Early years of the USA, and a happy end for Johann from Hesse.
[America, 1781] Finally the war was over, and the joy was great when Ambrose, Simon, and Emmett returned sound and safe. Also Fritz, the Hessian, could soon go back home to his family.
Peace and a lucky coincidence (1781, America)
Johann was happy for them, and yet he felt a bit lost. Ambrose had invited him to manage the Merry Dragon Inn with him and take it over in a few years, but Johann hesitated. “It is because of Emmett, right?” Ambrose asked, “you think that as my son, he should take over the “Merry Dragon” inn. That honors you, but … you know, Emmett was on General Washington’s staff, and now of course he wants to participate in building up our country, how could I deny him that? And he would be happy to see you stay with us.” Ambrose paused and smiled broadly, “especially since you are very fond of his sister Laurie, and I happen to know that she is very fond of you!”
Johann and Laurie got married in the garden of the “Merry Dragon” inn. A little later their children James und Jenny were born. Johann was a bit sad that his friend Fritz could not share his new happiness with him, but they wrote to each other regularly. “You won’t believe who has just made a Rhine tour”, stood in a letter of 1784, “Thomas Jefferson, the American envoy to France! He has an excellent education and many skills, and a great interest in wine-growing.”
The new capital Washington D.C. (1801, America)
After the American victory, some exciting years went by. In 1787, the constitution of the United States was signed in Philadelphia;. In 1789, George Washington became the first President. Since he had no permanent seat of government yet, first New York and then Philadelphia became his capitals.
At the Potomac, the new capital Washington came into being, with the office residence of the President, the White House. In 1800, President John Adams could move in. A year later, Thomas Jefferson became President. He made sure right away that his official residence was open to visitors. On a summer Sunday of that year, Johann’s family met on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, eager to see the President’s official residence. John and Laurie would have loved to have her father Ambrose and his sister Betty with them, but both had died a short time ago.
The Library of Congress
Then they went on to the Capitol, where Emmett showed them the Library of Congress, the newly founded Research Library of Congress. “First, we have to build up everything,” he said. James was thrilled. “When it is ready, we will have all the knowledge in the world gathered here,” he marveled, “when I’m grown up, I want to work here!”
It also was a good opportunity to say goodbye to Laurie’s cousin Randolph. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy and would soon sail with his squadron into the Mediterranean Sea and fight the Barbary States. For decades already, their pirate ships had been attacking American ships and capturing sailors. As the young United States had no navy, they paid ransoms and tributes. That greatly annoyed Jefferson, back then American envoy to France. But now the United States had strong ships, and he could demonstrate military strength and force the pirates to their knees.
The picture is from the German Wikipedia, public domain section.