No, a Lexington minister did not say there was 'no king but Jesus' just before before the shot heard 'round the world

J.L. Bell fires grapeshot at the notion that the Battle of Lexington supposedly started with a verbal volley in which a Redcoat commander demanded the Minutemen put down their arms in the name of George III, the sovereign king of England and a minster retorted that "We recognize no Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus."

Besides the fact that none of the dozens of participants in the battle who wrote down their recollections of it ever mentioned the alleged exchange, the minister who allegedly made the retort wasn't even on the Lexington Common that morning.



Free tagging: 


Revisionist History

Those who correct the historic record based on emergent facts are often accused of it, but the worst offenders are often those who lack facts but seek propaganda in their absence.


Not to mention...

...most people in Massachusetts at that early stage of the revolution were loyal to the king. They were under the illusion that the British government was the villain and the king would take their side if he only knew the facts. There probably weren't too many brazenly anti-monarchist Minutemen at Lexington. For a good read on the history from Lexington through Evacuation Day, try Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick.



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The tea party also wasn't "about taxes on tea", at least not in the simplistic middle school version given to school children (because kids are dumb and history is hard).

The colonists were actually ticked-off that high tariffs on English East India Tea were being removed, flooding the colonial ports with cheap import tea and undercutting their rackets (which themselves were somewhat illegal per the crown). That they had no representation in English Parliament, and could not have a say in keeping the tariffs on imports, ultimately became the powder keg for Parliament and the Crowns mistreatment.

So, yes. Todays anti tax movement is actually borrowing the name from a pro-tarrif / pro-protectionist / anti-free trade rouser of rabbles. History isn't without a sense of Irony.


Ultimately true...

... but in the shorter term, they wanted to block British tea imports that were cheaper than Massachusetts-imported tea imports.


Yes and no?

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Why would they want to block tea that costs less and tastes better than the smuggled tea, if not because of the implications on tax policy? Seems to me that there had to be a weighty overriding reason to reject what costs less and yet is a better quality.

What intrigues me in terms of being applicable to the present is the idea of a company that was too big to fail. The reason that Britain allowed for cheaper tea exports to the colonies (another discussion) was to bale out the British East India Company which we might describe as too big to fail in modern terms. What made it too big to fail were the investments that the British wealthy had in the company as well as the company's function as a surrogagte government representative in India. Had this company failed there would have been economic losses for the richest and most powerful as well as a loss of colonial control in India by the British government. Of course the story is much more complicated. But I figure the idea of a company so large that its failure would have catastrophic negatively impacts is not something new and is a lesson that perhaps we have not yet learned. That was part of the purpose of the Glass–Steagall Act where banks were concerned wasn't it and the dissolution of that law helped bring about the last economic disaster.

Same punishment

Whoever started this thing needs to be told that you go to hell for lyin' the same as for stealin'

The real quote was:

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The real quote was:

"We recognize no Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus Christ the Dinosaur Rider."


My history is fuzzy...

Was this before or after Paul Revere went ringin those bells and sendin those warning shots to warn the British that they're not going to take away our arms?