Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Meeting Notes: May 24, 2023

The Round Table meeting was held in the Ukrop Auditorium located in the Robins School of Business, at the University of Richmond. Our own Randy Flood spoke on: "The Real John Graves Simcoe."

Randy is a member of our ARRT-Richmond and of the Williamsburg-Yorktown Roundtable, as well. He is also Host and Executive Producer of The Real American Revolution Multimedia Center & Consortium for Civic Education, located at; a nonprofit organization established to educate Americans and others about what really happened during our American Revolution.

John Graves Simcoe was born into a military family in England. He was well-educated and joined the military. He was deployed to America during the Siege of Boston in 1775.

In America, he was involved in the Northern (New York, New Jersey), Mid-Atlantic (Brandywine, Quinton’s Bridge, Crooked Billet, Monmouth), and Southern (Charleston, Blandford, Point of Fork, Spencer’s Ordinary, Yorktown) Campaigns from 1776 to 1781 

Simcoe commanded the Queen's Rangers in 1777, a Loyalist unit, and conducted successful “hit and run” raids in central New Jersey and along Virginia's Lower Peninsula.

Served with Cornwallis and Tarleton at Yorktown (Gloucester Point), then returned to New York and then England, due to sickness, and became a Member of Parliament.

Named 1st Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada (which is geographically south of Lower Canada) in 1791. His legacies included government reforms, influencing the first abolishment of slavery in the British Empire, founding the City of York (Toronto) as the capital of Canada, establishing British civil law, trial by jury, the use of British Winchester standards of measure, a provision for jails and courthouses and others considered on the same scale was Washington’s legacies to America.

He strengthened Great Britain's defenses against potential French invasion during the part of the Napoleonic wars.

Simcoe was chosen to succeed Lord Cornwallis as Governor General of India, but died before he could take office.

Importantly, John Graves Simcoe was, in real life, the complete opposite of the psycho-maniac character that is portrayed in the fictional television series "TURN." Simcoe emphasized: training and instruction of his troops; support of local farmers; anti-marauding; taking of prisoners to prevent unnecessary bloodshed; the reading of all written orders to the rank-and-file at daily parade; and verbal instructions of officers as to what was required of them to eliminate possible misunderstandings.

Some of the significant events depicted in the series simply did not occur in real life.

--Fred Sorrell

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