I finally did it: I just applied for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Actually, I'm a great-great-great granddaughter of the American Revolution.
The spectacle maker's son
Elias Dagley, spectacle maker and schoolteacher, born in 1713 in Lytham St. Anne's, Lancaster County, England, and his wife, Catherine, maiden-name-unknown, are as far as we've been able to get in tracking my dad's side of the family. They were my great-great-great-great grandparents, and they were already living in "the colonies," in what is now Berks County, Pennsylvania, by the time the French and Indian War began in 1754. Elias served in that war, as did George Washington, though his age (46) at the time of enlistment in 1759, and his skill as a spectacle-maker probably kept him from the front lines. Elias and Catherine had six children in all, and when the Revolutionary War started, all but one of the family moved to North Carolina, where their neighbors included the Boone family: Boone as in Daniel. One of my distant relatives tells the story this way: "The Dagleys lived neighbors to the Boone families in NC and helped the Boones with their surveying and the Boones helped them with theirs. One son, Thomas, was said to have been one of 32 axemen who helped Daniel Boone cut the Wilderness Trail into Kentucky in the 1770s. Thomas was also a patriot during the American Revolutionary War and furnished supplies to the Continental Army. One report says that he was baggage masger(?) for General George Washington when Cornwallis was making a march through the area."
The one who stayed behind was James Dagley, my great-great-great grandfather, born in 1752. He enlisted in the First Pennsylvania Battalion, and went on to serve for more than five years. He fought in the Battle of Brandywine, serving under Colonel (later General) "Mad" Anthony Wayne, and is listed among those who endured desperate conditions during the hard winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge with Washington and much of the rest of the Continental Army, while the British occupied Philadelphia. The First Battalion became the Second, and the Third, and then some of those veterans, including James Dagley, moved south and fought in the hills of North and South Carolina, possibly at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the turning point of the war. James Dagley is listed as a "waggoner" in the muster rolls at Valley Forge.
George Washington himself wrote this report from Valley Forge, in a letter to Governor George Clinton:
"Head Quarters, Valley Forge, February 16, 1778
Dear Sir: It is with great reluctance, I trouble you on a subject, which does not fall within your province; but it is a subject that occasions me more distress, than I have felt, since the commencement of the war; and which loudly demands the most zealous exertions of every person of weight and authority, who is interested in the success of our affairs. I mean the present dreadful situation of the army for want of provisions, and the miserable prospects before us, with respect to futurity. It is more alarming than you will probably conceive, for, to form a just idea, it were necessary to be on the spot. For some days past, there has been little less, than a famine in camp. A part of the army has been a week, without any kind of flesh, and the rest for three or four days. Naked and starving as they are, we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery, that they have not been ere this excited by their sufferings, to a general mutiny or dispersion. Strong symptoms, however, discontent have appeared in particular instances; and nothing but the most acitive efforts every where can long avert so shocking a catastrophe.
Our present sufferings are not all. There is no foundation laid for any adequate relief hereafter. All the magazines provided in the States of New Jersey, Pensylvania, Delaware and Maryland, and all the immediate additional supplies they seem capable of affording, will not be sufficient to support the army more than a month longer, if so long. Very little has been done to the Eastward, and as little to the Southward; and whatever we have a right to expect from those quarters, must necessarily be very remote; and is indeed more precarious, than could be wished. When the forementioned supplies are exhausted, what a terrible crisis must ensue, unless all the energy of the Continent is exerted to provide a timely remedy?
Impressed with this idea, I am, on my part, putting every engine to work, that I can possibly think of, to prevent the fatal consequences, we have so great a reason to apprehend. I am calling upon all those, whose stations and influence enable them to contribute their aid upons so important an occasion; and from your well known zeal, I expect every thing within the compass of your power, and that the abilities and resources of the state over which you preside, will admit. I am sensible of the disadvantages it labours under, from having been so long the scene of war, and that it must be exceedingly drained by the great demands to which it has been subject. But, tho' you may not be able to contribute materially to our relief, you can perhaps do something towards it; and any assistance, however trifling in itself, will be of great moment at so critical a juncture, and will conduce to keeping the army together till the Commissary's department can be put upon a better footing, and effectual measures concerted to secure a permanent and competent supply. What methods you can take, you will be the best judge of; but, if you can devise any means to procure a quantity of cattle, or other kind of flesh, for the use of this army, to be at camp in the course of a month, you will render a most essential service to the common cause. I have the honor etc."
The Valley Forge FAQ paints a more vivid picture, particularly when you look at the numbers of those who died of smallpox, starvation, or exposure.
James rejoined the rest of the family in North Carolina after the war, then moved on to Sevier County, Tennessee, where he died in 1816. His sister Elizabeth became the third wife of Daniel Boone's older brother, Jonathan. James and his wife -- we don't even have her first name -- had three children, including Benjamin Franklin Dagley, my great-great grandfather.
They say it may take a couple of months before I hear anything back from the DAR. I'll let you know when I do.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:08 PM
I turned my back on the news today, as I had no interest in seeing even more photos of the dead Hussein brothers. Instead of current events, I decided to look into some events that happened a long, long time ago, never imagining that I would find a story almost as gruesome, this one involving some of my own ancestors. Fortunately, there is no videotape in this case.
'The King can go to the Devil' (but Junior can go to America)
It had been more than a year since I had looked into my ancestry online, and I was amazed at how many blanks had been filled in by my distant kinfolk. Previously, the farthest back we'd been able to trace my mother's side of the family was one James Bunch, born in 1765 in Virginia. But today when I researched his name, I found a new piece of the puzzle: his wife's full name: Ruth Elizabeth Hibbs. Most of the wives in the family connections I looked up were listed either by first name only, or with "MNU" (maiden name unknown), or with a full name but little or no information about their parents or siblings. Ruth, who was my great-great-great-great-great grandmother, was herself the great-great granddaughter of William Hibbs, Sr., and his wife Joanne (no further information), of Dean Forest, Gloucestershire, England, Quakers by religion. William, and possibly Joanne, were beheaded at the behest of King James II, the king who wanted all England to become Catholic because he was. William's crime, according to one account, was that "he did not attend church services required by English law or pay the tithes as required and said 'The King can go to the Devil.' His refusal to go to the Church of England resulted in several fines which he paid. The fines wre not a burden as he was moderately weallthy. He sent his 12 year old son, William Jr to America for his safety and to help establish the Quaker Colony proposed by William Penn. William's son Jonathon was executed in 1698, 14 years after his father for similar resistance to forced religion and support of the Quaker doctrine." They're not sure whether Jonathan was beheaded; he may have been drawn and quartered. (CAUTION: the description at that link is even more gorey than the Uday and Qusay images).
William Jr., my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, was one of the founders not only of the Penn Colony, but of the town of Burlington, New Jersey. One of my distant-distant-distant (etc.) cousins reports that "William Hibbs Jr. came to America in 1677 on the ship 'Kent' at the age of 12 with 2 companies of 'Friends' from Yorkshire and London - founders of Burlington, NJ. William lived in Burlington until 1680 and them moved to Byberry township in PA, where he bought a 100 acre farm."
William Jr.'s grandson Isaac (father of Ruth), born in 1740, fought in the American Revolution. He may have heard stories about his family's heritage when he was growing up, or he may not have. In any case, the beliefs of the Quakers apparently were not as important to him as to William Sr., Joanne, and Jonathan. He was "disowned by the then Low Dutch Church of North and South Hampton (now the Presbyterian Church, Churchville, Bucks County, PA) for marrying outside his faith in the Quaker Church." His bride, Elizabeth Roberts (my great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother), was "Presbyterian German/Dutch." That might not have been enough to get him kicked out of the Low Dutch Church, but his other transgression ("having a child too soon after the wedding") was the last straw.
Tomorrow: the Dagleys and Daniel Boone, friends, neighbors and in-laws
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @7:53 PM
The headline on this post is not only the title of today's installment, it's there for the person or persons that are frequently searching this site for audio mp3s of Rodney King saying that. Sorry, we don't have any. But thank you for visiting The Dagley Dagley Daily several times a week in your quest just the same. You're obviously looking under every cyber-rock, and persistently, as is the person who keeps searching this site for an mp3 of "Rocky Top" (none here; we respect intellectual-property rights).
"Can't we all just get along?"
When a gunfight breaks out in the chambers of the elected government of a place that calls itself "the capital of the world," leaving two people dead, one an elected official, and hundreds of others, including children, severely traumatized, it's time to ask Rodney King's question once more, even if we know the answer is, "Obviously not." It's time to try harder to be civil to each other, and to take what steps we can toward a more civil society.
To that end, today I'm going to do my part by agreeing with not one but two prominent conservatives.
I agree with New York Times pundit William Safire, who applauds yesterday's 400-12 vote in the House of Representatives to overturn the FCC's recent rule change that would have made it easier for huge media conglomerates to get even bigger, and harder for everybody else in the media who isn't a huge conglomerate. Despite the overwhelming lopsidedness of the vote, it is expected to be vetoed. Safire advises against that.
And I agree, after some consideration, with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who says it was his decision to release photos of the bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein.
I don't agree, however, with CNN's decision to keep showing the "purported bodies" (as they put it) over and over and over all day.
Speaking of civility and civil society, one of the great champions of that cause was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom yesterday: writer and former Czech President Vaclav Havel, who is misidentified on the Medal of Freedom site as the current Czech president (that would be Vaclav Klaus), and misidentified as widowed (he remarried after his first wife, Olga, died). The New York Times reports that Havel is writing again, something he didn't have much time for as president.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @4:02 PM
This just in: Knight-Ridder columnist Joe Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, did a nice feature today about the WWII Memorial: "A great memorial to the Greatest Generation." And The New York Times, the Kansas City Star, and other AP subscribers have corrected the headline to read, "Dole Opens Institute on 80th Birthday," so the links below may not get you to the erroneous headline anymore.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @6:16 PM
Congratulations to the Associated Press, which figured out last night that John Glenn was NOT the first human to orbit the earth, only three days after its erroneous report to that effect. As you can see in the comments area here, Jesse Lynch, proprietor of Ohrada News, was quick to post the correct answer: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
Correcting some errors
As far as I know, the AP has yet to correct today's blooper, the work of a headline writer who obviously just skimmed the story in question. The following newspapers, and who knows how many television and radio and other news outlets, published this error:
The New York Times
Kansas City Star
Belleville (IL) News-Democrat
Grand Forks Herald (ND)
Centre Daily Times (PA)
Wichita Eagle (KS)
Wilkes Barre Weekender (PA)
Macon Telegraph (GA)
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (IN)
Biloxi Sun Herald (MS)
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA)
Duluth News Tribune (MN)
Rocky Mount Telegram (NC)
Dayton Daily News (OH)
Akron Beacon Journal (OH)
Aberdeen American News (SD)
Here's the identical headline on the story you can find at any of those links: "Dole Awarded Medal of Honor at Dedication."
As you can see just by reading the story (something the copy editor should have done), Senator Bob Dole was NOT awarded the Medal of Honor at the dedication of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics yesterday in his home state of Kansas. A Medal of Honor winner was among those who sang "Happy Birthday" to him for his 80th, however. Senator Dole may well deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor, but he hasn't won one. He doesn't seem to mind: yesterday he said that "no honor that has come my way has ever surpassed the pride I felt wearing my country's uniform." If you don't know Bob Dole's story, I urge you to read the biography on his web site.
In addition to the Dole Institute, the Senator-turned-Senate-spouse has been working on another lasting contribution to our country: the National World War II Memorial, to be dedicated May 29, 2004, a permanent monument to those in and out of uniform who contributed to the war effort. Construction of the WWII Memorial is an error-correction in itself, as more recent wars already have monuments. The Memorial includes a registry, and I'm happy to report that my Dad's name, which I submitted along with those of his brothers on July 4, has finally been added.
And also on the subject of error-correction, the University of Texas has digitized each and every page of its copy of the Gutenberg Bible, which was the first book every printed by movable type. The University of Texas at Austin copy is one of only 21 complete copies, and 48 surviving copies, left in the world. But this copy has been marked up over the years with additions, deletions, and corrections: obviously there were some editors over the generations who felt that the presumed word of God could be improved upon. I wonder if they used any of the lines popular with editors of my generation:
"This should be higher." (One time an editor of mine made that note on every paragraph of a very long story!)
"Leave out the numbers. Readers just don't have the patience for them."
"We need to 'massage' these quotes." (Yes, I did have an editor who said that, often, but I never, ever changed, massaged, or 'sexed-up' a quote).
"We've done it to death."
"We can lose this."
"We can't put that on the front page: it has no graphic, and this other article has such a nice use of yellow."
"Never use green again!"
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @4:10 PM
We're operating on Plan B now, Plan A having been to go out and photograph the Queen Elizabeth 2 as she arrived this morning at 7 from across the Atlantic. It was storming this morning, so instead of going out to the end of the 14th Street Pier, I turned to the trusty Towercam, knowing that I was most likely going to see something like this. But I kept trying, and suddenly there she was:
QE2, and thunderstorms, now arriving in New York
The rain held off long enough for me to follow her all the way in, 16 photos in all (that's Number Two above):
Two (same as above)
Plan A would have entailed going out to wave goodbye to the QE2 when she left today at 5 p.m., as recommended recently in a New York Times feature, but it's storming even worse now. We'll have a few more chances before she crosses the Atlantic for the last time later this year. Maybe the weather will be better next time. In any case, Bon Voyage, QE2!
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @4:49 PM
Greeting the Dawn
Can you spot the enormous cruise ship in this photo? How about in this photo?
Can you see it here? How about here? You can't miss it in this photo or this one. It even shows up clearly in this stitched photo of Hoboken's Manhattan view.
It's the Norwegian Dawn, now celebrating her inaugural season, traveling between New York and the Bahamas, her registered home.
And in our last photo of the day, a hard-working Tugboat nudges the Dawn into her home-away-from-home, where two other cruise ships are already comfortably settled in.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @4:23 PM
The results are in on our first Question of the Week, and it's unanimous: 100 percent of respondents felt that "misleading and false statements about weapons of mass destruction leading to the deaths of civilians and American soldiers" were worse than "misleading answers about private sexual encounters between consenting adults."
Survey results, and a new question (or two)
And now, our second question: July 20, 1969: U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the moon. July 20, 2003: The U.S. space program is in trouble after the shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry in February. How important is space exploration to you?
Very important -- we need to restore the space program and make it a higher priority
Important, but -- exploring space is fine, but we have more important priorities such as disease, famine, and defense.
Not important -- we've been there, done that, and besides, lots of countries and private industry are in space these days anyway
Other, please specify
Click HERE to make your opinion count.
Meanwhile, here's my opinion: I am appalled that the Associated Press, and subsequently many of its client news organizations, have reported today that John Glenn was the first human to orbit the earth. . That mistake was included in nearly every report I could find of today's commemoration in Dayton, Ohio, of the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
John Glenn was NOT the first human to orbit the earth. Do you know who was? If so, or if you'd like to guess, please use the comments section for this post to answer.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @4:18 PM