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A Great American Hero is Born ... in Great Britain

A revolution doesn't just fall from the sky like manna from Heaven. It requires a number of key people to make it happen. The American Revolution will require George Whitfield (also known as Whitefield). He is born this year in Gloucester, England at the Old Bell Inn. He will have a talent in voice and dramatic presence that will rival the greatest performers of the Globe Theater. But... he will not become an actor. He will become a preacher. Together with John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Church) George Whitfield will lead the Great Awakening in Britain but after a break with Wesley he will take his preaching to the British Colonies. At the end of his tour, 23,000 will listen to him preach in Boston. Over his lifetime, millions will hear his words and he will start a movement to bring black slaves to Christianity. In his last years he will reside in Boston and die shortly after the Boston Massacre. Phillis Wheatley, a black slave, will publish a poem in praise of his life. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Great Awakening was instrumental in changing the attitudes of the British people, especially in the Colonies. People believed in a collective responsibility but Whitfield helped them understand that individuals had a responsibility too. Whitfield was also responsible for the massive conversion of black slaves to Christianity. Now, if we are all following along in our Bibles, that should have resulted in a massive number of slaves being freed because according to the Bible, believers cannot be held as slaves for longer than 7 years, but Whitfield didn't make that argument. He had opened an orphanage in Georgia which supported itself with an endowment and by growing its own food. In order to stay in the black (so to speak) he needed slaves to work the fields. Slavery was illegal in Georgia at the time. (Oh dear God. No! Don't say it!) So he lobbied to get the law changed. He brought slavery to Georgia. Now he is mostly lost to history even though much of what we admire about baseline American values of individuality and personal responsibility had bloomed due to George Whitfield's efforts.

The First Typewriter is Patented

Patent number 395 is filed by John Mills for a writing device 'impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another, so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print, very useful in settlements and public records.' No art work is provided. In fact, there is no evidence that an actual device or model was ever created. All that survives is the description. He is also credited with improvements to carriage springs. [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
After John Mills died, his epitaph mentioned his numerous "toys". The typewriter might have been amongst those toys, but his ideas never became commercially viable. He was not a rich man so perhaps he never found the funding. Alexander Pope began a translation of Homer's Iliad in 1713 only after he gathered the funding first. He didn't find a single investor but instead sold subscriptions to many small investors. I am reminded of a photo-journalist who solicited donations to fund his reporting in Afghanistan. Now crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Iniegogo can make funding centrally available. HOWEVER, simply because your idea is terrific is no guarantee that enough people will want to help you turn that idea into reality. Sometimes a great ideas is ahead of its time. [8] [9] [10] [11]

And Just So You Know...

* King George the 1st takes the throne. [12]
* The fine-point syringe is invented. [13]
* The mercury thermometer is invented by D. G. Fahrenheit. [14]
* Witch trials are abolished in Prussia. Thank God! [15]
* Boy and Girls are learning together in the oldest mixed-gender school still in existence. [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1714, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. George Whitefield: Sensational Evangelist of Britain and America. Christianity Today (August 8, 2008). Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “Largely forgotten today, George Whitefield was probably the most famous religious figure of the eighteenth century. Newspapers called him the 'marvel of the age.' Whitefield was a preacher capable of commanding thousands on two continents through the sheer power of his oratory. In his lifetime, he preached at least 18,000 times to perhaps 10 million hearers.”
  2. Welcome (2016). Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “Today, we have 120 boys attending school at Bethesda with 40 residing on campus. It’s their futures we’re the most concerned about. It’s what continues to make Bethesda, as founder George Whitefield envisioned, a 'house of mercy' to boys in need.”
  3. George Whitefield - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 5 January 2016. “George Whitefield (December 27 [O.S. December 16] 1714 – September 30, 1770), also known as George Whitfield, was an English Anglican cleric who helped spread the Great Awakening in Britain and, especially, in the American colonies.”
  4. Great Awakening - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “The Awakenings all resulted from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of personal guilt and of their need of salvation by Christ. Pulling away from ritual and ceremony, the Great Awakening made religion intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual guilt and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality. It brought Christianity to African-American slaves and was an apocalyptic event in New England that challenged established authority.”
  5. Willis, Patricia C. (April 2006). "Phillis Wheatley, George Whitefield, and the Countess of Huntingdon in the Beinecke Library". Yale University Library Gazette, The (Yale University, acting through the Yale University Library) 80 (3, 4): 161-176. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40859549. Retrieved 21 January 2016. "Or, since Whitefield's will had seen wide circulation in print, and it was thus known that the Countess had inherited all his Georgia orphans along with their buildings at Bethesda, by which circumstance the Lady Huntingdon was now the owner of American slaves, such mention might have seemed indelicate.". 
  6. Reference index of patents of invention, from 1617 to 1852. Google Books (1855). Retrieved on 21 January 2016.
  7. Henry Mill - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 January 2016. “Henry Mill (c. 1683–1771) was an English inventor who patented the first typewriter in 1714.[1] He worked as a waterworks engineer for the New River Company, and submitted two patents during his lifetime. One was for a coach spring, while the other was for a 'Machine for Transcribing Letters'. The machine that he invented appears, from the patent, to have been similar to a typewriter, but nothing further is known. Other early developers of typewriting machines include Pellegrino Turri. Many of these early machines, including Turri's, were developed to enable the blind to write.”
  8. (1894) Mill, Henry. Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “and in his will, proved 6 April 1771 (P. C. C. Trevor, fol. 170), he mentions his 'private fancied toys,’ a phrase which might well include models of his inventions.” 
  9. Indiegogo - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “The site is one of the first sites to offer crowd funding. Indiegogo allows people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or start-up business. Indiegogo charges a 5% fee on contributions. This charge is in addition to credit card and PayPal charges that range from 3.5% to 9%.”
  10. How it works. Indiegogo (OFFICIAL SITE) (2016). Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “At the end of a successful campaign we provide fulfillment tools and the ability to sell your product in the Indiegogo marketplace. For select projects, we even connect you to manufacturing and logistics experts.”
  11. Kickstarter Before Kickstarter. Kickstarter (OFFICIAL SITE) (July 18, 2013). Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “In 1713, Alexander Pope set out to translate 15,693 lines of ancient Greek poetry into English. It took five long years to get the six volumes right, but the result was worth the wait: a translation of Homer’s Iliad that endures to this day. How did Pope go about getting this project off the ground? Turns out he kind of Kickstarted it.”
  12. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 326-327. “Queen Anne of England d.; succeeded by George Louis, Elector of Hanover, as King George I (-1727); King George I lands in England; Marlborough reinstated” 
  13. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 326-327. “French surgeon Dominique Anel invents fine-pointed syringe for surgical purposes” 
  14. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 326-327. “D. G. Fahrenheit constructs mercury thermometer with temperature scale” 
  15. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 326-327. “Witch trials abolished in Prussia” 
  16. Archbishop Tenison's Church of England High School, Croydon - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 20 January 2016. “In 1714, Tenison, by then Archbishop of Canterbury, founded a school for some 'ten poor boys and ten poor girls' on a site which is now close to the heart of Croydon’s shopping centre. Just over 300 years and three sites later, it is thought that the School is the oldest surviving mixed-gender school in the world.”

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