TEMECULA – America is four years away from its 250th birthday of independence. The events of the country’s history have been the building blocks of America’s history, and many men and women have contributed. The U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 247th birthday Thursday, Nov. 10, with 247 years of protecting the country in the air, on land and sea. Many Americans Friday, Nov. 11, honored courageous men and women veterans who served in the United States military.
In an America250 blog, the author gave a quick history of Veterans Day, which was originally known as Armistice Day. Then President Woodrow Wilson issued a message Nov. 11, 1919, on the first Armistice Day, in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans: ‘To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
Almost 20 years later, in 1938, an act was passed to make Nov. 11 each year a legal holiday, and beginning in 1954, the United States designated Nov. 11 as Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars.
The Woodrow Wilson message was expressed for those serving in World War I, yet the sentiment can be showered on those who fought in other American conflicts – pride, heroism, gratitude, peace, justice and freedom.
From another era, another conflict, one Veteran and Revolutionary War patriot who suffered loss as well as giving service was George Brewer. Born in 1744 in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, he took the oath of allegiance to the revolutionary government in St. Mary’s in 1778.
Brewer fathered seven children during his marriage to Mary Herbert. When the fighting began, his children were aged one-year-old to nine-years-old. George’s family was deeply affected during the Revolutionary War because the British plundered their plantation in St. Mary’s County.
Their losses have been enumerated on documents at the Hall of Records in Annapolis, Maryland, and a partial list of the British-taken items include hogs, sheep, geese, turkeys, one gold ring, 90 pounds of wool, 60 fathoms of rope, 4,500 pounds of tobacco, two desks, a Dutch oven, one set of cooper tools and one set of shoe maker tools. The British did not stop at looting, though. They burned five of Brewer’s houses, eight of his tobacco houses and all of his crops.
Although many early Americans were compensated for the loss of property which was seized by the British and their supporters, there is no record that George Brewer received any payment.
After the war and devastation, many Maryland residents left the colony in search of cheaper land. Brewer resettled his family in Nelson County, Kentucky.
Brewer was certainly an American patriot who sacrificed his lifetime of hard work and the resultant fortune as well as being a soldier in the fight for independence.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution recognize George Brewer for his military service and loss of possessions to the British. Luiseño Chapter’s America250 Committee will honor another Patriot with the publication of his/her story in January.
For upcoming America250 events, check out the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/America250, and for more information about Luiseño Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, visit their public Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/147841801972969.
Luiseño Chapter has 104 members living in Riverside and San Diego counties.
Submitted by the Luiseño Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.