Profit by Example

May 29, 1765

The Stamp Act of 1765 was not turning out to be a popular agenda in the colonies of North America. British Parliament had created the Stamp Act as a way to fund British troops stationed in the colonies at the close of the Seven Years’ War. Americans argued that we didn’t need any troops here; we would have no trouble defending ourselves against Native Americans without the aid of the Redcoats. If the British wanted troops here, they should be funded by London.

The Stamp Act required any printed material (including playing cards, magazines, newspapers, legal documents, etc.) in America to use the special stamped paper produced in London, and that it be paid for with British currency rather than the colonial American paper money.

The Virginia House of Burgesses was divided. There were members who supported London, and those who were vehemently opposed to the taxes being levied by British Parliament. Patrick Henry was one of the latter. He decided to wait for the London loyalists to depart before delivering a speech that would help sway the upcoming vote to pass the Virginia Resolves.

Basically, the Virginia Resolves were pointing out to London that according to their own laws, Virginia should only be accountable for taxes that were voted on by a group which included representatives from Virginia itself. Since Parliament seemed to be missing any locals from the colony of Virginia, taxes should instead be determined by the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Patrick Henry’s speech, delivered on May 29, 1765, could have easily been grounds to be arrested for treason. “Cesar had his Brutus, Charles I his Cromwell, and George III may profit by their example.”

Upon returning to session next day, the London supporters within the House of Burgesses did everything in their power to have the Resolves struck from the record. To no avail. Patrick Henry, together with his supporters, managed to have four of the five Resolutions pass. The passage of the Virginia Resolves has become known as one of the first open acts of opposition to British rule, leading Americans down the path to the Revolutionary War.

Hickory Barbecued Duckling

2 pieces duck legs, trimmed
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown chicken stock
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mesquite smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cayenne powder
4 tablespoons smoked paprika
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 pieces chipotle chilies, dried
1 cup sweet Vidalia onions, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Pre-heat a large braising pan and add the olive oil, allow to get hot. Then add the duck legs and sear until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain extra fat. Add the onions, garlic and allow to caramelize. Then add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Place the duck legs back into the sauce and allow to simmer for 2 hours. Remove the duck legs and strain the sauce. Allow the duck legs to cool in the sauce and then remove and shred. Reserve the duck and sauce separately.

*recipe from the chefs at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia. The Homestead is rated in the Top 20 Southern Resorts and has hosted 22 US Presidents since the 18th century. Visit The Homestead by clicking here.


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