Records of men who camped at Valley Forge, expose the myth of farmers throwing down their plows to fight for land they’d owned for generations.
Enlisted ranks were largely landless men in their teens or early twenties, unmarried and poor. The army offered steady wage, food, whiskey, and clothes, so patriotism was not often the driving factor of their enlistment. A study of 710 New Jersey Continentals showed almost all came from lower economic classes and only a small number had a profession at all.
In addition to being landless, most were not American-born. Before the revolution, over 300,000 Irish had immigrated to North America, and their bitterness of British oppression helped lead the drive for independence. In most New England Continental regiments, 10-20% of the men had Irish surnames, and in middle states that percentage was consistently higher. Units from Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware were usually around 45% Irish. In The First Pennsylvania, 315 of 660 men were Irish-born and another 215 listed “America” as their place of birth, likely second-generation immigrants.
After the Irish, German-born men held the second-largest percentage, making up somewhere from 10-20% of the rank-and-file soldiers at Valley Forge. They were the largest ethnic group in the United States at the time, mostly settled in New York and Pennsylvania.
Additionally, almost 10% of Washington’s army, camped at Valley Forge, was made up of African or African American soldiers. Many enlisted voluntarily, but it’s true that some were given as bounty for their masters to avoid enlistment. And, many served through to the end of the war, finding better treatment among enlisted ranks as ‘brother soldiers’.
info from: “No Meat, No Soldier: Race, Class and Ethnicity in the Continental Army” Charles P. Neimeyer
you were born on the west coast. black sand and thrashing waters, the kind of dangerous parents warn their children about. you could swim before you could walk, and you can feel the ocean in your bones, a soft ache that will never go away
you were born in canterbury. winter is nothing more than a warm embrace to you. your body convulses and shifts endlessly like the land below you, and your whole existence feels on edge. rise and fall
you were born in the wetlands. you know rebirth better than any, and yet you still feel trapped. you wake early every morning, and you know just how silent the farm can be. your life is an endless cycle of this knowing and yet you can never do anything but watch
you were born in te hiku-o-te-ika. the old gods still live inside of the earth, and you are surrounded by them. tane mahuta stands tall and so do you. breathe in, you exist at the top of aotearoa
you were born in the alpine mountains of otago. land of the red earth, isolated village, you are difficult to get to and difficult to understand. you are calmest when the wind is thin and the snow cold. poor child, you will never be able to comprehend your vastness
you were born in the cities. there is a disconnect in your identity, and no matter how many times you shift around, you will never feel at home until the hum of traffic has settled under your skin
you were born in the king country. war torn kid with too much blood on your knees, in your mouth, on your arms. there’s a rage inside of you that will never go away, but nor will the strength that comes from the bones of the kings in the soil below you
you were born in marlborough. the dry season has lasted several years, and you just want to know when everything will feel okay again. soon, i promise you
you were born on the volcanic plateau. you will never know where you belong, but that’s okay. nowhere will be able to contain you but the open vastness of the desert road. you are all too much, from lake taupo to mount ruapehu, you are unknowable
you were born in the bay of plenty. you have never known hunger, but you know suffering. you are the softest of children, raised on summer warmth and placid rivers that you know better than the back of your hand
you were born in heretaunga. you survived a place that wanted you dead. through the floods, the earthquakes, and the droughts, you still stand. you are so much stronger than you know
Isak mumble raps fresh prince while hanging out in the kitchen and Even, cooking, hears it and absentmindedly joins in at “In west Philadelphia born and raised”, Eskild walks in to get something from the fridge hears the cue and turns around to face Even and say “You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air”. The three of them rap the rest of the lyrics in sync and louder and louder until Linn pops her head in to the kitchen to scold all of them for making so much noise everyone beams at each other, shrugs and goes back to their own thing, Eskild leaves the kitchen with his drink, Even goes back to cooking and Isak goes back to texting as though nothing happened at all.
When people hear the fresh prince of bel air theme thne
Normal people :
awe, I loved this show, the song is brilliant
IN WEST PHILADELPHIA BORN AND RIASED, ON THE PLAYGROUND IS WHERE I SPENT MOST OF MY DAYS, JUST CHILLIN OUT MAXIN' RELAXIN' ALL COOL AND ALL SHOOTIN SOME B-BALL OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL WHEN A COUPLE OF GUYS WHO WERE UP TO NO GOOD, STARTED MAKIN' TROUBLE IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD. I GOT IN ONE LITTLE FIGHT AND MY MOM GOT SCARED SHE SAID 'YOU MOVIN WITH YOUR AUNTIE AND UNCLE IN BELL AIR