The Founding Fathers
and the Military
Dr. James Taylor
“Beware
lest you
forget
the
Lord!”
Deuteronomy 6:12
“A people without a
heritage are easily
persuaded.”
- Karl Marx
New England Colonies
Massachusetts—Puritan
Rhode Island—Baptist
Connecticut—Congregational
New Hampshire—Congregational
Middle Colonies
New York—Dutch Reform
Delaware—Lutheran & Dutch Reform
Pennsylvania—Quaker & Lutheran
New Jersey—Lutheran & Dutch Reform
Southern Colonies
Virginia—Anglican
Maryland—Catholic
North Carolina—Anglican
South Carolina—Anglican
Georgia—Protestant
1735-1770 The Great Awakening
Jonathan Edwards – Massachusetts
Theodore Frelinghuysen – New Jersey
William Tennent – New Jersey, Penn
Samuel Davies – Penn, Conn, New Jer.
David Brainard – Frontier, Indians
“Whosoever shall introduce into
public affairs the principles of
Christianity will change the face
of the world.”
Ben Franklin
"It cannot be emphasized to strongly or
too often that this great nation was
founded, not be religionist, but by
Christians, not on religions but on the
gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very
reason people of other faiths have been
afforded asylum, prosperity, and
freedom of worship here.”
Patrick Henry
“The highest glory of the American
Revolution was this: it connected
in one indissoluble bond the
principles of civil government with
the principles of Christianity.”
John Quincy Adams
Who Were the Minute Men?
“…these fighting parsons had their muskets
ready. In September of 1774 an alarm spread
though the country that a clash had come in
Boston and handbills were read in Connecticut
churches on the Sabbath morning. At once the
clergy responded. The Rev. Jonathan Todd , of
East Guilford, marched with eighty-three of his
parishioners, the Rev. Mr. May, of Haddam, and
the Rev. Mr. Boardman, of Chatham, with one
hundred each.
The New England Clergy and the American Revolution
Alice M. Baldwin, 1928
Who Were the Minute Men?
All that winter many were helping their people
to be ready for any emergency…the Rev. John
Adams, of Durham, New Hampshire, in
December of 1774 went with others to take
supplies from the fort at Newcastle and is said
to have stored the powder under his pulpit.
The Rev. John Treadwell went into his pulpit
with musket loaded, his sermon under one arm
and his cartridge box under the other.
The New England Clergy and the American Revolution
Alice M. Baldwin, 1928
Who Were the Minute Men?
When the news of Lexington and Bunker Hill
arrived, parson after parson left his parish and
marched hastily toward Boston. Before
daylight on the morning of April 30, 1775,
Stephen Farrar, of New Ipswich, NH, left with
ninety-seven of his parishioners. Joseph
Willard, of Beverly, marched with two
companies from his town, raised in no small
part through his exertion.
The New England Clergy and the American Revolution
Alice M. Baldwin, 1928
Who Were the Minute Men?
David Avery, of Windsor, VT, after hearing the
news of Lexington, preached a farewell
sermon, then outside the meeting-house door,
called his people to arms and marched with
twenty men. On the way he served as captain,
preached, and collected more troops. David
Grosvenor, of Grafton, left his pulpit and,
musket in hand, joined the minute men who
marched to Cambridge.
The New England Clergy and the American Revolution
Alice M. Baldwin, 1928
Who Were the Minute Men?
Phillips Payson, of Chelsea, is given credit for
leading a group of his parishioners to attack a
band of English soldiery that nineteenth of
April. Benjamin Balch, of Danvers, Lieutenant
of the third alarm-list in his town, was present
at Lexington and later, as chaplain in army and
navy, won the title of “the fighting parson.
Jonathon French, of Andover, Massachusetts,
left his pulpit on the Sabbath morning, when
the news of Bunker Hill arrived, and with
surgical case in one hand and musket in the
other started for Boston.”
The New England Clergy and the American Revolution
Alice M. Baldwin, 1928
“You say, as a clergyman
nothing can excuse my
conduct. I am a clergyman, it
is true, but I am a member of
society as well as the poorest
layman and my liberty is as
dear to me as to any man.
Shall I then sit still, and enjoy
myself at home, when the
best blood of the continent is
spilling? Heaven forbid it.”
John Peter Muhlenberg, Virginia Pastor
Rev. Jonas Clark
The question was then
asked of Pastor Clark,
by Adams and
Hancock, “Will your
men fight?” Pastor
Clark said, “I have
trained them for this
very hour. They will
fight and if need be
die, under the shadow
of the house of God.”
Capt. John Parker
“Don’t fire
until fired
upon, but if
they want
war, let it
begin here!”
Rev. Jonas Clark
“From this
day will be
dated the
liberty of the
world.”
“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily
conquered; yet we have this
consolation with us, that the
harder the conflict, the more
glorious the triumph. What we
obtain too cheaply, we esteem
too lightly; ‘tis dearness only
that gives everything its value.
Heaven knows how to put a price
on its goods; and it would be
strange indeed if so celestial an
article as freedom should not be
highly esteemed.”
Thomas Paine
December 23, 1776
You will think me transported with enthusiasm,
but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and
blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain
this Declaration, and support and defend these
States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the
rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that
the end is worth more than all the means; that
posterity will triumph in that day's transaction,
even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in
God we shall not.
John Adams
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The Founding Fathers and the Military