Thomas Knowlton, RIP

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If Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul suffer the same irony that has overtaken too many heroes of the American Revolution, we can expect statues of them to grace the Federal Reserve one dark day. Our Rulers have perverted patriots who rebelled against the very concept of government, and especially of empire, into its patron saints instead.

One such insulted saint is Colonel Thomas Knowlton. Born in 1740, he and his brother scouted for the Redcoats during the French and Indian War. That taught him reconnaissance and the other martial skills he used against the government when the colonists revolted a decade later. In August 1776, General George Washington authorized Knowlton to raise a company of “Rangers” to monitor and report the enemy’s movements. (Captain Nathan Hale was one of these elite troops. Tragically, his first mission as a Ranger — spying behind British lines — was also his last.)

While Hale was absent on that assignment, the rest of the Rangers probed the Redcoats’ advance up York (now Manhattan) Island. The government’s forces had leaped the East River from Brooklyn after their victory there and were now sweeping north, hoping to mop up the Continental Army and finish the Revolution as they went. They clashed with the Rangers near the site of present-day Barnard College at 116th Street and Broadway. According to one of Knowlton’s men, the Colonel never ordered, “Go on, boys!” but always, “Come on, boys!” — and that courage got him killed 236 years ago today, in what became known as the Battle of Harlem Heights.

Our current Rulers dare defile Knowlton’s memory by pretending their standing army’s “Military Intelligence Corps” descends from his Rangers, as if men who died to live free of government inspire those who fight to expand its evil. They even present especially good lackeys with the “Thomas Knowlton Award.” (You can read more about Knowlton and his Rangers in my novel, Halestorm, available in paperback or for Kindle, NookiPad, Sony, or your computer.)

12:27 pm on September 16, 2012