A great group shot out front of Todd & Diana Penney’s business Dalex Auto Services. We really appreciate their hospitality! Todd is seen to the far left.
1703 – Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers.
Daniel Defoe (/ˌdænjəl dᵻˈfoʊ/; c. 1660 – 24 April 1731), born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe; only the Bible has been printed in more languages. Defoe is noted for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson, and is among the founders of the English novel. He was a prolific and versatile writer, producing more than three hundred works – books, pamphlets, and journals – on diverse topics, including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology, and the supernatural. He was also a pioneer of economic journalism.
Daniel Foe (his original name) was probably born in Fore Street in the parish of St. Giles Cripplegate, London. Defoe later added the aristocratic-sounding “De” to his name, and on occasion claimed descent from the family of De Beau Faux. His birthdate and birthplace are uncertain, and sources offer dates from 1659 to 1662, with 1660 considered[by whom?] the most likely. His father James Foe was a prosperous tallow chandler and a member of the Worshipful Company of Butchers. In Defoe’s early life, he experienced some of the most unusual occurrences in English history: in 1665, 70,000 were killed by the Great Plague of London, and next year, the Great Fire of London left standing only Defoe’s and two other houses in his neighbourhood. In 1667, when he was probably about seven, a Dutch fleet sailed up the Medway via the River Thames and attacked the town of Chatham in the raid on the Medway. His mother Annie had died by the time he was about ten.
Defoe was educated at the Rev. James Fisher’s boarding school in Pixham Lane in Dorking, Surrey. His parents were Presbyterian dissenters, and around the age of 14 he attended a dissenting academy at Newington Green in London run by Charles Morton, and he is believed to have attended the Newington Green Unitarian Church. During this period, the English government persecuted those who chose to worship outside the Church of England.
Defoe entered the world of business as a general merchant, dealing at different times in hosiery, general woollen goods, and wine. His ambitions were great and he was able to buy a country estate and a ship (as well as civets to make perfume), though he was rarely out of debt. He was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1692. In 1684, Defoe married Mary Tuffley, the daughter of a London merchant, receiving a dowry of £3,700 – a huge amount by the standards of the day. With his debts and political difficulties, the marriage may have been troubled, but it lasted 50 years and produced eight children.
In 1685, Defoe joined the ill-fated Monmouth Rebellion but gained a pardon, by which he escaped the Bloody Assizes of Judge George Jeffreys. Queen Mary and her husband William III were jointly crowned in 1688, and Defoe became one of William’s close allies and a secret agent. Some of the new policies led to conflict with France, thus damaging prosperous trade relationships for Defoe, who had established himself as a merchant. In 1692, Defoe was arrested for debts of £700 (and his civets were seized), though his total debts may have amounted to £17,000. His laments were loud and he always defended unfortunate debtors, but there is evidence that his financial dealings were not always honest. He died with little wealth and evidence of lawsuits with the royal treasury.
Following his release, he probably travelled in Europe and Scotland, and it may have been at this time that he traded wine to Cadiz, Porto, and Lisbon. By 1695, he was back in England, now formally using the name “Defoe” and serving as a “commissioner of the glass duty”, responsible for collecting taxes on bottles. In 1696, he ran a tile and brick factory in what is now Tilbury in Essex and lived in the parish of Chadwell St Mary.
Pamphleteering and prison
Defoe’s first notable publication was An essay upon projects, a series of proposals for social and economic improvement, published in 1697. From 1697 to 1698, he defended the right of King William III to a standing army during disarmament, after the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) had ended the Nine Years’ War (1688–97). His most successful poem, The True-Born Englishman (1701), defended the king against the perceived xenophobia of his enemies, satirising the English claim to racial purity. In 1701, Defoe presented the Legion’s Memorial to the Speaker of the House of Commons, later his employer Robert Harley, flanked by a guard of sixteen gentlemen of quality. It demanded the release of the Kentish petitioners, who had asked Parliament to support the king in an imminent war against France.
The death of William III in 1702 once again created a political upheaval, as the king was replaced by Queen Anne who immediately began her offensive against Nonconformists. Defoe was a natural target, and his pamphleteering and political activities resulted in his arrest and placement in a pillory on 31 July 1703, principally on account of his December 1702 pamphlet entitled The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters; Or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church, purporting to argue for their extermination. In it, he ruthlessly satirised both the High church Tories and those Dissenters who hypocritically practised so-called “occasional conformity”, such as his Stoke Newington neighbour Sir Thomas Abney. It was published anonymously, but the true authorship was quickly discovered and Defoe was arrested. He was charged with seditious libel. Defoe was found guilty after a trial at the Old Bailey in front of the notoriously sadistic judge Salathiel Lovell. Lovell sentenced him to a punitive fine, to public humiliation in a pillory, and to an indeterminate length of imprisonment which would only end upon the discharge of the punitive fine. According to legend, the publication of his poem Hymn to the Pillory caused his audience at the pillory to throw flowers instead of the customary harmful and noxious objects and to drink to his health. The truth of this story is questioned by most scholars, although John Robert Moore later said that “no man in England but Defoe ever stood in the pillory and later rose to eminence among his fellow men”.
“Wherever God erects a house of prayer
the Devil always builds a chapel there;
And ‘t will be found, upon examination,
the latter has the largest congregation.”
– Defoe’s The True-Born Englishman, 1701
After his three days in the pillory, Defoe went into Newgate Prison. Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, brokered his release in exchange for Defoe’s co-operation as an intelligence agent for the Tories. In exchange for such co-operation with the rival political side, Harley paid some of Defoe’s outstanding debts, improving his financial situation considerably. Within a week of his release from prison, Defoe witnessed the Great Storm of 1703, which raged through the night of 26/27 November. It caused severe damage to London and Bristol, uprooted millions of trees, and killed more than 8,000 people, mostly at sea. The event became the subject of Defoe’s The Storm (1704), which includes a collection of witness accounts of the tempest. Many regard it as one of the world’s first examples of modern journalism. In the same year, he set up his periodical A Review of the Affairs of France which supported the Harley Ministry, chronicling the events of the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1714). The Review ran three times a week without interruption until 1713. Defoe was amazed that a man as gifted as Harley left vital state papers lying in the open, and warned that he was almost inviting an unscrupulous clerk to commit treason; his warnings were fully justified by the William Gregg affair. When Harley was ousted from the ministry in 1708, Defoe continued writing the Review to support Godolphin, then again to support Harley and the Tories in the Tory ministry of 1710–1714. The Tories fell from power with the death of Queen Anne, but Defoe continued doing intelligence work for the Whig government, writing “Tory” pamphlets that undermined the Tory point of view.
Not all of Defoe’s pamphlet writing was political. One pamphlet was originally published anonymously, entitled “A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal the Next Day after her Death to One Mrs. Bargrave at Canterbury the 8th of September, 1705.” It deals with interaction between the spiritual realm and the physical realm and was most likely written in support of Charles Drelincourt’s The Christian Defense against the Fears of Death (1651). It describes Mrs. Bargrave’s encounter with her old friend Mrs. Veal after she had died. It is clear from this piece and other writings that the political portion of Defoe’s life was by no means his only focus.
1904 – Brett Halliday, American engineer, surveyor, and author (d. 1977)
Brett Halliday (July 31, 1904 – February 4, 1977), primary pen name of Davis Dresser, was an American mystery writer, best known for the long-lived series of Michael Shayne novels he wrote, and later commissioned others to write. Dresser wrote non-series mysteries, westerns and romances under the names Asa Baker, Matthew Blood, Kathryn Culver, Don Davis, Hal Debrett, Anthony Scott, Peter Field, and Anderson Wayne.
Dresser was born in Chicago, Illinois, but mostly grew up in West Texas. Here he lost an eye to barbed wire as a boy, and thus had to wear an eye patch for the rest of his life.
At the age of 14, he ran away from home and enlisted in the U.S. 5th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas, followed by a year of Border Patrol duty on the Rio Grande. After his service, he returned to Texas to finish high school. In search of adventure, Dresser traveled throughout the Southwest working at various odd jobs, including that of muleskinner, farm hand, deckhand on a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico, laborer in the California oilfields, etc. Eventually, he went to Tri-State College of Engineering, where he received a certificate in civil engineering. Back in Texas, he worked as an engineer and surveyor for several years before turning to writing in 1927.
After his first marriage (to Kathleen Rollins, who had two daughters from a previous marriage), Dresser was married to mystery writer Helen McCloy from 1946 to 1961; they had a daughter named Chloe. As partners, they formed a literary agency called Halliday and McCloy. Dresser also established Torquil Publishing Company, which published his books as well as those of other authors, from 1953 to 1965. In 1961, he married Mary Savage, also a writer; their son, Halliday, was born in 1965.
The first Shayne novel was rejected by 21 publishers before being accepted by Henry Holt & Co. in 1939. The Shayne series went on to be highly successful, reprinted in many editions and translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Japanese and Hebrew.
A radio series based on the Shayne character was heard during the 1940s. Twelve motion pictures were made, seven of them featuring Lloyd Nolan as Shayne. Five of the Nolan films, which were produced by 20th Century Fox, have been released on DVD: Michael Shayne, Private Detective; Sleepers West; Dressed to Kill; Blue, White and Perfect and The Man Who Wouldn’t Die. After the Fox series ended, five more Shayne films were made by PRC which featured Hugh Beaumont as the detective. There was also a TV series in 1960, starring Richard Denning, as well as a pulp fiction magazine that began as Michael Shayne Mystery Magazine and ran for nearly 30 years. The 2005 film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is based partly on Halliday’s novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them. The 2016 film The Nice Guys gave an acknowledgement to the works of Brett Holliday.
In 1958, Dresser ceased penning the novels published under the name “Brett Halliday”, and Dell Publishers arranged for ghostwriters, among them Bill Pronzini and Robert Terrell.
Dresser was a founding member of the Mystery Writers of America, and in 1954 he and McCloy were given Edgar Awards for their critical writings on the genre.
He lived in Santa Barbara, California, until his death at the age of 72.
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Age difference at this point in their lives raise any flags?
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One bullet. I realize he claims he just looked at pictures, but he is still a part of the crime. Suicides and destroyed lives of the victims should also be taken into account.
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Courtesy of Gretchin Rubin: The Happiness Project
“He knew that under the tall grass of an apparently untamed future the steel rails of fear and habit were already laid. What he suddenly couldn’t bear, with every cell in his body, was to act out the destiny prepared for him by his past, and slide obediently along those rails, contemplating bitterly all the routes he would rather have taken.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Some Hope
“If in this world there is one misery having no relief, it is the pressure on the heart from the Incommunicable.”
Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater
“There are children who will leave a game to go and be bored in a corner of the garret. How often have I wished for the attic of my boredom when the complications of life made me lose the very germ of freedom!”
Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
“Then he rustled his feathers, curved his slender neck, and cried joyfully, from the depths of his heart, ‘I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.”
Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling
“Do not hunt for subjects, let them choose you, not you them. Only do that which insists on being done and runs right up against you, hitting you in the eye until you do it.”
“Sometimes something can look beautiful just because it’s different in some way from the other things around it. One red petunia in a window box will look very beautiful if all the rest of them are white, and vice-versa.
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again
“The comfort of it in her hours of leisure was extreme. She could go there after anything unpleasant below, and find immediate consolation in some pursuit, or some train of thought at hand. Her plants, her books…her writing desk, and her works of charity and ingenuity, were all within her reach…she could scarcely see an object in that room which had not an interesting remembrance connected with it.”
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
“Where it is in our power to act, it is also in our power to not act.”
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
“What we want out of a vacation changes as we age. It changes from vacation to vacation. There was a time when it was all about culture for me. My idea of a real break was to stay in museums until my legs ached and then go stand in line to get tickets for an opera or a play. Later I became a disciple of relaxation and looked for words like beach and massage when making my plans. I found those little paper umbrellas that balanced on the side of rum drinks to be deeply charming then. Now I strive for transcendent invisibility and the chance to accomplish the things I can’t get done at home. But as I pack up my room at the Hotel Bel-Air, I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.”
Ann Patchett, “Do Not Disturb,” in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
1676 – Nathaniel Bacon issues the “Declaration of the People of Virginia”, beginning Bacon’s Rebellion against the rule of Governor William Berkeley.
Bacon’s Rebellion was an armed rebellion in 1676 by Virginia settlers led by Nathaniel Bacon against the rule of Governor William Berkeley. The colony’s dismissive policy as it related to the political challenges of its western frontier, along with other challenges including leaving Bacon out of his inner circle, refusing to allow Bacon to be a part of his fur trade with the Indians, and Doeg Indian attacks, helped to motivate a popular uprising against Berkeley, who had failed to address the demands of the colonists regarding their safety.
A thousand Virginians of all classes and races rose up in arms against Berkeley, attacking Indians, chasing Berkeley from Jamestown, Virginia, and ultimately torching the capital. The rebellion was first suppressed by a few armed merchant ships from London whose captains sided with Berkeley and the loyalists. Government forces from England arrived soon after and spent several years defeating pockets of resistance and reforming the colonial government to be once more under direct royal control.
It was the first rebellion in the American colonies in which discontented frontiersmen took part. A similar uprising in Maryland took place later that year. The alliance between indentured servants and Africans (most enslaved until death or freed), united by their bond-servitude, disturbed the ruling class, who responded by hardening the racial caste of slavery in an attempt to divide the two races from subsequent united uprisings with the passage of the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705. While the farmers did not succeed in their initial goal of driving the Indians from Virginia, the rebellion did result in Berkeley being recalled to England.
The immediate cause of the rebellion was Governor William Berkeley’s refusal to retaliate for a series of Indian attacks on frontier settlements. In addition, many colonists wished to push westward to claim Indian frontier land, but they were denied permission by Gov. Berkeley.
Modern historians have suggested it may have been a power play by Bacon against Berkeley and his favoritism towards certain members of court. Bacon’s financial backers included men of wealth from outside Berkeley’s circle of influence.
Historian Peter Thompson argues that Bacon’s motivation was a personal vendetta between him and Berkeley. However, Bacon’s followers used the rebellion as an effort to gain government recognition of the shared interests among all social classes of the colony in protecting the “commonalty” and advancing its welfare.
When Sir William Berkeley refused to retaliate against the Indians, farmers gathered around at the report of a new raiding party. Nathaniel Bacon arrived with a quantity of brandy; after it was distributed, he was elected leader. Against Berkeley’s orders, the group struck south until they came to the Occaneechi tribe. After getting the Occaneechi to attack the Susquehannock, Bacon and his men followed by killing most of the men, women, and children at the village. Upon their return, they discovered that Berkeley had called for new elections to the Burgesses in order to better facilitate the Indian problem.
The recomposed House of Burgesses enacted a number of sweeping reforms (known as Bacon’s Laws). (Bacon was not serving his duty in the House; rather, he was at his plantation miles away.) It limited the powers of the governor and restored suffrage rights to landless freemen.
After passage of these laws, Bacon arrived with 500 followers in Jamestown to demand a commission to lead militia against the Indians. The governor, however, refused to yield to the pressure. When Bacon had his men take aim at Berkeley, he responded by “baring his breast” to Bacon and told Bacon to shoot him. Seeing that the Governor would not be moved, Bacon then had his men take aim at the assembled burgesses, who quickly granted Bacon his commission. Bacon had earlier been promised a commission before he retired to his estate if he could only be on “good” behavior for two weeks. While Bacon was at Jamestown with his small army, eight colonists were killed on the frontier in Henrico County (from where he marched) due to a lack of manpower on the frontier.
On July 30, 1676, Bacon and his army issued the “Declaration of the People of Virginia”. The declaration criticized Berkeley’s administration in detail. It leveled several accusations against Berkeley:
that “upon spacious pretense of public works [he] raised great unjust taxes upon the commonality”;
advancing favorites to high public offices;
monopolizing the beaver trade with the Indians;
After months of conflict, Bacon’s forces, numbering 300-500 men, moved to Jamestown. They burned the colonial capital to the ground on September 19, 1676. Outnumbered, Berkeley retreated across the river.
Before an English naval squadron could arrive to aid Berkeley and his forces, Bacon died from dysentery on October 26, 1676. John Ingram took over leadership of the rebellion, but many followers drifted away. The rebellion did not last long after that. Berkeley launched a series of successful amphibious attacks across the Chesapeake Bay and defeated the rebels. His forces defeated the small pockets of insurgents spread across the Tidewater. Thomas Grantham, a captain of a ship cruising the York River, used cunning and force to disarm the rebels. He tricked his way into the garrison of the rebellion, and promised to pardon everyone involved once they got back onto the ship. However, once they were safely ensconced in the hold, he trained the ship’s guns on them, and disarmed the rebellion. Through various other tactics, the other rebel garrisons were likewise overcome.
The 71-year-old governor Berkeley returned to the burned capital and a looted home at the end of January 1677. His wife described Green Spring in a letter to her cousin:
“It looked like one of those the boys pull down at Shrovetide, and was almost as much to repair as if it had been new to build, and no sign that ever there had been a fence around it…”
Bacon’s wealthy landowning followers returned their loyalty to the Virginia Government after Bacon’s death. Governor Berkeley returned to power. He seized the property of several rebels for the colony and executed 23 men by hanging, including the former governor of the Albemarle Sound colony, William Drummond.
After an investigative committee returned its report to King Charles II, Berkeley was relieved of the governorship, and recalled to England. “The fear of civil war among whites frightened Virginia’s ruling elite, who took steps to consolidate power and improve their image: for example, restoration of property qualifications for voting, reducing taxes and adoption of a more aggressive Indian policy.” Charles II was reported to have commented, “That old fool has put to death more people in that naked country than I did here for the murder of my father.” No record of the king’s comments have been found; the origin of the story appears to have been colonial myth that arose at least 30 years after the events.
Indentured servants both black and white joined the frontier rebellion. Seeing them united in a cause alarmed the ruling class. Historians believe the rebellion hastened the hardening of racial lines associated with slavery, as a way for planters and the colony to control some of the poor.
Historiographers question whether the rebellion by Bacon against Berkeley in 1676 had any lasting contemporary significance for the more-successful revolution a century later. The most idolizing portrait of Bacon is found in Torchbearer of the Revolution by Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, “one of the worst books on Virginia that a reputable scholarly historian ever published.” The central area of debate in this era was Bacon’s controversial character and complex disposition. Nothing better illustrates this than Wilcomb Washburn’s The Governor and the Rebel. Rather than singing Bacon’s praises and chastizing Berkeley’s tyranny, Washburn found the roots of the rebellion in the colonists’ intolerable demand to “authorize the slaughter and dispossession of the innocent as well as the guilty.”
More nuanced approaches on Berkeley’s supposed tyranny or mismanagement entertained specialist historians throughout the middle of the century, leading to a diversification of factors responsible for Virginia’s contemporary instability. Wesley Frank Craven in the 1968 publication The Colonies in Transition argues that his greatest failings took place during the revolt, near the end of his life. Bernard Bailyn pushed the novel thesis that it was a question of access to resources, a failure to fully transplant Old World society to New.
Edmund S. Morgan’s classic 1975 American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia connected the calamity of Bacon’s Rebellion, namely the potential for lower-class revolt, with the colony’s transition over to slavery: “..But for those with eyes to see, there was an obvious lesson in the rebellion. Resentment of an alien race might be more powerful than resentment of an upper class. Virginians did not immediately grasp it. It would sink in as time went on.…” 
James Rice’s 2012 narrative Tales from a Revolution: Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America, whose emphasis on Bacon’s flaws echoes The Governor and the Rebel, integrates the rebellion into a larger story emphasizing the actions of multiple Indians, as well as placing it in the context of English politics; in this telling, the climax of Bacon’s Rebellion comes with the Glorious Revolution of 1688/89.
Use of Devil’s Breath
It is reported by Robert Beverley, in his 1705 book on the history of Virginia, that some British soldiers gathered and ate Devil’s Breath (scopolamine) from the Datura plant and spent eleven days acting in bizarre and foolish ways, before recovering.
Cockacoeske, Pamunkey Chief
Queen Ann (Pamunkey chief)
Jamestown Weed— a name for Datura stramonium that has its origins in a psychedelic incident that occurred during Bacon’s Rebellion
1881 – Smedley Butler, American general, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1940)
Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler is well known for having later become an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.
By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations. A final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler’s testimony.
In 1935, Butler wrote a book titled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular activist, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists, and church groups in the 1930s.
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One girl who was certainly not on the bubble that day is Kaitlyn. She’s the daughter of Merily and Juan Delgado. Juan is a Blackhawk crew chief in the US Army. As an infant, Kaitlyn was diagnosed with EIEE (Early Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy). She was having around 200 seizures every day. Additional DNA tests took a couple months, but they finally received the results. Kaitlyn’s neurologist said she had a mutation in the SCN8A gene. Her prognosis was unknown, and the only two other cases her doctor knew about had ended in the children’s death.
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Sooo now I’m thinking about a tuna fish & potato chip sandwich.
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