported it in one of the most feeling, classical, and eloquent speeches ever delivered in the House of Representatives.

In 1819, he was elected Senator in Congress, and was appointed, in 1825, Chairman of the Military Committee in place of Gen. Jackson who had resigned.

In 1827, he was appointed Minister to Columbia, and in 1829, wrote his immortal letter to Bolivar, the deliverer of South America.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 4, 1840

Another Tory Compliment to General HARRISON.

“Harrison, while a member of the Senate of Ohio, voted to sell poor white men into slavery.” — that is, he voted to have men who were convicted of small crimes, and of whom the costs of conviction could not otherwise be collected, compelled to WORK them out. — What a monster! If such were the law, the sufferings of jail-birds would be intolerable. Instead of spending a few weeks in jail, with a plenty to eat and nothing to do, they would have to work to pay the expense of their punishment. Why! thieves and leg-treasurers should all rise as one man and oppose Harrison for that vote!

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 11, 1840

Valley Forge (Image from http://www.sonofthesouth.net)

A VOICE OF ’76.

The Newburgh Gazette brings us the following eloquent letter from the last of the “Life Guards of Gen. Washington.” Let the freemen of America heed the honest warning of this venerable patriot. Let all who are able to enlist for the war adopt the advice of this aged veteran, and enroll themselves as the Life guards of the country. —Alb. Adv.

To the Descendants of Revolutionary Soldiers:

An old soldier of the Continental Army asks for the last time to speak to his countrymen. During the suffering services of the Revolution I was in sixteen engagements, and was one of the little band who volunteered under Sullivan to destroy the “Six Nations of Indians.” I was one of that small company selected as the Life Guard of Gen. Washington — but two of us are now living. I was at the tough siege of Yorktown, at Valley Forge, Monmouth, and in thirteen other hard battles, and saw Cornwallis surrender to our old General. My service ceased only with the war.

After all this hardship and suffering, in the street when I go out in my old age to see the happiness I have helped to give you, I am pointed at as a British Tory — yes, a British Tory — I have said nothing when I have been told so, but have silently thought that my old General would never have picked out a Tory to form one of his Life Guard, nor would a Tory have suffered what I suffered for you. This abuse has been shamefully heaped upon one of your old soldiers because he is what he was when the war broke out, and what Washington told us we must always be when he shook HANDS with us as we all were going home.

I was a Whig in the Revolution, and have been one ever since, and am one now. As a Whig I enlisted for the whole WAR was in favor with the other whigs of Thomas Jefferson, went with the party for James Madison, was in favor of the last war, and to be consistent in my last vote, must give it for Gen. Harrison. He is a brave man, and was never known wherever he has been to take a penny from his neghbor or the Government, that was not fairly his own. — We have trod over the same ground fighting for liberty. His father, 9he was one of us in the Revolution) signed our Independence roll, and then we all went out together to fight for it, and we proved it was true.

It really appears to me that this cannot be the same government that our old soldiers helped Washington to put up here. We fought to have a government as different from any in Europe as we could make it. — Well, we done it, and until lately things have gone on smoothly and Europe was beginning to get ashamed of the way she made slaves of her subjects by making them work and toil for seven poor cents a day with a Standing Army over them to force them to it. But our President now tells the people that things have gone wrong since the Old War and that there are twenty-two miserable Governments in Europe where the Kings wear crowns, the rich people wear silks, and the poor people rags, that we must fashion after them if we want to be happy and prosperous! —

We had English laws here once and they were the best in Europe, but we could’nt stand them and we put them under our feet. We used to work for mere nothing then, and we cannot do it again. Working for a few cents a day may do for slaves, but not for freemen whose liberty cost more blood, than liberty ever cost before, why, the very first thing that started the old war, was the Standing Army, that the King kept quartered upon us, we told him that we wanted no soldiers over us in time of peace, but he refused to mind us, and I saw Lord Cornwallis surrender up a part of them to honest George Washington. Our President now proposes to have a standing force — what for? — Beware.

Thom’s Jefferson never asked for armed men to re-elect him, or elevate his successor. James Madison asked for them only, in the time of the late war, and warned the people when he left his office, to be careful about keeping soldiers in time of peace.

Our streets are filled with idle men who were active laborers once, when employment was to be had. The men of enterprise who once employed them have been ruined by government. And now these honest, but unemployed laborers are told by the government, that when they go to work again, they must do it for a few cents a day — that labor must be as cheap here, as it is among the slaves of Cuba, or the slaves of Europe. Ambition and ignorance on the part of our Government have shut up our shops and stores, scuttled our ships, filled our streets with idleness and bankruptcy, and given no encouragement to the farmer as he looks at his grain. Are not these things so?

You know they are, and I have no motive in saying what may be false — I am too far advanced for office, or any thing else but death — it will soon be here. — My little pension, and I thank you for it, will soon stop, and I go home with the rest of the Life Guards. —

There is but one remedy only for the safety of the country I have saved. Put other men to stand at the tiller, and round the cables, and you will soon be back on the old Constitutional track. Gen. Harrison is honest, he never deceived you, and he never lost a battle, and the People wont let him lose this. Accept my advice, and you all have my blessing — my advice is, that all of you become the Life Guards of your country, and my blessing is that your old age may have less fears for liberty than mine.

BENJAMIN EATON.
One of the two surviving Life Guards of George Washington.

NEWBURGH, N.Y. Aug. 28, 1840.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Oct 6, 1840

Nathan Hale

From the Newburgh New York Telegraph.
Gratitude, Gallantry and Feeling.

To record the incidents connected with the “old soldiers” of Washington — those few falling leaves of the tree of the revolution — is ever pleasing. But few of them remain. In a few brief years, the “last soldier of the revolution” will have died.

The following little incident, interesting and touching in its way, occurred here last week during the visit of that highly disciplined and soldier-like corps, the National Greys, of New York city.

One of their numerous marches, in the neighbourhood of our village, to receive the well-deserved hospitality of our citizens, was to Ettrick Grove, the beautiful seat of Mr. Hale, a mile below the village, taking in their way “Washington’s Head Quarters,” to which the company wished to pay a last visit before departure. The entire march was over consecrated ground. — Washington himself had known and traversed every foot of it — in the neighbourhood was the ground where the army was stationed, and in the ravine below, was the revolutionary cannon foundry, traces of which are still visible.

These were all pointed out, as also the remaining portion of the house (now Mr. Hale‘s kitchen) to which Washington was invited to an entertainment, in order to his betrayal by a band of conspirators against his life and his country’s hopes. These several reminiscences had each its interest; but the crowning incident of the march, and the one likely to live long in recollection was this:

On the outward march of the company, at a little distance in advance in the porch of a cottage, was observed the bowed and bleached head and wasted form of one of those immortals on earth, who shared the toils of war with Washington — it was BENJAMIN EATON, the last but one (Robert Blair, also of this village,) of Washington’s Life Guard.

The fact being announced to the officers of the corps, they eagerly advanced, in person, while the company uncovered, and thus all testified, in passing, their respect for the noble old Roman. On their return, the old soldier was escorted out, supported on either side by the Captain and Lieutenant, and the corps passed in review before him, uncovered, and with as profound respect and nice observance of military order as the old soldier in other days would have passed in review before his venerated Washington.

He was then escorted to the front and introduced personally to each member of the corps — and as each seized him by the hand and uttered the heart-felt “God bless you, General,” the gathering tear in the eye of each young soldier told the glow of gratitude and patriotism enkindled in his bosom. It was a moment and a scene to excite deep feeling. The eye of the veteran, dimmed by age, brightened again with pride and joy. The scenes and the forms of other days seemed reanimated and again brought to his view. But it was a transient vision, and came but for a moment to gladden the veteran’s heart.

Recollection but too soon recalled the realities of the present; and he was heard to murmur, “Alas! I have lived to be useless to myself and to the world!”

He told them, however, as a parting advice of an old soldier, to “remember their Great Commander.” He said he had been present in sixteen battles of the Revolution, and amid the dangers of them all had sought aid from above in prayer for himself, his country and his companions; and was himself a living witness, with the frosts of eighty-two winters upon his head, that these prayers were not in vain.

Benjamin Eaton has seen much service, and his country owes him much. He was in the battles and shared the dangers of Lexington, Monmouth, Flatbush, Brandywine, Harlaem Heights, &c., and served under the gallant Sullivan, in 1779, in his expedition against the “Six Nations” of Indians. Poor in every thing but spirit and merit, he has lived for years upon that evidence of coldest ingratitude — a pension of ninety-six dollars!!

Title    Hazard’s United States Commercial and Statistical Register, Volume 1
Editor    Samuel Hazard
Publisher s.n., 1840
pg 256

Benjamin Eaton - Rural Valley Cemetery

October 16, 1842.
Benjamin Eaton, said to have been the last survivor of Washington’s Life Guard, died at Cuddeback, Orange Co., N. Y., aged 85.
He joined in the pursuit at Lexington, and served till 1779, with an absence of only 20 days.

From: The New York genealogical and biographical record (Volume 102)
. (page 7 of 52)

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