The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Treasure Of Our Independence

by db Conard, The Quill


The first recruiting poster seeking volunteers for George Washington's Army was the beginning of our great nation-the United States of America.

What started with a General and a militia and grew to become America's first Army, might still have been England's colony had not the people taken notice of the posters that had been placed throughout the New England colonies.

I can imagine young men gathering around these posters tacked around the countryside, and the excitement that was expressed to protect their newly declared independence. Their passion for freedom motivated them to enlist so they could teach the British a lesson of who was going to be in charge of this new country.

It had to be contagious as more and more men were attracted to the fight to form a new nation and not to be left out of the glory of a worthy battle. In addition to being brave and well disposed to defend against the hostile designs of foreign enemies, the new volunteers were promised the grand sum of sixty dollars a year paid in gold and silver. Plus, each soldier would be provided for his subsistence and comfort according to the law.

In addition to silver and gold, recruits were also enticed as honorable and respectable soldiers who would enjoy exciting travels of their beautiful new country.

The motivation recruiters used in 1776, is much the same as used by today's recruiters to protect our freedoms and to reward their efforts.

After their time was up, brave volunteers were told that after a few happy years of viewing their beautiful country they would have the opportunity to return home with pockets full of money and their heads covered with laurels for their service.

This information came from an old recruiting poster I found wrapped around my Grandfathers promotion orders that went from his being appointed as a cadet to West Point Military Academy to his final promotion to General in the US Army.

The old recruiting poster (shown here) took on a special meaning for me as I thought about my grandfather and his profession of over thirty years.

Now, there are literally millions of Americans who can look with pride on their ancestors who first answered the call of our Nation to fight the British under George Washington.

Three hundred and thirty-three years later, just as before, citizens are answering that call with pride to defend those freedoms won by our ancestors.

I think of my Grandfather and the two World Wars and the Korean conflict, that he and so many others were a part of and how little treasure filled their pockets and the laurels that never found their heads.

Yet, the legacy of honor left to their families and this great nation more than made up for gold and silver and momentary laurels.

The big letters saying TAKE NOTICE on the recruiting poster in 1776 may be the most important words of all still today in 2009.

We must continue to TAKE NOTICE of our freedoms and those who protect them.