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Author Topic: Catergorising the Philhellenes for Rebels and Patriots?  (Read 2018 times)

Offline DintheDin

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Re: Catergorising the Philhellenes for Rebels and Patriots?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2021, 07:42:41 PM »
Samuel Howe: The unknown story of the American philhellene doctor

Samuel Grindley Howe [S.G. Howe] (1801-1876) was an American doctor, true philhellene, philanthropist and pioneer in the education of blind and disabled children.

He was born in Boston on November 10, 1801 and came from a wealthy family.

After receiving his degree in medicine in 1824 from Brown, Providence, he decided to offer his medical services in rebellious Greece.

The dynamics of the Greek movement and the support of Edward Everett prompted Howe to travel to Greece, shortly after his friend Jonathan Peckam Miller.

In December, upon arriving in Malta, he sends a letter to a friend and, along with others, writes: "The chances of me coming back are not many, but a little with me for that." 

At the beginning of 1825 he went out to Monemvasia and from there he went to Nafplio. Without delay, the Greek Government appoints him medical surgeon for the camp of Old Patras.

He immediately took up service in combat, treating wounded and sick fighters on the front line both on the battlefield and during naval operations.

He was later appointed doctor of the flagship of the Greek fleet Karteria and coordinator of all naval doctors. His ability as commander and his bravery gave him the euphemistic title "Lafayette" of the Greek war of independence.

In the first letter to his father he states among other things:

«... as far as my salary is concerned, I do not receive, nor do I care, since the Government is neither able to feed and undress the suffering soldiers...".

And he continues in his letter: "....Greek soldiers are ill-dressed. But they don't have any food. They don't get a salary. They're unlearned. One in 20 knows how to read or write. But they're very smart, lively, like goats in the mountains, and brave, if you let them fight their own way, shooting behind rocks and trees. Sailors can be compared to sailors all over the world. They always defeat enemies in naval battles. I have full confidence in their superiority....."

Howe, Jarvis and Miller never received financial compensation from the Greek government. They lived with incredible disasters and difficulties.

Howe describes in his notes their marches during military campaigns in the mountains, where he carried his gun, a sword (yatagan), two pistols in his belt and a large bag of his medical tools.

They often stayed up for days, ate weeds and snails in the mountains, slept on the ground covered only in blankets.

From his diary we read:

«... My work the night that passed was endless... I've had so many surgeries that I doubt I'd be able to do them during my entire years in Boston... two months now I sleep on the ground with clothes ... I had thought about getting out of here, but it would be an act of shameful..."

Samuel Howe supported the Greek movement in the US by often sending letters to the Greek committees and the press in America, as well as to his literary work, which is an important historical source.

The Greek government in the fall of 1827 asked Howe to return soon to America to present the situation in Greece.

In America he worked feverishly to reactivate the Greek movement.

He wrote a book about the Greek War of Independence, which became a best-seller, second in sales after Byron Harold's Child.

Howe toured all the states and raised large sums of money that financed eight shipments of ships with clothes and food for the Greeks.

This is the biggest help Greece received from abroad at the time.

America's aid and philhellenic movement
The Greek movement begins with an important liberal American academic and politician, Edward Everett, when he forwarded to the USA the letter sent in March 1821 by Mavromihalis and the Messinian Senate to Greece, to the American people.

He was also the first Professor of Greek at Harvard University and editor of a major magazine.

They met Adamantios Korais in 1817 in Paris. Two years later he visited Greece, making a trip that affected him deeply for the rest of his life.

In May 1821, shortly after the outbreak of the Revolution, the President of the Messinian Senate, Petrobeis Mavromihalis, as we mentioned, sent a letter to the citizens of America asking for their support and assistance.

"Deciding to live or die for freedom, we crawl towards you.... Your ares, oh Americans, they approach us to you, with all that we are divided by far-reaching seas. We think you are closer, despite our neighbouring nations, and we have friends and fellow citizens and brothers, for you are righteous, charitable and brave; ....».

This letter arrived in July 1821, through Adamantios Korais, to Edward Everett, with the request to be published.

Everett took strong action in favor of the Greek cause, constantly writing articles, asking for the support of the Americans in the Greek struggle.

He paralleled the struggle of the Greeks with that of his fellow citizens during the American Revolution.

Everett's texts decisively influenced and sensitized public opinion, as well as many who held public office, who raised the issue of American intervention in favour of Greece in the US Congress.

Many important figures in the social and political world took steps to support the Greek War of Independence.

For example, Daniel Webster gave an iconic speech before the US Congress, urging him to acknowledge the Greek War of Independence.

The dynamics of the Greek movement and the support of Edward Everett prompted Howe to travel to Greece as mentioned above.

The result of the action of the Greek organizations is the opening in Poros on November 25, 1827 of the American hospital with glorification by Bishop Damalon Ion.

Also great social assistance was offered by the Greek organizations and for the relief of the needy in clothes, food, medicines and other supplies transported by American ships to Poros.

A letter from the Anti-Government Committee from Poros to J. Miller on 23 May 1827 mentions a situation of orphans for the distribution of supplies (Anti-Government Committee, p. 233). At the KZ' Meeting of the Third National Assembly, on 9 April 1827, "a report of the Poriotian widows, seeking care, was read because they lost their men in the war" (GDP [3] enth. n. 1, p. 477). Already in March 1827 140 widows were reported (letter from Konstantinos G. Douzina, 3 March 1827 in the General Journal of 16 March 1827) while at the census of June 1828 175 were recorded.

J. Miller, escort and cargo manager of the ship Chancellor sent by the Philhellenic Committees of New York and Albany to relieve the needy, reports that in August 1827 the number of poor people in the area opposite Poros exceeds 2,000.

The fruit of the efforts made by the American philhellenes to help the Greeks was to charter and load in the space of 18 months 8 ships with clothes, food, medicines and other supplies for their distribution to the grieving civilians of the Peloponnese and the islands. The ships were as follows: Thontine (arrival at Poros 19 March 1827), Chancellor (Poros, 1 May 1827),Six Brothers (Nafplio, July 7, 1827), Levant (Poros, August 27, 1827), Statesman (Poros, September 9, 1627), Jane (Nafplio, November 5, 1827 for partial unloading and then Poros), Herald (Poros, July 26, 1828) and Suffolk (Aegina, November 12, 1828).

The philhellene and agonist Georges Jarvis mentions characteristically in his report on distributions : "....I must not forget that among the manifestations of gratitude are the glorifications that the priests searched in the churches of Angelokastro and Sofikos for the Americans who gave their mark and sent food here".

Howe organizes an agricultural community in Hexamilia, Corinthia
Samuel Howe, returning to the US in 1827 to raise money and supplies to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Famine-stricken Greece, brought with him a small number of orphaned children from Greece.

Howe's efforts eventually yielded the sum of $60,000 allocated to the food, clothing and refugee shelter in the Aegina region.

At the same time, he chose a group of about 700 refugees, and paid them alone for months to build the port in Aegina (capital of Greece at the time).

At the same time Kapodistrias donated to Howe 5,000 acres in Hexamilia, Corinth, from the estates that belonged to Kiamil Bay, after many efforts and pressure to the Governor where he organized a typical agricultural community called "Washingtonia".

Let Howe himself inform us through his diary of his efforts to create the settlement:

".....13 March 1829-... from Lycaio we are divided into Hexamilia, a damaged village about three miles from Acrocorinth and almost in the middle of the Isthmus. The country around it looks pretty fertile. I conceived the idea of asking for 5000 acres of land rather than government as I formed a colony of the needy families."

And Howe continues: ".....16 March .. They submitted to the council the supply of 5000 crowns of land to the Six-Million-18 March. The council was unable to rule. This will, of course, take time, and I fear that the time for sowing has elapsed by the end of the reply.'

Continuing his efforts, he writes again to the Governor: "... 21 March I wrote to Kapodistrian urging him to decide as soon as possible on the settlement of the Hemilia...".

And his efforts paid off. The Governor replied and welcomed his plan: "....an envoy of the Government who wrote a letter. I opened it. It came from Kapodistrias, applauding my plan of settlement and begging me not to slow down for a moment..."

After the positive response from Aegina where Howe was, he goes to Hexamilia to establish the settlement. In a letter to Reverend Anderson he writes characteristically: ".... Washington, July 14, 1829. I have already settled in the 30s and out of a family, twenty of whom come from Turkey. They were poor, hungry and naked...."

In 1831 he returned to Boston and founded the first school for the blind in the United States, of which he was first principal.

In 1835 the Greek Government awarded him the Savior's Cross. In the document Howe received along with the medal, he replied with humility:

"The poor personal services I offered Greece at its bleak time were not such that they deserved a reward.

Enough reward was the satisfaction that I was able to give something to the Idea of Freedom and Charity.

If I didn't have the capacity, I was in the mood to serve in the Greek case.

Together with my compatriots, I have been very enthusiastic about its sacred cause.

And the enthusiasm grew with my stay in the classical land and my acquaintance with its living patriots."

In 1848 it created a similar school for people with mental disorders. In 1866, now an elder, he was once again in Greece to help the rebellious Cretans. He died on January 9, 1876.

Howe was a great philhellene, a scientist, a philanthropist, an opponent of slavery and a freedom fighter.

The popular American poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, presents the story of Samuel Howe in a beautiful poem entitled "the hero", giving a worthy title to this great man.

Recently a new monument was placed in the port of Aegina. It is a monument dedicated to the philhellene Samuel Grindley Howe.

In the Brown Library of The State of Rod Island, America, the image of a new dresser hangs on the wall.

Source: Huffington Post

Howe at a young age portrayed as an evzonas in a painting by John Eliot. Howe married Eliot's daughter, the writer Maud Howe Elliott.
As mentioned in the 1968 Reading "American Philhellenes": ".. His face has a strong expression and a fiery look. If he had a mustache and a beard, you'd think he was an 1821 Greek hero. It's Howe."
Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates. – Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Offline OB

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1303
Re: Catergorising the Philhellenes for Rebels and Patriots?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2021, 11:13:05 PM »

Offline DintheDin

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 5799
Re: Catergorising the Philhellenes for Rebels and Patriots?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2021, 06:46:15 PM »
About the Battalion of Philhellenes
Some idea about the uniforms worn
(from the book That Greece Might Still Be Free: The Philhellenes in the War of Independence, William St Clair, Open Book Publisher 2008)

"On 24 May (1822) the Philhellenes were presented with their standard and reviewed by the Ministers of the Greek Government.  It was a proud moment. The disappointment, the broken promises, the atrocities, the national enmities and rivalries were momentarily forgotten. The old idealism and enthusiasm surged again through their hearts. Here in the sunshine at Corinth, beside the stark pillars of the ruined Temple of Apollo, among the bishops, the captains and the representatives of every part of Greece, it was again possible believe in the cause of Hellas. As one Frenchman who was present remarked, here was drawn up in the respective uniforms of their nations, men from the banks  the Seine and the Tagus, the Vistula and the Tiber, the Danube and the Po, even the Nile and the Dnieper, men from the Propontis and the Bosphorus side by side with men from the Baltic and the Zuyderzee, the conquerors and the conquered of Austerliz, men who had come from all points of the compass to help an oppressed nation break its chains" 


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