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The War of the Regulation

A vigilante group called the Regulators is bringing justice to brigands in the woods of North and South Carolina, but it soon turns ugly. Here is how it starts. Indian attacks have left people homeless. They take up hunting to feed themselves, but they are leaving carcasses around and the rotting meat is attracting predators. They hunt at night, setting fires to frighten the deer. But now livestock are missing. (Hey! A cow looks like a deer in the dark. Right?) They have taken up robbery, torturing homeowners to reveal their hiding places for valuables. One farmer has his toes burned off. By any definition, these people are brigands. Corruption is rampant in the Carolinas so asking for help from the local sheriff is out of the question. The sheriff is the guy who collects your taxes... and often "loses" the payment record and returns to collect your taxes AGAIN! So who do you call? The Regulators. They are a mixed bag of good and bad. Many of them will become Justices of the Peace in later years but for now they are dispensing justice... usually beatings... really severe beatings and occasional house-burnings. So the brigands organize to fight the Regulators. It's getting real. They drag James Mayson (a Regulator) from his home. His body is found 80 miles away. Now, it's war. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Backwoods justice is not new. Why mention this? Well.. you have a group of men, organized like an armed police force and willing to do violence when they see injustice. There is government corruption that is so bad that they look at the sheriff as if he is one of the brigands. And to top it off, the few judges they have are working in collusion with the sheriffs. So... when the British Governor goes overboard and taxes the colonists (using the same corrupt system of sheriffs and judges) what do you think a group of organized, armed men are going to do? [4] In 1771, the Battle of Alamance may well have been the first shots taken in anger against the British. It was just going to be a show of force to frighten the British governor. He was frightened all right. Bang, bang, bang. The locals still call it the first shots of the American Revolution and a plaque marks the spot where 6 Regulators were hanged by the British for their insolence. It reads in part...
"Our blood will be as good seed in good ground, that will soon produce one hundred fold." -- James Pugh, under the gallows at Hillsboro, N.C., June 19th, 1771. [5]

Charles Townshend and the Art of Misgovernment

When you crunch the numbers, Great Britain really is drowning in debt and after the repeal of the Stamp Act the resentment between Parliament and the American colonies can be felt. Charles Townshend is the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. He thinks that the objection to the Stamp Act was to taxation within the colonies, so slapping an external tax like a tariff on glass, paint and tea should be fine. Right? He makes tea tax-free in England, but tea exported to the colonies still gets the normal duty of two shillings and six plus the 3 pence Townsend tax per pound of tea. The total tax is a little over $22.50 per pound in modern dollars, not counting the cost of the tea itself. (No wonder Americans drink coffee.) He uses the tariff revenues to pay British colonial governors and judges. This removes the "power of the purse" from the colonial legislatures. Boston reacts quickly and resolves to stop buying British. Tea smuggling increases. Next year, John Hancock's sloop, The Liberty, will be seized by customs officials. Riots will ensue. [6] [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
So... when was the Boston Tea Party? That was in 1773 after the Parliament passed the Tea Act which actually lowered the cost of British Tea by allowing direct imports to North America rather than passing through Great Britain's ports. That saved on British port duties, but by that time they could have offered the tea for free and it still would have ended up in the harbor. Look. It's not about the size of the tax. The colonists were reacting to the idea that Great Britain could impose ANY tax without representation. Eventually, Britain will give in, but with warships in the harbor, the offer of reconciliation will ring hollow. I think it was an honest offer, but it was in the sense of a parent giving in to a petulant child. "Yes. Perhaps Daddy yelled too much. I'm sorry. Now... take out the trash, Johnny." At some point everyone crossed a line and there was no going back. [10] [11]

The First Solar Oven

Horace is a Swiss geologist who loves to hike the Alps. He is considered the first mountaineering enthusiast. (You mean you actually climb mountains for fun?) But on this occasion he is looking into the causes of heat and cold. He notices that a room with a window facing the sun-side of the house is measurably warmer. He wonders if it is something about the sunlight. Is sunlight really a form of fire? IMPOSSIBLE! But he thinks it has to do with the glass, so he builds a box with three spaced layers of glass over top and exposes it to the Sun. He places fruit inside and the fruit starts to cook! He takes the box up and down the mountains and finds that he can still reach high temperatures, though he finds that the "hot box" as he calls it, works better when he insulates the sides. He publishes his findings along with his conclusions on what might be happening, but he has just created the first solar oven. [12] [13] [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Wow! And he didn't even use aluminum foil!

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1767, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Higginbotham, Don (August 2007). "Some Reflections on the South in the American Revolution". The Journal of Southern History (Southern Historical Association) 73 (3): 659-670. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27649487. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  2. Klein, Rachel N. (October 1981). "Ordering the Backcountry: The South Carolina Regulation". The William and Mary Quarterly (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture) 38 (4): 661-680. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1918909. Retrieved 15 April 2016. "Among these unfortunate magistrates was the Regulator James Mayson, who was taken from his house at night and "dragged and insulted all the way to about eighty miles distant." What happened at the ensuing "trial" remains a mystery, but its occurrence attests to the organization and power enjoyed by Mayson's accusers.". 
  3. War of the Regulation - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016. “Their method of 'fire hunting' at night used fire to blind deer, and sometimes they mistook farmers' livestock for wild game. They left unused animal corpses, which drew wolves and scavengers closer to populated areas. Hunting also pushed well into the boundary of the local natives, the Creek Indians, exacerbating their already tense relationship with colonists. The bandits gathered until they numbered about 200. Eventually they were bold enough to attack magistrates. They dragged James Mayson, a regulator, from his home in the night.”
  4. Adams, George R.. "Carolina Regulators: A Note on Changing Interpretations, The". The North Carolina Historical Review (North Carolina Office of Archives and History) 49 (4 (October, 1972): 345-352. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23528980. Retrieved 15 April 2016. "They complained of corrupt county officials and exorbitant taxes and court fees, and in 1768 they began committing organized acts of violence against the colony's governing authorities. This conflict culminated in 1771 at the Battle of Alamance, which resembled a small riot more than a military episode and settled none of the issues between the upcountrymen and the colonial authorities.". 
  5. Alamance Battleground - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016. “Plaque from battleground monument. Reads: 'Of the twelve regulators condemned at Hillsboro, the following six were executed by the British Governor: James Pugh, Robert Matear, Benjamin Merrill, Captain Messer, and two others whose names are now unknown. 'Our blood will be as good seed in good ground, that will soon produce one hundred fold.' - James Pugh, under the gallows at Hillsboro, N.C., June 19th, 1771.'”
  6. Chaffin, Robert J. (January 1970). "Townshend Acts of 1767, The". The William and Mary Quarterly (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture) 27 (1): 90-121. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1923840. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  7. Measuring Worth (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016.
  8. Currency Converter - Yahoo! Finance. finance.yahoo.com (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016.
  9. Townshend Acts - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016. “'Townshend's mistaken belief that Americans regarded internal taxes as unconstitutional and external taxes constitutional', wrote historian John Phillip Reid, 'was of vital importance in the history of events leading to the Revolution.'[13] The Townshend Revenue Act received the royal assent on 29 June 1767.[14] There was little opposition expressed in Parliament at the time. 'Never could a fateful measure have had a more quiet passage', wrote historian Peter Thomas.”
  10. Tea Act - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016. “In 1770 most of the Townshend taxes were repealed, but taxes on tea was retained. Resistance to this tax included pressure to avoid legally imported tea, leading to a drop in colonial demand for the Company's tea, and a burgeoning surplus of the tea in the company's English warehouses. By 1774 the Company was close to collapse due in part to contractual payments to the British government of £400,000,000 per year, together with war and a famine in India, and economic weakness in European markets. Benjamin Franklin was one of several people who suggested things would be greatly improved if the Company were allowed to export its tea directly to the colonies without paying the taxes it was paying in London: 'to export such tea to any of the British colonies or plantations in America, or to foreign parts, import duty of three pence a pound.'”
  11. Alex Shrugged notes: I can't believe that the British were actually listening to Benjamin Franklin's advice on tariffs. With friends like Ben, why would the British need enemies?
  12. Horace de Saussure and his Hot Boxes of the 1700's. solarcooking.org (2014). Retrieved on 15 April 2016. “seeking to block the heat loss even more effectively, de saussure made a small rectangular box out of half-inch pine and lined it with black cork. three separate sheets of glass covered the top of the box. when exposed to the sun, the bottom of the box reached a temperature of 228 degrees f., or 16 degrees f. above the boiling point of water, and almost 40 degrees f. higher than in the first experiment. this device was later called a hot box because of the large amount of solar heat it could retain.”
  13. Horace-Bénédict de Saussure - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016. “Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (17 February 1740 – 22 January 1799) was a Swiss geologist, physicist and Alpine traveller, often considered the founder of alpinism, and considered to be the first person to build a successful solar oven.”
  14. Solar energy - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 April 2016. “The simplest solar cooker is the box cooker first built by Horace de Saussure in 1767. A basic box cooker consists of an insulated container with a transparent lid. It can be used effectively with partially overcast skies and will typically reach temperatures of 90–150 °C (194–302 °F).”

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