“God willing and the Creek don’t rise.”

If you are from a certain geographical area of the United States the title of this post is a saying you have heard numerous times. Heck, you may even use it yourself. I’ll admit that I have found usage of this American style vernacular a few instances in my lifetime.

Did you know that there is one version that connects the popular saying to a figure in American history and has its origin dating back into the 18th century?

While reading a history of Osceola, I came across the mention of Benjamin Hawkins and as many of you know, did some internet research, consulted other books on the Seminoles, Creeks, and other Native Americans and the research took off from there. This is just a brief overview of Hawkins and his possible, albeit tenuous, connection to this saying.

A possible first mention of the saying above is attributed to Hawkins, whose name probably does not ring a bell for a large segment of people, historians included. Hawkins, born in North Carolina on August 15, 1754 into a family of six, was a gifted individual who attended the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University with an aptitude for linguistics, which apparently including learning Native American dialects.

Continue reading ““God willing and the Creek don’t rise.””

Six Signers Signing

Part Three of Six

His name might not be too familiar, but he has the distinction of signing three of the most important documents of the American Revolutionary period; the petition to King George III of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution. His name?

George Read.read

 

Born in the colony of Maryland on September 18, 1733 in the county of Cecil, the young Read was shortly thereafter on the move. His family, while George was an infant, resettled in New Castle, Delaware. When of school age, he attended Reverend Francis Allison’s Academy in New London, Pennsylvania, and one of his classmates was Thomas McKean, a future Signer of the Declaration of Independence as well. George moved on to study law in Philadelphia under the tutelage of John Moland. In 1753, George was admitted to the bar and the next year had settled back in New Castle, Delaware to practice. Continue reading “Six Signers Signing”

Six Signing Signers

Part Two of Six
(for part one, click here)

The financier. Those two words explain the importance of Robert Morris, the Liverpool, England born Pennsylvanian transplant. As George Washington engineered the pivotal campaign that culminated in the actions at Trenton on Christmas Day 1776 and Princeton in early January, Robert Morris was the man who made it happen.

Born on January 20, 1734, Morris was a 13-year old lad when he sailed for the British North American colonies. He was headed to Oxford, Maryland where his father had emigrated prior to. While living on his father’s tobacco-growing plantation, Morris was afforded the opportunity to have a tutor and showed his mental prowess, advancing rapidly in his studies.

Outgrowing his tutor, Morris was sent to a family friend in Philadelphia where it was arranged the young man would become an apprentice in the shipping and banking of future Philadelphia mayor Charles Willing. When Willing died in 1754, Morris was made partner. He was only 24 years old at the time.

After the establishment of Willing, Morris, and Company on May 1, 1757, Morris was set about establishing himself firmly in the upper society of Philadelphia, the largest city in the 13 British colonies. Yet, it was not until he was 35 years old in 1759 when he wed Mary White, who hailed from a prominent Maryland family. In time, the family grew to include five sons and two daughters. That same year, Morris and his partner Thomas Willing organized the first non-importation agreement in which the slave trade was ended for good in the Philadelphia region.

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Robert Morris (courtesy of our friends at The Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, http://www.dsdi1776.com)

Even before his marriage, Morris was active in politics. In 1765 he had served on a committee comprised of local merchants. Formed in protest to the Stamp Act, Morris was chosen to mediate a mass town meeting of protesters. Even though he personally felt the new acts were unconstitutional, Morris was remained steadfastly loyal to Great Britain. Continue reading “Six Signing Signers”

Six Signing Signers

Part One of Six

On August 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the majority of the 56 men who would forever be known as the “Signers of the Declaration of Independence” placed quill to ink and affixed their signature.

On September 17, 1787, the men who persevered, haggled, and agreed on the United States Constitution, dipped a quill into ink and placed their signatures on that famous document.

If one looks closely and reads the names of the signers, six gentlemen’s names would appear on both documents. If one hazarded a quick guess, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, John or Samuel Adams, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin would most likely be the first names to spill off the tongue.

Only one of those names would be correct; Benjamin Franklin. This post, the first in the series, will shed light on whose these men were, who had the great fortune–or luck?–to sign both famous political documents. The first of the “Six Signing Signers” is…..

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George Clymer. Continue reading “Six Signing Signers”