America’s Real Independence Day–19 October…read on…

19 Oct 1781, more than 7,000 English and Hessian troops, under the British General Lord Cornwallis, surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown Virginia.  While this surrender ended actual hostilities, the war did not officially end until the Provisional Treaty of Paris, 30 Nov 1782 and the Final Treaty of Paris, 3 Sep 1783.

As the British laid down their arms and boarded English ships to leave America in defeat, 9 French ships of the Line ringed the harbor–to ensure that the British did, in fact, leave.

__The American Revolution ended the Proclamation of 1763 ordering Americans to stay on the east side of the line.  And if they had already located lands and moved west, they were to remove themselves to the east side of that line–

  1. Examine a detailed Virginia map.
  2. If your Virginia ancestors were in Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina, they were to withdraw into Bedford County Virginia.
  3. If your ancestors were in western Maryland, territory that would become West Virginia, across the river into southern Ohio, they were to withdraw into the area around Shenandoah County Virginia.

And since your Americans ancestors were law-abiding people, they at least removed their families to the designated safe areas.  The men often stayed in the western territories to hold the area for the new United States and to safeguard their personal land claims.

__The American Revolution ended state-supported churches and stipulated that Americans could freely choose their religious worship.  Since the new Constitution did not have a specific provision for religious freedom, it was one of the rights protected under the Bill of Rights, added as amendments to the original document.

According to the Congressional Register, on June 8,1789, James  Madison moved that the “civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner or on any pretext infringed.”

__The American Revolution ended royal ownership and control of a continent of lands.  The large estates of Loyalist landlords were confiscated and auctioned off.  Land Companies, made up of mostly Americans and including many Revolutionary veterans accumulated large holdings–so they could sell the lands and increase their own wealth.  There was so much land, however, that no man who wanted to own and control his destiny was denied.  There was enough and to spare.

Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Each and every day of a 365-day year could be a day of celebration in America–just look for the fact and celebrate it.  4 July.  19 October.  30 November. 3 September.  8 June.  These are all days of Independence where we can celebrate the American freedoms we all enjoy.

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