October 9th: Roger Williams Is Banished From the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Black Sox Scandal and Other Events
A number of interesting events took place on October 9th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
1635 – Theologian Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony for “religious dissidence.”
It’s widely known (and actually thought) that the U.S. is the country where all religious dissidents may feel free to practice their faith as they see fit. A number of “religious refugees” have always been heading from Europe and other places towards the Brave New World of North America, where they would never be persecuted for their beliefs. Yet, opposing this thesis, we should admit from that the very early days of North American settlement there had also always been those who were expelled from society due to the things they believed in. Especially – during the Colonial era.
One of those banished was one of the founders of the Rhode Island colony Roger Williams, who was expelled from Massachusetts Bay colony, because he was “spreading new and dangerous ideas” according to the Puritan majority. Williams, in his turn, believed in the “liberty of conscience,” was one of the first Americans (even though they weren’t called that in this period of time) who stood for the prohibition of slavery and studied Indian language in an attempt to understand Native Americans better.
After his expulsion from the Massachusetts Bay colony Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the First Baptist Church in America, also known as the First Baptist Church of Providence.
1861 – The Battle of Santa Rosa Island is fought
This battle is characterized as an unsuccessful Confederate attempt to capture Union-held Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, Florida. The state of Florida surely wasn’t among the main battlefields of the Civil War, yet, sometimes the echoes and shadows of the bloodiest and deadliest conflict in American history were heard there.
Today, Santa Rosa Island is a 40-mile barrier island in the U.S. state of Florida, thirty miles from the Alabama state border, so during the Civil War era its strategic importance was beyond any doubt.
Despite outnumbering the Union forces (Confederates deployed 1200 soldiers, whilst the Union could only send 600 warriors to the battle), the Confederates didn’t achieve their goals, losing up to 40 men killed (the losses of the Union were just 14 men killed, 29 wounded and 24 missing in action or captured). Thus, the Confederate offensive into Florida was stopped.
1864 – The Battle of Toms Brook is fought.
Precisely three years after the Battle of Santa Rosa Island, the same day in 1864, Confederates lost another battle. The Battle was fought during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of the American Civil War in Virginia, which, unlike Florida, was one of the main battlefields of the whole war.
Suffering heavy losses (up to 350 men killed), Confederates withdrew. Due to the speed of the defeat the Confederates ran away from the battlefield, this battle is also sometimes mockingly referred as “The Woodstock Races.”
1919 – The Black Sox scandal
What was this scandal all about? It was a Major League Baseball match fixing incident, as a result of which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of losing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds intentionally.
The players did it in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein – a notorious racketeer and gambler of his time.
The fallout from the scandal eventually led to the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first Commissioner of Baseball. He was also granted absolute control over the sport in order to restore its integrity.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on October 9th, at least in our view.