Friday, March 18, 2011

American Philhellenes in the Greek War of Independence

Samuel Gridley Howe

The Greek War of Independence was seen by many around the world as a noble cause to support, given the small size of the Greek nation and its brave fight to overthrow the long-endured Turkish yoke. However, few are aware of the significant role that American philhellenes played in the struggle.

To begin with, important political figures in the United States were made aware of Greece’s needs. Adamantios Koraes, a Greek intellectual, constantly exchanged letters with Thomas Jefferson, asking for American support. Even more importantly, the common American citizen was well-informed about the goings on across the Atlantic, since the Harvard professor and great philhellene Edward Everett published correspondence from Greece in major American newspapers. It was inevitable, therefore, that some Americans would take to heart the Greeks’ battle for freedom, a concept that prominently figures in the Constitution of the United States.

The first American to join the Greek War of Independence was George Jarvis, a New Yorker. He went to Greece in 1822 and immediately became one with the passionate guerrilla fighters, adopting a Greek name and wearing the foustanella, the traditional skirt donned by warriors. During his time there, he fought in many battles and served as the famous British poet Lord Byron’s adjutant. When he died in 1828, his bones were laid to rest in the Greek city of Argos. A few years after Jarvis, Captain Jonathan P. Miller also decided to aid the Greeks. His prestige and bravery in battle is made clear by the nickname, “The American Daredevil,” that was given to him there. Unlike Jarvis, Miller returned to the United States and brought with him a young boy that he adopted. Loukas Miltiades Miller, after growing up and studying in America, came to be the first Greek-American to be elected to Congress.

However, Americans were not only involved in the military aspect of the Greek War of Independence. Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe served in Greece not only as a soldier, but also as a surgeon and a helper in the reconstruction of the country after its devastation by war. Furthermore, he established a medical center on the island of Aegina and a colony for exiles in Corinth. Howe’s work did not end there, though. Back in the United States, he authored the book An Historical Sketch of the Greek Revolution. This account of the Greeks’ brave struggles made such an impression on Howe’s fellow Americans that because of it, they raised money for supplies for the soldiers back in Greece.

Of course, these three men were not the only Americans passionate about the Greek cause. The poet William Cullen Bryant wrote about the Greeks’ bravery, while James Williams, a black slave, died fighting in Greece during the war. Furthermore, several prominent politicians, like Daniel Webster, Robert Livingston, and Henry Clay, supported the Greeks’ efforts. Even presidents such as John Adams, James Madison, and James Monroe were aware of the importance of their struggle.

To honor these men’s efforts, the American Philhellenic Society is cooperating with the United States Postal Service to issue several stamps dedicated to American philhellenes. The series, called Association of American Philhellenes 1810-1840, is due to begin circulation on April 19. Among those honored in the collection are Samuel Gridley Howe and George Jarvis.

Sources: http://bluhana.com/history1.html

http://www.greece.org/ahepa/d5/Grk%20Inde-mar02.htm

http://www.greeknewsagenda.gr

3 comments:

Charlie Patseas said...

Got Pope, Need no Bart. The Holy Father gone to Turkey to redeem and consecrate the Greeks, so don't need no more soviet temples. Don't need no gyro blimpie Bart when got a regular Pope without the diner attitude. My pop kept hitting momma with a skillet on the head. Friends ended up in the hospital after their pop beat them. Pops got drunk and ruined my first car. Killed two cats and a dog, thrown out the window. Neighbor drowned the canaries in ouzo, lit, ate them. Ma overdid whip so she could give less pie. All our stuff came pilfered, with logos. Greeks overcook all meat so no one knows is bad. Another banned tenants flushing toilet paper. Waiters inpune sanitation because "dirty is natural and healthy." Priests just answered "behave, respect, tradition!" Now priest comes "no intercommunion!" Where was he when we needed him to protect us from our crazy parents? Don't sell me "educated Greeks" because we know all them Trojan Horse cheated on the exams. Besides it's just TV repair school. Remember all those jailed old disco Greeks, tax cheats to "protest" Jerome Ford stopping the Trojan Horse in Chyprious? We can't get good jobs because no one trusts Greeks, because of Trojan Horse. They always faked reading Greek. That's why we borrowed regular Catholic books instead of read Greek. Sure, we sacrifice to Greek myths three times a year to please yiayia, and she's nun the wiser when we go to regular Catholic Mass on Sundays when she bummed from bouzaki dances. Ain't need no more Bart, just the regular Pope. That's why we all married regular Catholic when we grew up. So they can trust us.

Alexander G. Colombos said...

To Charlie Patseas. TO took me a while to understand your delirious word salad. It seems that you project your own inabilities and lack of education when you talk about "educated Greeks". You generalize your own experience not just with the entire Greek-AMerican community, but with the entire hellenism. New generations in Greece and Cyprus have nothing to do with what you describe in your anti-Greek, self-defeating rant. You remind me of those ignorant Italian-Americans who have burned their bridges with the Old World and they associate Italian culture with mafia, Comora, and the padrino. You need to read history and see that the problem starts with some treators like you who sabotage with great culture and give up to eternal predators like the Pope and some other crooks. You can be his servant and send him soem checks to so he can bless you via his Bank of Vatican. Fuit cakes and subhumans with a brain of pea like you do not need an ancient and authentic form of christianity, a great spiritual force whose history and culture are embeded in ancient Greek philosophy, Greek language and Greek ethos. People like you who know Greek culture as much as a fish knows how to play tennis, to the point of spelling buzuki as buzaki, should not talk about Greek culture. Do your homework before you speak or write. People like you who surrender to ethnic cleansing leaders of globalization have contributed to the economic crisis and Jissinger's dream of breaking down Greece by attacking its culture, language and religion so the elite of global businessman can exploit oil and mineral resources in the Aegean, the geostrategic corasroads of East and West, the Iris' apple for the Great Forces, without having to deal with an intelligent nation able to defend itslef. You can continue going to your miserable Catholic Church and eat your waffer. In a few years thy may give also a Big Mac and soda for free. You are free to continue living in the Middle Ages and believe in Pope's infalaibility. You can even lament for the last pope who resigned because he had a slip and fall accident and thought that he lost divine sovereinghty. You are even free to join the Masai or Zulu of African. I am sure they far more sophisticated than believing in the medieval concept of Papal Infailability and that Pope is the Vicar of God. It's idolatry and Roman Empreror's worship vaieled in a fake form of Christianity. Keep being a subhuman. It's you choice. But make inform choices rather. Don't be a puppet Don't be a sheep. And don't callk yourself Greek, proud American, proud European, a free man or anything like that, because all you are is a servant of the new Globalized Village run by atheists international bankers who sodomize themselves in the Bohemian Groove and the Bildernberg Club's infamous parties. Take my advice: get a good shrink. Be authentic. Find who you are and keep your neurosis to yourself. We have no time to babysit you online. Good luck.

Alexander G. Colombos said...

To Charlie Patseas. It took me a while to understand your delirious word salad. It seems that you project your own inabilities and lack of education when you talk about "educated Greeks". You generalize your own experience not just with the entire Greek-American community, but with the entire hellenism. New generations in Greece and Cyprus have nothing to do with what you describe in your anti-Greek, self-defeating rant. You remind me of those ignorant Italian-Americans who have burned their bridges with the Old World and they associate the ancient and great Italian culture with mafia, Comora, and the padrino. Unfortunately, we have some ignorant Greek-Americans and even Greeks who think of Greek culture like that, but they fortunately do not represent the majority of the Greeks. You need to read history and see that the problem starts with some treators like you who sabotage great cultures and give up to eternal predators like the Pope and some other crooks. You can be his servant and send him some checks to so he can bless you via his Bank of Vatican and issue for you an indulegence. Fruit cakes and subhumans with a brain of a pea like you do not need an ancient and authentic form of christianity, a great spiritual force whose history and culture are embeded in ancient Greek philosophy, Greek language and Greek ethos. People like you who know Greek culture as much as a fish knows how to play tennis, to the point of spelling buzuki as buzaki, should not talk about Greek culture. Do your homework before you speak or write. People like you who surrender to ethnic cleansing leaders of globalization have contributed to the economic crisis and Henry Kissinger's dream of breaking down Greece by attacking its culture, language and religion so the elite of global businessman can exploit oil and mineral resources in the Aegean, the geostrategic corasroads of East and West, the Iris' apple for the Great Forces, without having to deal with an intelligent nation able to defend itslef. You can continue going to your miserable Catholic Church and eat your waffer. In a few years they may even give you during the Catholic Mass a waffer combo coming with fries, a Big Mac and soda for free and get some free points next time you go to McDonald's. You may need to read that article "The McDonaldization of Society" so you wake up and smell the coffeee. People like you do not deserve to have antidoron or the Greek piece of bread blessed in Holy Communion to resemble the body of Christ. You are free to continue living in the Middle Ages and believe in Pope's infailability even now in the 21st century. You can even lament for the last pope who resigned because he had a slip and fall accident and thought that he lost divine sovereinghty. You are even free to join the Masai or Zulu of Africa. I am sure they are far more sophisticated than believing in the medieval concept of Papal Infailability and that Pope is the Vicar of God. It's idolatry and Roman Empreror's worship vaieled in a fake form of Christianity. Keep being a subhuman. It's you choice. But make inform choices rather. Don't be a puppet Don't be a sheep. And don't call yourself Greek, proud American, proud European, a free man or anything like that, because all you are is a servant of the new Globalized Village run by atheist international bankers who sodomize themselves in the Bohemian Groove and the Bildenberg Club's infamous parties. Take my advice: get a good shrink. Be authentic. Find who you are and keep your neurosis to yourself. We have no time to babysit you online. Good luck.