Literature of the Revolution
Maggie Theel 1st period
Some influential authors
Mercy Otis Warren
"The study of the human character opens at once a beautiful and a deformed picture of the soul."
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think."
Mercy Otis Warren
MORE ABOUT MERCY (FUN FACTS)
She and her husband would read the newspaper together. She had dark brown hair and her favorite color was blue. She loved wearing blue dresses and bonnets with lace edges. She strongly believed in woman's suffrage, independence, liberty, and in the power of the written word.
RIP Mercy Otis Warren
Wednesday, Oct. 19th 1814 at 7am
634 Careswell Street
On January 29, 1737, Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England. His father had high hopes for his son, but by the age of 12, Thomas had failed out of school. Paine began apprenticing for his father, but again, he failed. So, at 19, Paine went to sea. However, he soon returned home and in 1768 became an excise officer (tax collector) in England. Thomas didn't really live up to the job, getting discharged from his post twice in four years, but as a hint at what was to come, he published The Case of the Officers of Excise (1772), arguing for a pay raise. In 1774, by complete coincidence, he met Benjamin Franklin in London, who helped him emigrate to Philadelphia.
His career in journalism took off while in Philadelphia and Thomas Paine suddenly became a household name. In 1776, he published Common Sense, a famous political pamphlet arguing for American independence.
He joined with the Continental Army and failed as a soldier, but wrote The American Crisis (1776-83), which helped inspire the Army. This pamphlet was so popular that (as a percentage of the population), it was read by or read to more people than today watch the Super Bowl.
However after that Paine's help in the revolutionary cause sort of dropped off the map. He returned to Europe and pursued other careers, such as working on a smokeless candle and an iron bridge. In 1791-92, he wrote The Rights of Man in response to the French Revolution. This work caused Paine to be put in jail in England for his anti-monarchist views. He would have been arrested, but he fled for France.
By 1793, he was imprisoned yet again in France for not supporting the execution of Louis XVI. While imprisoned, he wrote and distributed the first part of what was to become his most famous work at the time, the anti-church text, The Age of Reason (1794-96). He was freed in 1794 and remained in France until 1802 when he returned to America on an invitation from Thomas Jefferson. Paine discovered that his contributions to the American Revolution had been completely disregarded due to his religious views. Ridiculed by the public and abandoned by his friends, he died on June 8, 1809 at the age of 72 in New York.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
RIP Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wednesday, Dec. 20th 1882 at 7:45am
34 Bedford Street
Political Articles of the Revolution
Declaration of Independence
Poems of the Revolution
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
This elegant poem about the battles of Lexington and Concord commemorated and celebrated the first battle of the revolution. It was originally written to be performed as a hymn at Concord's independence day celebration and dedicating of the Obelisk memorial. Emerson's quote "and fired the shot heard 'round the world" became a famous quote that sums up the entire revolutionary era. Emerson's simplistic rhyme scheme puts a subtle emphasis on every line, every stanza. "To die, and leave their children free" really shows how these minutemen weren't just fighting for themselves and their way of life, they were fighting for their futures and their children's futures.
Independence Day Celebration
Tuesday, July 4th 1837 at 3pm
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
"A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere."
This excerpt from the poem tells how Paul Revere's warning cry wasn't in distress, but defiance. In the darkest hour there is still one voice that will call out to help.