Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Revolution and "Riffraff"!

By JW Ross

Individuals of Irish descent know too well the term, "No Irish Need Apply", and its meaning. Although not commonly used until the mid - 1800's, the sentiment was the same in the 1750's when boat loads of Irish (and Scot) immigrants landed in the colonies. Anti-Irish sentiment was pervasive and residents of Philadelphia, for example, couldn't wait to see the "backside" of them.
Much as the African American's history, from the Revolution on, is no more than a footnote in our text books, so too were the contributions of those who immigrated from Scotland and Northern Ireland in the early 1700's. Those who settled the Western areas of PA (Mercersburg, for example) and some parts of the South were essentially the British Isles . . "riffraff". Not only were many of them poor, and uneducated, but worse . . they were branded by the "southern" Englishmen of Boston and Philadelphia with vile stereotypes. They were in a book, Cracker Culture by Grady McWhiney, described as averse to work, prone to violence, drunks, and promiscuous.

In contrast, many of the inhabitants of the eastern cities (who had immigrated from the southern counties of England) were seen as educated and "civilized" - bankers, lawyers, businessmen, etc., in a phrase, "stewards of the community".

So it is not surprising that, when frontiersman James Smith and Justice William Smith "rebelled" against Penn and the Crown in 1765 by seizing illegal trade goods destined for the Indians and firing on a British garrison at Ft Loudon, their concerns were trivialized and their behavior seen as riotous, obstructionist, and even, subversive. Ten years later, however, in steep contrast, those who "rebelled" in Boston by tossing tea into the harbor and firing on the British at Lexington Green, were lionized as patriots, martyrs, and as having fired, "the shot heard round the world".

Why? Because the "educated and civilized" urban elites of Boston wrote the history of our Revolution - lauding a rebellion based on commerce ("No Taxation Without Representation") and convenience, while deprecating a "rebellion" based on the preservation of "Life, Liberty and Property", lead by "rough and ready" frontiersmen like James Smith and the Black Boys. The reason, elitism and bigotry . . . pure and simple.

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