Oct 6th Colonial and Revolutionary War History

Oct 6, 1683 The first Mennonites arrived in America aboard the Concord. The German and Dutch families settled in an area that is now a neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA.

More Detail:
Germantown, the site of the first permanent settlement of Mennonites in America, has been called “The Gateway of American Mennonitism,” through which most North American Mennonites have symbolically passed. Thirteen Dutch Mennonite families led the way, when on October 6, 1683, they arrived in Philadelphia on the ship, the Concord. They located six miles north of Philadelphia in what became known as Germantown. More Dutch Mennonite families continued arriving, and then in 1707 Palatine Mennonite families followed, uniting with the Germantown congregation. In 1708 they erected a log meetinghouse, replacing it in 1770 with the present Meetinghouse, now some 236 years old.

Two historically significant events took place in Germantown. In 1688 the first protest against slavery in America was signed. Then in 1725 Mennonites held their first general conference, where they adopted the Dordrecht Confession of Faith, a Dutch confession dating to 1632. These two events laid the foundation for what would always be key foci for Mennonites – stating their faith clearly and expressing their faith through action in the way they lived.

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Oct 6, 1775 The Continental Congress passes a resolution calling for the arrest of all loyalists who are dangerous to “the liberties of America.”

Background:

Loyalists were colonists who remained loyal subjects of the British crown as the thirteen American colonies declared independence in 1776 and became the United States of America. Loyalists refused to support independence, and sometimes joined Loyalist regiments set up by the British to defeat the American Revolution. Loyalists at the time were also called Tories, King’s Men, or Royalists. Those Loyalists who left and resettled in Canada called themselves the United Empire Loyalists. Their colonial opponents, who supported the Revolution, were called Patriots, Whigs, Rebels, Congress Men, or, in view of their loyalty to the new United States of America, just Americans. Historians have estimated that about 15-20% of the white population may have been Loyalists (that is, about 500,000), but there are no exact numbers.

The Loyalists were those who rejected the republicanism of the new nation; those who went to Canada resisted democracy there and became famous for their loyalty to the British crown, their admiration of royalty and aristocracy, and their anti-Americanism. The great majority of Loyalists remained in the United States, but their political beliefs had very little or no impact on the anti-aristocratic republicanism that became central to American values

Loyalists who went into exile lost all the property left behind, but were compensated by British claims procedures. Britain paid the Loyalists ₤3 million or about 37% of their reported losses. Loyalists who stayed in the U.S. retained their property. After Britain’s defeat in 1783,  Loyalists who remained in America and declared their loyalty to the new nation, as did over 75% of the Loyalists. From the Loyalist perspective in 1775, the Loyalists were the honorable ones who stood by the Crown and the British Empire. However once independence was declared in 1776 Loyalists who continued to support the Crown were treated by the Patriots as traitors who turned against their fellow citizens and collaborated with a foreign army. The departure of so many royal officials, rich merchants and landed gentry destroyed the hierarchical networks that had dominated most of the colonies. In New York, the departure of key members of the DeLancy, DePester Walton and Cruger families undercut the interlocking families that largely owned and controlled the Hudson Valley. Likewise in Pennsylvania, the departure of powerful families, Penn, Allen, Chew, and Shippen, destroyed the cohesion of the old upper class there. New men became rich merchants but they shared a spirit of republican equality that replaced the elitism and the Americans never recreated such a powerful upper class. One rich patriot in Boston noted in 1779 that “fellows who would have cleaned my shoes five years ago, have amassed fortunes and are riding in chariots.”

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Oct 6, 1776 Since the Battle of Harlem Heights on September 16, Howe concentrated on constructing a line across Manhattan from Bloomingdale to Hell Gate and Washington built three lines at Harlem Heights.

See General Washington’s Great Campaign of 1776

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Oct 6, 1777 As they proceed up the Hudson, British forces under General Clinton capture Forts Clinton and Montgomery. (see links for historical details)

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