Archive for February 16, 2012

John McLean

One of the main targets of the British raid on Danbury in 1777 was John McLean. He was a prosperous and enterprising farmer who raised cattle and pork. He was appointed commissary for Danbury.  When he got wind of the British raid he sent wagons filled with supplies to West Point. He safely evacuated his family to New Milford and just got out of Danbury ahead of the pursuing British. His home was burned by the British but he returned after the war and rebuilt and prospered. One of his descendants was Jean Parcells Brock who was a reference librarian at the Danbury Public Library.

The Crusades

There are few historical topics that are as captivating and fascinating as the Crusades. There is a recent book on this subject which will hold your interest and is a great read. It is titled The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land by Thomas Asbridge. He is a British historian whose book has led to a documentary on the BBC about the Crusades. Asbridge and his fiming crew were able to gain access to the Aqsa Mosque which is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam. It is in Jerusalem and Asbridge saw in its library an original manuscript written by one of Saladin’s closest advisors. Asbridge learned that the Aqsa seved as a public lending library and the people of Jerusalem had actually been able to take this priceless manuscript home with them.