The Capitol Hillbillies

Come listen to a story bout a man who said..
Ballots being stuffed.. people voting who are dead
Go stand up for your rights… cause they think you are a fool
Grab your rebel flag… meet me at the Capitol…
F*ck up he did.. now they going to jail… ervbody… – Jed Clampett

In the spring of 1814 the British troops were stationed at the Niagara Peninsula at Port Dover on the Canadian side of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The war was fought in part because the Americans were trading with the French whom were fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. There were five Napoleonic wars with the fifth ending in 1815. The fifth war is probably the most well known. It was called the Hundred Day War. Napoleon had left his exile from Elba Island, where he had been banished during the fourth Napoleonic war. He was defeated at Waterloo and then exiled again to the  island of Saint Helena, where he died in May 1821. Yeah, Im taking the scenic root, but we gonna get there… So I know you heard about Napoleon being shorter than crack head with four dollars. Well that’s not really true. He was 5’6’ft, which was the average height of men in those days. The rumor came about because the British liked to portray their enemies in a bad light. They called him “Little Boney.” It didn’t help that he was always surrounded by his Imperial Guard who were some of the biggest meanest $$#@ you could find… and next to them he came up a “bit short…” (It’s not pretty, but I had to say it…) Anywho let’s move along.. So yeah, the British fighting the Americans in 1814 were being supplied from camp in Canada and the Americans were on the US side of Lake Erie. They had been stationed there to protect a shipyard which was falling apart and no longer needed. They were commanded to abandon it and join the main Army at Buffalo, New York. Well a certain Captain Arthur Sinclair, commanding the the United States Navy on Lake Erie, and Lieutenant Colonel John B. Campbell, commanding the troops at Presque Isle, a sandy peninsula on the lake, wanted to show the British a little love before they left. So on May 13, 1814, 750 troops from Campbell’s command boarded Sinclair’s ships and headed for the British at the Niagara Peninsula and Port Dover.

Skeeter: Looky der!! Looky der!! My lawd, Bill, der goes da Wide House and de Capoteel of De Yenited States!! You eva seen such!!
Bill: Can’t say I have Skeeter..
Skeeter: Wen we git der Ima have one of dem….
Bill: Skeeter we ain’t neva gonna git der if you don’t keep pedaling!!

The expedition landed on May 14, 1814 near Port Dover. They did run into a couple of folks, but they were quickly dispatched. The next day Campbell and his troops arrived at the Village of Dover, where he gave his troops the order.. “Show them the love!” “The troops immediately set about burning every building in the settlement, twenty houses, three flour mills, three sawmills, three distilleries, twelve barns and most of the other buildings. All livestock was shot, and their bodies left to rot. Some of Sinclair’s sailors took the hind ends of the slaughtered hogs, but other than these thefts, they did not take anything else.” They did not plunder as in taking personal items from the citizenry. It reminds me of a scene I saw in a movie where the plunderers in addition to taking personal items were also taking chandeliers. I’m like.. what in the Alabama Sears and Roebuck does a ##@! need with a chandelier? Anywho… the people were allowed to remove their personal items before their houses were set on fire. They were not able to take much in light of the fact that there were men standing on their front porches with fire. Much of the property that was burned belong to a man named Robert Nichol. I don’t want to go into Robert’s life too much except to say that he stepped on some toes during his lifetime and in 1864 he died at Queenston Heights when his horse and carriage went over a cliff. I will let you decide if this was an accident or a lesson… Okay so back to the story… after burning Dover, Campbell’s men returned to their ships and sailed away. On their way back they saw a couple of buildings still standing and stopped to burn those down too. Luckily for the British, before the initial raid by the Americans or in the name of precaution, the British had removed most of the supplies the Americans had come to destroy.

Bill: Skeeter the Pressadent is bout to began da rally speech. Did ya git da hotdogs from dat corner wagon?
Skeeter: Naw Bill.. dat man said he don’t haf no more. I was feeling a might put out when anotta man by dat alley said he knew where to git some but they was on da otter block. So I gave him da money. Den he said he was feeling might poorly and didnt feel like hiking up yonder. So I told him he could use our bike.
Bill: You idiot!! You gave him da money and let him steal our bike!!
Skeeter: Now Bill what kinda fool ya think I am!! How he gonna steal our bike when I got de lock and chain right here!!

Now normally you would think that destroying the enemies supplies would garner medals for everybody… in the least a couple of “atta boys.” Nope, not his time. Campbell had burned down Port Dover on his own authority and said it was in retaliation for the British attack on Havre de Grace in Maryland. So what’s the big deal you ask? Well Campbells attack took place on Canadian soil. The British response was.. well British:
No. 1
By the Honorable Alexander Cochrane, K.B. &c, &c, &c.
“Whereas… it appears that the American troops in Upper Canada have committed the most wanton and unjustifiable outrages on the unoffending inhabitants by burning their mills and houses, and by a general devastation of private property…
You are hereby required and directed to destroy and lay waste such towns and districts as you may find assailable. You will hold strictly in view the conduct of the American army towards His Majesty’s unoffending Canadian subjects and you will spare merely the lives of the unarmed inhabitants of the United States.”

Now the British are some laid back folks…. Imagine if they was Black folks who was attacked…
No. 1
By the Pissed Off Commander Down N Dirtee, M.F &Dats, &Rite
Whereas.. it appears now you done fu*ked up and sent your boys into the hood and they have burned down the Popeye’s and the Liquor store and peed in Miss Lily’s collard green garden, and generally offended people by calling them out of they names…
You are hereby required and ordered to kick as much ass as you may find assailable. I mean all of it.. You will hold strictly in view the conduct of those rednecks by only smacking the sh*t out the unoffending Americans, thus sparing the lives of the unarmed inhabitants of the United States… but if a Moe act like dat.. shoot his ass off.

Lol.. let me stop.. okay so the attack on Port Dover sets the stage for one of the most memorable events in American history. As I said earlier the British and Americans were at war because of US trade with France. The war had been going on for two years when the British fought and won the Battle at Bladensburg. Yep I am talking about Bladensburg Maryland. So those who are familiar with Bladensburg know that it just a hop, skip and jump from Washington DC. I had some good times in Bladensburg and I have had some bad times in Bladensburg. Let me tell you about one of the bad times. When I brought my first car, a yellow TRW, I used to hang out with this old player named Smitty. Smitty and I worked together at the Naval Medical Center on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda MD, which is now called Walter Reed Medical Center. Well I live in Manor Park, which is next to Takoma Park, MD, which was next to Langley, Park MD, which is where Smitty lived. Smitty didn’t have a car, so I would give him a lift home from work… for a couple of bucks. I was in my twenties then and Smitty was probably in his late forties. Smitty didn’t weigh even a hundred pounds, but he was a cool dude. He only had one eye and kept a patch over it, the kind you see pirates wear. I never did ask him how he lost it. Well anyway, one day I was taking Smitty home and he wanted to go out and get a bottle before he went home. I took him to this liquor store on Route 202 in Bladensburg to get his gin. Smitty was a gin drinker and the liquor was cheaper out there. I think he drank Beefeater.. anyway I didn’t drink gin, so on the way back Smitty said he would buy me a drink at a bar. Now back in the day.. I’m talking about the mid to late seventies, Bladensburg was like going to Mississippi… that’s right… racist walked around with ropes tied around their waist just in case a mofo would. Anyway, I let Smitty talk me into going into this bar for a drink… I figure one drink.. what’s the harm? It was a bright day outside, so when we went into the bar our eyes had to adjust. We went up to the bar, sat down and I asked for a rum and coke. The guy at the bar looked at me real strange like and then about five of the biggest racist bikers you ever saw came up and stood around us. One of them asked, “What are you doing in here?” I said “well we getting ready to leave..” At that moment Smitty all drunk up and stuffs pulls out a small pen knife and threatens them with it. When they saw that… them #$$@ got into their positions. Horrified.. I smacked the pen knife out of Smitty’s hand and told the bikers.. we getting ready to leave… The big one got out the way and I grabbed Smitty and we headed out the door. When we got outside.. some of the bikers were already out there and two of them mofers were sitting on the hood of my car. I went up to them and said “we getting ready to go..” He said.. ask me if you can go? I said can we go? Him and his friend got off the car and me and Smitty got in and took off. I cussed Smitty out all the way back!! I was mad as hell at Smitty for pulling out that pocket knife and at myself for being put in a position that I wasn’t use to. Remember I was from DC and the only white people I ever saw were leaving DC and going home. Like most black men in the 70’s in DC I belonged to a neighborhood gang. There were about 25 of us. A week later we went out to settle up with those racist, but they weren’t there. We went back a couple of times, but never saw them again. The last time we went there a couple of us sat on the bar instead of the stools and bartender call the police. About two cars came and told us to leave.. we did and that was the end of it. A few years later I went back.. about a 1/2 pound heavier if you know what I mean, but by that time blacks had move into Bladensburg and the club was now black. A few years after that Latino’s started moving in and a few years after that the club turned into a used car lot.

Bill: If you hadn’t given that guy our bike we would be there by now…
Skeeter: Bill I’m sorry.. I messed… Dis bus shouldn’t take long.. Dee snigras kill me.. Dey got his or hers buses..
Bill: What you gapping bout Skeeter?
Skeeter: When I asked the nigra what bus we on… he said men or sorta, South or East..
Bill: You sure dis the right bus?
Skeeter: Yeah.. I told that nigra I was a full blooded 100% American white man… who’s heart and soul belongs to Dixie.. take us South!!

Whew..we will get there .. I promise you… So the attack on Port Dover set the stage for an eventful act in American history… Following the attack on Bladensburg, a force led by Major General Robert Ross marched to Washington. Now at that time Washington was little more than a ten horse town and that is saying something because most of the cities in America were one horse towns. Ross entered the city on Maryland Avenue side and made his way to the US Capitol building. Seeing that it was the only thing worth burning, he set his men to it. But before they burned it down, they looted it. At the time the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court were also in the building. Ross also contemplated burning down the Executive Mansion also known as the White House but was deterred by a vicious storm that entered the city. Deterred but not stopped. They set it on fire too. James Madison’s personal enslaved attendant, a fifteen-year-old boy named Paul Jennings, was an eyewitness. After later buying his freedom from the widow Dolley Madison, Jennings published his memoir in 1865, considered the first from the White House. The book was called “A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison.” As a free man, Jennings bought a lot and built a house at 1804 L Street, NW. He had two children which he reunited with after the war. Just before his death Jenning married Amelia Dorsey in 1870. It was his third wife. He died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 75 in 1874 and was buried at Columbian Harmony Cemetery. When that cemetery closed in 1959, Jennings’ remains were re-interred in a mass grave at National Harmony Memorial Park in Landover, Maryland. In his will he left his family his house and property. That’s a picture of the building as it looks today at the top of this paragraph… okay so let’s get back to Ross… in addition Ross and his men were also besieged by old women and clergy from the Southern Presbyterian and Southern Baptist churches who asked for his aid in quelling the looting of private homes by his men. “Put that chandelier down @##!” Ross had two British soldiers put in chains for violation of his general order of retaliation. President Madison and his government had been fled the city after the loss at Bladensburg and had taken refuge at Brookeville MD. Brookeville is north of Olney.. near the Silver Spring MD area, a few miles past Wheaton. Remember back in those days the fastest thing they had going was a horse and not every soldier had one.. well 36 miles was saying something… If I was 36 miles away in the early 1800’s, I could “nah, nah, boo, boo,” your azz for a couple of days before you got to me. That’s why a lot of folks were hung from the nearest tree when they did catch a mofer. The items looted included a ledger entitled “An account of the receipts and expenditures of the United States for the year 1810,” that was taken from the President’s room in the Capitol. Noted by a British Admiral in his log, the ledger was taken on the capture of Washington, 24th August, 1814. It was later given to the admirals elder brother Sir James Cockburn, Governor of Bermuda. The book was eventually returned to the Library of Congress in 1940. So as I said earlier, the British were some laid back people in the 1800’s. They were also some very meticulous people. You ever hear that commercial from Grubhub that says ” I Want It All!! I Want It All!!” Yep payback is a b*tch!! The British wanted to burn the Capitol to the ground!! They set fire to the southern wing first. The flames grew so quickly that the British were prevented from collecting enough wood to burn the stone walls completely. In other words they ran out of wood.. As we I said earlier the Library of Congress was housed in the Capitol and lost 30,000 volumes of manuscript in the fire. Thomas Jefferson donated his library to get it started again after the British left. Even though they ran out of wood, the fire was intense enough to melt the glass skylights because of the intense heat. Fortunately, the building wasn’t a total loss. The lobby and some of the staircases survived as did the columns where you first enter the Capitol. Thomas Munroe, Superintendent of Buildings put the loss at $787,163.28.. yep them was some stingy people… they counted every penny.. that’s why you see 28 cents on the ledger. So $787,163 and 28 cents in 1814 is worth a whooping $15,401,702 and 28 cents in today’s money. Now 28 cents don’t by you much in 2021, but 28 cents was worth $5.48 in 1812.

Bill: You idiot.. we were on the wrong bus!! Where the hell have you gotten us..
Skeeter: I think we in hell Bill..
Blackman: Hey man can you spare a dollar for a brother..
Bill: Look nigra.. do I look like a bank to you?
Blackman: So you wanna come at a brother like that huh.. honkey!! ( Blackman whistles..)
Later on:
Skeeter: Bill you alright.. you shoulda just gave those nigras yo shoes… they might have went away…. well I for one am at least thankful that our gawd sent a goodun.. He got our socks and and hats back and took us to Dollar General to get some clothes.. Our pants may be a little short, but a least we got some… you can tell em you took that Malcolm X shirt from a nigra that sassed you… Bill you still mad at me… Bill…
Bill: Shut up…

Lol… man them cats are something else… The last time the Capital was invaded by usurpers was over 200 years ago. On January 6, 2012 far right rioters supporting President Donald Trump ransacked and defiled the US Capital in Washington DC. Five people died as a result of the melee, one on the floor of the Senate chamber and a security policeman, who was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher. The other three died as a result of heath issues exacerbated by the illegal petition. The hooligans occupied the building for several hours in an unlawful attempt to overturn a Presidential election. Calls for President Trump’s removal by resignation, through the 25th Amendment and impeachment have been put forward. Numerous attempts at finding the insurrectionists who violated our dome of democracy are now in the works, as dozens have already been identified.

Federal penalties for the unlawful occupation can run as high as 10 years in a federal penitentiary with and Jangle Leg and Gold (You Gonna Eat That Cornbread) Mouth. On January 20, 2021 Joe Biden will be sworn in as our 46th President. Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the first female and 50th person to hold the office of Vice President. May God Bless America and may Jangle Leg and Gold Mouth get their wish.


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