Monday, March 15, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 41

When Bob Alcumbrack found the three cannonballs it was the break he and crew needed to hone his dowsing skills. At least now he had physical evidence that the Cannonsburg cannon really existed and wasn't just legendary. The size of the ball at 1.87" suggests it was shot from a 2.01 inch bore English cannon called a Falconet and not necessarily a Falcon, but we had to consider the fact the diameter sizes might be a different size for a French falconnett.

The cannonballs found indicated the cannon would have been cast before 1643, because after that date an English falconet's bore chamber increased to 2.25 inches, which made the cannonball to small for safe cannon firing. What also dates the cannon is whether or not the balls had been fired. The striations on a fired ball changed about 1716, but the balls Bob found weren't fired so don't construe this as not being from the cannon. The striations on fired cannonballs are the forensic ballistics of all shells. These striations appear on all fired shells whether from cannons, rifles and pistols.

At least the cannonballs found gave Bob a physical characteristic indicating type of cannon he should envision, but with the evidence presented he still had trouble picturing a cannon that could be anywhere from 44-72 inches long. The cannon might be of English, French, Spanish, Danish or Austrian design. Just because Bob found three virgin cannonballs (secret not previously mentioned) didn't mean they could be fired from the Cannonsburg cannon. Bob assumed they were keepsake balls from the cannon, but per chance they might have been remembrance heirlooms from a different cannon.

Bob had a 50/50 chance the balls could or couldn't be from the Cannonsburg cannon, but what increased the odds to 80/20 was the fact the cannonballs were found amongst the possessions of one of the founding fathers of Cannon Township and he buried the cannon before the Tompsett accident. Say it was you who found the cannonballs under the same conclusions would you continue the search with a positive mindset or would you go with a negative mindset and forget digging for the cannon?

When you launch an expedition and are engaged in treasure hunting it is best to find some sort of tangible evidence before you commit lots of expeditures of cash for supplies and equipment. Wrong or right this is what Bob did when he found one primary and two secondary sites for possible digging, but his only evidence was hardcopy documentation. One newspaper article and one book entry is all. He didn't have any physical in hand evidence, but with the virgin cannonballs he was energized like that pink bunny.

Trial and error is the best way to learn whether something will work or not. Those who succeed without ever failing don't know what it took to make it succeed and many times get frustrated when it breaks and they can't fix it. Everything looks great on paper until physical labor begins and that's when you find out if your dream can be fulfilled. Waiting until you have all the pieces doesn't mean you'll be anymore successful, but at least you tried to make something work and forgot about possible failures.

Trial and error in cannon founding was exhausting work and many crafters died needlessly trying to perfect the art of cannon founding. When we left the Verburggens' in 1756 Jan Verbruggens started casting solid guns, then drilled out the core last replacing casting guns on a core. King George II was impressed with the Verbruggens new technology of core drilling and he appointed them Master gun-founders at Woolrich. The Verbruggens churned out many cannons for ten years until subordinates filed papers of protests against them with the Dutch War Office charging them with hiding from King George serious mistakes in cannon founding when installing new furnaces.

The two brothers were concealing shoddy workmanship by covering up irregularities in cannon founding and the Verbruggens were ordered to stop production until the Dutch commission had appointed a Stadtholder (DU Chief Magistrate) in 1765. Cannons weren't being proofed and too many of King George's artillerymen were being killed by first firing cannons. For too long two bad kings, the father and grandfather of King George III scrimped to save time and money at the expense of loyal artillerymen. Englands oldest cannons went to America for the American Revolutionary War (1775-83) and the War of 1812 (1812-18). During both wars America had to overcome many disadvantages, however, during each war America was ill prepared, too, because it lacked trained artillerymen and infantrymen.

Americans believed they could fight off a British invasion by using a citizen militia. We did defeat the professionally trained British navy and army. We had to endure lots of trial and error tactics before we got it right and certain American's took this challenge seriously and we prevailed. The War of 1812 wasn't popular with all on either side of the Atlantic and didn't support the entire population in America or Great Britian. Many in America were willing to support British rule, but President James Madison and President James Monroe fought to win and keep our fledgling nation a democratic country.

War is never popular, but once you start you finish it no matter when people change their minds or beliefs and no longer support the President. He's the leader, but you continue to support America and its troops wherever they are fighting in harms way and stay the course until you win or lose. Today the terrorists win and democracy dies when you don't win to succeed lest you become submissive to terrorism and lose. Fight to win or be the doormat to failure. Kings and Presidents have always been unpopular with large populations of its people who feel vulnerable when the fight is NIMBY (not in my back yard).

Americans have always fought for the rights of others whether inside or outside America. That's our heritage since the frontier days of Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie. They fought for Independents fighting for democracy. They sacrificed for the benefit of others. Fight to stay free otherwise radical terrorists will extinguish democracy and our rights to live as free people.

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the 911 World Trade Center terrorist attack happened in America, but the terrorists targeted all the countries of the world including America and they did so without warning or announcing war declarations. The radical extremists wanted to exterminate democracy and religions of others. Fight or die. Win or lose. When verbal threats don't work to change circumstances that's when war action starts. Our founding fathers wanted something better than English rule. Ignoring terrorist problems elsewhere because its "not in your back yard" is a like stuffing your head down a gopher hole so you won't see or hear terrorists until you feel the heat flame your ass. To a radical terrorist its embrace Islamic law or die. Ignore terrorism and your ass will pass your head when the bomb goes off stamping out our democracy and freedom forever. Freedom isn't a free! That's what Americans have been doing since 1775.

Payment of exorbitant taxes on tea importation from England is what started the Boston Tea Party, the dumping of tea into the Boston harbor. Americans were seething mad and this is what started the America Revolutionary War. Duty taxes were rising and Americans didn't like funding the monarchy of Britian and ruling them as subjects under Crown rule. We were being taxed to oblivion without representation.

Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence who sat around a table drinking Goldenrod tea died horrible deaths. The signers along with family members were murdered or killed and houses and farms burned to the ground by British officials. They paid with their lives for signing our freedom document.

Look where our American government has taken us today. Everything is taxed. Taxed without representation from the people. Taxed by Congress who won't listen to the people. Taxed by President Obama. Spend, spend, spend, tax, tax, tax is what President Obama believes to rescue us from our dung heap of economic distress instead of taking aim at greedy investors, oil barrens and dysfunctional financial companies who support predatory lending practices.

The people continue to get the shaft by Congress and the President. The peoples investments, pensions and retirement funds were stolen and those who got the TARP funds and stimulus capital who caused the problems get rewarded and the people get stuck with higher interests rates on loans, credit cards and higher taxes. The economy is in shambles and unemployment is rampant and the treasonous greed of others the people bailed out are reaping huge bonuses and the government is running amok threatening the people with higher taxes again to pay for the new health care debacle. Prison convicts have a better life than citizens. They get room, board, food, recreation, education all free from tax duty, while the people live in a tax troubled environment.

The President says Americans should save more money. We can't when he wants more of what we earn and he's wasting it by spending before we've earned it. Americans can't save money when the people are being taxed to death. Taxed beyond representation by Congress and the President is the fault of the people. Congress is dysfunctional. They work for us - not themselves. We are not willing to fight big government intrusions into our lives and now the President and Congress wants to rule not from the will of the people, but by wishful fulfillment of his campaign unsound promises with predatory spend and tax practices.

Government ownership of failing businesses, banks, health care and people is not democracy. It is Socialism, the same type of government people had in Russia or Soviet Union. Government ownership of private corporations is not democracy rule, but dictatorial or radical. American's should tax Congressional pension benefits higher than the people for taking us into a tax hellhole without people representation. This is exactly what England did to Americans that led to the American Revolutionary War. People representation was absent. Stop the proliferatory and predator taxation without voter approval. Demand it!

It takes two wings for a bird to fly. Congress has two wings, the conservative and liberal, the republicans and democrats. The independents get the tail. Since a bird can't fly with one wing, why should the people believe the Democrats and President can pass health care reform with one wing to make the health care successful. That's an unnatural act and defies the laws of nature. The spendthrifts are destroying our return to economic recovery with threats of even higher tax spending. This ends my diatribe on tax prophetizing for what I see from a historian standpoint. Various kings and queens had different perspectives on how to protect homelands, the good, bad and ugly shortcuts taken to save money at the expense of artillerymen lives. Many soldiers and sailors sacrificed their lives for God, country and cheap King's or Queen's never realizing they might die sooner because of shoddy cannon founders.

Our forefathers and fathers died to keep our freedoms alive, but today that is being stripped away. Our lives, liberties and the pursuit of happiness with justice for all is flying in the face of extinction. History is repeating itself and as Americans we've forgotten the lessons our forefathers learned and are now complacent to let our politicians and President's decide our future. Just as they had the Boston Tea Party it's time to empower the people again to use tea and coffee parties and take the government to task for misrepresentating the people.

Next time we'll get into what possibly went wrong when Walter Tompsett was killed and more secrets will be resurrected. Until then as Red Green of PBS fame would say "We're all in this together."

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