Not found in history books…

April 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It is often the commentary on events in history, as found only in newspapers of the day, which provide a window onto the events not to be found in history books. Such is joy of browsing through old newspapers.

Blog-4-25-2014-CornwallisA great example is an eye-witness account of the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown as told in the November 13, 1781 issue of the “Pennsylvania Packet” of Philadelphia. found very inconspicuously on page 3 is: “Permit me to congratulate you on the success of the allied arms, the fall of the boast of Britain! the flower of its army…The allied army was drawn up in two straight lines, facing each other, leaving a space for the British column to pass. The commander in chief with his suite on the right of the American line; the count de Rochambeau opposite, on the left of the French. Lord Cornwallis pleading indisposition, the British were led by general O’Hara, conducted by general Lincoln, their colours cased, and they not allowed to beat a French or American march. The British officers in general behaved like boys who had been whipped at school; some bit their lips, some pouted, others cried…”. Only in a newspaper would this commentary be found. What a wonderful hobby!