Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.
It’s September 21, 1779. I’m in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the governor of Spanish Louisiana, Bernardo de Gálvez.
JG: “Governor de Gálvez, why are you helping the cause for American freedom?”
BDG: “Señor Gillespie, I respect your country’s love of freedom. I’ve put together a patchwork army of free African Americans, Creoles, and Spanish troops. We will defeat the British at Fort Baton Rouge and help General Washington with his southern campaign.”
Bernardo de Gálvez did help Washington’s campaign and, for his heroics, he was memorialized in Texas, where the city of Galveston is named after him.
In Natchez, Mississippi, the Bernardo de Gálvez historical marker reads, “Don Bernardo de Gálvez, Spanish Governor of Louisiana, 1776-1783, in a brilliant campaign, with the aid of regular troops, militia, volunteers, and a few Americans, captured Baton Rouge from the British on September 21, 1779…”
John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.