Followers

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Patriot Project


What?  No Patriot Spy? Not this week.  Seriously, I decided to use this blog to give a shout out to the Loudoun County Virginia's Patriot Project. Loudoun County  is a pivotal county in the 2012 presidential election.  Many pundits say that as Loudoun County goes, so goes Virginia.  And as Virginia goes, so goes the presidential election.

John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun
But more importantly, during the American War for Independence, Loudoun County provided over 1,700 Continentals for George Washington's army.  That's the most provided by any county in the Old Dominion. Originally part of Lord Fairfax's large landholding in northern Virginia, Loudoun County became a separate jurisdiction in 1757 when the Virginia House of Burgesses divided Fairfax County.  The western portion they named after John Campbell, the Fourth Earl of Loudoun. Loudoun served with no distinction as commander in chief of all British and colonial forces in the French and Indian War. During his tenure, the French and Indians reached their apogee of success. British efforts stalled and the Indian tribes terrorized the frontier from present day Pittsburgh south to the Carolinas.  Lord Loudoun held colonials in disregard - even in contempt.  But to cap it off, Lord Loudoun ignored Washington's request for a "regular" British Army commission.

Col. George Washington in the
French and Indian War
This seemingly small act was catastrophic for the British Empire and the monumental for the history  of the world.  Why?  Because this affront to Washington marked the beginning of his questioning whether the American colonies would ever receive fair treatment from the mother land.  You can argue that his long journey from staunch Royalist to leading advocate for an independent America began with that act. The bombastic and ineffectual Loudoun was eventually recalled an replaced by commanders who were more professional and more successful.  Britain wrested New France from the French.

In colonial times, Loudoun County was the gateway to the west.  It received many settlers from eastern Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Among them came Germans, Irish, and Scots-Irish.  English settlers also moved west from the coastal areas to establish tobacco farms, but in the main, it was a county of yeoman farmers, not rich plantations. And it was certainly that yeoman farmer tradition and culture that made Loudoun a key contributor to the war effort.

Back to The Patriot Project.  The purpose of the project is to raise funds to erect a bronze statue depicting a family of participants in the Revolutionary War.  The monument will also have bronze plaques on it base narrating the story of Loudoun in the revolution. The monument will stand in the courthouse complex in downtown Leesburg, Virginia, where there are monuments to the fallen of Loudoun County in all the wars from the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan.  The project is obviously seeking contributors.  Their plan is aimed at residents of the county but since this county, this year, seems to represent the entire nation, contributions from across the country seem in order.

Graphic

The Patriot Monument

You can learn more at:  www.thepatriotproject.org  or email them at thepatriotproject@verizon.net
















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