Straight from the Scullery

a blog about life, love, and the pursuit of food and happiness...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Judging the Nation

September 24, 1789

When discussing the birth of our nation, we are familiar with names like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams...names our basic history books referenced over and over again. One name that mistakenly escapes recognition among many Americans is Connecticut-born Oliver Ellsworth. Senator Ellsworth is the reason our government is known officially as the "United States Government" as opposed to the "National Government of the United States." He aided Connecticut throughout the Revolutionary War, was a member of the Committee of Appeals (the pre-cursor to the Supreme Court), helped prepare the first draft of the Constitution, was integral in the passage of the Connecticut Plan,  and basically wrote the Judiciary Act, which was signed into law by President Washington on September 24, 1789.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Don't Give Up the Ship

September 10, 1813

Perry's Battle Flag

The last spoken command from Captain James Lawrence on the frigate USS Chesapeake during the War of 1812 was brought from Boston to the Great Lakes during the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. The fame and honor bestowed upon Captain Lawrence as a fallen war hero were emblazoned on the flag Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry used when signaling his troops to engage the enemy in the largest naval battle of the entire war. Captain Lawrence had been a friend to Perry, and the flag made for him by the women of Erie would help to find a place for Lawrence's famous words in American naval history.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Finding a Home

September 6, 1620

In 1608, a small congregation of Northamptonshire churchgoers decided they'd had enough of the Church of England. To them, it was no less corrupt than the Catholic Church had been, and the group planned a move to Holland. The Separatists (or Saints, as they called themselves) would reside in the town of Leyden. 

The Saints did find the freedom to worship as they chose, but the rest of life in Holland was not ideal. The Saints could only find jobs with meager pay; being an immigrant was not easy. Worse yet, the lifestyle was just a bit too free and easy for this crowd, and it was creating conflict as the Saints tried to raise their children amid all the heathens.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Battle of Cooch's Bridge

September 3, 1777

Late August 1777, General George Washington established camp in Wilmington, Delaware for his army as he waited for the British to land. The overall British objective was to invade the capital of Philadelphia, and smaller battles were engaged along the road north. 

The British infantry included a large number of German jagers who led the advance toward Philadelphia. Americans attacked the Hessian horse soldiers near Aiken's Tavern, just south of Cooch's Bridge. The bridge itself played host to a battle that lasted much of the day. When the ammunition supplies were depleted, the fight carried on with swords and bayonets (not good news for the Americans...we weren't very well-versed in battling with bayonets). 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Steak and the Presidency

September 2, 1958

Historically, American presidents are remembered in a sort of "ranking," with some being more popular than others. Dwight Eisenhower (in office 1953-1961) is renowned for a number of events. He brought an end to the Korean War, authorized the establishment of NASA, contributed to bringing down "McCarthyism," expanded Social Security, introduced the Interstate Highway System, made 5 appointments to the Supreme Court, brought DARPA to the forefront (the precursor to the internet), desegregated the armed forces, admitted Alaska and Hawaii into the Union, and on September 2, 1958, signed the National Defense Education Act into law.