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Another Great Day!

We had another fun filled day at Camp Freedom today!

We had a visit from Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams. She and John had to be apart often so they correspoded by writing letters. Throughout their marriage Abigail wrote John over 1200 letters. During the Revoluntionary War, Abigail was left at home with the children. The battles came close to her home. John had advised her to take the kids and hide in the woods if the battle ever drew too near, but Abigail wanted to help and opened her home to recovering soldiers and pepole who had been misplaced because of the war. She donated her time, food, and other supplies, even melting her quality spoon so the soldiers could have bullets. After the war, John Adams became the first Vice President, and later the Second President of the United States. Abigail was a very vocal first lady and was passionate about women's rights and the need to abolish slavery.

We also had a visitor who told us about Ellis Island and the process immigrantrs had to go through in order to be allowed into our Country. America is a country built on the backs of immigrants, and we wanted to welcome all who came here seeking the same freedoms that we had sacrificed for. But we wanted to keep our own pepole safe as well. Because of this, immigrants had to go through a 3-7 hour process at Ellis Island where they were inspected by Doctors to make sure they were healthy and would not be bringing any diseases with them to America. If a person was not completely healthy, a mark was written on them with chalk which indicated their condition or illness. Those marked were separated from their families and sent to another room. They would then wait to be taken to the hospital on Ellis Island. The hospital was one of the best in thre Country and the people were well taken care of. At the hospital they would recieve treatments with the hope that they could recover and be allowed to enter America and be reunited with their families. Those who could not be cured were sent back home. During the time the hospital was open, they delivered over 350 babies! People came to America from many different countries seeking Liberty. They sacrificed so much to be here, oftentimes having be separated from their families for years while they came to America and worked to earn the money to bring their family over as well. One famous example is Annie Moore, who came to Ellis island from Ireland with her two brothers. They arrived on Ellis Island on her 15th birthday. It had been 4 years since she had seen her parents. A $10 liberty coin 1892 was made with her image on it as a representation of the sacrificed these immigrants made to come here so that they could be free.

We were taught by Catherine Littlefield Greene who, at the age of 17 met 32 year old Nathaniel. They fell in love and were married. Nathaniel was a great man and built Catherine a beautiful home in Rhode Island. Catherine and Nathaniel both loved to read. Nathaniel was a Quaker (who don't believe in fighting), but he loved reading military/war books. When the Revolutionary war broke out, he was torn between his faith and his love for freedom. He decided to join the Continental army. Rather than stay at home, Catherine went with him and took care of the soldiers and kept their spirits up. When there was a chicken pox breakout, Catherine turned her home into a hospital and cared for all the sick soldiers.The first winter at Valley Forge, it was cold and miserable. Congress could not send money or support to the troops, so Catherine and Nathaniel spent their own money to supply what was needed. Their continual financial and moral support, aided much in the eventual victory over the British. Their service had also cost Nathaniel his health and he and Catherine had to sell their home because they had given all their money to support the soldiers. However, the state of Georgia was so grateful to them for all that they had sacrificed. Catheine and Nathaniel were gifted two plantations and the couple moved to Mulberry Grove. While working hard in the hot sun to get their plantation running, Nathaniel died of sunstroke and left Catherine as a single mother of 5 kids. A Mr. Miller from Yale came to the plantation and helped to educate her children. He also helped a lot to get the plantation up and running smoothly so they could start to make money. Catherine and Mr. Miller were later married. Some time after, Catherine's neighbors had hired a tutor to teach their children, but by the time he arrived, they had changed their minds. The young tutor, Eli, had nowhere to go and so was welcomed into Catherines home. They let him help on the plantation. Eli saw how hard the process of separating the cotton was and together, he and Catherine invented the cotton gin. Eli had originally designed the gin with wooden teeth, but it was Catherine who suggested that metal teeth might work better. The cotton gin was a huge success, but they could not build enough gins to meet demand, so other's who copied the design began to sell their own versions. Ultimately, patent infringement lawsuits consumed the profits and their cotton gin company went out of business in 1797. As a result, they also lost mulberry Grove and once again Catherine found herself having to pack up and start again. They moved to the other plantation that was given to Catherine and Nathaniel by Georgia and were able to get it going and start being productive again. Catherine's message is one of perseverance. When life knocks you down, you can still choose to be happy and get yourself back up and going again. You can choose to rise above your circumstances rather than letting your circumstances overpower you. There is always something to be grateful for. You may not be able to control everything that happens to you, but you have 100% control over how you respond to your circumstances.

After learning from these great examples from history, the kids enjoyed a fun water fight! They had a blast!

We also got to eat some sweet potato biscuits, an invention of Thomas Jefferson's! If you would like the recipe, you can find it HERE.

We're looking forward to another great day tomorrow!

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