Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I see that today is the anniversary of the birth, in 1754, of General Sir Banastre Tarleton, notorious leader of British Dragoons during the American Revolution.

I mention this because I was musing t’other day on our iconic revolutionary figures (one gets these whims), and specifically on the ones I dislike the most.  It was Tarleton who lead the raid on Charlottesville, Virginny in March, 1781 in an effort to capture members of the Virginny legislature, together with Governor Thomas “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” Jefferson.   When Jefferson got word of Tarleton’s rapid approach to Monticello, rayther than considering the possible refreshment of the tree of liberty with his own blood, he high-tailed it into the forest and hid.

The image of Tom making a run for it, which I am sure I have reduced to something near caricature in my mind’s eye, has always been a source of grim amusement to me, because he really stands out at the top of Robbo’s list of said disliked figgahs, being, as he was, the equivalent of a limousine liberal.

So that’s that.

(In case friends of the decanter are interested in other members of Robbo’s dislike list, I’ll just say briefly that I think Tom Paine a loathsome rabble-rousing blowhard and Ben Franklin a somewhat-too-slippery fish for my taste.  However, so far as I’m aware, Tarleton never chased either of them, so they’re somewhat outside the scope of this post.)

UPDATE:  The Mothe mentions the salacious doin’s between Tarleton and “Perdita” aka Mary Darby Robinson in the comments.

Here is the print to which she (the Mothe) is referring – by the young James Gillray, no less, one of ol’ Robbo’s favorites.  And here is a nice little summary of the Ban and Mary show.