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Rensslaer

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stnylan said:
Incidentally this AAR just tipped my hand leading to me just buying a book on Hamilton. Seems an interesting guy. Though visiting Philadephia today also brought him to mind. Well, all these people really.
Very glad to have caught your interest! I am flattered.

Chernow's recent biography is most excellent (probably the one you bought, as it is in stores now). Another favorite of mine is by Forrest McDonald. I've read perhaps 5-6 major bios of him (did my senior paper on him in college), so... :D

Hamilton is one of those super-fascinating people who attract much admiration and/or hatred, depending what assumptions you make about him and which contradictory pieces of evidence you credit.

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Yes, the portrayal of Jefferson was very nice. Could perhaps use a bit more flowery language, though. He did like his oratory (or to hear himself speak.) ;)

And I can just imagine Hamilton walking away cursing the man. Too funny.
 

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...Jefferson saw the plan clearly now. “Let us assist Hamilton privately, allow him to go on his little journey, then once he has declared himself, the Army can take all three of these men into custody.”
that is mighty crafty of you, sir! ! ! ! ! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
 

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stnylan said:
And who, I wonder, will that officer that Jefferson can trust be?
That's one of the more interesting questions I'm facing, and to tell you the truth, I don't know yet! :rolleyes:

This is the most complicated point, really. I know where I've started, and I know where I must end up. I have a good idea of the middle outline, but the details must be worked out gradually.

And the choice of who is in whose camp will be the lion's share of the fun.

Ghostwriter, Coz, Stnylan, Stuyvesant, Mr. Capiatlist, Stymphalid, Method41, Hajji Giray, Catknight, Lord E, BBBD, Anonymous... I definitely appreciate all your eyes and pens on this piece of work. Thanks for taking the time to comment! I wish I could provide more feedback without giving things away, but... :D

The next update is mostly written... just having to fine tune it over a day or two. I'll be back soon.

Rensslaer
 
Last edited:

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Well I like that there is not too much information about what is going to happen next, and seeing as I have like no knowledge of this time in America it is like reading a great novel. Keep up the great work.

Side note: it seems that America was very fractured at this period, does this have ramifications today?
 

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1812camp.jpg


It had every sign, every hustle and bustle of an American Army camp. But it had no commission. Only the name and authority of Alexander Hamilton. A General in the War of Independence, a brilliant orator and expositor on political philosophy, the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, and a first-rate lawyer. But for all his accomplishments, he was also reviled by many as a dangerous man, a conniver. And mocked as the man who had been charged with corruption and mismanagement of his public offices, and then revealed torrid details of an embarrassing private love affair he’d had with an attractive client in a futile attempt to clear his public name!

Such a man had the hatred and contempt of twice as many as admired him. And his announcement by poster and in the daily press that he was raising an army of 2,000 men to put down a plot against the territorial integrity of the United States’ frontier brought catcalls and aspersions against him from many names, respected and otherwise.

But yet, they came. Surveying from his tent the lines of men and older boys lined up to sign on with his effort, it was obvious that he would have to turn thousands away, or else exceed the budget given to him by Caldwell, the private paymaster who Jefferson had sent to him with the federal government’s contribution.

“Old friend,” said Stephen Van Rensselaer, putting his hand on Hamilton’s shoulder, “You cannot very well expect your mission to be a foolproof adventure unless you have all the resources you can muster.” Rensselaer, a close friend of Hamilton, had graciously volunteered his “Rensselaerswyck” estate for the assembly of Hamilton’s army. “I will cover the expenses for an extra two thousand, if need be.”

“Oh, Stephen,” Hamilton protested. “I cannot ask so much of you. That would put you in debt for a decade!”

“Is it so much, really?” Rensselaer asked. “Do you think me squandering a fortune, to offer to match the vast endowment Jefferson has graced you with?” They both chuckled. “Jeremiah will give me good rates on a loan…” Rensselaer said, referring to his banker uncle, “so long as I can tell him you will give Solomon a commission.” He glanced at Hamilton for an answer.

“Of course!” Hamilton said, enthusiastically. “I would be proud to have Solomon serve with us.” He thought for a moment. “Please tell him I will make him a colonel, in charge of our artillery.”

artillery.jpg


“You can tell him yourself,” Rensselaer said. “I am certain he is here.”

“Very well, then. And thank you! I will always remain in your debt.” Hamilton shook Rensselaer’s hand with both of his. “For now, it appears I must assist with the administration.”

Hamilton first found young Robert Caldwell, who seemed quite surprised at Rensselaer’s extension of credit, and who expressed some frustration at having to refigure his books. Hamilton left him with exacting instructions, and went off to take over management of a processing table. Some in the crowd cheered, having recognized him, and the cheer was taken up. It only increased the mens’ impression of him when he sat down and began performing clerical duties.

An older man stepped up to Hamilton’s table, and Hamilton greeted him appreciatively. He seemed to be someone deserving of great respect – not difficult for Hamilton, as he regarded most with respect – but even the men behind him seemed to stand back to give him space. “General, Sir,” the man began, “My name is Fenwick, and I am a founder and metalworker. I have made and repaired cannon of every type, through the war and since. I hope that you can use me.”

“Most certainly, Mister Fenwick. Of course. Have you ever commanded men?”

“I was a sergeant in the New York Militia during the war.”

“Very good. And do you understand the employment of artillery, and not just the mechanics of them?”

“Oh yes, General.” He placed his hat over his heart in a gesture of modesty. “During the Battle of Saratoga, my Lieutenant was killed, and I was forced to take over in directing our fire.”

“Excellent!” Hamilton said. “Please sign on the roster, here.” He indicated the spot. “I shall make you a Captain of Artillery, Mister Fenwick, and you will assemble with Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer with my compliments.” He pointed up the hill behind them. “He should be on that hill, within the hour, and will begin the arrangements.”

Fenwick was beside himself. “General, I cannot begin to…”

“I’m proud to have you along, Fenwick,” Hamilton smiled. “Thank you.”

Hamilton made some notes on the page Fenwick had signed. As the man stepped away, Hamilton waited for the next man in line to advance. Instead, Hamilton’s eyes fell gradually to regard a young boy – perhaps about eleven or twelve – who stepped cautiously to the table. He had been hidden behind Fenwick, being so small.

“Good afternoon, young man,” Hamilton addressed the shy young boy. He had a smudge on one cheek, and an ugly bruise on the other.

Removing his hat and clasping it to his chest, head bowed, the pre-adolescent spoke. “General Hamilton, my name is Kendrick Cahill. Kenny,” he added. “I want to go fight with you, on the frontier.”

Hamilton remained astonished and speechless for a few counts. Then he took a breath, and patiently explained the difficulties ahead. “Kenny, we will be traveling for many weeks or months. The road will be hard.” He hesitated, noting that the boy’s expression hadn’t changed. He pressed forward. “You will eat biscuits, that by the end of the journey will be infected with maggots and rat droppings.” Hamilton knew he was exaggerating somewhat – they would be cooking most of their food from scratch, using supplies from the camp wagons – but he was trying to scare the child. He noticed the two men behind Kenny visibly reconsidering.

Kenny stood fast. “I really want to go, General. Please. I can do anything you ask of me. I’ll care for your horse.”

“Kenny, have you asked your parents about this?”

The boy flinched, ever so slightly, for the first time. “My parents are gone, Sir. Dead. I’m staying with my aunt and uncle…” He seemed to want to go on, but…

Carefully, Hamilton prodded. “Have you asked your uncle? He is responsible for you, yes?”

“General, I am sorry. But he’d beat me if I asked. I can’t do that.”

Hamilton’s heart clenched. His own upbringing had been difficult. His father’s delinquency and mother’s early death had left him with his own aunt and uncle at an early age, though they always treated him well.

“Kendrick,” he addressed the boy. “You will be responsible for caring for my horse. And for various other duties – a great many of them, mind – that I will determine along the way.” He caught Kenny’s suddenly excited gaze. “If you are certain, then you are welcome.”
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Your ego, though justified through your ability to write, seems to know no bounds of space or time :eek: ;) :p . Very good, this adventure is sure filled with characters.
 

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Hmmm, a few Renss cousins and the young boy, Kenny - very much like young Alexander. Making this interesting, aren't you. Nice depth too. But I still wonder about Hamilton - is he or isn't he part of this whole thing. This update shows him to be upstanding, in person. But one never knows what is rattling around in that very large brain of his.
 

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Mr. Capiatlist said:
Your ego, though justified through your ability to write, seems to know no bounds of space or time :eek: ;) :p . Very good, this adventure is sure filled with characters.

What? Ego? Rensslaer has been most humble throughout all this time, a quality that is quite admirable in a writer of such skill.

Anyways, I suppose this Kendrick Cahill is yet another obscure historical figure that I do not know about? Also, is this Fenwick the same Fenwick that wrote The Great Kahn? :eek:;)
 

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Excellent, well perhaps if there were a few more Renss's in the world it would be a better place.

Great update
 

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That's quite a sizeable force he is putting together. More than enough to cause havoc west of the Miss. But hardly secret. I wonder what the reaction of the competition will be.
 

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Mr. Capitalist... I think I understand what you mean, no offense meant or taken. Yes, I do seem to be spending a great deal of time and "space" with these AAR. Fire Warms -- the Prussian AAR -- just grew into a project 20 times what I expected! This one requires not quite so much attention -- yet -- since I'm still focused on the other.

But I'm a bit distracted again, as I'm back in the job search. That home school publisher offered me a job, I accepted it, and then they decided to "eliminate the position"! They tell me this a day before I'm to start work, and after I've quit searching for jobs for 2 weeks. :mad: Anyway, I'm fortunate that I'm still in the running for another good job (3rd interview Friday), but the rest of my job search status is back to square one.

BBBD said:
Side note: it seems that America was very fractured at this period, does this have ramifications today?
Most Americans don't even realize that things in the early Republic were as shaky as they were. Geographically, yes, there was the USA, and Spanish Florida and Mexico and Texas and California and Colorado. And the US had only purchased Louisiana from France as of 1803. And most of the area beyond the original colonies was still populated primarily by native American Indians. Not the makings of a strong geographical position, early on.

But I assume you mean fractured politically? That would be true as well. The states were used to running themselves, without interference from a federal government. They didn't appreciate Washington DC (or Philadelphia, as it was in the early years) sticking their nose in. But others, like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, recognized a need for unity between the states to stand up against foreign threats. Nevertheless, those two sides could never agree. The fact that the Constitution was agreed to by the required number of states is by itself amazing, considering the amount of opposition early on. It was Hamilton and Madison (and John Jay, who only wrote 3 essays) writing the Federalist Papers that convinced people that the Constitution and the United States were worth having. Otherwise it could easily have fallen apart. On many occasions, even after the USA started, it could have still fallen apart, and nearly did. As I said earlier, the political troubles (not terrorism) in Iraq today were not entirely absent in the early USA.

anonymous4401 said:
Anyways, I suppose this Kendrick Cahill is yet another obscure historical figure that I do not know about? Also, is this Fenwick the same Fenwick that wrote The Great Kahn? :eek:;)
Well, neither Fenwick or Kendrick are historical figures. But you will be seeing more of them.

These Van Rensselaers, however, ARE historical figures (as opposed to my Prussian Foreign Minister, Pietr Van Rensselaer, who is 100% fictional).

Stnylan, BBBD, Anonymous, Hurricanehunter, Coz & Mr. Capiatlist... I do truly appreciate your attention, and your very kind comments! Writing is a joy by itself, but your encouragement is a wonderful boost!

Rensslaer
 

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Sorry to hear that news on the job front Renss - good luck on Friday.
 

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BTW:
By "space" I meant it in the quantum physics way, such as "Time-space contiueum" 'cuz you are obviously here in the "now" and yet also in the "then." I'm sorry.... I kinda used you and your AAR in my ToK class... :rolleyes: But I got an "A" so thanks! :cool:
 

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Looking for a good, incorruptable man to head up a US force? Hmmm....

The pre-eminent soldier of his day was Winfield Scott, made a General in the War of 1812. Born in 1786 he would have been about 50 in 1836. If not yet Commanding General of the US Army he would shortly have been given the post. Even if he didn't command the force he would certainly have been consulted by the President.

"Light Horse Harry" Lee unfortunately died in 1818, so he's not available. His son Robert was born in 1807, graduated from West Point in 1829 and was probably in Savannah around this time (can't be sure without checking a biography).

John Ellis Wool didn't make general until 1841 but gave prominent service in the Mexican War and the Civil War. In 1832 he toured abroad and in 1836 supervised the transfer of the Cherokee nation west of the Mississippi.

Zachary Taylor was a career army officer who served on the Western Frontier at this time (don't know exactly where).

David Twiggs became colonel of the 2nd Dragoons on 8th June 1836 - comes off in history as a brawler not a thinker. Served in Mexican War without much distinction. Commanded in Texas when the Civil War began, surrendered his men and went South himself.

The other prominent man in the US Army was William S Harney. In 1836 he was a lieutenant-colonel of the 2nd Dragoons. Scott relieved Harney of command in the Mexican War and he had little distinction after that.

Stephen Kearny (Kearney) was active in the West from 1819 on (Yellowstone Expedition), first commander of Jefferson Barracks in St Louis in 1826, Kansas in 1830, helped organize first US unit of Dragoons at Leavenworth (became Colonel) along with Colonel Henry Dodge. See here. Served with great distinction in Mexican War, capturing New Mexico and helping Stockton conquer California.

For a younger man try Robert Anderson, West Point class of 1825. This is the man who commanded Fort Sumter when the Civil War came.

Look here.


If you want someone really competent, I think Kearney or Anderson would be your man. Kearney would have a full regiment of Dragoons (1800 or so men) under his command in Kansas (minus detachments of which there were many). If you need someone less competent you can invoke politics and pick almost anyone in the regular army.



An excellent start so far and an unusual setup. I like the character of Hamilton and am eagerly awaiting our introduction to Aaron Burr.
 

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Director, thank you for your astute and scholarly suggestions! This will give me plenty to work with, and room for more research besides!

Remember that this portion of the story (which is certainly a prologue, but may end up being a long one!) is set in 1807-08.

I'd love to use Light Horse Harry, but I strongly suspect Hamilton would have at least encountered him during the Rev. War, and that might preclude him for the complicated role I wish to have filled.

Mr. Capiatlist said:
By "space" I meant it in the quantum physics way, such as "Time-space contiueum" 'cuz you are obviously here in the "now" and yet also in the "then." I'm sorry.... I kinda used you and your AAR in my ToK class... :rolleyes: But I got an "A" so thanks! :cool:
Hmm... I would be very curious to hear, here or by PM, about this project! While my awareness of ToK begins and ends with Thomas Kuhn, and Mr. Kiryevskiy will confirm that I'm generally non-conversant with hard philosophy, continuae, and abstracts of any sort, perhaps if you go really slowly I will understand! :rolleyes: Glad to be of service, in any case!

My dear readers, I apologize for I am experiencing a dearth of quality writing time this week. The interview went well, I think, and I was left with the impression that "I'm the guy", but then again this person might not be privy to the details or status of my hire. Still waiting for confirmation. I have a sneaking suspicion I will be asked to a 4th interview before the deal goes down. The good news is that this one would pay more than the earlier job.

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Rensslaer said:
..And most of the area beyond the original colonies was still populated primarily by native American Indians..

But I assume you mean fractured politically?..On many occasions, even after the USA started, it could have still fallen apart, and nearly did..

These Van Rensselaers, however, ARE historical figures (as opposed to my Prussian Foreign Minister, Pietr Van Rensselaer, who is 100% fictional).
if i learned correctly, the area beyond the original colonies were sparsely populated by native Americans..

so very true: i mentioned (in another thread?) that the State of New York (other than NY City) was almost totally opposed to joining the US under the constitution.

[TIC]nice to know that there were some historical Van Rensselaers![/TIC] really though, were these the Van Rensselaers who first introduced you to "themselves"? :) [or, {more importantly?}, do you have them in your genealogy? :D ]

Rensslaer said:
I'd love to use Light Horse Harry...

Hmm... I would be very curious to hear..

..I am experiencing a dearth of quality writing time this week..
as Light Horse Harry Lee is one of my favorite ARW people, i would love to see him in the AAR! :D

i would be curious to hear, not to mention i am curious to know what ToK is... :)

hmmm. i am experiencing a darth of quality reading time. do i need to apologise? NOT, and neither do you! ;) LOL. it is just part of life. and, after all, we all know what the alternative is... :eek:
 

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GhostWriter said:
[TIC]nice to know that there were some historical Van Rensselaers![/TIC] really though, were these the Van Rensselaers who first introduced you to "themselves"? :) [or, {more importantly?}, do you have them in your genealogy? :D
Well, I think I have some Dutch blood in me somewhere. But it's not in the top 10 of my Heinz 57. :) I'm primarily Irish, German and Scottish, with some Cherokee mixed in. No Rensselaers in my tree, that I can find (but they do have a habit of popping up, don't they?!).

Interestingly, I just realized last night that Alexander Hamilton married into the Van Rensselaer line, and his sons are descended from the Van Rensselaers. Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, his wife, was the daughter of Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler. So...

Ghostwriter said:
i would be curious to hear, not to mention i am curious to know what ToK is... :)
Theory of Knowledge... like philosophy, and how we learn, and science, etc. I think. Thomas Kuhn wrote a fascinating book regarding the process of "scientific revolutions" which has applications in politics and science and life in general. Well worth reading the summary, at the very least!

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Copy of a Letter from Col. Aaron Burr to his Daughter Theodosia, from New Orleans, 12th December, 1806

My Darling Theodosia,

I miss you dearly, and hope that you are well. It has been far too long since I have seen your face. I do hope that you pine for me as I do for you.

I am not entirely unhappy, though. The weather in New Orleans, is spectacular. And while I do miss those several fine inamorata whom I have left behind, in New York and elsewhere, I have discovered a most pleasurable selection of pasttimes here in New Orleans. These French girls are exquisite! You know I am not unaccustomed, of course, to the French women of New York, whether they be educated and high-born, or playful but stupid and present only as important mens’ wives. But these fine Athenas and Aphrodites who comprise a substantial part of the population of this city offer such a range of sexual talents and expertise as to make even me dream that I might have purpose to remain forever!

Two young women, in particular, have captured my heart. Annabelle is full and vivacious, and has a spirit that never tires. Sissi, on the other hand, is gentle and sensual. Not as well endowed, but she makes up for it with the care that she takes.

And then there is Lucie, who is flat-chested, and almost as old as I. But in no single year since she was twenty has she not learned some trick to entertain a man’s soul. She has taught me things of which I had never dreamed. I will tell you more of this, later, when we can see each other face to face.

Alas, it is with some trepidation that I reveal to you that I am entering upon these complicated works, as I have previously made known to you. There is, as you well know, some element of danger. If ever you find that I will not be returning to New York, there are some tasks that I must require of you.

You, of course, will receive the entire estate. It should be sufficient, such that, in addition to your husband’s resources, you should ne’er have cause to worry. With regard to the slaves, I would encourage you to keep Peggy for your own service. I have cared for her dearly, these many years, and am very fond of her. Dispose of Nancy as you please. She is honest, robust, and good-tempered. The boy whom I purchased two summers ago should also bring a fair price.

Also, only if you have certain word of my death, I wish for you to find and burn several packets of letters. Dispose of any such evidence that might cause injury to any person, including myself. This is most particularly applicable to the letters of my female correspondents. There is one small bundle located behind the top row of my bookcase, in the study. It will be tied by a red string. There is another hidden in a special compartment underneath the washstand in my bedroom. These will be wrapped in a white handkerchief. You are welcome to read and peruse them for your pleasure, first, provided that you do not recall the names of my liaisons past that day. Several of these letters, you will find most titillating!

It may be assumed that if our scheme meets with success, that I would encourage you and Mr. Alston to move so that you will be nearer to me. I cannot imagine a long separation from you, and yearn to see the beauty of your face and figure at the earliest possible moment.

Please also, in your next letter, which I pray will be very soon, enclose clippings from the city newspapers, so that I might find if there is anything of particular import to my plans, here.

With my innermost love and affection,

I remain your Doting Father,

A. Burr
 
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