The Second Crossing

Washington Crossing The Delaware by Peter Fiore

Washington Crossing The Delaware by Peter Fiore

I watched the President’s  stirring  inaugural address from the quiet of a quaint Italian cafe in my hometown of  Frenchtown, New Jersey. Myself, a local artist and the owner watched the historic proceedings huddled around a small rather conventional television set. Outside the streets were mostly devoid of human and vehicular traffic, due to the day’s events and the constant chilling wind that swept up from the icy waters of the Delaware River.

I was pleased that amongst the President’s profound rhetoric was a reference  to George Washington and the words that  he spoke prior to his fateful crossing of the Delaware to attack the Hessian position at Trenton.

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive … that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

The entire staff of American Public House Review hold our first Commander-in-Chief in the highest regard, hence the abundance of references to His Excellency in past articles:

There is also a past post, “Setting Sail With The Obamas” which equated his potential presidency with those events that transpired on the shores of the Delaware on Christmas Day of 1776. 

Normally I tend to cringe when our elected officials hitch their political fortunes to those that founded, nutured and secured this Republic; but in this case I trust that this man’s intent and inspiration are true! So as we embark on this journey to renew the spirit and promise of 76, we at American Public House Review raise our glasses to our President, his family and the people of this great nation! 

Period Dinner at The White Horse Tavern in Newport, RI

Period Dinner at The White Horse Tavern in Newport, RI

Posted by: Chris Poh, Editor-in-Chief 

 

 

Maine brewpub Gritty McDuff’s delights

This week, I reported on the American Public House Review from one of the best brewpubs I have ever been in, Gritty McDuff’s in Portland, Maine.  It sits in the historic Old Port section of this seaside city and is practically a landmark in itself.  It is also the perfect place in town to sip some terrific, fresh beer and really get a feel for what this part of New England is all about.

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While writing the article, I had the pleasure of interviewing author James L. Nelson who wrought the book George Washington’s Secret Navy.
It is a gripping account of Washington’s foray into the world of the fighting sail, and even tells the tale of how Portland itself played an instrumental role in galvanizing the thirteen colonies behind the concept and cause of independence.  Take a look at the article, An Historic Pint in the Old Port, to learn more.

Portland's Harbor

Portland's harbor

Last year while I was on vacation in Maine, I passed the time by reading one of Mr. Nelson’s other great books.  This one, called Benedict Arnold’s Navy, is also a must read for any history buff.  It tells the tale of how Benedict Arnold, and officer in the Continental Army, literally built a navy out of the trees of New York and used his makeshift flotilla and his command of landlubbers to drive the British back into Canada and bought the colonies a few more months so that the cause of independence could go on. 


Benedict Arnold's Navy by James L. Nelson

Benedict Arnolds Navy by James L. Nelson

 

In the book this complex man, who is now known to us as a traitor, comes to life.  But here, years before he famously turned coat, we get to see why he was so popular among Americans and why his treason was so painful for so many who were loyal to him.  Here is what Mr. Nelson has to say about Benedict Arnold’s Navy:

I have always been fascinated by the Battle of Valcour Island. There is nothing really like it in history, a battle in which both sides had to build their fleet right on the spot before they could fight, and do so in a virtual wilderness with none of the usual resources they could count on. Adding to the story is the fact that the hero, from the American perspective, is Benedict Arnold, the man who would go on to be one of the most despised in our history. Researching this book, it became even more incredible to me, and even more tragic, that Arnold did what he ultimately did. I can never be excused, but at least I, and I hope my readers, can come to better understanding of why the once national hero made such a terrible choice.

Benedict Arnold’s Navy is the first book-length treatment to look exclusively at the build-up to the battle, the fight on Lake Champlain, and the amazing fallout from that fight on a wilderness lake.

So when you’re done with George Washington’s Secret Navy, give Benedict Arnold’s Navy a try.  Even a non-history enthusiast will find these stories compelling.

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Posted by: David McBride

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