Saturday, December 19, 2009

LET'S PLAY ILLUSTRATION- The game where I give you a scenario and you tell me what spiritual analogies can be drawn from it.

No sooner had the war of 1812 concluded then the U.S. government announced it's intentions to build a massive fort where lake Champlain meets the Richelieu river. During the war, Britain had used the lake as a watery highway to transport men and supplies directly into the heart of the United States from their base of supply in Canada by way of the St Lawrence Sea way and Richelieu River. The lake had been similarly used by invading armies during the Revolutionary war and prior to that, the French and Indian War. Thus in approximately a 75 year span foreign European armies had thrice sailed past the spot where Lake Champlain meets the Richelieu River to invade the interior of America. So following the war of 1812, it was agreed that a massive citadel would be built to prevent future invasions via the lake Champlain corridor. The world's foremost experts in the field of military engineering were brought over from France as consultants on the project, and no expense was spared in the construction of the fort which, once completed, bristled with guns and commanded the narrow waterway between Rouses Point, NY and Alburg, VT. The fort was completed in 1816 for what was then the astronomical price of $200,000. (I know it sounds like chump change these days with some in the media apparently defining an annual salary of $200,000 as middle class!!! No kidding, I just heard Geraldo Rivera say it tonight. If that's middle class I am definitely poor. Dirt Poor!!! In the early 1800's $200,000 was big, newsworthy money though.)

In 1816, within weeks of the fort's completion, it was discovered by a team of surveyors that the fort, all of it, had been built entirely within Canada. Can you imagine? Heads must of rolled. Much to the consternation of the U.S. Army, Washington sent representatives to Ottawa like a bunch of Hosers to discuss what might be done aboot the fort. Pretty rough, eh? Canada kindly asked the U.S. Army to remove their personel and artillery from their soil. The fort languished for a considerable amount of time while the two governments bickered back and forth. Eventually Canada ceded the land surrounding the fort to the United States, but by then much of the cut stone had been removed by local farmers for use in private building projects and the remainder of the fort had either returned to nature or fallen into such a deplorable state that the ruins were deemed unusable and the site was cleared for the construction of a second fort. The original fort was never named, and today is remembered by historians as "Fort Blunder."

EPILOGUE: Fort Blunder's successor, Fort Montgomery (ruins photographed above), constructed in 1844, was never garrisoned or even armed with guns (by then the threat of invasion from Canada probably seemed as silly as it does to us today.) Today the site is for sale for ten-million dollars.

1 comment:

john tate said...

This would be a wonderful illustration for an exposition of Luke 14:28-30 ~ just ideal. Very interesting history