Disclaimer: I’m not one of those DAR go-to-meetings-and salute-the-flag-bluestockings, (as hard as my father tried.) I don’t require snotty social sanctioning of my pedigree. I am every bit as much a Daughter of the American Revolution as anyone drinking tea in Boston’s Back Bay.
Now that we’ve established that, here’s a brief rundown on the fellow who gives me that distinction.
My sixth-great grandfather, Captain John Pulling Jr., was one of the Sons of Liberty. He was a member of the first Committee of Correspondence. His main claim to fame is lighting the lanterns in Old North Church for his next-door-neighbor and best buddy Paul Revere, setting off his fateful ride.
For his pains, he was ratted out by the asshole acting as lookout (who often got credit for Captain Pulling’s actions) and spent the rest of his life with a British price on his head.
He lost everything he owned and spent his life in exile with his family, dying at the young age of 51.
I often find myself wondering what Captain Pulling, Revolutionary War hero, would think of the shit-show this country has become. And also, what would he advise as to the best course of action going forward?
I wonder about this a lot.
I can’t know his heart over 200 years after his death, but I do know his actions when the elites across the sea claimed the right to control and oppress the city of Boston and the rest of the colonies.
I’d be willing to bet unfair taxation and living under a police state did not sit well with him, anymore than it does with us. I’m sure John Pulling, Paul Revere, and Joseph Warren(also his old friend) had many passionate conversations on these matters before organizing their efforts with other American colonists.
I’m also convinced my ancestor would see the necessity of today’s ordinary citizens taking drastic action to save the nation he helped build.
After all, Papa was a revolutionary himself. According to those with the political power he was a criminal, a lunatic, a traitor.
I find it interesting that today’s flag-waving “patriots” have so thoroughly erased the truth behind the birth of their country. It was born of revolution. It was the violent overthrow of a corrupt, oppressive government and the ruling class that fueled it.
Today’s law and order types seem to forget this country was the outcome of criminal actions as defined by the status quo. The British instantly put a price on Captain Pulling’s head for hanging those iconic lanterns. (He narrowly escaped Boston that night disguised as a fisherman.)
And not every colonist was on board with the Sons of Liberty’s radical thoughts, plans, and actions either. There were plenty of obedient Loyalists who believed they all deserved to hang for treason, making colonial PTA meetings and cocktail parties quite awkward socially.
The passage of a couple centuries still can’t alter the fact that they were rebelling against their own government. Today’s puffed-up “patriots” apparently don’t see the irony of hating contemporary revolutionaries protesting the very same injustices the Sons of Liberty took issue with.
Taxation without representation — a catalyst then, a catalyst now.
So what advice would Captain Pulling have for his revolutionary, rabble-rousing seventh generation granddaughter and her ilk?
I believe it might go something like this:
“Hi, kid. I see you got my nose. Sorry about that. Glad to see the Pulling fire is still alive and burning in Massachusetts. Go Sox!
I am not happy with the current state of governmental affairs. What a muddle you’ve all made of our Great Experiment! So many of my friends gave their lives to spare future generations subjugation to an elite ruling class exploiting the “lower” orders. And this is how you thank us? By sitting back and letting them?
In my time, our “betters” saw us as nothing but chattel, existing only to further their aims and line their own pockets. This could no longer be borne.
Does this sound familiar to you, Granddaughter?
Today’s Americans allowed a cartel of corrupt pseudo-aristocrats to seize the reins once again because you took your Constitutional rights for granted.
Why don’t you modern Americans understand power won will always have to be power protected?
Freedom from oppression is never a done deal. It’s an ongoing struggle. The punishment for arrogant apathy is re-enslavement, and that’s precisely what I’m seeing here.
You wonder if I would be incensed by you and your comrades rebelling against the government of the country I gave up everything to midwife into being.
What you have now is not a country based on the ideals I sacrificed my own and my family’s safety and security for.
It’s not just acceptable that you revolt against tyranny in your government, it’s your sacred duty as patriotic Americans. I’m pretty sure we threw something in the Constitution to that effect.
Rising up against the unjust constraints thrust on you by the ruling class is American as it gets. I’m proud of all who realize and act on this, as these are the principles we built our fledgling nation on.
Unfortunately, the occasional Revolution is a necessary occurrence to purge the poison of corruption from any society.
Desperate times call for bold action from brave citizens.
So what are you waiting for?”
It would appear that thanks to synchronicity and serendipity, I am the Daughter of two American Revolutions. Here’s hoping I, and all of us, can do Captain Pulling proud.