Patriot's Blog Archives for 2021-08

Wentworth Cheswell, the Black Man Who Rode With Revere

Wentworth Cheswell, the Black Man Who Rode With Revere

 

Wentworth Cheswell is considered New Hampshire’s first archaeologist and the first African-American elected to public office in the United States. He also rode north when Paul Revere rode west to warn colonists that the redcoats were coming.

He was born on April 11, 1746, to a biracial father, Hopestill Cheswell (sometimes spelled Cheswill), and Katherine Keniston, who was white. Hopestill was the son of a white woman and an enslaved black man, Richard Cheswell. Under the laws of the day, Hopestill’s status followed his mother, so he was free.

Eventually Hopestill’s father bought his freedom. and in 1717 purchased 20 acres of land in Newmarket, N.H. Richard’s land purchase is considered the first by an African-American in New Hampshire

Hopestill, a housewright and carpenter, built the John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth, N.H., as well as the Samuel Langdon House (now in Sturbridge Village) and the Bell Tavern (since burned in the Portsmouth fire of 1867).

 

WENTWORTH CHESWELL, TOWN LEADER

 

Hopestill earned enough money to send Wentworth to Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Mass. Wentworth took advantage of his unusual educational privilege and worked as a schoolmaster in Newmarket. By the time he reached 21 he owned more than 30 acres and a pew in the meetinghouse.

At 21 he married 17-year-old Mary Davis of Durham, N.H. They had 13 children. Their descendants identified as white, and the census listed Cheswell as white. Records of comments by his contemporaries suggest they viewed him as biracial.

In 1768, 22-year-old Wentworth Cheswell won election as town constable. George Mason University determined that made him the first African-American elected to public office. Cheswell beat out Vermont’s Alexander Twilight for the honor. For all but one year of his life, Cheswell held public office including town selectman, assessor, scrivener, justice of the peace and auditor.

 

RIDING WITH REVERE

 

He also won election as town messenger for the Committee of Safety, which meant he had to carry news to and from Exeter, N.H. On Dec. 13, 1774, he and Paul Revere rode in different directions to warn Portsmouth citizens of the approach of two British warships. The British intended to retake gunpowder and weapons stolen by the colonists from Fort William and Mary.

When the American Revolution broke out, Wentworth Cheswell enlisted in Col. John Langdon’s Company of Light Horse Volunteers and fought at the Battle of Saratoga. When he finished his military service he returned to Newmarket, where he ran a store next to his schoolhouse. He also did fieldwork and wrote reports on the town’s artifacts. For that he earned the distinction as New Hampshire’s first archaeologist.

Cheswell and other men also founded the Newmarket Social Library, to which he bequeathed his books.

Wentworth Cheswell died at age 70 of typhus on March 8, 1817. He and his descendants were buried on his farm.

 

This will be the topic and discussion for the week. I hope you enjoyed the blog and learned a few new facts, thank you for reading.

Crispus Attucks, the Boston Massacre Hero

Crispus Attucks, the Boston Massacre Hero

 

The first person to die in the Boston Massacre was an African American sailor named Crispus Attucks. Not much is known about Crispus Attucks prior to his death in 1770, but his actions that day became a source of inspiration for both White and Black Americans for years to come.

 

Attucks Enslaved

Attucks was born around 1723; his father was an African man enslaved in Boston, and his mother was a Natick Indian. His life up until he was 27 years old is a mystery, but in 1750 Deacon William Brown of Framingham, Massachusetts, placed a notice in the Boston Gazette that a man he enslaved, Attucks, had run away. Brown offered a reward of 10 pounds as well as reimbursement for any incurred expenses to anyone who caught Attucks.

 

The Boston Massacre

No one captured Attucks, and by 1770 he was working as a sailor on a whaling ship. On March 5, he was having lunch near Boston Common along with other sailors from his ship, waiting for good weather so they could set sail. When he heard a commotion outside, Attucks went to investigate, discovering a crowd of Americans clustered near the British garrison.

 

The crowd had gathered after a barber's apprentice accused a British soldier of not paying for a haircut. The soldier struck the boy in anger, and a number of Bostonians, seeing the incident, gathered and shouted at the soldier. Other British soldiers joined their comrade, and they stood as the crowd grew larger.

 

Attucks joined the crowd. He took leadership of the group, and they followed him to the customs house. There, the American colonists began throwing snowballs at the soldiers guarding the customs house.

The accounts of what happened next differ. A witness for the defense testified at the trials of Captain Thomas Preston and eight other British soldiers that Attucks picked up a stick and swung it at the captain and then a second soldier.

 

The defense laid the blame for the actions of the crowd at Attucks' feet, painting him as a troublemaker who incited the mob. This may have been an early form of race-baiting as other witnesses refuted this version of events.

 

However much they were provoked, the British soldiers opened fire on the crowd that had gathered, killing Attucks first and then four others. At the trial of Preston and other soldiers, witnesses differed on whether Preston had given the order to fire or whether a lone soldier had discharged his gun, prompting his fellow soldiers to open fire.

 

The Legacy of Attucks

Attucks became a hero to the colonials during the American Revolution; they saw him as gallantly standing up to abusive British soldiers. And it is entirely possible that Attucks decided to join the crowd to take a stand against perceived British tyranny. As a sailor in the 1760s, he would have been aware of the British practice of impressing (or forcing) American colonial sailors into the service of the British navy. This practice, among others, exacerbated tensions between v and the British.

 

Attucks also became a hero to African Americans. In the mid-19th century, African American Bostonians celebrated "Crispus Attucks Day" every year on March 5. They created the holiday to remind Americans of Attucks' sacrifice after Black people in America were declared non-citizens in the (1857) Supreme Court decision. In 1888, the city of Boston erected a memorial to Attucks in Boston Common. Attucks was seen as someone who had martyred himself for American independence, even as he himself had been born into the oppressive system of enslavement.

 

This will be the topic and discussion for the week. I hope you enjoyed the blog and learned a few new facts, thank you for reading.

Rich VS Wealthy: Key Differences Between The Two (Part 2 of 2)

The difference between being rich and wealthy 

 

There is a bit more to being rich vs wealthy than how much money you have in your bank account. In fact, it’s possible for someone who makes less than a rich person to actually be wealthier than the rich person with the fancy car and latest fashion designs. 

That’s because rich people spend a lot of money, but wealthy people save and invest most of their money. Wealthy people might have a lot of money, but they don’t spend it all in one go. And they certainly don’t use debt unless it’s for a very clear purpose, such as an investment on a house. 

Instead, a wealthy person saves as much money as possible and invests it in assets. That might mean buying real estate or investing in the stock market. Regardless of how they invest, wealthy people know that in order to grow their wealth, they need to turn their cash into assets. 

 

How to become wealthy 

 

If you want to become wealthy, there are a few things you can do to get started. Don’t just focus on how big your paycheck is. You also want to avoid schemes that sell you ideas to get rich quickly. Instead, follow these steps to eliminate debt and have the right mindset when it comes to amassing wealth. 

 

Save 10-15% of your paycheck every month 

 

The first step to becoming wealthy is to save a portion of your paycheck every month, no matter how much or how little you make. Always set aside at least 10% to 15% every month.

You can set up your bank account so that a portion of your paycheck is deposited directly into your savings. This is an easy way to save without even needing to think about it. If you struggle with saving, try a savings challenge, or look at your budget and find out where you can eliminate expenses. 

 

Pay off debt, starting with high-interest debt

 

If you want to be wealthy, you need to be debt-free. Focus on paying off your debt, starting with high-interest loans such as credit card debt.

Find out if it makes sense to refinance your student loans or mortgage for a better interest rate. You can also look into things like student debt forgiveness. 

Make becoming debt-free your number one priority! 

 

Invest as soon and as much as you can 

 

One of the quickest ways to grow your wealth is to invest it. Of course, investing comes with its own risks, but there are plenty of options available. You can use an automated service like a robo-advisor, get investment advice from a broker, or invest in things other than the stock market, like physical assets. 

No matter what you do, do something! You can even put your money in a high-yield savings account to accrue interest until you’re ready to invest it. Make your money work for you. 

 

Don't splurge on unnecessary expenses  

 

The key to growing wealth is being frugal and living within your means. In fact, you should live far below your means so that you can invest your extra income and savings.

That means resisting the urge to buy those designer jeans or buying the latest iPhone model when an older model will work just as well. Be smart about what you spend your money on and only buy the things that you not only need, but that will also last in value. 

 

Think about your long-term financial goals and assets 

 

Growing wealth is a long-term commitment. It’s not something that happens overnight. It could take you years to build up your wealth and that’s okay. When things get tough, remember your long-term goals and why you chose to try to become wealthy in the first place. 

 

Wealth is a mindset 

 

Being wealthy doesn't start with a huge wallet full of cash. Wealth starts with the right mindset. Save a portion of your income, focus on becoming debt-free, and invest early and often. 

If you want to be wealthy, you need to always think about your long-term goals. Do you want to retire early? Own a few houses? Travel? When thinking about wealth, don't just focus on your income, but focus on building up your investments and assets to last you a few lifetimes.

 

This will be the topic and discussion in a two part series, this is two of two. I hope you enjoyed the blog and learned a few new facts, thank you for reading.

Rich VS Wealthy: Key Differences Between The Two (Part 1 of 2)

Rich VS Wealthy: Key Differences Between The Two

 

When we think of someone being rich vs wealthy, we might think it’s the same thing but it’s not. For some reason, the words rich and wealthy are often incorrectly used to describe the same thing.

The two words might seem like synonyms, but they are completely different. It’s hard to spot the difference, but being rich and being wealthy is not the same thing. 

What does it mean to be rich? 

Being rich is simply having a lot of money or income. It comes down to how much cash you have in your bank account. But just because you’re rich, doesn’t mean you are wealthy.

In fact, being rich can often mean that you are spending a lot of money. It can also mean that you have a lot of debt. It doesn’t matter how much money you have if your expenses are higher than your income. Being in debt is definitely not something to aspire to! 

People who are rich might drive a fancy car or live in an amazing house in the best part of town, but it comes at a cost. If you make $200,000 a year, but spend $225,000 a year in expenses, you might seem rich, but you’re on your way to going broke. 

As a matter of fact, plenty of celebrities have gone broke because of their rich lifestyles. 

MC Hammer at one point had $30 million in the bank, a $1 million house with 200 staff members, and a horse stable with 19 racehorses. But all those expenses took a toll and all that spending (along with a number of lawsuits), resulted in Hammer declaring bankruptcy in 1996. He ended up in $13 million in debt.  

What does it mean to be wealthy? 

Being wealthy is not only having enough money to meet your needs but being able to afford not to work if you don’t have to. It’s about amassing assets and making your money work for you. In other words, it’s having a significant net worth

Wealthy people don’t necessarily own the latest gadgets or cars or throw lavish parties. What they do have, is a lot of assets, such as real estate, investments, and cash. For example, if your monthly expenses are $5,000 per month, and you have $30,000 in savings, then you have about six months worth of wealth.  If you invest that $30,000 and you end up with $5,000 a month in investment revenue, you are wealthy.

The most wealthy people in America are often business owners. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is worth $145 billion, while Warren Buffet is worth $80.8 billion. Buffet is considered a frugal billionaire. Despite his massive wealth, he still lives in the Nebraska home he bought in 1958 for $31,500. And while he bought a vacation beach house in California for $150,000 in 1971, he ended up selling it for $7.5 million

 

This will be the topic and discussion in a two part series, this is one of two. I hope you enjoyed the blog and learned a few new facts, thank you for reading.