"Since You Are So Powerful"
Following the defeat of Caesar's assassins at Philippi in 42 B.C., Marc Antony took up the task of
settling the affairs in the East for the victorious Triumvirate, while his
partners, Octavian and Marcus Lepidus settled those of Italy and the
made his headquarters in Pergamum, capital of Asia,
a pleasant place where he found himself able to indulge his taste for food and
wine and revelry while reorganizing Rome's
eastern territories. He summoned the
political leaders and local rulers from all the statelets in the East. When they had assembled, Antony announced
that to help defray the costs of the recent civil war and finance
reconstruction of the state (not to mention lining his and his partners'
pockets), they would have to pay ten years' worth of taxes in the following
This naturally stunned the assembled notables. Various among them politely pointed out the difficulties
associated with Antony's
request. The defeated
"Liberators," Cassius and Brutus, had only recently squeezed the
region for substantial amounts, and the coffers of the many free cities and
petty kingdoms were, if not bare, certainly greatly reduced.
Finally, one of those present suggested that since Antony was powerful
enough to demand a second levy such as had just been imposed by his enemies, he
might also arrange for "a second summer and a second harvest."
may have had a hot temper, even when sober, but he also had a taste for a quick
wit. He promptly proposed that the levy
be changed to nine years' taxes, payable over the next two years, which the
assembled notables found acceptable, particularly since the "normal"
taxes about which they complained so loudly were actually relatively light.
Webb Hayes, Like Father, Like Son
Anyone with more than a passing knowledge of the Civil
War, is aware that President Rutherford B. Hayes had a very distinguished
career in the Volunteer Army, rising to major genera, while acquiring five
wounds, more than anyone who would ever serve in the White House. Arguably, one of the presidentís three sons
had an even more distinguished military record, his eldest, James Webb Cook
Hayes (1856-1934), the only one to serve.
As a very young boy, Webb, as he was known, often spent time around his fatherís
headquarters during the Civil War, and came to know many senior officers. Among them was George Crook, the famous
Indian fighter, who became his godfather, and taught him field craft on the
plains during the Indian Wars, so that Webb became an excellent hunter and
tracker. Webb entered Cornell in 1873,
but left at the end of 1875, to serve as his fatherís secretary after the elder
Hayes had been elected Governor of Ohio, a task that he continued to perform
during his fatherís presidency (1877-1881).
After his fatherís presidency, Webb became active in business, and was
one of the founders of what became Union Carbide, while joining the Ohio
National Guard. Webb was a guest at the
White House at the time President William McKinley signed the joint resolution
of Congress declaring Cuba ought to be free of Spain, April 20, 1898, and
promptly offered his services in the event of war, becoming effectively the first
man to sign-up for the Spanish-American War (April-August 1898)
Although officially an officer in the 1st
Ohio Cavalry, which did no go overseas, Webb managed to see action as a staff
officer, and was slightly wounded at San Juan Hill in Cuba, before taking part
in the brief campaign in Puerto Rico. With
the outbreak of the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902), he became a lieutenant colonel in the 31st Infantry,
U.S. Volunteers, and personally conducted a dangerous overnight reconnaissance on December 4,
1899, that led to the relief of an American force besieged by the insurgents at
Vigan, winning a Medal of Honor. He
later served in the Boxer Rebellion in China (1900), and, after being
commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army, was an official U.S.
Army observer during the Russo-Japanese War, before going on to some routine
garrison duty and service on the Mexican Border in 1911-1913. During World War I, Webb was assigned to
State Department duties in France, and later to an administrative post in
support of American forces in Italy, rising to brigadier general.