The Ahepan Winter 2020 - 12

these gifts, we are construed to act with a view alone to the present
state of the world and our relations to it. What I propose and what
I shall say has reference to modern, not to ancient Greece - to the
living, not the dead... "
Despite a positive response to Webster's oratory, the United
States feared entanglement into war. However, the philhellenic
sentiments in communities led to fundraising efforts and events
in support of the suffering and heroic Greeks. Correspondence
between Adamantios Korais and former U.S. President Thomas
Jefferson demonstrated this sentiment.
Americans from all walks of life and outside of the political
process were able to mobilize significant assistance. Supplies of
all kinds including food, clothing and cash were collected and
sent. Charity events organized by the philhellenic communities
in large cities such as Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia
and Boston raised funds for these donations. Smaller cities
contributed too, such as Wilmington, Del., Bristol, Conn., and
Springfield, Mass.
The first public fundraising appeal on behalf of the Greeks
was carried out by the Philhellenic Committee of New York.
The appeal stressed the horrible conditions facing the elderly,
women and children. In September 1823, a huge cross appeared
in Brooklyn Heights, raised by citizens at their own expense. It
carried the wish, " May the Grecian Cross be planted from village
to village and from steeple to steeple until it rests on the Dome
of St. Sophia. "
The clergy also played an important role. In many towns,
preachers made philhellenic speeches after services and
called the faithful to collect money for their brothers, the Greek
Orthodox Christians.
The greatest fundraiser event was held January 8, 1824, in a
hall provided for free, more than 2,000 tickets were sold at $5
apiece. At the end of April 1824, the New York committee sent

12 | THE AHEPAN ยท Winter 2020	

a check in the amount of 6,600 pounds sterling ($32,000) to the
Greek committee of London.
On March 23, 1827, the first direct dispatch of humanitarian
aid sailed from Philadelphia to Greece aboard the brig, " Tontine. "
It carried 1,800 barrels of food, worth about $13,856, into the
port of Poros a month-and-a-half later. By November of 1828,
eight ships arrived in Greece with humanitarian aid.
The eighth ship was under the personal supervision of Dr.
Samuel Howe. He returned to Greece after a short stay in the
United States, ecstatic after the destruction of the Ottoman fleet
in the battle of Navarino. He encouraged his countrymen not to
stop supporting the fight for Greek Independence.
Throughout 1828, the American philhellenic fever spread
to all corners of America. Women sewing clothing for all ages,
barrels of wheat collected, fundraisers and voluntary work at its
peak. Army officers even donated to the Greek cause the value of
alcoholic drinks they would otherwise consume. Distinguished
actors would recite philhellenic slogans and verses at play intermissions, while calling for contributions from the audience.
Others would set aside percentages of their receipts which they
forwarded to the Greek Committees of their areas.
Thus, the aid sent to Greece in cash, or in kind, was approximately $80,000 in 1827 and $60,000 in 1828-substantial
amounts in that time. For perspective this amount in today's
dollars equates to approximately $3,726,114. This justified the
gratitude of the first Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, to
U.S. President John Quincy Adams, for the philanthropy of the
American people (see letter on page 13).
One of the highest priorities for the American missionaries
who visited Greece many times during the revolution was how
to care for orphaned children. In early 1823, two young children survived the massacre of Chios. With the assistance of two
missionaries, they embarked on the brig, " America. " Four more
orphaned Chiotes children were brought on the brig, " Cyprus. "
Three Greek youths left Smyrna on the ship, " Romulus. " Others
followed into 1827. Even the family of Governor Thomas L.
Winthorp of Massachusetts adopted an orphaned girl. These children were educated in America under the auspices of American
missionaries and many returned to Greece as educated professionals.
The unquenchable philhellenic fever of America led to many
Americans' involvement in the struggle for Greek Independence.
At least three of them left their last breath in Greece. George
Jarvis, son of an American diplomat, was the first American to
arrive in Greece, landing in Hydra in April 1822. To the Greeks,
he was referred to as " Captain Yiorgis Zervis, the American. " As

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