the french are surrendering

Since US history is all the rage now, I thought I’d share some of my favorite stories about the founding fathers.

-John Adams and Thomas Jefferson once visited the home of Shakespeare together… and both broke off pieces of one of the writer’s chairs so that they could take home souvenirs.

-When he was given an official surrender document during the French-Indian War, George Washington blindly signed the thing because he didn’t want to admit he couldn’t read French. In doing so, he basically solely accepted the blame of multiple war crimes. Somehow he wormed his way out of this… one of his methods was to blame his translator.

-Ben Franklin was forbidden from writing the Declaration of Independence because the founding fathers thought he would try to slip in puns and jokes.

-John Hancock was a convicted smuggler. Charges were dropped against him after he hired John Adams for a lawyer.

-Aaron Burr was a firm believer in the intellectual equality of men and women and lobbied for women’s suffrage.

-John Adams named his dog Satan.

-James Madison was our smallest president, at 5'4" and roughly 100 pounds.

-When he was 26, Washington bribed voters into electing him into office with alcohol… he gave certain voters about a half gallon for choosing him.

-Ben Franklin once wrote an essay urging scientists to “improve the odor of flatulence.”

-Jefferson warned Lewis & Clark to beware of giant sloths during their expedition.

-Adams and Jefferson were the original bros; after a lifetime of friendship, bitterness, and more friendship, they died hours apart on the same day- July 4th. Adams’ last words were, “Jefferson survives.” Well, not quite.

-Washington crossed enemy lines during the Battle of Germantown to return a lost dog to General Howe.

-The Star Spangled Banner was based off of a rowdy English drinking song.

-Alexander Hamilton’s descendants heavily edited and even hid some of his letters to his totally hetero bro, John Laurens, claiming “the content was embarrassing and indecent.”

-Ben Franklin opted for the turkey to be the U.S. national bird, claiming that bald eagles were cold and volatile.

-A few days before signing the Declaration, the Constitutional Convention got LIT. It’s rumored that the founding fathers drank 54 bottles of Madeira, 7 bottles of Claret, 7 bowls of spiked punch, 22 bottles of porter, 8 bottles of whiskey and 8 bottles of hard cider in this one night.

“Beauty In Surrender” - Digital Oil Painting

Suggested by Patreon subscriber @clkit, a scene from the fanfic of the same name by Sapsorrow86 - where Belle looks like a fairy queen and Rumple kneels at her feet. This is my interpretation of the scene. ^_^ I hope you like it!

If you enjoy my art, please consider subscribing to my Patreon! I am saving to buy a wheelchair.

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The raft of the Medusa - Theodore Gericault, 1818-9

The story behind this painting is particulary interesting.

The French ship Medusa it ran aground on a sandbank off the West African coast, near today’s Mauritania, mostly because of the captain’s incompetence. After the failed attempts to free the ship, 250 men went abord the boats and for the rest 146 men there was hastedly made raft, which partfully submerged. The boats were supposed to tow the raft but after a few miles, the ropes were cut on the boats’ side and the raft was left on its own. With scarce provisions, the men on the raft began to fight and perform acts of cannibalism. After 13 days there were only 15 men left on the raft when the British ship Argus saved them purely by chance. This story errupted in a national scandal back in France, mostly because the ship’s  mission was to accept the surrender of Senegal from British to French rule following the peace of Paris. Also the ship’s captain was appointed by his connection in the Ministry of the Navy.

Gericault’s painitng represents the moment when the sirvivors have seen the ship.

The artist made great preparations for the creation of this work. He met the carpenter of the ship who chose to stay on the raft, Savigny, and asked him to make a small model of the raft (image 2). Gericault talked to survivors, went to a hospital to observe corpses in the morgue. Gericault spent eight months in isolation to create the painting, visited only by several close friends. 

The composition (image 3) consists of the two pyramids and a dot, marking the British ship. Usually, the European eye goes from right to left and downards to upwards. If you follow that pattern, you will see the dispair at the beginning (the father and his dead son), go through the emotion at the middle and end by the hope ( those waving the flag). Shadows and light play major role in this work, the influence of Karavaggio can be felt.

From the beginning Gericaultwas hesitant which moment of the story to represent. He initially thought about the moment when the ropes were cut, then he moved to the acts of cannibalism (image 3) and finally decided to picture the oversight of the rescue ship.

The painting was received with much criticism in France as the 1819 Salon of Paris tried to show the progress and prosperity of Bourbon France after the Restoration. However, the painting made a quite successful tour in England in 1820. 

Le French Fighter

Okay, so our whole party was stranded on a deserted island chain (I’m still mad at the DM for doing this), and has pretty much scattered across one specific island as we all try to figure out the world around us. One morning, the Fighter wakes up with a chicken on his chest.

DM: The chicken makes gets in your face and makes this sound, how do you respond?

Me (OOC): I think the chicken is challenging him for dominance.

*Everyone else starts laughing but the fighter*

Fighter (Not paying attention): Huh? What happened?

DM: The chicken challenged you for dominance, how do you respond?

Fighter: I look at it and say “thank you”?

Ranger OOC: You just surrendered harder than the French!

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I’m pretty sure French people didn’t invent all this shit because they like to surrender.

  • spitzer bullets, smokeless powder
  • integrated paper cartridges (+Switzerland)
  • Minié balls (+England)
  • metallic cartridges (pinfire and rimfire)
  • putting shotguns in revolvers
  • flintlock
  • modern tank layout, light tanks
  • slopped cast armor
  • bayonets
  • style
Last of the Mohicans - Massacre at Fort William Henry Mythbust

It’s pretty astonishing that I’ve never done a mythbust for the famous ambush/massacre scene from the blockbuster Last of the Mohicans. Well, there’s no time like the present.

For the uninitiated, the scene in question supposedly depicts the aftermath of the British surrender of Fort William Henry to the French and their Native American Allies, near Lake George, New York, during the Seven Years War. In the scene the Natives assault the British column en-mass, slaughter just about everyone, and butcher the British commander, Munro. Here are a few of the salient differences between the admittedly well-shot and visually pretty film version, and what actually happened. 

  • There was no coherent ambush or massacre. The killings weren’t part of a single, planned attack by the Natives (who themselves consisted of a huge number of independent tribes). Instead, opportunistic war parties trailed and harassed the column, which was itself spread out over wooded terrain. People were abused, assaulted, and things escalated until soldiers and civilians were being dragged away into captivity. Shots were fired, and killing started, but it occurred in flared patches up and down the column, not as an en-mass attack. The column did eventually disintegrate in its entirety, but not in the spectacular fashion shown on screen. 
  • There wasn’t a French conspiracy to condone the attack, and the French commander risked his life to save British soldiers. Although having said that, the majority of French troops refused to assist even when the column begged them for help in warding off the attentions of their allies. 
  • The number of killed was comparatively small. Modern estimates place it as low as sixty, and no higher than two hundred. The column numbered over 1,500 persons, the vast majority of whom escaped, albeit mostly without possessions, and some without the shirts on their backs.
  • The British commander wasn’t killed in the attack. Although he did die of natural causes not long after, possibly in part due to the stress of the incident. He also didn’t have any daughters that we know of.
  • The troops that took the brunt of the killings weren’t British per-se, but blue-coated British colonial soldiers and civilians from New Hampshire, who happened to make up the rear of the column. 

And a closing “fun” fact. The Natives dug up the corpse of Robert Rogers’ brother, interred at William Henry, and desecrated it. This may have partly been the cause for Rogers’ later famous raid on Saint Francis. The Natives also contracted diseases from the corpse, which they unwittingly took back to their homes in Canada, resulting in thousands of deaths. 

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Unlocking the Frontier by Don Troiani, including details. It shows the French surrender of Detroit in 1760. In the centre the French commanders, preceded by two British colonial rangers, salute the British officers, included Robert Rogers who stands with arms folded. Native Americans allied with the British look on with interest as two regulars stand guard either side of the gateway.

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The Black Watch at Fort Ticonderoga, 1758. 

During the French and Indian aspect of the Seven Years War the British attempted to seize the French-held Fort Carillon, also known as Fort Ticonderoga. The assault on July 8th was a complete failure. The only British Regiment to come close to capturing the fort’s outer works were the highlanders of the 42nd Foot, the Black Watch. They advanced through a storm of fire, hacked through the stakes and branches shielding the walls with their broadswords and proceeded to scale the works and engage the defenders hand-to-hand. Unfortunately the handful of survivors who made it to the walls were not enough and a French counter-attack all but wiped them out after they refused to surrender. The Regiment suffered almost 50% casualties during the assault. It was said that as the butchery played out a ghostly vision of the battle was seen unfolding in the sky in Scotland.  

The British returned and captured the fort the following year. For their valour the Black Watch were given the title of Royal Regiment, permitting them to change their yellow facings to blue and bear the battle honour on their colours.