I was star-struck when I met George Washington, with his height and aura of leadership. Liberty was amazed at how much he could eat! George Washington was the first President of the United States, after serving as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Greatly admired for his elegance and military bearing, he trained every day people into a military fighting force that defeated the greatest army the world had ever seen. His military genius and ability to choose the best talent, helped the Army survive the destitution of Winter at Valley Forge. Elected President after the War, George Washington could have chosen to exert near-dictatorial powers, instead he respected the separation of powers of the new country.
Thomas Gage (General)
General Gage controlled Massachusetts for a time. It seemed like everywhere we turned his troops and spies were waiting for us. During the French and Indian War, Gage and George Washington served alongside each other in the British army. During the American Revolutionary War though they would meet again as opponents. Gage served as commander-in-chief of all British Forces in North America from 1763-1774. He shaped and implemented the Intolerable Acts as a punishment for the Boston Tea Party. After his loss at the Battle of Bunker Hill he was relieved of his duty in the colonies and returned to England.
Myles Standish was the military fellow who saved Tommy from falling overboard on the Mayflower. He also taught him how to swordfight and was great with building forts. Standish led the early exploratory missions onto Cape Cod. He was one of the few who did not get sick during the first winter and cared for those who did fall ill. As military leader he organized the defense of the village of Plymouth. He led expeditions both for trading and military, and fought in battles in the New World. He was known to be not very tall and had a quick temper, and was rudely once called "Captain Shrimp." He often wore armor and carried weapons. All in all, despite his faults I would want him to defend my town.
This young man is very cool and nearly lost his life on the voyage! John Howland came on the Mayflower in 1620 as a servant to Governor John Carver in his late teens or early twenties. During the trip to New England, during a storm, John Howland fell overboard. Remember the water was freezing and there was no Coast Guard around to save him. Luckily he was saved when the crew threw a halyard overboard. They pulled him in with a boat hook! Tommy was saved by Myles Standish remember? Yunno' he made it all the way and survived the first hard years in Plymouth Colony? Then he went on to have tons of children-and that is lucky or we may not have the millions of descendants he has today including Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, and Presidents George and George W. Bush.
Our friend William Brewster was the religious leader of the Pilgrims and that is why they named him Elder. Due to his religious beliefs, Brewster was forced to leave England and headed for Leiden, Holland in 1608. There he created a printing press and taught at the local University. Brewster brought his wife Mary and his children Love and Wrestling on the Mayflower. He helped the sick during the first winter at Plymouth with a kind and gentle manner. He lived to nearly 80 years old.
Governor John Carver
John Carver was the governor of Plymouth Colony just before William Bradford. He was one of the most senior members of the church in Leiden, Holland. When the Pilgrims decided to head to America they sent John Carver and Robert Cushman to England to negotiate with the Virginia company. They set up the business that sent them on their way. Carver was governor aboard the Mayflower. He died of sunstroke in April 1621.
Capt. Christopher Jones
Captain Christopher Jones was the strict ship captain on the Mayflower. He led around 30 crewmembers on the voyage. A captain of the ship was called a ship's "master" in those days. He was born around 1570 making him around 50 years old on the Atlantic Ocean voyage.
We met Dorothy Bradford in Holland, remember? She was with her husband William Bradford and was very sad about leaving her son John behind when they went to America onboard the Mayflower. She married William at the age of 16 in 1613 in Amsterdam, Holland. Sadly, she passed away in Provincetown Harbor when her husband William was exploring the new world.
Remember we met Abigail Adams' husband John Adams at the First Continental Congress? Well, while he was there he was writing over 1,000 letters to his brilliant wife Abigail. Although she lacked a formal education, which was common for women of the day, she read avidly and was deeply thoughtful. She was born in Massachusetts, descended from the powerful Quincys and married John Adams in 1764. Mrs. Adams is the mother to our sixth President John Quincy Adams. She advocated for the rights of women, stating, "If particular care and attention" is not paid to women "We are determined to ferment a Rebellion." No wonder she and John Adams were such a perfect match!
Remember the Founding Father who had a secret signal to the Sons of Liberty to start the Boston Tea Party? The fiery man at the pulpit was Samuel Adams, a vocal leader of the early independence movement. His strong personality pushed hard in opposition to taxes such as the Stamp Act that he thought were oppressive. Paul Revere was riding to warn him and John Hancock of the British plan to arrest them. In 1787 he was elected Governor of Massachusetts. He is the second cousin to President John Adams and signed the Declaration of Independence.
Crispus Attucks was the first casualty of the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. His father was said to be an American of African descent and his mother a Natick or Nantucket Indian. He was a slave in Framingham, and escaped to become a sailor working on a whaling crew that sailed out of Boston, and later a ropemaker. Like other laborers and sailors of the day, he feared impressment (capture) by the British Navy, and competition for work. The events of the night of the Boston Massacre began when a British troop entered a pub looking for work and instead found unhappy American sailors. Despite rules regulating the burial of African-Americans, Attucks was buried in an honored spot in the Park Street Cemetery.
One of my favorite people that we met was Pilgrim leader William Bradford. He was the governor of the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony for more than 30 years. He was born in England and became an orphan at an early age. He was sickly as a child and spent a lot of time reading, becoming a scholar. As a teenager he traveled with the Separatists to Leiden, Holland. He was among the passengers on the Mayflower and signed the Mayflower Compact. He wrote his chronicles of the colony in Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647. He focused on private property and religious tolerance and maintained peace with the Native Americans.
Oh, my goodness, I am really happy we did not hurt Benjamin Franklin when he came to Manchester Middle School! Franklin is considered one of the greatest Americans in history. He was a diplomat, inventor, scientist, politician and revolutionary. Coming from working class roots, he apprenticed as a printer to his brother and wrote under a pseudonym: Mrs. Silence Dogood. His brother did not treat him so well so he escaped at age 17 to Philadelphia. He became very successful through years of hard work and became the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette. In 1765, he opposed the Stamp Act in London and was accused of publishing the Hutchinson letters that showed British negative attitudes toward America. He made small but important changes to the draft of the Declaration of Independence sent to him by Thomas Jefferson, and later served as the Ambassador to France.
Did you ever see the huge name on the Declaration of Independence? That was John Hancock, who, before the revolution, was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies. He worked closely with Samuel Adams and was with him in Lexington when Paul Revere rode to warn them that the Regular British army was coming to arrest them. In 1770, after the Boston Massacre, Hancock chaired the committee that demanded the removal of British forces. He served as the President of the Continental Congress and was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. He was elected the first Governor of Massachusetts.
Oh, Patrick Henry, one of my absolute favorites, courageous orator and a fine fiddler! As a Representative at the Virginia House of Burgesses, Henry gave the famous Treason speech, responding to hecklers by saying: if it be treason make the most of it! He translated difficult ideas to the common man. In 1774, he served as a Delegate to the Continental Congress stating, "I am not a Virginian but an American." He has been called the "Trumpet" and the "Voice" of the American Revolution. Later, he helped to gain passage of the Bill of Rights. He was always protecting the rights of Americans!
An absolute political genius, and brilliant writer, just don't ask him to get up in front of a crowd and speak! Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States. At age 33, he drafted the Declaration of Independence and was the first American Secretary of State, serving under President George Washington. In his first term in 1803 he oversaw the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, and sent Lewis and Clark westward. Jefferson spoke five languages and was deeply interested in a philosophical understanding of the world. He died just hours before his friend John Adams, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
I have always been a groupie of my favorite person in American history- Paul Revere! I can't believe I was able to meet him in person, what a thrill! Paul Revere is famous for the Midnight Ride of April 18, 1775, where he spread the alarm through the New England countryside. Contrary to popular belief, he did not say The British are coming but rather that The Regulars are coming out! That's because Americans at the time still felt they were British. Prior to the Revolution, Paul Revere worked as a Silversmith in Boston and completed a famous etching of the Boston Massacre. His ride was immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem - Paul Revere's Ride.
Do you remember when Liberty mentioned Alexander Cummings as the inventor of the flush toilet? He was a Scottish born mathematician, mechanic, and watchmaker. In 1775, he invented and patented something called the S-strap for the modern flushing toilet, which is still in use today. The S-strap is a sliding valve between the bowl and trap. Alexander invented this to prevent sewer gases from entering buildings. So every time you flush your toilet you should thank Alexander Cummings. I know Liberty does!
He is one of Elizabeth's favorite people in history. King James I ruled England in 1620 and did not want the Pilgrims to have religious freedom. He also fought with his own Parliament and ruled without it for seven years. The Pilgrims and so many others left for the New World to find religious freedom.
Do you remember which event in American History Tommy said he would visit first if he had a horse like Liberty? Tommy said it would be the 1969 Apollo 11 launch into space to see Neil Armstrong become the first man to set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong was not only an astronaut; he was also a naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. He landed on the moon during the Apollo 11 flight where he famously said, "that's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."
The Brave Pilgrims
Rush Limbaugh wrote Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, the first in his children's adventure series, to make American history fun! The book begins aboard the Mayflower and follows the Pilgrims through their first winter in the New World. American history teacher Rush Revere time-travels with two young students to see American history first-hand. Always riding along with him is his trusty talking horse Liberty, who is hungry for knowledge - and food! Come along with the time-traveling adventure crew as they build forts, swordfight, explore, speak with exceptional people like Squanto and William Bradford, and witness the first Thanksgiving. There is so much to learn! Join Rush Revere on the first adventure! Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims also includes beautiful full color illustrations and original documents from the period.