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Thread: Early American RPG Character & Family Planning Thread

  1. #21
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default Re: Early American RPG Character & Family Planning Thread

    I'll be dropping my gubernatorial claims in New England in favor of taking up a Deep Southern (SC/GA) Governor, since those states are pretty empty right now. Instead, my New Englanders will be a Congressional family

    Speaking of which, I'll try to post their house entry up on Thursday or Friday.

  2. #22
    Gandalfus's Avatar le Roi de fer
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    I'll claim Maryland for the Howards.

  3. #23
    General Brewster's Avatar The Flying Dutchman
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    I'll give an arm and a leg to be the governor of Georgia.

  4. #24
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default Re: Early American RPG Character & Family Planning Thread

    Noted guys, I'll drop my claim on Georgia to take up SC as my governorate instead then

  5. #25
    Jokern's Avatar Mowbray of Nottingham
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    Harris Family

    Henry Horace Harris, born 1731
    Spouse: Mary Harris (ne O'Connor), born 1734
    Occupation: Farmer, former Major General of the Continental Army
    - Edward Lloyd Harris, born 1758, physician and captain of the 4th Albany County Militia Regiment
    - Richard Nathan Harris, born 1760, farmer
    - Charlotte Harris, born 1765

    Early Life and Education, 1731-1775
    Born in Hampshire, England, in 1731 to Lloyd Harris, a customs officer in Portsmouth. His mother, Elizabeth Harris, was a housekeeper in the employ of the third Duke of Bolton which provided the young Henry with otherwise off-bounds opportunities for education and social advancement. Through his mother’s energetic networking, a young Horace Walpole was enlisted as Henry’s godfather. In 1746, Henry obtained a military commission with financial help from his parents and political support from the Duke of Bolton. He served in the War of the Austrian Succession before arriving in Nova Scotia in 1749 together with Edward Cornwallis. Cornwallis, the uncle of Charles Cornwallis, would become Harris’ mentor in his early years in the American colonies. Henry would meet his future wife Mary O'Connor, whom he married at St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, in 1754.

    Harris left Nova Scotia in 1754, selling his commission and purchasing a captaincy in one of the New York Independent Companies. With the outbreak of the French and Indian War, Harris served under General Braddock and accompanied the ill-fated Braddock Expedition in its attempt to cross to the Ohio Valley. During this time Harris would make acquaintances with several future leaders of the American Revolutionary War – among them Arthur Lionheart. Harris developed an interest in military administration, defense tactics and fortifications during his service, witnessing firsthand the importance of controlling the land to gain the strategic upper hand.

    In 1758, Harris first son was born, named Edward. The following year he was made brigade major and later major, but here the war ended and with it, Harris’ future prospects for advancement as he did not have the finances to purchase higher ranking commissions. Frustrated by the British class hierarchy, he sold his commission in 1769 and emigrated to North America. In 1772 he bought a modest plantation in Virginia with the help of his old acquaintance Richard Lionheart.

    Beginning of the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1776
    With the outbreak of war in 1775, Harris went to Richard Lionheart and offered his services, and was commissioned Brigadier General and Adjutant General of the Continental Army by Congress. As one of the few men with significant experience in military administration after his service in the British Army, Harris became invaluable for turning the fledgling Continental Army into a proper fighting force, creating a system of records and orders, and helped standardize regiments from the various colonies.

    In 1776 he was promoted to Major General and was given command of the Canadian Department after the invasion of Canada had ended in a crushing defeat in Quebec, after which the Northern Department and Canadian Department were merged into one, which Harris took command over. He spent the summer of 1776 reinforcing Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point, working together with Major General Benedict Arnold in building up a fleet at Lake Champlain that could halt the British from taking control of the lake and link up with their forces under General Howe in New York, thereby separating New England from the southern colonies.

    On October 9, 1776, the British fleet under General Carleton set sail from Saint-Jean with their fleet, which heavily outgunned the Americans under Benedict Arnold. While fighting bravely, the difference was too great and on October 11, the American fleet snuck past the British under the cover of night and fog and were able to make it to Fort Crown Point before their pursuers were able to catch up. With enough men and cannons on the fort, they were able to bombard the British fleet from shore and force them back. Though they were able to land their men further away and then lay siege to the fort, with the first snow falling on October 20, the battle-season getting late and with overstretched supply lines, General Carleton decided to withdraw back north to winter quarters.

    With the British unable to make an assault at Ticonderoga in 1776, Harris marched some of his men south to join Lionheart’s army in Pennsylvania. Here the two would have a falling out over strategy – Harris argued that the army should retreat further rather than risk an attack, which Lionheart summarily dismissed. Angered, Harris feigned illness and went to Baltimore and actively lobbied for Congress to replace Lionheart as commander-in-chief with himself, supported by several prominent delegates from New England. However, following Lionheart’s stunning victories at Trenton and Princeton left no doubt as to who the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army should be. Harris was subsequently ordered back north in February 1777.

    Saratoga Campaign, 1777
    The great career changer for Harris began in June 1777, with the beginning of what would become known as the Saratoga Campaign. General Burgoyne, replacing the disgraced Carleton, had assembled and army of some 8,000 Regulars, Loyalist militias, Native scouts and Hessian mercenaries at Fort Saint-Jean. Their aim was to march south and capture Albany in order to isolate the rebellious New England from the southern colonies where supposedly Loyalist elements could be rallied. On June 30, Burgoyne’s army landed at Fort Crown Point, laying siege to it. Though the small garrison would eventually surrender on July 4, the delay gave ample time to the 3,000 strong garrison at Fort Ticonderoga to prepare for the coming assault.

    The Siege of Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point
    The siege of Fort Ticonderoga began on July 5 with open skirmishes on the outer defense works. However, with the overwhelming difference in strength, the fort only being manned by barely 3,000 Regulars and militia, General St. Clair decided to withdraw to preserve his strength under the cover of night. The day after, British forces took control of the abandoned fort and immediately set off in pursuit. St. Clair’s army had at this point already crossed to Mount Independence and had made good headway down Hubbardton Road. The political and public outcry was massive, with papers lambasting both St. Clair and Harris for cowardly abandoning the “Gibraltar of the North” to the British. Quite a few ridiculed Harris when he had thought himself better suited for the position of commander-in-chief and calling for his immediate resignation, some even labeling him a double-crossing traitor and “a Red Coat in sheep’s clothing”.

    The Battle of Hubbardton
    On July 10, the British vanguard under General Simon Fraser would catch up with the American rear commanded by Seth Warner at Hubbardton while the main bulk of the American army marched on to Castleton. General Burgoyne and the rest of his army had this point reached Skenesboro. Fraser launched a surprise attack in the morning and was able to scatter a few elements of the American army. However, they quickly reformed into a defensive line and returned fire. Fraser then decided to send a detachment to outflank the American left at the risk of exposing his own left, hoping it would hold until reinforcements from Baron Riedesel’s Hessian units arrived. The Americans fell back to Monument Hill and were able to push back Fraser’s left, forcing the British back. They would then be reinforced by militia led by Henry Brockholst Livingston, around the same time that Riedesel and his Hessians arrived to support Fraser. However, by now the tides had turned in American favor and the British were forced to sound the retreat. The American rear guard quickly marched south and joined up with the main army, reaching Fort Edward on July 15. Burgoyne would later send Riedesel’s Hessian troops to occupy Castleton.

    Battle of Skenesboro and Fort Anne
    On July 10, Colonel Pierse Long’s force of 600 men, who had previously garrisoned the fort on Mount Independence, skirmished with Burgoyne’s vanguard at Skenesboro. Long’s men were eventually forced on the retreat to Fort Anne, though not before burning down most of the town behind them, where they met up with 400 militiamen sent by Harris from Fort Edward. A small force of 200 Red Coats under Lieutenant Colonel John Hill had landed just south of Skenesboro in an attempt to cut off Long’s retreat but would prove unsuccessful Hill continued his pursuit anyway and on the morning of July 11 reached Fort Edward. Long, seeing the outnumbered enemy, launched a counter-attack and tried to surround them. Hill’s force vigorously fought back in an orderly retreat, leaving behind supplies originally captured from the Americans. Wary of potential enemy reinforcements and soon to run out of ammunition, Long called off the attack. With later reports of a strong British force advancing south, Long decided to abandon and torch the fort, marching to Fort Edward.

    Butcher Burgoyne Raids
    The dispersed elements of Burgoyne’s army finally regroup at Skenesboro on July 14. Continuing southward, he encountered further delays while travelling the heavily wooded road between Skenesboro and Fort Edward, which General Harris’ forces had ruined by felling trees across it and destroying all bridges in the swampy terrain. Scorched earth tactics were also employed by the Americans, denying the British any available local provisions. Burgoyne was forced to build a road through the wilderness, which took about two weeks. Leaving Skenesboro on July 28, Burgoyne reached Fort Edward on August 2, only to find it abandoned. Harris led his men in retreat further south to Stillwater, New York. With increasing supply problems, Burgoyne decided to act on a suggestion by Baron Riedesel and sent out a regiment led by Colonel Baum on August 13 toward western Massachusetts and the New Hampshire Grants to seize draft animals and horses for the army.

    Further problems would soon crop up, though. The British army’s advance was always preceded by a wave of Native troops. With the lack of proper battle and loot, these allies became increasingly impatient and began raiding the local countryside and settlements, even Loyalist families. This had the effect of increasing local support to the Patriot cause. Burgoyne’s ineffective attempts to reel in these raids were smeared in the press and he was soon dubbed “Butcher Burgoyne” in American propaganda.

    Siege of Fort Stanwix
    British Brigadier General Barry St. Leger and the Iroquois leader Joseph Brant besieged Fort Stanwix on August 2. St. Leger's expedition was a diversion in support of General John Burgoyne's campaign to gain control of the Hudson River Valley to the east. One attempt at relief was thwarted early in the siege when a force of New York militia under Nicholas Herkimer was stopped in the August 6 Battle of Oriskany by a detachment of St. Leger's forces. While that battle did not involve the fort's garrison, some of its occupants sortied and raided the nearly empty Native and Loyalist camps, which was a blow to the morale of St. Leger's Native support. The siege was finally broken when American reinforcements under Benedict Arnold neared and Arnold used a ruse, with the assistance of Herkimer's relative Hon Yost Schuyler, to convince the besiegers that a much larger force was arriving. This misinformation, combined with the departure of Native fighters not interested in siege warfare and upset over their losses from the raids, led St. Leger to abandon the effort and retreat on August 22.

    Battle of Bennington
    On August 19, a 700 men strong British detachment under Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum, mainly composed of Hessian troops, had been sent out to raid Bennington in the disputed New Hampshire Grants area for horses, draft animals, provisions and other supplies. Believing it to be only lightly defended, the British were unaware that Major General John Stark and 1,500 militiamen were stationed there. Stark’s men would envelop Baum’s position, taking many prisoners and killing Baum. British reinforcements under Heinrich Breymann arrived as the Americans were mopping up, restarting the fighting. Breymann’s forces were soon driven off, though at the cost of heavy casualties for the Americans.

    The Beginning of the End
    Burgoyne took no responsibility for “Butcher Burgoyne Raids” and instead blamed his Native allies, gave them no credit and showed them no gratitude for their service, even after losing several of their number at Bennington. Langlade, La Corne and most of their troops left after this, leaving the British army with no protection against American rangers. He had at this point lost a significant portion of his army, some were casualties, and some were left behind as garrisons at the captured forts.

    American ranks would swell throughout the months of August and September with the arrival of militia companies, along with troops from Generals Lionheart and Morgan. This was mainly thanks to the Butcher Burgoyne Raids and the victories at Bennington and Fort Stanwix. Harris set up camp at Stillwater to rally local forces.

    At the beginning of September, Burgoyne learned of St. Leger’s failure to capture Stanwix and received news that General Howe would be unable to provide any support from New York City. His army, number about 7,000 strong, would soon need to reach defensible winter quarters, and the choice was between retreating back to Ticonderoga or advancing on Albany. He chose the latter, along with cutting communications to the north to avoid so to avoid the need to maintain heavily fortified outposts between his position and Ticonderoga. He also decided to cross the Hudson River while he was in a relatively strong position. The British army crossed the river just north of Saratoga between September 17 and 19. At the same time, Harris had moved his army, about 10,000 men at this point, north to just south of Saratoga and setting up defense works on September 4. Defensive lines were laid out from the river to the bluffs called the Bemis Heights.

    Battle of Saratoga
    In the morning of September 25, Burgoyne ordered the army to advance in three columns – Baron Riedesel’s Hessians on the left along the Hudson, bringing the main artillery and guarding supplies and the boats on the river; General James Inglis Hamilton led the center column to attack the undefended heights to the left of the American fortifications on Bemis Heights; General Simon Fraser with the left column trekking through the heavily wooded high ground north and west of the heights in order to turn the American left flank.

    At the same time, the Americans had also realized the importance of their left flank and the potential for a flanking maneuver, and Harris sent out a reconnaissance force led by Benedict Arnold and Daniel Morgan with his crack marksmen. He also sent a few scouts up along the Hudson river to look out for the expected main assault. Morgan’s men would set up position at Freeman’s Farm from where they saw the incoming British columns under Hamilton, where they employed their famed tactic of picking off enemy officers first before charging, unaware that they were facing the main bulk of the British army. Fraser’s column would soon arrive to attack the American lines, scattering them into the woods.

    Arnold would immediately send a request for reinforcements. Harris, having yet heard any news from his scouts about any advancing forces along the Hudson river, decided to gamble and sent several regiments with artillery to reinforce Arnold’s men. At the same time, Harris’ scouts encountered Riedesel’s forces, who had been delayed by broken bridges, and began to harass them while sending a request for reinforcements to keep the Hessians busy. Around 1 PM, there was a pause in the fighting as the lines formed up around Freeman’s Farm and reinforcements on both sides arrived. The battle alternated between intense fighting and breaks in the action. Morgan’s men had regrouped in the woods and continued to pick off British officers and artillerymen. At a crucial point in the battle, Burgoyne himself was wounded, hit in the arm by an American sharpshooter, and had to retreat from the field. The British center almost broke but were saved by the intervention of General Phillips’ regiment relieving them.

    At 3 PM, Baron Riedesel was well-aware of the sound of gunfire and cannon in the distance but was unable to send any relief due to skirmishes with American rangers, who were arriving in force with additional troops sent by Harris, without risking the vital supply train. The first phase of the battle would fall to the Americans. As more reinforcements arrived, they would eventually push back the center column and drive a wedge between Fraser’s and Hamilton’s columns. With Burgoyne off the field to direct his troops, darkness falling and with almost 700 casualties, the British found it prudent to retreat and regroup.

    When word of the enemy retreating, Harris immediately ordered Morgan to bring his sharpshooters to the right and do as much damage to the Hessian column as possible. At this point Riedesel was already marching north, but when his officers started dropping like flies, he was forced to abandon some of his supplies to make haste back to safe camp. The victory at Freeman’s Farm and the capture of a large piece of British supplies was a great boon to morale among the Americans. Harris, confident that the British were almost on their knees, decided to finally launch a counter attack. Scouts were sent out to watch and observe British movements, and in the morning of September 26, the rest of the American army followed. The center column was headed by Harris himself, the left by Benedict Arnold, while the right was led by General Benjamin Lincoln.

    Burgoyne, still recuperating from his bullet wound, had set up HQ at Sword’s Farm and placed his troops in defensive lines on the hills to his south. The loss of supplies took a tremendous toll on morale and troops had already begun to desert. Riedesel was lambasted for his ineptitude in protecting their supplies, after which the Hessian baron stormed out in a fury. A war council was held, and it was decided that they had to retreat to Fort Ticonderoga for winter quarters. However, gunfire was soon heard in the distance as their defenses skirmished with American rangers. The second phase of the battle at Sword’s Farm saw the Americans carefully probing British lines while Burgoyne’s officers rallied their troops to hold until they were ready to retreat. As the day drew to a close, Harris decided to withdraw for the time being. Burgoyne immediately ordered his army to retreat under the cover of darkness.

    As the withdrawal began north, the British were harassed along the way by American marksmen as Harris’ army raced after them. More and more British soldiers deserted, and by the time they reached Saratoga on September 30, only about 5,200 men remained.

    Surrender at Saratoga and Recapture of Ticonderoga
    By this point Burgoyne’s exhausted army had been trapped and surrounded in the town of Saratoga, outnumbered at least 2:1 and with more and more American militias arriving every day to reinforce Harris’ army. Negotiations had begun in the beginning of October and on October 8, General Burgoyne surrendered with full honors of war. Burgoyne gave his sword to Harris who immediately returned it as a sign of respect, while British troops surrendered their arms. The so-called “Convention of Saratoga” stipulated that the surrendered British troops would be granted safe passage to Boston from where they would sail back to Europe on parole that they never participate in the conflict again.

    Capitalizing on his recent hero status, Harris marched the Northern Army, now numbering 12,000 men, north on October 10 to undo the blemish on his record – the loss of Fort Ticonderoga. Reports of General Henry Clinton’s capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery forced him to split his force, sending 4,000 men under General Lincoln south to reinforce Albany. Reaching the outskirts of the fort on October 24. Burgoyne had left 900 men to defend Ticonderoga and another 400 at Fort Crown Point. Heavily outnumbered, the garrison surrendered on October 27, being promised safe passage to Canada. The “Gibraltar of the North” was once more in American hands.

    Harris’ War after Saratoga, 1778-1784
    Harris tried to maximize his political return on his string of victories while Arthur Lionheart was having no present successes with the main army. In fact, Harris insulted Lionheart by sending reports directly to Congress instead of to Lionheart, his commanding officer. At the behest of Harris’ friends and the delegates from New England, Congress named Harris to President of the Board of War, a post he filled while retaining his field command – an unprecedented conflict of interest. The post technically made Harris Lionheart’s civilian superior, conflicting with his lower military rank. At this time, some members of Congress briefly considered replacing Lionheat with Harris as commander-in-chief, supported by military officers also in disagreement with Lionheart’s leadership.

    Conway Cabal
    Lionheart learned of the campaign against him by Harris’ adjutant, James Wilkinson. In a letter to Harris, Wilkinson forwarded remarks of General Thomas Conway critical of Lionheart to General William Alexander, who passed them on to Lionheart. Harris, then unaware of Wilkinson's involvement, accused persons unknown of copying his mail and forwarded Conway's letter to the president of Congress, Henry Laurens. Lionheart’s supporters in Congress and the army rallied to his side, ending the “Conway Cabal”. Harris then apologized to Lionheart for his role in the affair, resigned from the Board of War, and took an assignment as commander of the Eastern Department in November 1778.

    Disaster at Camden and the Southern Theater
    In May 1780, news of the fall of Charleston, South Carolina and the capture of General Benjamin Lincoln’s southern army reached Congress. In desperate need of a distinguished general to deal with the threat to the south, it voted to place Harris in command of the Southern Department of the Continental Army in July. Harris set out almost immediately to capture the town of Camden against the advice of his officers, who remarked on the barren, inhospitable environment and the mostly Loyalist inhabitants. Eager to wash off the embarrassment of the Conway Cabal, Harris pushed on his army which was mostly comprised of inexperienced militia units.

    On August 16, the American army clashed with Cornwallis’ forces. Harris, seeing his troops outnumbering the British 2:1, became overconfident and pushed for a swift victory. However, his left flank manned by militias faced the British right, where traditionally the strongest units in the army were placed – the American left broke before even engaging the enemy in combat. The American right pushed forth valiantly but were soon hit in the rear by the British right flank. The killing blow when the infamous Tarleton’s Raiders charged into the rear of the Continental line, who finally broke and fled after just one hour of combat. 2,000 casualties, half of which were captured by the British, while the rest scattered spelled the end of the Continental Army in the South.

    Congress were horrified by this crushing defeat and Harris’ enemies smeared him, and he was barely able to avoid inquiries into the debacle thanks to his New Englander allies. However, Lionheart took this opportunity to replace Harris with Pierre Bellerose, his trusted confidant, in command of the Southern Department. Harris would keep his rank in the Continental Army but would have to serve under Bellerose for the rest of the war. The two would often come to blows, as Harris grew to despise his “superior” for being “Lionheart’s man” and for his French heritage. As the war turned in favor of the Americans in the South, so too did Harris’ reputation slowly rebuild.

    Life after the War, 1784-present
    Following the end of the war in 1784 and the disbandment of the Continental Army, Harris sold his Virginia estate in 1785 and moved to Albany, New York. He enjoyed strong support from the local population and from large parts of New England for his service during the Saratoga Campaign. He joined the Society of Cincinnati, the organization of former Continental Army officers, serving as its vice president.

    Having served in the army since a young age, Harris had initially little interest in the tumultuous politics of a country with no army. However, with the increasing influence of Arthur Lionheart, his disdain for his rival increased as well. The election of Lionheart to the presidency of the young nation was the last straw for the aging general, seeing the man he would grow to detest being lifted to ever greater heights.
    Last edited by Jokern; September 05, 2019 at 03:52 PM.

  6. #26
    General Brewster's Avatar The Flying Dutchman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Goldwater View Post
    Noted guys, I'll drop my claim on Georgia to take up SC as my governorate instead then
    If you really want it, it's okay.

  7. #27
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Brewster View Post
    If you really want it, it's okay.
    Not at all, it's good. I actually don't have a strong preference for either of the Deep Southern states (mainly I'm hoping to fill out as many states in general as possible), so I'm happy to let you have Georgia

  8. #28
    Dirty Chai's Avatar Dux Limitis
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    Sir William Phips --> his older brother Captain John --> his son John --> his son John, died 1746 --> Reverend William Phipps, born 1720

    The Reverend, as historically, will have been the minister of the first congregationalist church in Douglas in Massachusetts until 1765. As historically, he can speak 12 languages, and taught at Harvard. In this timeline, the Reverend will have been part of the committees of correspondence, and maybe a delegate to some of the conventions. He's well known for writing and speaking for the patriot cause, and one of his nephews was at Lexington. Instead of John Adams, I would like to credit the Constitution of Massachusetts (1779) to the Reverend William Phipps.
    Last edited by Dirty Chai; August 22, 2019 at 04:44 AM.

  9. #29
    Jokern's Avatar Mowbray of Nottingham
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    Lindberg Family

    Thomas Lindberg, born 1740
    Occupation: United States Senator from Pennsylvania
    Spouse: Anna Lindberg (ne Eriksdotter), born 17
    - Gustav "Gus" Lindberg, born 1764, woodworker and captain of the 10th Philadelphia County Militia Regiment
    - Peter Lindberg, born 1769, law student at the College of Pennsylvania

    Family History
    The Lindbergs can trace their lineage in North America back to the first Swedish colonizers who settled along the Delaware river. In 1646, the soldier Johan “the Elder” Lindberg and his family arrived in New Sweden and lived at Fort Nya Korsholm. When the Dutch conquered New Sweden in 1655, the family’s life did not change much – the lenient rule of the Dutch allowed the Swedes to keep their own militias, religion and courts. They kept their lands along the Delaware and made their living as subsistence farmers.

    England would later conquer the region in 1664, though this did not change matters substantially for the Lindbergs. However, in 1682 the area where the family lived was included in William Penn’s charter for the Province of Pennsylvania. The family patriarch Lars decided to sell their lands and move into the new city of Philadelphia the same year, opening a woodworking business.

    With the growing importance of the city as a trading center, so did the woodworking business with lumber being transported down the river from the northern regions of Pennsylvania. The family would live in the Swedish community in the city, close to the Gloria Dei Church, locally known as “Old Swedes’ Church”.

    Erik Lindberg would involve himself with the so-called “Philadelphia Coffee Clubs” in 1730, an umbrella term for the myriad of social clubs that sprung up in the city around this time where the young and educated would discuss various topics morals, politics and natural philosophy, inspired by the Enlightenment in Europe. Erik’s growing political interest also spread to his sons as they read every single book and pamphlet that their father brought home.

    Thomas Lindberg
    Erik’s grandson Thomas Lindberg would be the first son of the family to involve himself in politics, being elected to the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly in 1772. The 1770’s was a tumultuous time in America – the debt incurred by Britain after winning the Seven Years War was imposed on the colonies with heavy taxes. Anti-British sentiment was rife, and radicals were gaining strength, and in Pennsylvania Thomas became one of the leading radical voices protesting British taxes. His beliefs would only be strengthened by the implementation of the Intolerable Acts.

    With the outbreak of hostilities at Concord, Massachusetts in 1775, Thomas would be one of the leading voices in favor of independence in the Provincial Assembly, which was replaced by the General Assembly in 1776. He celebrated the Declaration of Independence and initially supported the Articles of Confederation and the creation of a new political union between the independent colonies.

    With the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, work began to forge a new country. However, in the following years the Articles of Confederation proved ineffective in producing any sort of political unity, leaving the different states more or less independent and squabbling with each other. Thomas Lindberg joined the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 to create a new constitution for the United States. While supportive of a stronger federal government to create political unity, he found himself disagreeing with the Federalists, viewing their efforts for centralization to go too far. He and other so-called Anti-Federalists only agreed to ratify the Constitution with the understanding that a Bill of Rights would soon follow.

    In 1788, Thomas Lindberg would be elected as one of the first senators to the United States Senate, where he would be a loud proponent of a Bill of Rights to ensure the protection of the people from an oppressive federal government.
    Last edited by Jokern; September 05, 2019 at 03:56 PM.

  10. #30
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    I'll be bumping my Connecticut Congregationalist family back up to gubernatorial status, to fill out more state governor positions.

    Prynne of Connecticut

    Early years
    The earliest origins of the Prynne family are obscure: they are not related to the Puritan statesman William Prynne, who in any case died childless and unmarried, though several Prynne men were named after him. Presumably they were among the many Puritan families who, finding Mother England to be insufficiently zealous and disciplined for their tastes, migrated to New England in hopes of building a new 'shining city on a hill' that would be properly consecrated to God. The first of the family must have arrived in the New World after the first pilgrims aboard the Mayflower but before the outbreak of the English Civil War, because one Bezalel Prynne was a witness to the execution of all four of the Quakers' Boston Martyrs. In any case, they were completely irrelevant to history until the infamous Salem Witch Trials, in which the 13-year-old Ann Putnam was among the gang of girls whose hysterical accusations resulted in the death of 25 people (19 from hanging, 1 from crushing, and 5 in prison) and greatly discredited Puritanism for decades. Some time after the death of her parents, Ann married the New Haven merchant and Puritan community leader Eli-Lama-Sabachthani Prynne (better known as just 'Eli') and had half a dozen children with him, from whom the contemporary Prynnes are descended.

    Mary Dyer being taken to her execution in 1660, of which Bezalel Prynne was a witness

    The Prynnes' fortunes accordingly boosted by the land Putnam passed on to them, they went on to become a fixture in New Haven for generations. The land was good - it wasn't long before they got rich enough to start hiring less fortunate people to work for them - but sea trade was where the family heads made most of their money, transporting everything from beer and furs to cotton and slaves back and forth across the Atlantic. Others, typically the second and third sons of each generation of Prynne, forsook material gain in favor of preaching as ministers for the local congregation. They were not among the great merchant princes of New England, nor the great prophets whose names are taught to contemporary children, but they were reasonably prosperous and respected within their community regardless.

    A Congregationalist...well, congregation meets with a Prynne at its head, c. 1695

    Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne: Troubled childhood and adolescence
    Which brings us to the first of the contemporary Prynnes. Lemuel Prynne, also known by his middle name Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin, was born on a stormy September night, 1726 to the minister Gamaliel Fear-God Prynne and his newlywed wife, Hepzibah (ne Pritchard), the product of their short-lived affair nine months prior - unfortunately for the former, the latter's father was his own mentor and a popular traveling preacher, so once it became apparent that his daughter had become pregnant he loudly insisted that the two marry to save face, and Gamaliel had to agree if he wanted to continue living in or anywhere near New Haven without facing overt harassment every day. The marriage was loveless, for Gamaliel and Hepzibah's attraction to one another was skin-deep, and as a consequence so was Lemuel's own childhood.

    Thanks to the Prynnes' small fortune, young Lemuel never wanted for anything growing up, save for parental affection. Gamaliel overcompensated for the immoral excesses of his youth by becoming a frighteningly cold and pitiless zealot who would thrash his son with a rod well in excess of what was considered acceptable for so much as repeating profanities he'd heard down at the harbor, sniffing alcohol without immediately covering his nose, or looking at an attractive girl for more than a few seconds; and while Hepzibah played the role of a polite housewife and devoted mother in the eyes of others, in private she never hid her contempt and resentment toward young Lemuel, who she saw as a mistake shackling her to a man she didn't love and damning her to live a life she had no interest in. The only relative who showed him kindness was his childless uncle Othniel, the merchant of the family, who looked on the boy Lemuel as if he were his own son.

    Portrait of Lemuel Prynne's not-so-proud parents, Gamaliel and Hepzibah, at the time of their marriage

    Remarkably, Lemuel bore his emotionally horrific childhood with outward stoicism. He had always been a quiet boy with few friends, and so became only more invisible as he grew up. He only truly, openly exploded for the first time when he caught his father in the wee hours of a night, not long after his own 15th birthday, trying to sneak a much younger mistress - who the teenage Lemuel himself had privately fancied - back to her home; Gamaliel had not, in fact, outgrown certain old amorous habits. The outrage was compounded by the obvious hypocrisy, for Gamaliel's sin made a complete mockery of his fire-and-brimstone teachings and the lessons he'd been brutally enforcing upon Lemuel. Gamaliel responded to his son's moralistic haranguing by beating him to an inch of his life and leaving him, bloodied and unconscious, in the rain, but other locals found him shortly after and saw to it that he received the medical care to survive. Once Lemuel had regained consciousness, Gamaliel made a great public show of seeking God's forgiveness and his and of reproaching himself for letting wrath get the better of him, and his son apparently forgave him. They promised to go out hunting together as a sign of their reconciled relationship as soon as Lemuel could walk again.

    The day they went, Gamaliel died before sundown. Eaten by a bear in its lair, his (again) bloodied and distraught son claimed. The posse that was formed to investigate did find what was left of him in a bear's lair, and killed the bear and its cubs for good measure, but they also found spent musket cartridges near the entrance. Lemuel insisted that they tried to shoot the bear from the cave's entrance, but only winged it and were unable to flee before it got its claws into his father. Since he was the only witness, and nobody wanted to get close enough to the bear to see how many bullet wounds it had before shooting it dead first, the posse accepted his explanation, though it raised some of their eyebrows.

    Ten months later, another pair of mysterious deaths befell the Prynne household. Mother Hepzibah and uncle Othniel were both killed when the Prynne home burned down overnight. Lemuel soon became the primary suspect, for he had publicly raged at his mother and physically fought his uncle for the first time after finding out they'd been having an affair for the past eight years by walking in on them in bed, half a year after his father's death by bear. But, he had a legitimate alibi - he was traveling to the border between Connecticut and Massachusetts, and was last spotted at a crossing too far for him to have raced back to set the fire without having borrowed God's chariot - and since the true arsonist was never caught, he was eventually cleared of all suspicions yet again.

    The young and newly orphaned Lemuel Prynne playing cards, looking remarkably not-unhappy at the death of his parents, c. 1742

    Thus, at the age of 16, the orphaned Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne had inherited his uncle's business (per the latter's own will, which he failed to change in time following his public falling-out with the lad) while also beginning to build up his own following in the local Congregationalist polity.

    Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne: The Revolution up to Bunker Hill
    Lemuel made his way through life without much incident after his grim childhood and eventful adolescence. On weekdays he was a moderately successful but famously scrupulous merchant who swore off the slave trade after deeming - like an increasing number of fellow Congregationalists - that slavery was an evil and sinful institution, passed up opportunities for self-enrichment that more ruthless merchants would've taken at the deep and lasting personal expense of others, and donated generously to the community. On weekends, he came to serve the local church congregation as one of its elders: not quite a minister, but an increasingly influential figure over the years, who advised the actual pastor to preach rigidly conservative and orthodox teachings while also vociferously condemning slavery, not only with words but also generous donations that made his neighborhood's church one of the nicest (if also still spartan, in the old-Puritanical style) in New Haven.

    When the French and Indian War exploded across North America, Prynne did not enlist. Like no small number of Puritans/Congregationalists, he wasn't a great fan of the British monarchy, what with their foreign origins and the Anglican Church that stank of too much Popery - was this not why his ancestors left England in the first place, to get away from such heathen mockery of the true faith? - and while he tolerated living under British rule, he wasn't about to go fight and possibly die for a King he was at best indifferent to unless New England was in grave danger of falling under the rule of the Catholic French or Spanish. The only combat he saw during the conflict was the occasional need to fend off or outrace privateers in the employ of Britain's enemies who attempted to board his trading vessels.

    Ships belonging to Prynne's company docking at Bristol, 1758

    It was during this time that Lemuel met and married his wife, and fathered their first few children. Though he'd named his firstborn son Safe-On-High because he was a sickly infant and expected to die, the latter's continued survival came across as nothing short of a divine miracle to Lemuel and hardened his religious convictions. And while harsh, aloof and stern as could be expected from a Puritan father, he would not be as physically abusive toward his children as his father had been to him, and seems to have been more sincere when giving them moral instruction than their hypocritical grandfather had been with him as well.

    Between wars, Lemuel grew interested in the cause of the Sons of Liberty. He was no frontiersman, so the Royal Proclamation of 1763 had no effect on him, but the Quartering Act, the Townshend Acts, the Stamp Act of '65 and the Tea Act of '73 all negatively affected his household and business and gave him cause for dissent against British rule. After all, why should he, who fought not at all during the French and Indian War and had less than zero interest in the hostilities, have to pay a penny to his British overlords for their conduct of said war? By 1768 he was actively corresponding with the other major figures among the Sons of Liberty and using his influence among the Congregationalists to agitate anti-British sentiment among the local churchgoers in & around New Haven, having effectively become their voice in Connecticut. Lemuel was also a supporter of anti-British boycotts and physically present at numerous anti-tax demonstrations, though he'd always made himself scarce from the ones that descended to tarring & feathering British tax collectors and customs officers.

    By 1774, the situation had worsened to the point where Lemuel was actively participating in smuggling operations in Connecticut to defy the British. When open warfare finally exploded a year later, it did not come as a surprise to the Congregationalist merchant prince, who despite his total lack of military experience happily volunteered to fight against the British out of sheer ideological and religious zeal, and used his funds to sponsor the creation of a Connecticut regiment. At the head of his minutemen, Lemuel first tasted in the skirmishes around Boston leading up to the city's siege, followed by the Battle of Bunker Hill. Though he felt great fear at the sight of oncoming redcoat regiments with their bayonets fixed and murder in their eyes, Lemuel's ironclad faith that God was on his side and that of the revolutionaries gave him the strength to stand his ground and exhort his troops to do the same. Ordering his troops to hold their fire until they could see the whites of the British soldiers' eyes, he and the forces assigned to him stubbornly defended the Patriot redoubt at Breed's Hill until they ran out of ammunition, at which point the British were able to close in on them despite Prynne's efforts to roll barrels downhill and drive them off the hill in a vicious melee. Prynne himself was left with a long scar across his left cheek and the side of his neck by a British bayonet, but the British were left with the knowledge that these American insurgents would be much harder to crack down on than they originally expected.
    Prynne orders his militia to hold their fire until they can see the whites in the advancing redcoats' eyes, Bunker Hill, 1775

    Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne: The Revolution from Bunker Hill to Yorktown
    After the arrival of Arthur Lionheart and the Continental Army, and the subsequent victorious conclusion of the Boston Campaign, Lemuel was commissioned a brigadier-general, later rising to major-general. He was a much more cautious and defensive-minded commander than his superior, instead having more in common with the latter's deputy Pierre Bellerose. He played a supporting role in the New York and Philadelphia campaigns: at Long Island he was charged with holding the Gowanus Road and did so until he was overwhelmed and his ranks completely shattered by the advancing British. Almost immediately afterward, Prynne was also entrusted with leading the rearguard action at the Buttermilk Channel to cover the withdrawal of the rest of the Continental Army, another task in which he held out almost literally to the last man (that last man being himself) before pitching himself into the strait just as the British overran his position entirely and being rescued by a handful of Continental soldiers paddling away in a boat.

    Lemuel Prynne and the remains of his brigade evacuate from Buttermilk Channel, Long Island, 1776

    Now separated from the rest of the Continental Army, Prynne was ordered by Lionheart not to rejoin the latter as they made their way across the Delaware, but to instead relieve Forts Clinton and Montgomery south of West Point with what little remained of his brigade. In this he failed however, being fooled by General Henry Clinton's ruse into preparing for an attack on the wrong side of the Hudson River - though at least the delay to Clinton's army prevented him from relieving John Burgoyne in turn. After rejoining the Continental Army and receiving reinforcements from New England in the spring of 1778, Lemuel was found himself typically being assigned to hold hotly contested battlegrounds and cover retreats where his stubborn courage and determination availed him, but rarely anything else: to both Lionheart and Bellerose's frustration and disappointment, he exhibited a consistent lack of initiative and imagination when ordered to attack, meticulously following the plans given to him and marching along preplanned routes no matter the obstacles and dangers placed in his way, nor whether the situation on the ground may have changed ahead of the plan being put into action. By 1781, as Lionheart prepared to move south for the Yorktown Campaign, Lemuel was being ordered north to supervise recruitment and training efforts in New England, and so spent the rest of the war away from the battlefield.

    In all, Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne's wartime record was that of a brave and resolute defensive commander, who often fought with his troops (if he wasn't literally leading them from the front) when he could - because, in his words, 'I will not order you to do anything I am not willing to do myself' - and would fight to the last man, which was often himself, to take and/or hold his objectives. But he was also a commander greatly lacking in creativity and flexibility, unable to effectively respond to new challenges on the battlefield or to take unforeseen opportunities, which was what doomed Forts Clinton and Montgomery. His elder sons gained a little fame of their own as sailors in the Continental Navy, with his eldest son Ichabod Safe-On-High piloting the submersible Turtle in an unsuccessful attempt to sink the flagship of Admiral Richard Howe's fleet in late 1776.

    The 'Turtle' being piloted by Ichabod Prynne, 1776

    Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne: After the Revolution
    Following the victorious conclusion of the American Revolutionary War, Prynne remained in Connecticut and began to seek office. He was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1784 and '85, before climbing to the State Senate in 1786. As Connecticut held annual elections for Governor, he used his State Senate seat as a pathway to ascend to the Governor's chair the year after that, and the year after that. Sons Ichabod Safe-On-High and Shadrach Be-Thankful-For-The-Mercy-Of-The-Lord led volunteers to fight against Pennsylvania in the Third Pennamite-Yankee War of 1784, the third (obviously) such land dispute to erupt between Pennsylvanians and Connecticuters in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, in which the latter brother inflicted the only Pennsylvanian casualty in a small skirmish outside of the Connecticut Yankee settlement of Westmoreland.

    Connecticut Yankee militia marching through the Pennsylvanian winter, 1784

    Having viewed Shays' Rebellion in neighboring Massachusetts with (deeply ironic, considering his participation in the American Revolution and reasons for doing so) significant fear and revulsion, he staunchly supported efforts to centralize the Union of American States and made his views clear through his son Ichabod, who by then was a state representative and one of Connecticut's delegates to the Constitutional Convention. With the Constitution duly inked and ratified, the task of leading Connecticut into a new age alongside the other American states - even Pennsylvania, with whom Connecticut had taken the largest step towards ending the Wyoming Valley land dispute just a year prior - falls, for now at least, into the stern and unrelenting grip of Governor Prynne and his eldest son, the newly-elected US Senator from Connecticut.

    Prynne family tree, 1789
    Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne, age 63 (b. September 13, 1726)
    Prudence Prynne ne Cranwell, matriarch and wife of Lemuel, age 57 (b. February 14, 1732)

    Ichabod Safe-On-High Prynne, son of Lemuel and Prudence, age 40 (b. December 15, 1749)
    Amity Prynne ne Abell, Ichabod's wife, age 42 (b. July 16, 1747)
    Jonathan Fear-God Prynne, son of Ichabod and Amity, age 21 (b. August 4, 1768)
    Faith-My-Joy Prynne, daughter of Ichabod and Amity, age 18 (b. January 14, 1771)
    Bezalel Search-the-Scriptures Prynne III, age 14 (b. 10 December, 1775)

    Abstinence Prynne, daughter of Lemuel and Prudence, age 37 (b. May 15, 1752)

    Grace Prynne, daughter of Lemuel and Prudence, age 35 (b. February 23, 1754)

    Shadrach Be-Thankful-For-The-Mercy-Of-The-Lord Prynne, son of Lemuel and Prudence, age 32 (b. May 12, 1757)
    Temperance Prynne ne Greenhill, wife of Shadrach, age 29 (b. August 10, 1760)
    Gabriel Jesus-Christ-Came-Into-The-World-To-Save Prynne, son of Shadrach and Temperance, age 7 (b. December 12, 1782)

    Joy-Again Prynne, daughter of Lemuel and Prudence, age 30 (b. June 10, 1769). Married to Robert Harrison III of New Hampshire. Any children they have will be recorded in the Harrison annals.

    Lemuel Hate-Evil-And-Kill-Sin Prynne, Governor of Connecticut

    A portrait of then-State Senator Prynne at the age of 60, 1786

    Age: 63 (b. September 13, 1726)
    Spouse: Prudence, ne Cranwell (b. February 14, 1732)

    Ichabod Safe-On-High Prynne, Connecticut Senator

    Ichabod Prynne as a Connecticut State Representative, 1785

    Age: 40 (b. December 15, 1749)
    Spouse: Amity, ne Abell (b. July 16, 1747)

    Shadrach Be-Thankful-For-The-Mercy-Of-The-Lord Prynne, presently unemployed commander

    Shadrach at the outbreak of the Third Pennamite-Yankee War, 1784

    Age: 32 (b. May 12, 1757)
    Spouse: Temperance, ne Greenhill (b. August 10, 1760)
    Last edited by Barry Goldwater; September 05, 2019 at 08:19 PM.

  11. #31
    chesser2538's Avatar Senator

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    Houston, Texas

    Default Re: Early American RPG Character & Family Planning Thread

    Sterlings of Virginia

    James Sterling

    James Sterling

    Early Life

    James Sterling hailed from a humble background. The son and grandson of house carpenters in Fairfax, Virginia, young James had not reached school age when his father died. Thereafter, he and his two siblings were raised by their mother. By late adolescence James was earning a living as a shoemaker in Norfolk. He married at age twenty-two in a Methodist church, and six months later he was a father. Three other children followed. In his mid-twenties he opened a grog shop, or bar, and with his profits purchased a merchant ship.

    He made runs to the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal, and to other British colonies in North America. He gradually acquired a small fleet of vessels, speculated in property, and by the mid-1760s was part of the local gentry. He lived in a large two-story house and was in the habit of wearing only clothing that was fashionable in London.
    Like many merchants, James was adversely affected by Britain’s attempted taxation of the colonists and its efforts to tighten its control of American trade outside the empire. But for several years he remained largely aloof from the American protest movement. Not until war approached was James’s consciousness inflamed. He grew more active politically.

    James Sterling - The Young Entrepreneur

    He had always yearned to improve his status, and for many Americans winning renown as a soldier trumped possessing great wealth. James had served as a militiaman in the French and Indian War, rising from ensign to captain, and when Virginia reactivated its militia on the eve of the war with Great Britain, he was elevated to the rank of lieutenant colonel. But neither James nor Norfolk’s unit fought on the Concord Road or at Bunker Hill. The men were at sea plying their trade as fishermen.

    The Revolution
    When James arrived at last to take part in the siege of Boston, his unit had already been taken into the new Continental army and he was recommissioned a colonel. James’s men were mostly white, though some African Americans were in the ranks. They came to war bearing the look more of sailors than soldiers. The enlisted men wore blue jackets with leather buttons, white shirts, tarred breeches—to make them waterproof—blue stockings, and blue caps.
    The officers dressed all in white. James, fashionable as always, marched to New York in 1776 with two broadcloth coats—one trimmed in lace, the other with velvet—eight shirts from Holland, ten jackets, six pairs of trousers, and shoes with silver buckles. He was armed with two silver pistols, a Scottish sword, and a musket fitted with a bayonet made in Genoa. In his mid-forties at the time of the Battle of Long Island, he looked more like the popular image of a soldier.

    After Lionheart lost the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, James Sterling’s “Norfolk Marauders” evacuated the army across the East River to Manhattan Island in a surprise nighttime operation, saving them from being entrapped in their fortified trenches on Brooklyn Heights. In subsequent actions of the New York campaign the regiment fought well against the British at Kip's Bay when the Redcoats invaded. The last action of the regiment was its most famous: ferrying Washington's army on confiscated river coal ore boats from upstream across the Delaware River at night for a surprise attack on German Hessian allied mercenaries at Trenton in New Jersey on Christmas night, the morning of December 26, 1776. The regiment was disbanded as enlistments expired at year's end.
    James went home to tend to his sick wife and look to business affairs. He turned down a promotion to brigadier general in March 1777 but rejoined the war and accepted the promotion after a personal appeal from General Lionheart. As commander of a brigade made up of four Virginia regiments, he served in the successful Saratoga campaign along the Hudson River in the summer and fall of 1777 and the failed Battle of Rhode Island in 1778.

    With Frances entry into the war, Congress grew more confident of conducting naval operations, and agreed to conducting joint operations in the Atlantic. Put In command of Prestige in late 1778, he operated in British home waters and made audacious raids on England’s shore. In recognition of his exploits, he was placed in command of five French and 3 American vessels. Aboard his flagship, USS Virginia. Sterling led his small squadron in the capture of seven merchantmen off the Irish coast. Then in early October 1779, he fought one of the bloodiest engagements in US naval history with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis. Although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Sterling would not accept the British demand for surrender. More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered, and Sterling took command.

    James Sterling - Military Commander

    Sterling would be recalled to the Americas in mid-1780 following the failed siege of Savannah and the American defeat at Charleston. He would be sent to Virginia, where his connections would be used to recruit troops for the patriot cause. During this time, he got his first real taste of politics. Taking up a seat in the Virginia legislature.
    After multiple requests, Sterling would finally resume his command in early 1781. Being given command of a Regiment in the Carolinas campaign. His 1st Virginia Regiment would go on to fight in a number of engagements; including Guilford Courthouse and Eutaw Springs. His last action of the war would be leading his men in the storming of Redoubt #10 at Yorktown. After Yorktown James would return to serve as representative for his state until the end of the war.

    Storming Redout #10

    Confederation Years

    James Sterling - The Elder Statesman

    Short, thick, and sinewy, James has long, curly, reddish hair that was beginning to thin and gray, a perpetual five o’clock shadow, and a rugged visage that exuded power and authority. For much of the past twenty years he had commanded men on good voyages and bad. He is in the habit of leading, and of acting, under stress. Those who have served under him were in the habit of following his direction.
    Much about James’s background and activism would suggest that economic self-interest had drawn him toward a role in the American rebellion. Though what radiates from him is a vibrant nationalism and a yearning for American autonomy; the force driving the American protest. He believed the war would determine whether Americans were freemen or slaves, and to be a slave, is worse than death. His maxim is to not leave too much to chance, fight hard, and hope for the best.

    Sterling Family Tree

    -1. Joseph Hiram Sterling 1715-1740
    -1a. Margaret Strong 1718-1781

    --2.Thomas Sterling 1734
    --2a. Emily Williams 1737-1779

    ----3. Richard Sterling 1755-
    ----3a. Alice Morehouse 1756-1785
    ------4. Ulysses Sterling 1775-
    ------4. Carol Sterling 1779-
    ------4. Mary sterling 1783-
    ----3b. Harriet MacCotter 1767-
    ------4.Thomas Sterling 1787

    ----3. Hannah Sterling 1759-
    ----3a. Elmer Smytheson 1756-
    ------4. Alexander Smytheson 1780-
    ------4. Clara Smytheson 1782-
    ------4. Sarah Smytheson 1786-
    ------4. Dolly Smytheson 1787-

    --2. James Sterling 1736-
    --2a. Sophia van den Berg 1740-

    ----3.Patrick Sterling 1761-
    ----3a. Jacqueline Lionheart 1764-
    ------4. Francis Sterling 1785-
    ------4. Charlotte Sterling 1788-

    --2. Laura Sterling 1744-1739

    Last edited by chesser2538; September 08, 2019 at 09:14 PM.

    Under the Patronage of the venerable General Brewster

  12. #32
    Lucius Malfoy's Avatar Pure-Blood

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    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Early American RPG Character & Family Planning Thread

    - James MacCotter claims Senator of North Carolina
    - Joseph MacCotter claims Governorship of North Carolina
    - Lionel Harrison claims Senator of New Hampshire (will leave governorship unclaimed to player or NPC)
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  13. #33
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Oct 2008
    Richmond, Virginia

    Default Re: Early American RPG Character & Family Planning Thread

    Simmons of South Carolina

    Early years
    The Simmonses of Beaufort County had a more roundabout way of reaching America than quite a few of their peers in the state. Their story began with William Simmons, a 17th-century gentleman from North Somerset who took up arms for the King during the English Civil War and rode under the command of Prince Rupert. He fought from Powick Bridge at the very beginning of the war to the final siege and surrender of Oxford in 1646, and in so doing gained a reputation as a harsh and aggressive cavalry captain with a(n even by Cavalier standards) deep disdain for the common swine rising against their rightful liege: he was involved with the Bolton Massacre, the sack of Leicester before the Battle of Naseby, and in general executions and torture of Parliamentary prisoners, especially near the end of the war when both sides were becoming increasingly brutal and hateful. After the surrender of Oxford, Simmons escaped from prison (and near-certain execution for his atrocities) in early 1647 and stole away on a boat to the Bahamas. There he hid under a false identity until the Restoration, whereupon he was granted an estate in Jamaica for his loyalty to the Crown and to compensate for his old devastated manor in England.

    Over the next century and a half, the Simmons family strove to expand their estate and coffers however they could - advantageous marriages to female heirs to other estates, dabbling in business in general, sponsorship of the slave trade, and even striking under-the-table deals with pirates from nearby Port Royal. After Port Royal's destruction and the beginning of a major British governmental crackdown on piracy at the dawn of the 18th century, William's son Abraham Simmons sold out all of his pirate contacts to the authorities, though the survivors of the inevitable spree of arrests and hangings captured and skinned him alive a few years later in revenge. Abraham's son Walter I got his own revenge when, after enlisting with the Royal Navy and becoming an adept naval officer and pirate hunter (a job in which he, of course, tried to keep as much captured pirate cargo for himself) over the course of the War of Spanish Succession, he tracked down his father's killers and sadistically exterminated them to the last man, culminating in him tossing the last pirate's nine-year-old son into shark-infested waters after first cutting him before flaying the pirate himself.

    By 1745, the Simmons family in Jamaica had grown so large and so wealthy that they could afford to secure an appanage for the junior members of their family. Thus was William Simmons III, second son of family patriarch Walter II, packed off to South Carolina, where the latter had bought a plantation estate off of another heavily indebted family in Beaufort County and thought to avoid a conflict over the inheritance when he died. It is at this point that the Jamaican Simmonses stop being relevant to American history in favor of the South Carolinian Simmonses.

    William Simmons III: Life in America up to the end of the Revolution
    For thirty years between making landfall in Charleston to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, William Simmons III lived a largely undistinguished life. He married a woman from a nearby plantation - her family was larger, better connected and wealthier than himself - and though he purchased a commission in the regular British Army, making him senior to Arthur Lionheart (then 'just' an officer in the Virginia colonial militia), he was merely competent and did not particularly excel at warfare - though he did have a talent for exaggerating his accomplishments and stealing other officers' thunder. When the French and Indian War erupted, he was assigned to the West Indies theater, where he participated in the British conquest of Guadeloupe, Martinique and finally Havana (where he lost two fingers to a musketball while leading his company) from the Franco-Spanish alliance. Two years the war's end, he safely retired back into obscurity on his plantation.

    However the growth of tension between the colonists and the mother country, culminating in the dawn of the Revolutionary War, gave Simmons a chance to catapult himself into national fame and wealth to rival his Jamaican cousins. Becoming interested in the Patriot cause from the convening of the Stamp Act Congress onward, he patronized the Patriot cause in South Carolina, got himself elected into the state's General Assembly in 1768, and did not hesitate to throw his lot in with the rebels when rebellion finally erupted in 1775. As a colonel, he fortified his plantation house and led the local Patriot militia in a number of small but vicious skirmishes against their Loyalist rivals, locally led by his own brother-in-law (who, to his wife's horror, he killed in a clash in the autumn of 1775), as well as Cherokee raiders. After commanding the South Carolinian contingent in the successful Snow Campaign of late 1775, Simmons officially joined the Continental Army. In the summer of 1776, he was promoted to Brigadier-General after spearheading the South Carolinian defense at Sullivan's Island, preventing a British takeover of Charleston. By the time Congress appointed him Major-General and commander of all American forces in the Southern Theater, Simmons had already effectively monopolized command of Patriotic forces in South Carolina, pushing out (or outright arranging their deaths in unfortunate accidents, misdirection into strong British positions and the sudden but inevitable tactical withdrawal of his forces during hard-fought engagements).

    In 1780, as the focus of the war shifted to the Southern Theater, William Simmons the Myth collided with the reality of William Simmons the Mediocre Commander at Charleston. Up to this point, Simmons had generally managed to defeat the more numerous but disorganized South Carolinian Loyalists and the scanty British forces sent to support them through maintaining superior discipline in his ranks and carefully massing his forces to achieve local numerical superiority wherever possible. He was decidedly not prepared to face a British army that was both twice as large as the entire force at his disposal, and vastly better equipped and trained. Simmons' jealous pride also led him to refuse what he perceived as 'unwelcome meddling' by Arthur Lionheart and his command staff further north, including the dispatch of the former's lieutenant Bellerose and reinforcements that he thought were unnecessary.

    The British generals Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis rapidly outmaneuvered Simmons and the Patriots, walling them up in Charleston and frustrating all efforts by the latter to break out. Surrounded, completely cut off from reinforcement and resupply by both land and sea, and wracked with both Loyalist intrigues and rebellious slaves in and around the city, Simmons and his staff grew increasingly desperate and erratic. An all-out attack against British positions around Charleston was mounted near midnight on May 10, 1780 in a frenzied attempt to break out and flee through the Upcountry into North Carolina or the Appalachians. Unfortunately, Simmons' strategy of attacking the British across all fronts instead of concentrating the army he still had left against a few select sections of the British lines guaranteed his failure by dawn with great loss of men and materiel. A day later, concluding that the situation was unsalvageable and pressed by the city's distinguished notables to stand down, Simmons initially tried to negotiate a surrender with the honors of war, but was spurned by the British commanders and forced into agreeing to unconditional surrender by sunset.

    Thus defeated in so grand a manner that he lost nearly 6,000 men, thousands of muskets and scores of cannons, and an absolutely enormous amount of rice, rum and indigo to the British, Simmons ended up spending most of the rest of the war in a British prison. He was replaced first by Henry Harris and then Pierre Bellerose, whose accounts are written elsewhere. While he was out of action, his son Walter continued to fight for the Patriot cause and despite initially commanding the South Carolinian cavalry at the disaster of Camden, won a degree of respect back to the Simmons family name when he led the remaining South Carolinian militia to victory over the largest gathering of South Carolina's Loyalists under the noted inventor and light-infantry commander Patrick Ferguson at Kings Mountain five months after Charleston's fall - killing the latter. The younger Simmons continued to serve with distinction in the Southern Theater until the Treaty of Paris, while Simmons Senior was released in 1782 but, for obvious reasons, was not reinstated to a command and did nothing for the war's final months.

    William Simmons III: The Confederation Period and present day
    Following his release from prison and the end of the Revolutionary War, Simmons blamed his great defeat on the bad advice of his staff officers and sought to rebuild his career locally. At the dawn of the Confederation Period, in-between managing his estate he found the time to worm his way back into the General Assembly, where he built up a network of allies through cajoling and subterfuge alike. This network paid off when it catapulted him to the Governor's office (for in South Carolina, the governor was elected by the two chambers of the state's General Assembly and not directly by the people) in 1788, and it is there that he remains today. His sons remain active as a commander in the South Carolinian militia and Congressman, though the former has not been called into action since the end of the war.

    Simmons family tree, 1789
    William Simmons III, family patriarch, age 64 (b. January 15, 1725)
    Abigail Simmons ne Grooms, family matriarch and William's wife, age 58 (b. September 13, 1731)

    Walter Simmons III, son of William and Abigail, age 42 (b. July 11, 1747)

    John Simmons, son of William and Abigail, age 37 (b. February 22, 1752)


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