Dr. Tracy N. Busch
Hollywood vs. History
Hollywood vs. History
For my Hollywood vs. History paper I wanted to go about comparing the main charter Benjamin Martin, who I thought at the time was Francis Marion the Swamp Fox. Well early in my research I discovered the fact he was not a real person in history in fact he wasn’t a real person at all, but a combination of four real historical people; Francis Marion, Andrew Pickens, Daniel Morgan, and Thomas Sumter. So instead of changing what I was looking to research I decided to do a little detective work of my own and try to discover which real person they were trying to pull traits from at any part in the movie and lastly how factually correct they were.
The first person I started to research was Francis Marion otherwise known as the “swamp fox”. The reason why I thought that Benjamin Martin was the swamp fox was simply because that’s is where most of the inspiration for him came from. For example in many of the scenes Benjamin Martin would return from a fight to the swamps to hide and recover from the day’s fight, which was a typical tactic for the swap fox. One of the other details that I noticed was that only once in the movie did the troops of Benjamin Martin actually engage in full on frontal warfare. For the most part they used guerrilla tactics to just pester the British and disputed there supply lines, which intern raised the moral of the civilians around him to fight the British any way that they could which general Cornwallis states in some of his writings for example, "Colonel Marion had so wrought the minds of the people, partly by the terror of his threats and cruelty of his punishments, and partly by the promise of plunder, that there was scarcely an inhabitant between the Santee and the Pee Dee that was not in arms against us". 1 However as the movie shows not all was well with the continental army for example in a letter from Francis Marion to Peter Horny he speaks of the loss at Camden and how they must retreat to Charlotte. Now the last point I wish to make with why I think Francis Marion is the strongest person influencing Benjamin Martin was the fact that in the movie they referred to a battle in “Fort Wilderness” in this battle they depict it as a horrifying hard fought battle that was vary gruesome. I feel that that is more of a metaphor for the real Francis Marion who fought ion the French and Indian war in which he destroyed many villages and burned crops to try and defeat the Native Americans.
The next person that I found more information on was Andrew Pickens, he was known for not only his great ability as a general, which is a common thread among all the real life people use to create Benjamin Martin, but he was also known for his ability’s as a congressman. There is a point in the movie where Benjamin Martin was in town for a vote to decide if Carolina should join the war. In this scene they show the power of words that Andrew Pickens mastered in the years that he was congressmen. Another comparison that I witnessed was the fact that Benjamin Martin was and amazing leader and gifted tactician which shows through in my research of Andrew Pickens that he was one to rise through the ranks quickly due to his ability as a leader.
The third historical person that the movie used to create Benjamin Martin was Daniel Morgan. This is where I believe that Benjamin Martin got most of his smarts from through the research I preformed. This is mainly because of the amount of parse that this man received from all of his battles. For example there is a picture from the time where British General John Burgoyne is surrendering to Daniel Morgan, this was after a decisive victory at Saratoga. But in being the gentlemen he is he refused to accepted his sword and instead invited the man into his tent to talk. ADDIN ZOTERO_TEMP
The fourth and final historical figure was Thomas Sumter and if you’re into military like me you would know that there