Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Answer to September 19th "Talk Like a Pirate Day" Trivia

Barbarossa was born Khidr (Hızır Reis) on the Turkish controlled Greek Island of Lesbos. He was the son of a Turkish potter and a Greek Christian mother. He inherited the name Barbarossa or Red Beard from his older brother Aruj who successfully transported many Moorish Muslims from Spain to Africa. They named him Baba Aruj (father Aruj) but the Italians heard Barbarossa, which means Red Beard and he so happened to have Red Hair. The name stuck with Aruj and then was passed to Khidr who also had red hair.

    Barbarossa has many names and titles and different spellings due to English translations of the Turkish Arabic. The brothers started out as Pirates along the coast raiding Christian Villages. In 1516, Khidr and his older brother Aruj invaded Algiers to kick the Spaniards out.  They were invited to come help by local Amir, Salim al-Tumi but after defeating Spain they assassinated the Amir and Aruj became the ruler of Algiers. His position was not secure so he joined with the Ottoman Empire under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent and became the Bey of Algiers. A Bey is a Tributary ruler, General or Governor. When Aruj was killed Khidr took his place as Bey of Algiers.
      Khidir Barbarossa made the Ottoman Navy a very powerful force in the Mediterranean. They raided and took Christians as slaves. In 1538 Pope Paul III organized a "Holy League" made up of the Papal States, Spain, the Knights of Malta, and the Republics of Genoa and Venice. Barbarossa beat them with a smaller Naval fleet and Suleiman the Magnificent gave him the titles Kapudan-i Derya or "Grand Admiral" of the Ottoman Navy, and Beylerbey or "Governor of governors" of Ottoman North Africa.
    The Mediterranean Ocean was ruled by the Ottoman Empire for 30 years. Barbarossa was asked to be the head of the fleet by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, which he turned down. He even helped France defeat the Spanish and keep them out of France in what the Christians called the “Unholy Alliance”. Barbarossa retired in 1564 and wrote a 5-volume memoir before he died the next year.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Answer to September 11 TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: What do you know about this person?

A:  This is a picture of Congressman Robert Smalls. He was born into slavery the son of Lydia and Robert Smalls although most historians agree his true father was their owner John K. McKee. His first 10 years were very easy years spent mostly with McKee playing with in town children. His mother knew he needed to be shown reality so she sent him to live the life of a slave with his relatives on Ashdale Plantation on Lady’s Island, SC. Instead of teaching him his “place” in the world it only fostered defiance towards slavery.
    He married and had children and both of their slave owners allowed them to live together. When Robert tried to buy their freedom it was way beyond his meager income. The Civil War had erupted and he concocted a plant to steal the CSS Planter with three other enslaved men and their families. They stole the ship and handed it over to the Union.  He joined the United States Navy and piloted this ship and another during the fight against the confederacy. He helped enlist over 5,000 blacks into the army. He also was made Major General of the South Carolina Militia.
  After the war, he was one of the founders of the Beaufort County, South Carolina Republican Club.  He also served on the Beaufort County School Board and helped to establish the first school built for black children.
    In 1868 he was elected to the Continental Congress. From 1869 to 1889, he served in both houses of the South Carolina Legislature and was elected to five terms in the United States Congress. He also served in South Carolina as Collector of Customs for the Port of Beaufort first appointed by President Benjamin Harrison from 1888-1993 and again appointed by President William McKinley from 1898-1912. He died in 1915 at the age of 76 in the McKee house in Beaufort, SC where he was born.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Answer to September 4th TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: Who is this and what is he famous for?

A: Edmund Ruffin and he is famous for having fired the first and last shot of the civil war.

Edmund Ruffin (1794-1865) was a successful plantation owner and Virginia Senator from 1823-1827. He was labeled a "Fire Eater", those who were passionate about Southern Independence and Secession from the United States. The reality of him firing the first shot is probably more urban legend than fact but it is a commonly held belief. The story goes that he was given the honor of the first shot at Fort Sumter, South Carolina where the confederate troops were in position to take it back from the Union occupation. The Union surrendered the next day. According again to urban legend he also fired the last shot of the Civil War committing suicide in his disappointment. While this is partially true, confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union troops on April 9, 1865 and Edmund Ruffin did not commit suicide until June 17, 1865, more in part due to his failing health.

Sources and Further Reading

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Answer to August 28thst TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: Who is this great lady and which two agencies did she create?

A: This is a picture of Clara Barton, born Clarissa Harlowe Barton in 1821. She Created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States and the American Red Cross.

During the Civil War Clara Barton was a welcome volunteer to the Union forces. She would help in organizing men to bring first aid to the wounded and giving out food and water to both Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners. She used her own money to supplement for needed supplies and was reimbursed by the Government after the war. They called her the "Angel of the Battlefield"

Clara Barton was a member of the International Red Cross and was instrumental in Creating the American Red Cross in 1880 and served as the first president until 1904. President Abraham Lincoln appointed her General correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners where she connected families searching for loved ones with casualties of war or on the prison roles. From this she created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States determined that there should be no unmarked graves. A tracing service was eventually taken up by the Red Cross and is widely used by soldiers families today. Follow the links below to read more about this hardworking Patriot.