Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dating the Battle at Brown Marsh--Does Anyone Care But Me?

Historians have said very late September or very early October.  Here is a witness, more than half a century later:

     John Sarrett W312: “eight days subsequent to which time [the day of the battle at Livingston’s Bridge] declarent was engaged in the battle of brown marsh, at a place called Baldwin’s plantation; during which engagement declarent lost his horse—this engagement was against the tories and some British also—in which we were defeated owing entirely, as declarant is of opinion, to the bad management of Gen Butler the commanding officer.” 

If the battle at Livingston's Bridge was on September 23, 1781 and the battle at Brown Marsh was 8 days later, that would be 
24 25 26 27 28 29 30---
October 1, 1781 for the date of the battle at Brown Marsh?
Does it matter? Come on, we want to know.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

General John Butler and the Level of his Incompetence--Would Never Happen in Academia

After looking day by day at General Butler's incompetence and actual cowardice in 1780 and 1781 and 1782 I began casting my mind back to see if I could remember anyone in the academic world who got promotions regularly despite his or her obvious incompetence and lived to retire to general approval. I can't think of a single one. How superior the academic world is to the military! Now, where did I put the sheet I printed out from Caruthers on Butler? I had it a minute ago.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Still alive--working on HOPELESS GENERAL and HAPLESS GOVERNOR for the Journal of the American Revolution

Or Fumble and Bumble, General John Butler and Governor Thomas Burke.

Here's a bit of one soldier's recollection of Butler in battle:

In this tour we marched towards Wilmington North Carolina, but before we reached that place we fell in with a party of the British, consisting of about 200 at Brown’s Marsh, and fought a battle with them in the night, in which battle I was wounded by a musket ball, which passed through my left hip. General William [really, John] Butler, Colonels Moore, William Lytle and Robert Mebane were all in this battle, but which of them was at the head of our party I do not know, though I think it was Colonel Mebane. General Butler was there at the beginning of the action, but left us very soon. Some say the General’s horse got scared and ran off with him, but others said the General got scared and ran off with his horse. How the fact was I know not.”
This sort of research is possible because of the work of Will Graves and C. Leon Harris.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

John Grisham Stumbles into the GOTCHA! World

Pity John Grisham, who spoke openly and honestly about how some man he knew clicked from site to site until he found one on 16 year old hookers and CLICKED on it, only to have the fatal knock on the door before very long.

There is a vast array of lurkers out there who do not embody noble virtues in their daily lives but who storm out to denounce anyone who puts a toe out of their self-defined PC fences. Anyone who would flame (and defame) John Grisham for these comments is despicable, but apt to be very powerful in this new world.

A challenge for the self-righteous fanatic: BRING DOWN JOHN GRISHAM.

What a sick bunch of PC lurkers. What a sad world when the fanatics can misinterpret a fine man's meditations on a friend's experience.

Now, I thought that SYCAMORE book could have been cut down by half . . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My #2 article in the great webzine JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

The opening paragraph:
When news of Lord Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781 arrived in southeastern North Carolina well into November, the war there did not end. It did not end even after the British evacuated Wilmington on November 18, leaving local Tories without reliable supplies of ammunition. Instead, as William Ryan, a cavalry man under Captain Daniel Gillespie, recalled in his pension application, it got more brutal: “The Tories under Col Fanning and other tory leaders seemed to be driven to despair by the surrender of Cornwallis. They divided themselves into small parties and prowled about the country & sought every opportunity to commit the most cruel and unprovoked murders & so frequent were murders robberies & Arsons committed by them that the Counties of Guilford Randolph & Chatham were in a state of continual alarm throughout the fall and winter of 1781 & the spring & summer of 1782—and the tories did not give up the control until the British wholly evacuated South Carolina.”[1] . . . .

I first published in a historical journal, the New-York Historical Quarterly, in 1964.  What a pleasure to be in a historical webzine!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ann Jefferson in TLS--Being Short of Money Excuses any Behavior!

Ann Jefferson on why Paul de Man wrote Anti-Semitic articles: "Financial necessity was . . . the most likely motive for his contributions to the Belgian daily Le Soir, under its new collaborationist editorship."

Ann Jefferson in TLS on Paul de Man's Cleverness in getting into Harvard

Somebody, could it have been Paul de Man, perpetrated a little trickery--well, not trickery exactly but magic:

"The next step was graduate school and it appears that de Man's entry to the Comparative Literature programme at Harvard was effected by sleight of hand."

Who could the magician have been? A clerk at the Comparative Literature program?

No, maybe it was de Man himself, for Jefferson continues with this curiously passive construction:

"The transcript from the Universite[need acute accent] libre de Bruxelles was fraudulently glossed by de Man to confirm that he had obtained a Bachelor's degree with distinction."

It was not as if Paul de Man were guilty of anything: "He was clearly incapable of complying with rules and requirements, and he equally clearly had a knack for succeeding on his own terms."

And yet that wicked wicked Evelyn Barish makes against poor blighted de Man "an insidiously blanket accusation of deviousness." Barish, you take my breath away!

I have never read a more contemptible piece than Ann Jefferson's in the TLS.

Ann Jefferson in the TLS Redefines "Misdemeanours" in her Worship of Paul de Man

De Man was guilty of "gross mismanagement" at the Agence Dechenne and the Toison d'Or.

1. "He mislaid manuscripts."
2. He "passed off translations by others as his own."
3. He "mishandled purchases."

Passing off others' work as your own is "mismanagement," but these faults are only "misdemeanours,"  Ann Jefferson assures us.

Ann Jefferson knows that there is of course no really serious crime in stealing other people's work--that's a common academic misdemeanor. It's not as if de Man were really stealing IDEAS. He was only stealing translations at this time.

Ann Jefferson on Paul de Man--the Most Contemptible article in TLS since when?

I can't stop looking at Ann Jefferson's worshipful exoneration of Paul de Man and her relentless attack on Evelyn Barish's THE DOUBLE LIFE OF PAUL DE MAN.

You know why poor blighted de Man (his "early life was blighted by unhappy family circumstances") was absolutely forced to write anti-Semitic articles for LE SOIR? You don't?

Oh, Ann Jefferson will tell you: "Financial necessity was therefore the most likely motive for his contributions to the Belgian daily Le Soir, under its new collaborationist editorship."

I knew there was a good reason!

When Santa Monica was a little beach town and there was a hardware store on Montana

Long long ago Montana Avenue in Santa Monica was a quiet street where you could park anywhere and run errands. There was a hardware store somewhere around 10th street, on the north side. One day I was in there looking for clipboards. I ended up buying 2 of them, 15” wide and 20” high. Leo Lemay came in while I was there so we talked about Leon Howard’s next visit from Albuquerque.  Whenever Leon came back to LA he would send Leo a guest list and send me a guest list for people he wanted to see. There would be some overlapping, always. I got more of the Valley people (the Northridge crowd) than Leo did, while Leo got more of the UCLA friends. I took the clipboards home and removed the metal at once, for what I wanted was smooth lapboards for holding masses of paper, not outsized clipboards. Even in their reduced state as lapboards, they reminded me of Leo. Now I need to take one of them and  glue a brace across it, 5 inches or so from the bottom of the 20 inch side, something thick enough to stop dozens of pages of paper so I can sit and sort through them and keep the pages from sliding down to my middle where I can’t work with them. This “reading board” is still going to remind me of the Montana Avenue hardware store and Leo and Santa Monica when it was a little beach town.