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About this site

For the many people asking questions about this site, here is some information:

Design and SEO were done by the Website Foundation and cost was $$$ before I started blogging. I asked for some historical icons over a map, and I like the design they did.

I am using WordPress, and it is very easy, similar to Microsoft Word (I used DreamWeaver and html at work for websites, and learning html helps if you want to make changes in WordPress).

I do not have much time to do articles now, but I will add them when research is finished.

Ethan Allen–a controversial Revolutionary War hero

Ethan Allen (1738-89) was a controversial Revolutionary War hero. Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1738, he is best known as one of the founders of the U.S. state of Vermont and for his involvement in forming the volunteer militia known as the Green Mountain Boys. Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, along with Benedict Arnold, captured Fort Ticonderoga, on the New York State side of Lake Champlain, from the British.

In the late 1760s Allen became interested in the region known as the New Hampshire Grants, an area which comprised present-day Vermont. In 1769 he settled in Bennington where he soon attained prominence in the legal struggle between New York and New Hampshire for control of the region. Setbacks led to the formation of a volunteer militia, the Green Mountain Boys, to resist and evict proponents of the New York cause. At the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, Allen and the Green Mountain Boys offered their services against the British. 

Early on the morning of May 10, 1775, acting on orders from Connecticut, Allen, Benedict Arnold, a Connecticut soldier, and a contingent of the Green Mountain Boys surprised and captured Fort Ticonderoga. Allen demanded the surrender of the British commander “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.” Following this military feat, he rendered valuable service in the operations against Canada as a member of Gen. Philip Schuyler’s army. In September 1775 Allen was taken prisoner after a failed attempt on Montreal; he was confined until released in a prisoner exchange in 1778.  He returned home following his release and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army and a major general of the militia.

Allen’s activities following 1778 included appearing before the Continental Congress on behalf of Vermont’s claims for recognition as an independent state. Along with his brother and other Vermonters, he devoted most of his time to the territorial dispute, negotiating with the Canadian governor between 1780 and 1783, ostensibly for establishing Vermont as a Canadian province. Unfortunately, on the basis of this, Benedict Arnold was later charged with treason. This charge was never substantiated—the negotiations were intended to force favorable action on the status of Vermont by the Continental Congress. 

Allen wrote accounts of his exploits in the war, as well as philosophical treatises relating to the politics of the formation of the state of Vermont. Business dealings included one of Connecticut’s early iron works, successful farming operations, and land speculation in the Vermont territory. Allen and his brothers purchased tracts of land that eventually became Burlington, Vermont.

History describes Ethan Allen as a fiercely independent man, a bit crude, brash and daring; in life, an overbearing, loud-mouthed braggart, although a loyal patriot who did not know the meaning of fear.  George Washington is said to have written about Allen, “There is an original something about him that commands attention.” Alexander Graydon, paroled with Allen during his captivity in New York, described Allen:

His figure was that of a robust, large-framed man, worn down by confinement and hard fare; but he was now recovering his flesh and spirits; and a suit of blue clothes, with a gold laced hat that had been presented to him by the gentlemen of Cork, enabled him to make a very passable appearance for a rebel colonel … I have seldom met with a man, possessing, in my opinion, a stronger mind, or whose mode of expression was more vehement and oratorical. Notwithstanding that Allen might have had something of the insubordinate, lawless frontier spirit in his composition…he appeared to me to be a man of generosity and honor.

Allen died in Burlington, Vermont on February 12, 1789, two years before Vermont was admitted to the Union; he is assumed buried near the site of his monument. His final home, on the Onion River (now Winooski River), is part of the Ethan Allen Homestead and Museum. Guided tours are available for viewing his homestead in Burlington. 

The Americas in the Beginning


Yes, the Native Americans wandered this great land all on their own, but when the land masses separated, things changed. This brought the spreading of populations and new cultures into The Americas.

America, long ago, was colonized by people from Asia in the last cold age about 30,000 years ago plus. It was cut off from the “Old World” by melting of ice and rising of sea level that submerged the land bridge across Bering Straits.This was a new civilization marked by skills in astronomy, mathematics, and monumental building on a grand scale. This independent civilization focused on agriculture, mining, pottery, copper working, gold, silver, etc. Many of these civilizations actually made their way down to Mexico, probably for the warmer climate and lush vegetation. This area was known as Mesoamerica, today’s Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and central Andes. It is said that around 600 AD, Teotihuacan in Mexico spread over an area of 20 square kilometers with a population of 125,000.

The maize farming in this particular area also favored a quick spread of the civilization from 1500 BC. By 1000 BC the Olmecs on the Gulf of Mexico, the Zepotecs at Monte Alban, and the inhabitants at Chavin in Peru established states with populations numbering in the tens of thousands. These states also had a civil service and a hierarchy of social classes such as craftsmen and traders.  This was known as priesthood. It was a time of curiosity, discovery, and creation of order. This led to many other civilizations and spreading of intelligence and social awareness. History is rich in any region of the world. This is a just a peek into the very beginning of The Americas.

A People’s History of American Empire by Howard Zinn

Discover the History of American Empire here, in this fun video, by Howard Zinn.

Ithaca’s Aeroplane Factory

Thomas-Morse Aeroplane Factory In Ithaca, New York, located in the West End among several brick buildings, is a rather whimsically lettered building with AEROPLANE FACTORY in large letters on the front and back of the building. The building is near the old Ithaca Municipal Airport, believed to be the second airport in New York State, now occupied by Cass Park and the Hangar Theatre. One day when I was working in the aeroplane factory building, I decided to find out the building’s history. The buildings now hold offices for Performance Systems Development, an Ithaca-based firm specializing in home performance software, and Sunnywood Designs, programming, website and print design. Surprisingly, I found out that it really was an aeroplane factory for one of the first airplane-manufacturing companies in the United States.

Ithaca’s aviation history began when The Thomas Brothers Company was founded in 1910 by English expatriate brothers William T. and Oliver W. Thomas in Hammondsport, NY. The company moved to Hornell, NY, and later to Bath, NY, remaining in Bath until 1914. A number of planes were built there; one of these planes gained the world’s altitude record in 1913. During 1912-13 the company operated an affiliated Thomas School of Aviation in Cayuga Lake, New York, and in 1913 the name became the Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company with its home in Ithaca, New York. In 1915 Thomas Aeromotor Company was added. After a 1917 merger with the Morse Chain Company in Ithaca, and a recapitalization, it became Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation. It became the Thomas-Morse Division of Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in 1919, and it ceased business in 1934.

In 1915, the Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation built 24 T-2 biplanes for the Royal Naval Service, with a similar plane on floats for the United States Navy. After the merger in 1917, the new company became more serious about meeting military requirements; they were successful and produced planes operated by both the U. S. Army and Navy. The most important plane produced was the Thomas-Morse S-4 Scout advanced trainer. This plane, dubbed the ‘Tommy’ by pilots who flew it, became the favorite single-seat training airplane produced in the U.S. during World War I. The Thomas-Morse company played a pivotal role in aviation history: the Tommy Scout plane was used by practically every pursuit flying school in the U.S. during 1918, and virtually every American and Canadian combat pilot soloed in the Tommy before departing for active duty in World War I. After the war many of these Tommies were sold as surplus to civilian flying schools, sportsman pilots, and ex-Army fliers. By the mid-1930s many were still being used for World War I aviation movies filmed in Hollywood–the Tommy could play British, French, and German aircraft with little more than different tail surfaces and paint jobs. It appeared in Hell’s Angels and Dawn Patrol.

In February 2011, a half-scale model of a Thomas-Morse S-4C (created by Otis C. Drew in 1994, as a tribute to his father, Otis T. Drew, who worked on the production line of the Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corp) appeared in the lobby of the Tompkins County Regional Airport, Ithaca, NY, as part of their celebration of historical fighting aircraft. The wing to be on display at the History Center is unique in that, because it does not have its final cover on yet, it will enable the public a rare glimpse into the internal wooden structure of ‘The Tommy’. The wing can be seen at The History Center, 401 E. State St, Ithaca, NY, through May 2011.


Guide to the Past of Railroads to Today

Railroads carved through the lands to help build cities and technology.  TheyTThT  TheyThey were a vital part of the American economy, speedily moving freight and passengers around the country. The Invention of the Steam Engine was a major part of the modern railroad and train system. Samuel Homfray funded the development of a steam engine to replace the horse drawn carriages on the tramways in 1803, which was the first step in developing trains and railroads.  

The man who put this idea to work was Richard Trevithick; he made the first steam engine tramway locomotive. This locomotive hauled a load of 70 men, 10 tons of iron, and five wagons, 9 miles between the ironworks at Pen-y-Darron in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. It went to the bottom of the valley called Abercynnon on February 22, 1804, in just 2 hours. This was a huge stepping stone!
Even though these two men set the bar, it is Colonel John Stevens who is considered to be the Father of American Railroads. In 1815 the very first Railroad Charter in North America (the United States) was credited to Stevens. After many grants into this huge vision, work began on the first operational railroads.  
Soon to follow were inventions by Peter Cooper in 1830 with his steam engine, the Tom Thumb, and George Pullman in 1857 with his Pullman Sleeping Car. His railroad coach or railroad sleeper was designed for overnight passenger travel, a genius of an idea. These sleeping cars were finally comfortable and made overnight travel worthwhile.  
High-speed trains were developed in the 1960's and 70's.This technology was centered on magnetic levitation or maglev, and rode on an air cushion made by an electromagnetic attraction between an on-board device and another embedded in its guide-way.Today we travel on trains such as the Japan JR Maglev, which reaches top speeds of 581 km/h (310 mph). It is the fastest high-speed train in service around the globe. As you can see, we have come such a long way in the travel industry, on the ground and in the air!

The Hundred Years War


The Hundred Years' War began in 1337 and ended 116 years later in 1453. It was a series of conflicts for the French throne, and later historians would give it the name "Hundred Years' War" to describe the series of events that took place during that time. Even though conflicts lasted for 116 years, there were several periods of peace and, in the end, the French eventually won the victory. 
The war can be divided into three or four phases beginning with the Edwardian War (1337-1360), the Caroline War (1369-1389), the Lancastrian War  (1415-1429), and the appearance of Joan of Arc (1412-1431), after which there was a decline in Plantagenet fortunes. Ongoing events and conflicts taking place between the French and English eventually culminated in what became known as the Hundred Years' War.  William, the Duke of Normandy, invaded England and defeated the English King Harold II, which led England to The Anarchy (also known as The Nineteen-Year Winter of civil war and unsettled government), giving the Angevin Kings more power. The King of England ended up ruling more territory on the continent than was ruled by the King of France.  
Although there were many fights and conflicts between kings and territories that boiled over and led to what is known as the Hundred Years' War, during this period there arose new ideas about French and English nationalism. New weapons and tactics were introduced to the military, which eventually changed its role from heavy cavalry armies to the first standing armies in Western Europe. Standing armies were better equipped, better trained, and didn't disband during times of peace, traits preferred for a king's army. Both France and England underwent changes because of the war, and even though it was a long period of battles, it is often considered one of the most important conflicts in the history of medieval warfare.
For detailed information on the Hundred Years' Wars, see http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/100yearswar.htm; for more information on The Disastrous 14th Century see http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/westtech/x14thc.htm or read A Distant Mirror – The Calamitous Fourteenth Century by Barbara Tuchman.

Some Interesting History Of Massachusetts


In historic Boston Gardens of Boston, Massachusetts, stands a statue of Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson. Historians say she was a trusted midwife, a housewife, and mother. Anne, daughter of a clergyman, was born Anne Marbury in Lincolnshire, England, on July 15, 1591.
Anne and her family felt the need to follow their former minister, the Reverend John Cotton, to Massachusetts. His departure had caused a spiritual crisis in her life, for there had been no other minister in England whom she felt she could trust to preach their faith without adulteration. Once her beloved Mr. Cotton had left their native land, there had been no doubt in her mind that she must join him in the New World.
Anne, her husband William Hutchinson, and their numerous children arrived in Boston in September, 1634, on the ship Griffin in the hopes of practicing their faith in an environment more favorable to the new ideas of Puritanism. Anne’s father, Francis Marbury, so openly deplored the lack of competence of the clergy in England that he was arrested, and he spent a year in jail for his "subversive" words of dissent. It would not be his last arrest for such treasonous thoughts and actions.
Given her father's strong beliefs and academic competence, Anne wasn't afraid of questioning the principles of faith and the authority of the Church of England in her new home of Boston, Massachusetts. Anne soon came to realize there was no real "religious freedom" to speak of in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, especially for an educated English woman such as herself. She had hoped that, once in America, she could discuss her faith and would not need to hide her personal beliefs from other Puritans. However, by freely expressing her faith she soon discovered that the oppressed had now become the oppressors. The Puritan’s interpretation of “freedom of religion” was the freedom to worship, yes, but not the freedom to think.
Feeling the deep need to discuss matters of the faith, Anne started a group and it soon became a place where she voiced her strong opinions. She generated high interest among the townspeople as well as magistrates and scholars who took great interest in what she had to say. Assertive Anne was now becoming a religious leader to many, and this worried her many opponents and the newly appointed Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop.
Anne gained notoriety and soon found herself in the hands of those intent on silencing her voice of dissent. Winthrop took legal action against Anne's "subversive" gatherings, and arrested her. Once in custody at the house of the marshal of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Anne Hutchinson's beliefs were examined by the court, but John Winthrop, who had been her strongest opponent up to this point had already made up his mind, and what followed was anything but a fair trial. Anne was referred to as "an American Jezebel, who had gone a-whoring from God," and should be "tried as a heretic." Other Puritans, many of whom were Anne’s friends and neighbors, were at this point easily convinced of Anne's heresy.
By the time of her trial Anne had borne her husband, William Hutchinson, 13 children; she was now expecting her 14th. Anne was convicted and sentenced to banishment from the community. Her 14th child was stillborn shortly after her banishment from Boston. Surprisingly, Anne Hutchinson still had followers, and some even decided to join her and her family on their exile to a small settlement on the island of Aquidneck. Anne, her servants and five of her children were massacred by Mahican Indians in September of 1643 in East Chester, New York, where she had migrated to after the death of her husband.
Her story is a reminder of the hardships endured by those who even today suffer under tyrants. The hardships endured by women throughout history remain with us today in many countries. Let us not forget the value of the hard won freedom and liberty in America today that many take for granted. It is important to remember the past. This Guide To The Past is a way to appreciate how our country has come to be what it is today.

History of the Capitol City of Bridgetown, Barbados


Have you ever wondered how towns discovered their identities and names? Creative alternatives abound when thinking caps are put on. The culture and heritage of a town in Barbados is a good example. Barbados itself, a 166 square mile island, is the eastern-most Caribbean island. Barbados has carved out its own distinctive identity in tourism by drawing on its English, African, and West Indian Roots, which is today quite evident in its customs, traditions, and values.Tourists enjoy the passionate expression of this culture through the rich history, exceptional cuisine, and artistic talents of the places and people they visit in Barbados.
Located near the Southwestern shores of this country along the coast at Carlisle Bay, lies the colorful capitol city of Bridgetown, also the largest city of the nation Barbados. As early as the 1500’s in the little area called Indian Bridge, the construction of a crude bridge was undertaken by early Indian settlers seeking to span the swampy region of the tropics. Later settlers, who drained and filled in the area to make way for development, called it the Town of Saint Michael, as it was located within the parish of Saint Michael.
Sometime after 1654, a new bridge was constructed over the Constitution River and Bridgetown was established. Locals, numbering less than 100,000 (roughly 1/3 of the entire population of Barbados) often refer to today’s thriving city of Bridgetown simply as “The City” and more often as just “Town.” 
Bridgetown has become a major West Indies tourist destination and is presently the home-port for cruise ships in the Caribbean region. When visiting Barbados you will want to find an experienced Barbadian Tour guide to reveal the secrets and the drama that make a place and people live forever in your mind. Stay tuned in to Guide To The Past for more Rich History.

The History of Jamestown, Virginia


Jamestown, Virginia, is rich in American History.  As your Guide To The Past, let’s explore its beginnings. Jamestown was still part of England by the 17th century under the rule of King James I. In 1606, King James I sent two companies made up of merchant adventurers with three objectives: to find gold; to find a route to the South Seas; and to find the Colony Roanoke.
A recorded log tells us that these companies set out to the New World on ships and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. After six weeks, the ships landed on a semi-island in May of 1607. Within a month they were able to complete the building of a large triangle fort on the banks of a river that the Indians knew as “Powhatan’s River.” The settlers named it James, after the King. At first the Indians were friendly and the climate seemed mild, but then came blistering heat, swarms of insects, unfit water supplies, starvation, fierce winters, and Indian attacks. This new dream land became almost a nightmare.
Most of the settlers were men who were so-called “gentlemen.” These men, often lesser scions of nobility, didn’t know how to farm or how to hunt. They were lured by the Virginia company with promises of land and wealth. But there was no gold in Virginia, and they faced the hostility of the Indians who were attacking them. The only man who had been able to keep any peace, with both the colony and the Indians, was John Smith. By 1609, the settlers suffered a series of catastrophes and hundreds of them died. 
In May of 1610, after John Smith left Jamestown and returned to England, conditions became worse. The colonists were suffering from starvation and were eating anything such as rats, pets, mice, and even resorted to cannibalism to survive. Nearly 90% of the colony population died during that winter.
Just when the future looked dark and hopeless for Jamestown, there was a brink of light. Four years later ships from England arrived, bringing food and 150 new colonists. Among them was John Rolfe who began to grow tobacco. By 1614, in what has been called the most momentous event in the 17th century, the first shipment of Virginia Tobacco was sold in London. By 1619 Jamestown had exported 10 tons of tobacco to Europe and was a boom town!
By 1639 Jamestown had exported 750 tons of tobacco. Tobacco was the American colonies’ chief export. The Jamestown colonists had not found gold, nor a route to the South Seas, but they found tobacco. Tobacco can well be credited with making Jamestown the first permanent English colony in The New World.