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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 13 December 2012
On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress decided to appoint an Inspector General of the Army, “essential to the promotion of discipline in the American army, and to the reformation of the various abuses which prevail in the different departments.” The Inspector General’s job, in part, was, “To review the troops, and to see that every officer and soldier be instructed in the exercise and manoeuvres which may be established by the Board of War: that the rules of discipline are strictly observed, and that the officers command their soldiers properly, and do them justice.” Congress unanimously elected Brigadier General Thomas Conway to serve as the first Inspector General. 1
In 1757 on this day, Benjamin Franklin wrote to an unknown recipient regarding a manuscript this person had written on religion, warning him not to publish the manuscript: “…you will not succeed so as to change the general Sentiments of Mankind on that Subject…He that spits against the Wind, spits in his own Face…You yourself may find it easy to live a virtuous Life without the Assistance afforded by Religion…But think how great a Proportion of Mankind consists of weak and ignorant Men and Women, and of inexperienc’d and inconsiderate Youth of both Sexes, who have need of the Motives of Religion to restrain them from Vice, to support their Virtue, and retain them in the Practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great Point for its Security…If Men are so wicked as we now see them with Religion what would they be if without it?” 2
1 Journals of the Continental Congress, Saturday, December 13, 1777
2 “Reasons Against Satirizing Religion,” Benjamin Franklin, www.historycarper.com