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SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Sons of the American Revolution to celebrate Boston Tea Party anniversary; remember Battle of Trenton, Spanish contributions to the American Revolution

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The Las Cruces Gadsden Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution plans to celebrate the 248th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The chapter will meet 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Hacienda de Mesilla, 1891 Avenida de Mesilla, to make final plans for the celebration.

The Dec. 16, 1773, protest against a British-imposed tax was the source of the famous colonial goal, “No taxation without representation.” The Sons of Liberty in Boston led this political and mercantile protest. Their stand against the tea act was a direct challenge to England’s allowing the British East India Company not to pay taxes imposed by the Townshend Acts. The colonists opposed the taxes as a violation of their rights.

Protesters destroyed a shipment of tea from the East India Company. Protesters had successfully prevented the unloading of tea in three other colonies, but the governor would not allow the tea to be returned to England.

The reaction from the British government grew into the American Revolution.

Many political protests in the ages since link themselves as historical followers of the Boston Protest of 1773.

The First Continental Congress was formed to petition the repeal of the Intolerable Acts, which were punitive laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 following the Boston Tea Party, and further coordinated resistance to taxes not enacted by their own elected representatives.

The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the Revolution that led to America we enjoy and serve. This was to be the beginning of the end of a dream that birthed a nation of independent thinkers resolved to rule themselves.

As we approach the 250th anniversary of America, let us remember the patriots that gave their all and our responsibility to be good stewards of their legacy.

Honoring the Battle of Trenton (subhead)

SAR Gadsden Chapter also honors the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Trenton, which took place Dec. 26, 1776, in Trenton, New Jersey.

Trenton was a key battle in the military conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its 13 colonies in North America during the Revolutionary War.

Most American colonists rejected the legitimacy of the British Parliament to govern the 13 colonies without representation. As the morale of the army and the public ebbed, Gen. George Washington knew a significant act was imperative to restore confidence and maintain military enlistments. His surprise attack on the Hessian garrison at Trenton was the reawakening of the spirit that reignited the hope of the colonists.

On Dec. 25, 1776, Washington led his men across the icy Delaware River and then marched his soldiers on bloodied feet for 10 miles into Trenton, where they surprised a garrison of 1,500 Hessians.

Despite losing two men crossing the river, wet gun powder, a sleet storm and frostbite, with incredible courage, Washington and his men took on and won a critical battle, a turning point in the war. At Trenton, Washington demonstrated his ingenuity and resilience as a leader, won the loyalty of his soldiers and revived the Continental Army.

The Americans dominated the fight, and the Battle of Trenton resulted in a much-needed, morale-boosting American victory, which had a massive effect on the colonial war effort. Moreover, it instilled new confidence in the Army and the Continental Congress. Washington soon after led another American victory at the Battle of Princeton.

The British lost 22 troops at Trenton; 86 were wounded and 906 were captured. Nearly 1,000 Hessian prisoners were marched through Philadelphia. (Source: American Battlefield Trust)

Washington is quoted as saying, “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable, procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.”

An important takeaway is that the colonial army triumphed against all odds with the knowledge that independence was not impossible when people worked together as one. It is important for us to remember the debt we owe for the legacy we have inherited.

SAR Gadsden Chapter honors Spanish military

The Las Cruces Gadsden Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution remembers and honors the Spanish lineage military, militia and civilians who supported the cause of American independence and patriot service, 1776-1783.

We have in Arizona, New Mexico and the contiguous United States, Spanish (Hispanic) descendants of Revolutionary War supporters. The Spanish in New Spain (America) contributed financial support, arms, food, uniforms, tents and most importantly, soldiers and sailors (to the American Revolutionary War effort).

The 1790 census of New Mexico totaled 2,711 households of Spanish families, many of which trace their ancestry to Revolutionary heroes, such as Bernardo de Gálvez (1746-86), Spanish governor of the Louisiana Territory (1777-83) that encompassed 13 of our present states. Gen. Gálvez sent supplies to the armies of Gen. George Washington and Gen. Rogers Clark.

Gálvez raised an army and drove the British out of the gulf and captured five British forts in the Mississippi valley. He repelled British attacks in St. Louis, Missouri and captured the British Fort of St. Joseph in Michigan.

Many New Mexicans supported the “Texas Cattle Drive” that supplied Gálvez’s army and navy.

Galvez led at least 20,000 militia in North America, California and Nassau attacks.

Clearly, Spain was our ally and Gálvez was the key player – “The right man at the right time.”

There are books with the records of the Spanish serving in the Americas during the revolution. Their ancestors qualify to apply for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Gálvez was made a U.S. citizen by Congress and his picture hangs in our Capitol. Many historians are not aware of the facts about Spain’s tremendous assistance to the American Revolutionary cause. We conclude that the colonists would not have won their freedom from Great Britain without our Spanish ally.

The little American Revolution of 13 English colonies became the great American Revolution of the Western Hemisphere.

An important takeaway is that the colonial Army triumphed against all odds with the knowledge that independence was not impossible when people worked together as one. It is important for us to remember the debt we owe for the legacy we have inherited.

“We honor our Arizona, New Mexico and Texas ancestors for their significant role in the founding, establishment and development of the United States of America,” to quote federal Judge (ret.) Edward Butler Sr., past president general, National Society Sons of the American Revolution, and author of “Gálvez: Spain – Our Forgotten Ally in the American Revolutionary War: A Concise Summary of Spain’s Assistance” and “George Washington's Secret Ally.”

Visit https://www.sar.org/.

Don William is current president and David Curtiss is immediate past president and chaplain of the Sons of the American Revolution, Las Cruces Gadsden Chapter. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization “dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and teaching American history to future generations,” according to the SAR website. SAR is the largest male lineage organization in the United States, according to the website, and consists of 50 societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies, and more than 34,000 members. Contact David Curtiss at 575-522-4809 and dcurt20044@zianet.com. Find SAR Gadsden Chapter on Facebook.