I am really excited to learn this morning that Veeptopus has been named as one of the Five Things You Had to See Online This Week by Studio 360. You can read the article here.
But what I really want to talk about is pirates. Today September 19, has been dubbed by some august and serious-mind body International Talk Like a Pirate Day. So arrrrgh! And there was at least one vice president out there who had first hand experience with pirates - John C. Breckinridge.
Breckinridge is America’s youngest ever vice president under James Buchanan, who largely ignored him. When Lincoln was elected, Breckinridge returned to being a senator for Kentucky until 1861 when he jumped ship for the Confederacy. The U.S. government was not happy about his decision. The U.S. Senate cast him out by a vote of 36-0 and charged him with treason. Breckinridge was made a Brigadier General for the South, and after distinguishing himself in battles like Shiloh and Chattanooga, he was eventually appointed the Secretary of War. So when General Lee’s army surrendered in 1865, he knew he had to get out of town or face his treason charges.
Breckinridge fled through the malarial, alligator-infested swamps of Florida, hi-jacked a sailing ship (which is a pretty piratey thing to do) and made for Cuba. Along the way, he not only fought off an honest-to-God pirate attack, but he also survived two tropical storms and came close to starving before eventually making it to shore. From there he traveled to England. In 1868, President Andrew Johnson pardoned Breckinridge and all other Confederates.
You can check out a print of Breckinridge and many others over at the Veeptopus Etsy Store.