The first chapter event of August is the Board of Managers Meeting, which by our constitution and by-laws includes most of the active members. Any other members who would like to join us will be very welcome to not only observe, but to participate, in a non-voting status. We will meet, as we did in January, at Peppers Grille in the Culpeper Best Western, at 9:30am on Saturday August 16th. We will be eating the breakfast buffet.
What I would like us to begin thinking about is the sestercentennial of our struggle for independence. “Sestercentennial”, or alternatively “semiquincentennial”, “bicenquinquagenary”, or “quarter-millennial”, are terms for the 250th anniversary. We are 250 years removed from events that shaped our nation. On August 1st 1764, our patriot ancestors were enjoying peace after years of war. The French and Indian War had ended on February 10th of the previous year. That war, however, had sown the seeds of a future conflict.
On April 5th 1764 Parliament passed the Sugar Act, also known as the American Revenue Act. Great Britain was in debt from the recently concluded war, and now faced increased costs in defending the colonial frontier from Indian attacks. Parliament leveed the tax to offset the cost of defending the Colonies. Our patriot ancestors found much wrong with such a tax; Samuel Adams expressed his opposition with the following words in May of 1764:
"For if our Trade may be taxed why not our Lands? Why not the Produce of our Lands & every thing we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern & tax ourselves – It strikes our British Privileges, which as we have never forfeited them, we hold in common with our Fellow Subjects who are Natives of Britain: If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary Slaves." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Act
The tension between the colonies and the Mother Country were rising. This was the world of our patriot ancestors 250 years ago. As their sons we should be sure that the events of their lives are remembered, for they are the events that formed our great country. Let us prepare to remember them as the 250th anniversaries of earth changing events approach.
Bill Schwetke, President