I first visited America in the July of 2004.

I went alone, flying from Heathrow airport to Boston’s Logan Airport, picked up the car I had rented at Alamo’s a bus ride away and found my way to the YMCA on Huntington Avenue, where I had already booked a room for three nights weeks earlier over the internet. I had hoped to get to bed early so as to avoid as much as possible the effects of jet lag (it was three o’clock in the morning according to my body clock), but I was hungry, and looked for somewhere to eat and have a beer and eventually found my way to the Irish pub just across the road.

The following morning, I awoke early (EST) and as I looked out of my bedroom window across the rooves towards Cambridge, the light had that quality which reminded me so much of the light in Italy, seen from a train window early in the morning, and it was not difficult to believe that Boston is on the same latitude as southern Portugal.

After a full breakfast, I walked all the way to the Common, explored Beacon Hill with its strangely familiar Federalist architecture not unlike the Regency architecture back home, walked the Freedom Trail, visiting Park Street Congregationalist Church, a beacon of orthodoxy at a time when many of Boston’s Congregationalist and Episcopalian churches were going over to the Unitarian and Universalist heresy, the Old South Meeting House, venue of seditious meetings in the run-up to the Revolution, the Old State House, and Faneuil Hall, known as the “cradle of liberty”, stopped in the Food Hall of Quincy Market to buy a hot dog and, thus fortified, walked on to Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church.

In the afternoon, I went on the harbor tour, stopping off at the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned ship afloat and visiting the museum, where I was buttonholed by a young researcher who told me the fascinating story of a young midshipman who sailed aboard the Constitution and who saw the Philadelphia burn in America’s first foreign adventure.

In the evenings I watched Boston Red Sox play on the telly in the Irish pub, the lights of Fenway Park visible from my room in the YMCA.

I spent three days in Boston, which, for me, new to this country, constituted the sum total of my first hand experience of America at that time and indeed was America.

It was one of those experiences that you knew you would look back on and treasure for the rest of your life and you were in the process of living it!

What stands out the most?

The opening paragraphs of the declaration of Independence in an original Dunlap Broadside under glass on a wall inside the Old State House and being moved by those ringing words in a way I had never been before, and which, for me, formed kind of epiphany?

The Freedom Trail?

The intriguing Italo-American accents of Boston’s North End?

The hot-dogs and pizza (the best I had ever eaten), washed down with root ale (another discovery), in the Food Hall of Quincy Market?

The harbor tour?

The Harpoon IPA? (And I always thought American beer was crap!)

The besuited “heavies” standing outside John Kerry’s residence in Louisburg Square?

Shakespeare on the Common?

The girl with cascading, curling golden tresses, who could have been anything from 14 to 24 who triumphantly held aloft a ball in the stalls above the Green Monster after a flurry to retrieve it after Kevin Youkilis had scored a home run?

The white sails of the yachts joyously plying to and fro on the Charles River?

Memories fade.

But words, once read and in the public domain, can always be retrieved. While on Boston Common, I read the following words of John Adams, America’s second president, displayed under Perspex on an information board:

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

Is the Revolution still alive in the hearts and minds of the people?

Judging by the way in which Americans have stood by and watched while the Constitution has been torn up at home and America has got involved in foreign wars abroad, stupified by “bread and circuses” in the same way that Roman citizens were during the dying days of the Roman Republic, one wonders.

Over the last few months, however, I have found a number of websites and blogsites, included in the blogroll right, which give me cause for hope.

It is my conviction and that of many others that Patriots today face their darkest hour since that winter which Washington and his fledgling army spent at Valley Forge, assailed this time not from enemies without, but from enemies within.

Speaking of the condition of his troops at that time, Washington said: “ . . . you might have tracked the army from White Marsh to Valley Forge by the blood of their feet.”

Today, American Patriots at home and Friends of the American Revolution in their respective countries abroad must again fight for the survival of the Republic. But it a struggle that is not fought with the butt ends of muskets (in the case of the Patriots), or bayonets (in the case of the British), or sabers, or cannon, or flintlock pistols, but with information.

The Revolution was supported by such friends as Lafayette and Rochambeau from France, von Steuben from Prussia, and Kosciuszko from Poland and, although we Brits were ostensibly at war with the Colonies, it had its Friends in this country, too.

The Duke of Richmond, a great grandson of Charles II, said in the House of Lords that under no code should the fighting Americans be considered traitors. What they did was “perfectly justifiable in every possible political and moral sense.”

All the world knows that Chatham and Burke and Fox urged the conciliation of America and hundreds took the same stand.

Burke said of General Conway, a man of position, that when he secured a majority in the House of Commons against the Stamp Act his face shone as the face of an angel.

Since the bishops almost to a man voted with the King, Conway attacked them as in this untrue to their high office.

Sir George Savile, whose benevolence, supported by great wealth, made him widely respected and loved, said that the Americans were right in appealing to arms.

Coke of Norfolk, a fellow farmer who corresponded with Washington, said: “…every night during the American War did I drink the health of General Washington as the greatest man on earth.” The war, he said, was the King’s war, ministers were his tools, the press was bought. Those who paid taxes, he said, should control those who governed. America was not getting fair play.

Both Coke and Fox, and no doubt many others, wore waistcoats of blue and buff because these were the colors of the uniforms of Washington’s army.”

And, despite the evil deeds done in America’s (and Britain’s) name in foreign lands, the Revolution still has its Friends in this country today.

I spent a total of fifteen days in America, visiting Boston, Cambridge, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Newport, Mystic, New Haven, New York (and yes, New Yorkers really do call it Noo Yoik!), Washington, the Watergate and Georgetown during a summer storm, the Skyline Drive, the house that Jefferson built at Monticello, Hooper’s Island on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake, and back to Washington to visit Pennsylvania Avenue, Congress, the National Gallery, and Georgetown again, returning from Washington’s Dulles Airport.

Oh, BTW, I found the tea in Boston a little salty!


12 Responses to “About”

  1. 1 Mark Metcalf January 31, 2008 at 4:15 pm


    Do you have any pictures of the bills Kennedy put into circulation with the red ink stamp, or do you know how many of which denominations were printed?

    Thank you for your help. I’m publishing a book that covers this subject to some extent.

    Thank you,

    Mark Metcalf
    503 359-5954
    888 505-6005

  2. 2 susan aldridge March 25, 2008 at 10:01 am

    So glad to have found your site this morning. I too have often thought about the American Revolution in the past weeks and how we have to imagine we are back then…that we must throw off the potential tyranny. That we are the REAL patriots who love our Constitution and our civil rights. We have 6 known Revolutionary Patriots in out family and if their descendants echo their far off thoughts, come down to us over generations, and I listen to the men in my family, I hear their distant voices and hear their disgust for Cheney and his White House. I also hear the distant voice of Andrew Jackson….
    Susan Aldridge

  3. 3 CJ Fuller May 14, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Oh, yes, yes, yes! Thank you so much for publishing this. There are so many who still believe in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but we feel it slipping away. Those ideals of 200+ years ago have faded in the national conscience, but they’re not gone. Sites like this help so much. Thank you for making this current, not just a retrospective.

  4. 4 matt June 6, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Hey I’m the webmaster from JaaJoe.com. We are currently looking for blogs or bloggers interested in trading posts, writing for our blog, or allowing us to syndicate there content or even just trading links. I have spent some time reviewing your blog and think your content would fit in to our blog. Profit sharing will be made avalible to you. If your are interested please contact me back. If you are not please disregard this email and accept or apologies for bothering you.

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  5. 5 Linda Burton September 17, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this wonderful website!

    Thank you for all your research. I know how much work it required just to do the research and also how much work it then took to put it on the Internet.

    I am going to tell as many people as I can about your website.

    May God bless you.

    Linda Burton

  6. 6 Michael Tim February 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I love your site!

    Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

  7. 7 estonijaan April 28, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Nice website.

    But there is a great mystery. WHO ARE YOU? Not even under “About”.

    The only thing I could find is your first name – Anthony.

    Please tell us something about yourself.

  8. 8 bankalchemist February 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    from across the pond, with the sale of the NYSE perhaps you should revisit The Buttonwood Agreement.

  9. 9 Australian Democratic Republican December 29, 2014 at 2:55 am

    I just discovered you. Big fan of your work. Keep it up!

  10. 10 Timothy O'Brien June 1, 2017 at 6:18 am

    You seemed to have left this blog behind as a kind of memento…an electronic message that you were here. I’m so curious about why you abandoned it and what happened to you. You left no path by which to locate you. The blog was an immense amount of work and very well-crafted. Still, you left it behind a long time ago. Perhaps you died.

    Well, it’s a brilliant legacy.

    • 11 anthony June 1, 2017 at 7:54 am

      Thank you for your comment, Timothy. The purpose of the blog was to celebrate my personal visit to the US in 2004 and to highlight the support of British (and French and German) citizens for the American revolutionaries of 1776 and I feel there is little to add to it today. I do sometimes wonder, however, in the light of George W. Bush’s presidency, whether it’s time the constitution was re-hauled and the USA would be better off with the kind of parliamentary democracy we have here in the UK or with a looser confederation of the kind the USA had between thee articles of confederation of 1776 and the ratification of the constitution of 1787.

  1. 1 Pages « Friends of the American Revolution Trackback on October 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm

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Adams in Patriotic Mode

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” John Adams

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