Whittemore’s Revenge

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

They say that the best revenge is living well. To be sure, that’s decent revenge. But over two centuries ago, Samuel Whittemore showed the world a better way.

On April 19th, 1775, the American colonies began their war for independence with the British. The aforementioned Mr. Whittemore had lived on this earth for nearly eight decades to that point, but he was clearly 78 years young, for he was able to kill three British soldiers in battle. Eventually, he must have been overrun, for he was shot, bayoneted, and beaten. Those redcoats he hadn’t killed left him for dead.

But Mr. Whittemore was not dead. As the numbers show, and despite his myriad injuries, he wasn’t even close. You see, Mr. Whittemore didn’t die that day, nor the next. In fact, he recovered from his bullet wounds and his stab wounds and his broken bones and bruises, and after all that Mr. Whittemore lived for nearly two more decades. He finally shuffled off this mortal coil at the ripe old age of 96, in February of 1793.

Samuel Whittemore's Marker
A slightly erroneous monument to Samuel Whittemore, in the center of Arlington, Massachusetts

And so it was that Mr. Whittemore taught the world that the best revenge is not just living well. It’s surviving being shot in the face, bayoneted thirteen times, and left for dead, then going on to live for eighteen more years while witnessing the defeat of your enemies and the creation of your new homeland. Bravo, Mr. Whittemore. Bravo.

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