Friday, December 15, 2017

Disputed Artifact Found in Congress’s Sock Drawer



On December 15, 1791 the Virginia House of Delegates ratified the Bill of Rights officially adding the first ten amendments to the Constitution and completing the political deal that led to the adoption of Constitution despite deep suspicion and resistance in many states.  It was both symbolic and fitting that Virginia, home to James Madison, the acknowledged Father of the Constitution and its eloquent defender with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in the Federalist Papers as well the new system of government’s most bitter critics led by Virginians George Mason and Patrick Henry.
James Madison,  Father of the Consitution
Madison and proponents of a more effective government than the feeble Articles of Confederation provided had managed to win over at least some of the Anti-Federalists by promising the immediate adoption of protections to civil and state’s rights which had not been enumerated in the original document.  Thus the Bill of Rights.

Patrick Henry, Leading Anti-Federalist.
One of Virginia’s two most important political figure—General George Washington who everyone expected would be the first President under the new Constitution—was known to be a strong supporter both of the Constitution and of the additional document that made it politically palatable.  The other, Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and former Revolutionary Governor, was serving as Minister to France and ad not publicly participated in the debate.  On one hand, he shared the Anti-Federalist’s deep distrust of a possibly tyrannical government but on the other loathed his old political foe Patrick Henry and trusted his closest political protégée, Madison.  The Bill of Rights did much to assuage any qualms he might have by enshrining protections of religious freedom and of speech and the press so close to his heart into the nation’s foundational document.
Back in 2011 for the 220th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, I celebrated with a version of this tongue-in-cheek post.  I have modified it modestly to fit current conditions.

The Congressional sock drawer where the mysterious document was accidently discovered.
A befuddled Republican Congress this week discovered a strange document while sorting mismatched socks.  In the drawer under the Argyles, tube sox, over-the-calf dress hose, smelly gym socks, and some that apparently were used for, well, cleaning up “nocturnal emissions” they discovered a tattered page on yellowing parchment with faded ink

Funny, the last time Congress looked the liner was the Wall Street Journal page of insider stock tips with a bullet.

Considering an investigation of how the scrap got in the drawer, Congress showed the paper to alleged experts.  Someone with a photographic memory recognized it as something called The Bill of Rights, which evidently had something to do with another document called the ConstitutionLegend has it that it was adopted after Virginia approved it on December 15, 1791. Congress, however, has its doubts. 
Mysteriously, one section of the document seemed to echo holy words previously ascribed to Founder Moses.
The words scribbled on the page in high falutin’ script were unfamiliar except one bullet point that seemed to echo a holy commandment handed thought to be handed down by Founding Father Moses on an extra tablet.  The rest seemed horrifically dangerous and might be Communist.

Trying to keep the document from becoming public, Congress hid it under the bed with the collection of vintage Playboy magazines.

Unfortunately, a perverted housekeeper found the document and leaked a copy to the press.  Most of the main stream media would not touch such an inflammatory document.  

Word circulated mostly in the alternative media, subversive websites, and on social media. President Donald Trump was asked about it at a campaign-like appearance before the questioner was tackled and beaten while the crowd chantedlynch him, lynch him.”  Trump did say that the document was just the “ravings of losers” and launched on a five minute mocking attack on one of the alleged authors, Little Jemmey Madison, for being a pygmy runt.

As a public service we in the blog-o-sphere have a responsibility to put it out the controversial and disputed text so you can decide for yourselves on its authenticity and/or relevance.  With some trepidation Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout presents the text here. 

If you do not hear from us again within 24 hours please notify Amnesty International.

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.




Thursday, December 14, 2017

Louisa May Alcott’s Peek at Emerging American Christmas

The tree that inspired the one in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women was erected at Hillside, the home next to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late 1840s and was like the one shown in this early illustration for the book, a small table top tree, not the enormous tree depicted in later illustrations and in all of the movie versions.


Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
With those words Louisa May Alcott began the much beloved children’s novel, Little Women.
Louisa Alcott laid her classic tale during the 1860’s Civil War.  In fact, the story is essentially autobiographical and describes Louisa’s own childhood in Concord, Massachusetts in the 1840’s and ‘50’s.  The real reason for the poverty in her home was not that her beloved father, Bronson Alcott was away at war.  It was because he was a starry eyed idealist and dreamer who could not make a living as a school master, the very bottom rung of middle class respectability.  Bronson Alcott was a protégé of Ralph Waldo Emerson who had invited the family to live in a home next door to his own in Concord.
Emerson, known as the Sage of Concord, was at the center of Transcendentalism, an American literary and religious movement related to the German and British Romantics with an overlay of personal mysticism borrowed from a first exposure to Hindu religious texts.   Directly or indirectly Emerson subsidized the Alcott family and kept them from starvation.   Young Louisa idolized Emerson and visited him frequently in his home.  The wealthy Mr. Lawrence, who becomes the March family benefactor in Little Women, was modeled on Emerson, although he was much younger when Louisa was a girl than the man depicted as Mr. Lawrence.
The Little Women family, minus absent Papa, as imagined in the first and finest film version in 1933--Joan Bennet as Amy, Spring Byington as Marmee, Francis Dee as Meg, Jean Parker at the foot-pump organ as Beth, and Katherine Hepburn as the indifadigable Jo, Alcott's stand in.
In Louisa’s novel, by the time the first chapter is over, Jo and her sisters have received a heartwarming lesson in the true meaning of Christmas from their mother, Marmee.  Marmee convinces the girls to gather up the delicacies of their holiday table, very special in this home mired in genteel poverty, and bring them to the hovel of an ill and starving woman and her children.
And the story will conclude several Christmas Days later with the unexpected fulfillment of Jo’s two great dreams—the publication of a novel based on her childhood and the return of the shy Professor Bhaer who had been her mentor and who she secretly loved.

Many readers will be less surprised by the character of this story, than by the revelation that Alcott in Little Women was among the first works in American literature to depict a middle-class family celebrating Christmas day.

In her only portrait as a young woman--the family was, after all impoverished and dependent on the pot boilers she wrote for its main support--Louisa May Alcott stares intently into the camera with large, piercing dark eyes.  She seems a lovely young woman who has forsaken a chance of love to support her family.  Or perhaps it was because as she wroter herself " I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man."  She also seems to betray her family's darkest secret--decent from Sephardic Jews.
The early Puritans who settled New England despised Christmas for being PapistCatholic—on the one hand and pagan on the other.  In old England Christmas had devolved into debauchery, drunkenness, and street revelry so, these early Americans banned Christmas celebrations by law.

Thanksgiving, held late in November after the crops were harvested and the snow had fallen, became the New Englanders’ big holiday, not Christmas.  Even after authorities allowed private Christmas observances in homes, they required businesses to stay open and children to attend school on Christmas day.  Most people who valued the respect of the community abstained from celebrating, even privately.

By about the turn of the 19th Century, more folks, and even respectable Congregational Church people, had begun to chafe at the rigid restrictions of Puritanism.   German Romanticism had begun its “warmth-of-heart” influence.  Within the Standing Order of the established Congregationalist Churches two groups began to emerge.  Some congregations split off and became Unitarian.  The Unitarians  and the Transcendentalists who emerged from them in particular warmed to Christmas celebrations.  Whatever the causes, people began to change their attitudes about the holiday.  By the time Louisa was a girl, celebrating Christmas had become a social norm.

Charles--Karl--Follen, the German born Unitarian minister, Harvard proffesor, and intelectual who was a family freind of the Alcotts and introduced the Christmas tree to New England in 1833.  Although he died when Louisa was just eight, she was so smitten by his charisma that she modled Jo's love interest, Prof. Beher, on him.
Charles Follen, a poet and Unitarian minister, who was also a Harvard professor and an immigrant from Germany, had introduced the first Christmas tree to New England in 1832.   The custom caught on.  And he was a friend of Louisa’s family.  Although Follen died in 1840, at 44 years old when Louisa was just 8, he so impressed her that Louisa modeled the love of Jo Marsh’s life, Professor Bhaer, on Follen.

Besides mentioning the greenery and Christmas tree, Alcott made a passing reference to the children hanging their stockings and a visit from Santa Claus.    The Dutch settlers of New York had brought their celebration of St. Nicholas, or Sinterklaus, with them.  An Anglo-New Yorker named Clement Clark Moore had written a poem about St. Nick visiting a home on Christmas Eve that was first published in a Troy, New York newspaper in 1823.  By the 1830s this poem circulated widely.  

Christmas in Louisa’s time, at least in New England, had become a sentimental family holiday centered on children and was little connected to the religious celebration of Christ’s birth.  Most New England Churches still did not offer worship services on that day.
 
Christmas celebrations in the later 19th Century began to be centered more on the birth of Christ with the widespread introduction of crèche scenes and religious carols emerging through large influxes of Catholic and Lutheran immigrants of that period — people who had never had a Puritan interregnum and for whom Christmas had always been a religious festival. 

Christmas has continued to evolve in the 20th and 21st Centuries and to evolve in many different directions, some patently contradictory to others.  Movements to “Put Christ back in Christmas” and the alleged “War on Christmas” are symbolic of just one divide.  And we have both those who enjoy and those who decry its commercialism.  Our ongoing multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-faith evolution has caused some to embrace the variety of Festivals of Light common at this time of year in many cultures. Others see that as a threat to their cherished traditions —traditions in many cases not much older than their great grandparents.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

English Hero Francis Drake—Slaver, Pirate, Rascal, Rogue

Francis Drake as a swashbuckling rogue and emerging English national hero.


On December 13, 1577 Francis Drake on board the Pelican led four other small ships out of the harbor of Falmouth, Cornwall.  Ostensibly on a private expedition of trade, Drake carried secret orders from Queen Elizabeth I to round Cape Horn, explore the western coast of the Americas, and establish an English claim on the coast north of Spanish possessions.  And, by the way, he could pursue opportunities for plunder among the Spanish coastal cities and ships at sea.  The Queen would be glad to accept 50% of the proceeds from this piracy against a nation with which she was at least technically at peace.
No doubt about it, Drake cut a dashing figure and had made a name for himself as a daring mariner and audacious pirate. 
He was born sometime between 1535 and 1544—no birth records have been found and he gave widely varying accounts of his age at various parts of his career—to a tenant farmer in Devonshire.  Most likely evidence points to February through March of 1540.  His father was a passionate Protestant and came under some persecution during that period of Henry the VIII’s reign when he strove to keep the newly separate Anglican Church essentially Catholic in theology and ritual and not unite with Continental Reformers.  Drake himself always stoutly defended Protestantism and hated the Catholic Church.
Despite the lowly station of a tenant farmer, the Drakes were related to the Earl of Bedford, their landlord and Drake’s Godfather.
After fleeing persecution in Devonshire the family settled in Kent.  When the persecution of Protestants eased the elder Drake became a chaplain to men of the King’s Navy and eventually was ordained a deacon.  At the age of about thirteen, he had his son Francis apprenticed to the captain of a costal and cross-Chanel sailing barque.  The boy turned out to be a natural seaman—and a shrewd businessman.  When the owner of the ship died childless, he left the craft to Drake, who was about 20.
Drake was a very succesful pioneer of the English slave trade.
In 1563 he was second in command to his second cousin Captain John Hawkins on a lucrative voyage as a slaver, taking captives from West Africa and slaves captured from Portuguese traders to the Caribbean to be sold to the Spanish.  It was just the fourth English slaving expedition, but by far the most successful and helped establish a regular trade. 
Drake made more voyages to the Spanish Main, now commanding his own ship in Hawkins’s fleet.  He alternately traded slaves with the Spanish and preyed on their shipping, often in the same voyage.  In 1568 Hawkins and Drake were taking supplies and trading at San Juan de Ulua, a fortress near Veracruz, New Spain when the small fleet was surprised and attacked by a superior Spanish flotilla.  All but two of Hawkins’s ships were sunk and Drake had to swim from the wreckage of his ship to safety.  The episode was said to have turned him to a furious hatred of the Spanish.
Out to get even, in 1572 Drake with a crew of mostly French privateers and Maroons—slaves who had escaped the Spanish—attacked the treasure port of Nombre de Díos on the Isthmus of Panama.  Ashore, Drake and his men captured the legendary Spanish Silver Train, a mule train carrying Peruvian gold and silver across the Isthmus. Capturing nearly 20 tons of precious metal, far more than his small crew could handle.  Drake buried the bulk of the treasure and took with him only some of the gold.  After adventures and narrow escapes, he returned to England a fabulously wealthy—and famous—man.  Drake’s buried treasure has never been found, though it has long been sought.  It is probably the origin of all of the legends of buried pirate treasure.  It was also on this trip that Drake saw the Pacific from the top of a tall tree and vowed to sail its waters.
In 1575 Drake entered the service of the Queen under the command of her lover, the Earl of Essex, charged with pacifying Ireland.  Drake commanded a small fleet that attacked Rathlin Island off the north coast of Ulster.  The island was being colonized by Scottish Catholics of the MacDonald Clan.  While Drake’s naval forces prevented rescue by the Scots, English troops massacred more than 300 residents, mostly women, children and the infirm as the men were away at war.
With this additional notch in his belt, the Queen selected Drake, by now a favorite, for her world-girdling expedition two years later.
Drake added a sixth ship to his fleet, the Portuguese trader Santa Maria captured off of the Cape Verde Islands.  He convinced her captain, who had experience in South American waters, to join him and renamed the ship Mary.
The rugged Atlantic crossing began the attrition of men and ships that plagued the expedition.  The Christopher and Swan had to be scuttled because of losses to the crew because of illness and their remaining men transferred to the other ships. 
Drake put into the bay at San Julian in what is now southern Argentina in June.  He decided stay through the approaching harsh Southern Hemisphere winter in the barren bay.  More than fifty years earlier Magellan had done the same thing and executed dozens of mutineers while there.  Drake’s crew found the skeletons still tied to gibbets.  The Mary was found to be rotten and was taken apart to be used as firewood to get the crews through the winter.  

In the midst of his historic circumnaviation of the globe Drake renamed his flaghip from Pelican to Golden Hind to flater a powerful nobleman whho he may have offended by executing  a one of his favorites.
While there Drake dealt, somewhat mysteriously, with a charge of witchcraft levied at his second in command Thomas Doughty and high handedly had the man executed.  Doughty was a nobleman and had been the personal secretary to the powerful Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor of England and with the Queen a major investor in the voyage.  To assuage Hatton’s probable wrath, Drake renamed his flagship The Golden Hind after the principal feature in Hatton’s coat of arms.
Upon leaving San Julian, the three remaining ships headed south to cross into the Pacific.  They were battered by the legendary storms in that region.  One ship foundered and another was too badly damaged to continue and had to return to England.  In mid September Drake and the Golden Hind finally made the passage through the Straights of Magellan. Despite later claims, he did not go further south around Tierra de Fuego and make the crossing by the erroneously named Drake’s Passage.
Pushing northward along the coast, Drake utterly surprised several Spanish towns and settlements, looting and sacking them. None of these towns were fortified, as were town on the eastern coast and Caribbean because no enemy was ever expected to reach them. He captured several small coastal vessels. The greatest value of these prized were their charts, which he used as he pushed north. He had a near brush with death when he was injured by native Mapuches on Mocha Island west of modern Chile.
After raiding the port of Valparaiso, Drake found his richest plunder off the coast of Peru.  First he took more than 25,000 pesos worth of Peruvian gold—worth about $7.5 million today.  Then he got word of the Manila galleon headed to the Philippines with a year’s worth of treasure from the old Inca mines.  Drake gave chase to Nuestra Señora de la Concepción.  The haul was staggering—26 tons of silver, 8 lbs of pure gold, 13 chests of plate, bags of jewels, and a large gold crucifix. 
Despite the huge hall, Drake puzzled the crew, which knew nothing of his secret orders, by continuing north instead of running for home and safety.  He went all the way up the coast of South America, Central America, and New Spain (Mexico.) Eventually he was north of the final Spanish outpost, Point Loma at the entrance of San Diego Bay.
Further north at a point he named Nova Albion, Drake lay in for supplies which he bartered from the natives and to rest.  He claimed the coast in the name of the Queen and the Holy Trinity and buried a bronze plaque to verify the claim. 
The exact location of Nova Albion is in dispute.  Drake altered his charts in case he was captured by the Spanish.  Later all of his logs, charts, and records were ordered under lock and key by the Queen who considered them a high state secret.  These papers were lost when Whitehall Palace burned in 1698.  Most believe it was somewhere along the northern California coast.  Marin is often cited, but others place Nova Albion at Whale’s Bay in what is now Oregon, or even Vancouver Island.  We know at least that side expeditions from Nova Albion charted the waters off Vancouver and up the coast to the Inner Passage along the Alaska panhandle.

A map of Drake's suspected circumnavigation route.
What made these discoveries as state secret for Elizabeth is that apart from Newfoundland, they were the first English claims in North America.  Thereafter all charters granted to fledgling colonies on the east coast extended all the way to the Pacific, at least in theory.  The British later used Drake’s claims to shore up their claims on British Columbia against the Spanish and Russians in Alaska.  The United States also used the claims to legitimize land grabs from Mexico in California and New Mexico.
Drake finally abandoned his explorations and headed southwest across the broad Pacific.  He ran aground in the Moluccas in modern Indonesia.  The Golden Hind refloated by jettisoning some cargo—but no treasure.  Drake made friends with a local ruler and in exchange for supplies intrigued with him against the Portuguese. 
Then it was across the southern Indian Ocean.  After stops along the African Coast, Drake rounded Cape Horn.  He was in Sierra Leone by July 1580 and home in Plymouth on September 25.
In less than three years, Drake had become the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and only the second mariner to come back in a ship on which he departed.  At the end only 58 members of the crews of his ships—minus the one that had returned before crossing into the Pacific, survived the adventure.  But Drake and his investors were rich.  The Queen’s 50% take exceeded all other royal revenue for the year.  And she was in now in secret possession of valuable intelligence and a possible claim to a whole continent.  Drake presented the Queen with a jewel commemorating the voyage made of enameled gold, taken as a prize off the Pacific coast of Mexico with an African diamond and a ship with an ebony hull. No wonder she was happy.

Queen Elizabeth I is eroniously shown dubbing Drake a knight abord his ship but to legitimize his piracy against the Spanish she handed the sword to the French ambasador to complete the ritual.
In return Elizabeth, who could now afford it, gave Drake another jewel with an enamel miniature portrait of herself on one side and an elaborate cameo on the other.  In April, 1581 she also personally visited the Golden Hind to honor Drake with knighthood.  But because Drake was considered a pirate by the Spanish, with whom she was still at peace, she handed the sword to the French ambassador, a brother of the French king, to perform the dubbing, thus also signally French endorsement of the whole affair. 
Honors continued to be piled on Drake.  He was elected Mayor of Plymouth and twice a Member of Parliament.  With his new wealth he bought Buckland Abbey, a large manor near Yelverton in Devon.
When war officially broke out with Spain in 1685, Drake sailed again for the Caribbean. He sacked the great fortress ports of Santo Domingo and Cartagena and captured St. Augustine in Florida.  By now he was a fearful legend among the Spanish in the New World.  Parents frightened their children by telling them that Drake would get them.  Folklore arose around El Draque, the Dragon.  King Phillip II was simply furious.  He posted enormous rewards for Drake’s capture and death.  He is said to have plotted the Spanish Armada in revenge.

Drake's raid on St. Augustine was just one of his lucrative sacks of Spanish citie.
Getting word that the Spanish were amassing a large new fleet, Elizabeth called upon Drake to “singe the beard” of the Spanish king.  He raided the ports of Cadiz and Corunna destroying 37 naval and merchant vessels and then spent months raiding shipping in Spain’s home waters.  The raid delayed the Armada by a full year and helped Elizabeth raise her own naval power.
As the Armada finally made its approach, Drake was made vice admiral under Charles Howard.  He played a leading role in the battle.  As the English fleet pursued the Spanish up the English Channel, Drake was in the lead.  In the dark night, a light on his ship’s stern was the beacon which the rest of the fleet was to follow.  Impetuously, Drake extinguished the lantern to surprise the Spanish galleon Rosario, and Admiral Pedro de Valdés. The ship was also carrying the payroll for the Spanish Army in the Low Countries. Although the capture was an important victory, the English fleet scattered and lost critical time reassembling.  When the Armada was trapped in the French port of Calais, Drake helped organize the fire ships which were set adrift amid them causing panic.  The Spanish captains broke for open water where they were largely destroyed in the Battle of Gravelines in which Drake served with distinction, having helped develop the tactics that overwhelmed the Spanish superiority in heavy guns.

The fire ships Drake launched against the Armada and the inovative tactics he developed to counter the Spanish advantage in heavy guns helped smash and sacatter the Spanish fleet and save England.
The following year, in 1588 the Queen gave Drake co-command with Sir John Norreys of a fleet sent seek out and destroy the remaining ships of the Armada, support rebels against Spanish authority in Lisbon, and if possible take the Azores.  Drake and Norreys destroyed a few ships at La Coruña but lost 20 ships.  Unable to continue either the pursuit of more ships or the capture of the Azores, the fleet limped into Lisbon where it was too badly crippled to have much effect.
It was a beginning of the reversal of Drake’s remarkable luck.  In 1595 after a string of defeats including the failure to capture Las Palmas in the Canary Islands and others in the Caribbean, Drake failed in an attack on San Juan, Puerto Rico.  A Spanish ball tore through his cabin.  He suffered minor injuries, but had to abort the attack.  In January 1596 he died aboard ship of dysentery.  He was about 55 years old.