They cut off his ear – told him to take it too his King! via American Minute
In 1731, a Spanish commander cut off the ear of British Captain Robert Jenkins and told him to take it to his King.
This began the War of Jenkins’ Ear.
They sailed to Panama and captured Porto Bello, which was the most prosperous Spanish city in the New World as all the gold of Central and South America flowed through it to Spain.
Lawrence Washington returned to Virginia as a 25-year-old war hero.
After Lawrence died, George, at age 20, inherited Mount Vernon.
In 1742, the War of Austrian Succession began when Marie Theresa became the first woman to take Austria’s throne.This pulled Prussia and France into the war, and combined with the War of Jenkin’s Ear, was called King George’s War in America.
The threat of war shook colonists out of complacency and contributed to the spread of the Great Awakening Revival.
The British took the French city of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, in 1745, which had been New France’s 2nd most important commercial city after Quebec, and the 3rd busiest seaport in America, behind Boston and Philadelphia.
France wanted Louisbourg back, and in 1746, sent Admiral d’Anville with the most powerful fleet of its day: 73 ships with 800 cannons and 13,000 troops.
Admiral d’Anville intended to “expel the British from Nova Scotia, consign Boston to flames, ravage New England, and waste the British West Indies.”
Massachusetts Governor William Shirley declared a Day of Prayer and Fasting, October 16, 1746, to pray for deliverance.
Boston citizens gathered in the Old South Meeting House, where Rev. Thomas Prince prayed:
“Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the water… scatter the ships of our tormentors!”
“a wild, uneven sound…though no man was in the steeple.”
A hurricane scattered the entire French fleet as far as the Caribbean. Lightning struck several ships, igniting gunpowder magazines, causing explosions and fire.
With 2,000 dead, including Admiral d’Anville, and 4,000 sick with typhoid, French Vice-Admiral d’Estournelle threw himself on his sword.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his poem, The Ballad of the French Fleet:
“Admiral d’Anville had sworn by cross and crown,
To ravage with fire and steel our helpless Boston Town…
There were rumors in the street, in the houses there was fear
Of the coming of the fleet, and the danger hovering near.
And while from mouth to mouth, spread the tidings of dismay,
I stood in the Old South, saying humbly: ‘Let us pray!’
‘Oh Lord! we would not advise; but if in thy Providence
A tempest should arise, to drive the French Fleet hence,
And scatter it far and wide, or sink it in the sea,
We should be satisfied, and Thine the glory be…’
Like a potter’s vessel broke, the great ships of the line…
Were carried away as smoke…or sank in the brine.”
This great deliverance encouraged Ben Franklin, in 1747, to propose a General Fast, which was approved by Pennsylvania’s Council and published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, December 12, 1747:
and there is just reason to fear that unless we humble ourselves before the Lord and amend our ways, we may be chastized with yet heavier judgments.
We have…thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People…to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent supplications
that Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian blood.”
In 1747, Ben Franklin also organized Pennsylvania’s first “volunteer” militia with 10,000 signing up.
This made Franklin the most popular person in the colony and began his political career.
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