“It’s about the land, stupid!”

William McCoy land warrant for military service

William McCoy land warrant for military service, dated 1784


1776.  You’re flat broke most of the time, and hungry half the time.

A recruiting sergeant rides into your small town in backcountry Virginia.

Come and fight for a year or two”, says the sergeant.

“Fight for what?” asks you.

“For a new government.  Freedom.”

“How much you paying?” asks you.

“Food, a set of clothes, and 8 dollars a month” says the recruiting sergeant.

“When do I get paid?” asks you.

“Six dollars right now up front if you’ve got a rifle, four if you don’t, and the rest at the end of the war.”

“No thanks.”

“Alrighty.  You drive a hard bargain. Sign up for the duration of the war, and here’s a land bounty card for 200 acres, signed by the governor himself.”

“Where’s that land?”

“Northwest Territory.  Ohio and Illinois Country.”

“That’s Indian country.”

“Not for long, if you can shoot straight.”

“You just bought yourself a militiaman.”


#history #AmericanRevolution #ContinentalArmy

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