Free speech in the coffee houses of Europe and America birthed the rise of gentility, republican government, and liberty during a time of, as Beatrix Potter said, “swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets – when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta…” Whether philosophical men between sips passionately debated the latest movements of the British Army in America, or some highwaymen sat brooding plots over steaming mugs, coffee was sure to find its way at the heart of most adventures. With the introduction of coffee into Europe in the 17th century and the subsequent rise of the coffee house as a public forum in the 17th and 18th centuries, some of the greatest political, social, and literary achievements of Great Britain and America started with a cup of coffee.
In answer to their ranked, ordered folly,
We gave them musket and rifle volley;
And when lack of wadding silenced our noise,
Our minister then said, “Give them Watts, boys!”
Known as the “forgotten victory,” the Battle of Springfield demonstrated the American spirit and English animosity more than perhaps any other battle in the American War for Independence. Here, American militia and Continental infantry, some with wadding from Presbyterian hymnals, turned back a British-Hessian army of more than twice their strength. Their British opponents were those who hired foreign mercenaries to betray their own countrymen, because not enough men in England were willing to do so. This was perhaps the most symbolic battle in the entire American War for Independence, and a climax in the enduring tale of American liberty. Read more on Landmarks of Liberty…