The Founding Conservatives
Okay it is time for us to take just a small jaunt — let’s say to around Philadelphia, and of course since our readers enjoy the time, spatial, or lack of either constraints, let’s board the time machine and go back to what may be argued the beginnings of conservative America or take some time listing who were the first real conservatives and what type of life they enjoyed. But first ——
Our time machine seems somehow locked on the fall of 1779, where there seems to be a small and rational riot going on the streets of Philadelphia that changed the course of the Revolution, and forever altered the nature of American politics. We soon came to find out that it was the famed fatal riot dubbed Ft. Wilson’s Riot insofar as it began when the raggedy, filthy, and literally starving hungry militiamen, enraged over the everising cost of bread, whilst seizing four rich merchants to pay.
At the exact same time as the crowd drug, marched, and harassed these merchants it became immediately known that they were headed toward the house of a prosperous lawyer and soon to be a justice for the U.S. Supreme Court. With fixed bayonets and a lone drummer beating “The Rogues March” the mob paraded its captives around the city until James Wilson’s house came into view.
Wilson, other than being a prosperous lawyer, was a well-known staunch free-market advocate and opposed the sorts of price controls demanded by the radicals. The one thing that Mr. Wilson knew was that this crowd wasn’t coming in peace.
Informed of an attack that was imminent, America’s leading conservatives rushed to Wilson’s house that afternoon to defend him. Amid the growling, hungry and armed militiamen with shouts of profanity and faint drum taps, they hastily barricaded the building and readied their powder. As for typical reporting no one knows who fired the first shot, but within ten minutes the mob had rolled a cannon into firing position and was smashing through Wilson’s doors with hammers and iron bars.
Blood stained the street, and by the time the mob retreated, five men were dead and fourteen wounded. That America’s conservative leadership even survived the Ft. Wilson Riot, as it was soon called, would have a lasting impact on American politics.
The then street fight had a seismic impact on public perception as well. Within a year, fear of the mob would lead to the decline of radical power and the ascendance of conservatism as the dominant political force in America for the next 10 to 30 years. Those decades were among the most formative in American history, and during this time conservatives found themselves in a position to shape the new republic, from rewriting the state constitutions and running the government under the Articles of Confederation to drafting the Constitution and getting it ratified by the states.
Any source documentation comes from a new book entitled, The Founding Conservatives written by David Lefer. As for me the ability to share such true history that has not been available with America’s public school system ought to provide a different perspective about just about everything we have ever been exposed too.