Patriotic Organizations to Commemorate
A Little-Known Event of the American Revolution . . . in Bermuda!
Members of the Sons of the American Revolution (S.A.R.), the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), and the Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) will travel to Bermuda this month to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot, an important but little-known event of the American Revolution. The delegation of more than 50 people includes members of the Williamsburg Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution. Other members in the delegation are from Alabama, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. National officers from all three organizations, including two past Presidents General of the S.A.R., the Historian General of the D.A.R. and the current National President of the C.A.R., will officiate at the dedication of three historical markers in separate ceremonies in Southampton Parish and the Town of St. George's, Bermuda.
The group will also attend a luncheon with The Honorable Michael Dunkley, MP, Premier of Bermuda, at his official residence, Camden. Acting U.S. Consul General Linda Rosalik will host a reception for the group on their first full day in Bermuda. His Excellency the Honorable George Fergusson, Governor of Bermuda, will also host a reception for the group at Government House, but the rumor is that he intends to present the descendants of the American rebels with a bill for the stolen gunpowder.
What was the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot? In the spring of 1775, as tensions with Great Britain rose, two Bermuda-born patriots - St. George Tucker and Thomas Tudor Tucker - separately informed leaders of the American cause that the lightly guarded magazine on Bermuda contained about 100 barrels of gunpowder (which was in short supply in the colonies). With that intelligence, Benjamin Franklin and others in Philadelphia were able to convince a few Bermudians to "appropriate" the gunpowder and have it loaded on American ships waiting off of Tobacco Bay. In exchange, the Bermudians received a partial exemption from the Continental Congress's trade embargo, which would allow Bermuda to continue receiving the American farm products on which islanders depended.
Some of the gunpowder went to Charleston, South Carolina, where it was used in the successful defense of Sullivan's Island in June 1776. This famous battle prevented the early occupation of Charleston, one of America's most important port cities at that time. Thanks in part to Bermuda's gunpowder, Charleston's port would remain open to shipments of weapons, gunpowder and other goods from American allies until 1780, thus altering the course of the war in favor of the Patriot cause.
The three scheduled ceremonies in Bermuda, all open to the public, are as follows:
August 14, 2015 (4:30 p.m.) - Ceremony dedicating a DAR-SAR-CAR historical marker honoring Thomas and St. George Tucker, Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton.
August 15, 2015 (4:45 p.m.) - The Mayor of St. George's, Ms. Quinell Francis, will greet the delegation. Following a re-enactment of a part of the Plot, the group will walk up the hill, past the Unfinished Church, and dedicate a DAR-SAR-CAR historical marker near the site of the Gunpowder Magazine.
August 15, 2015 (6:00 p.m.) - Re-enactment of the rolling of the gunpowder barrels to Tobacco Bay Beach. After the re-enactment, the group will dedicate an interpretive sign regarding the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot at Tobacco Bay.
These events are the culmination of a three-year program designed to bring attention to Bermuda's role in the American Revolution and deepen the long-standing friendship between Bermuda and the United States. The series began in March 2013 with a ceremony honoring St. George Tucker and Thomas Tudor Tucker at the Tucker House Museum in St. George's, Bermuda. The groups held ceremonies marking the graves of the two brothers in Nelson County, Virginia (November 2013), and Washington, D.C. (May 2014). In October 2014, the national presidents of all three organizations participated in a ceremony at the home of St. George Tucker in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. The three patriotic organizations also conducted a ceremony at Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, in April 2015 to commemorate the victory won in part with Bermuda's gunpowder. A final event is scheduled for October 2015 at Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, which was the site of the negotiations between Benjamin Franklin and the Bermuda delegation to the Continental Congress.
All of the events have been co-sponsored by the Somers Isles Chapter, D.A.R., located in Bermuda. Bermuda's Overseas Representative, Cheryl Packwood, has attended all of the events held during her tenure, and she will speak at one of the ceremonies in Bermuda.
The groups have also sold commemorative pins in order to help "pay Bermuda back" for the stolen gunpowder. Over $4,000 has been raised for Bermuda charities, and presentations of the proceeds from the fund-raising effort will be made during the visit to representatives of the Bermuda National Trust, the St. George's Foundation, the Friends of St. Peter's Church, the Family Centre, and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Bermuda.
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The Sons of the American Revolution (www.sar.org), the Daughters of the American Revolution (www.dar.org) , and the Children of the American Revolution (www.nscar.org) are patriotic, educational, non-profit, non-political service organizations dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving the history of the men and women who helped to establish the independence of the United States, and educating future generations about the history of the United States. Members have proven descent from a man or woman who fought for independence or otherwise supported the American cause during the Revolutionary War.
Info Posted by: Edward W.Truslow
1st Vice President
Virginia Society, SAR
This item was posted by a community contributor.