Thursday, May 07, 2009

Molly Pitcher and the Nukes of Monmouth

One more pic from last weekend, to convey just how much things are greening up around here. Where I grew up, down around 30° N., spring came earlier in the year and mostly served as a backdrop for thunderstorms and a prelude to hot summers. Spring up here is a slower affair after a much deeper winter, marked by halts and cold backsliding. I can see why it's greeted with a bit more enthusiasm once it's finally here. Which is now.

Lilly's giving some kind of presentation about Molly Pitcher in school tomorrow, and was miffed this evening at discovering contradictory information on various web sites about that semi-historical, semi-mythic figure. "Which one is it?" she asked about a certain point of fact. I told her that it's hard to nail down facts about people who lived more than 200 years ago. That's true enough, but I skipped a more nuanced discussion of how good stories trump known facts often enough, and how it's even easier for good stories to trump ill-known and uncertain facts.

She'll get to that, eventually. But fifth grade isn't quite the time. Call it parental discretion.

In any case, Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth is a good story, and it ought to be taught in schools. While thinking about her, I took a look at the Battle of Monmouth page on Wiki, and came across this delightful revision. It might already be gone, so I'm going to paste it here: "Then, on June 18, the British began to evacuate Philadelphia, crossing New Jersey to go to New York City. They had 11,000 Nukes, a thousand loyalists and a baggage train 12 miles (19 km) long."



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