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Bennet C. Riley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bennet C. Riley
7th Military Governor of California
In office
Preceded by Richard Barnes Mason
Succeeded by Peter Hardeman Burnett[1]
Personal details
Born (1787-11-27)November 27, 1787
St. Mary's County, Maryland
Died June 6, 1853(1853-06-06) (aged 65)
Black Rock, near Buffalo, New York
Resting place Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo
Spouse(s) Arabella Israel Riley
Profession Soldier
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1813–1850
  • Colonel
  • Bvt. Major General

Bennet C. Riley[Note 1] (November 27, 1787 – June 6, 1853) was the seventh and last military governor of California. Riley ordered the election of representatives to a state constitutional convention, and handed over all civil authority to a Governor and elected delegates at the end of 1849; the following year, California joined the U.S. as a state.[2] He participated in the War of 1812 on Lake Ontario. He also served in the United States Army during the Seminole War in Florida, and Mexican–American War.

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Humans love meat. Steak, fried chicken, bacon, pork belly, and sausages are just the best things. Eating meat has become so trivial that many people don't consider something a proper meal if there's no animal involved. Which is pretty amazing, since only a few decades ago meat was a luxury product. Today you can get a cheeseburger for a dollar. Paradoxically meat is pretty much the most inefficient way of feeding humans If we look at it on a global scale, our meaty diet is literally eating up the planet Why is that and what can we do about it without giving up steak? Intro - In a Nurshell Humans keep a lot of animals for food currently about 23 billion chickens 1.5 billion cattle and roughly 1 billion pigs and sheep That's a lot of mouths to feed. So we've transformed earth into a giant feeding ground 83% of its farmland is used for livestock. For example, its pasture and to farm photo crops like corn and soy That's 26 percent of Earth's total land area if we include the water we need for these plants meat and dairy production accounts for 27% of global freshwater consumption Unfortunately meat production is like a black hole for resources Since animals are living things, most of their food is used to keep them alive while they grow their tasty parts Only a fraction of the nutrients from photo crops end up in the meat we buy in the end Cows for example convert only about 4% of the proteins and 3% of the calories of the plants we feed to them into beef More than 97 percent of the calories are lost to us To create 1kg of steak a cow needs to eat up to 25 kilos of grain and uses up to 15,000 liters of water Animal products are guzzling up tons of food, but they only make up 18 percent of the calories humans eat According to projections we could nourish an additional 3.5 billion people if we just ate the stuff we feed to animals To make our favorite food group even more unsustainable about 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are created by the meat industry. As much as by all ships planes trucks and cars combined And there's another aspect to meat. It comes from actual living beings Pigs cattle and chicken are not the ones writing the history books, but if they were humans would appear as rampant genocidal maniacs that thrive on suffering Globally, we kill about 200 million animals every day About 74 billion a year This means that every one and a half years. We kill more animals than people have lived in the entire 200,000 year history of humanity One could argue that we're doing them a favor after all they wouldn't exist without us We might eat them in the end. But we also provide food and shelter and the gift of existence to them Unfortunately, we're not very nice gods A lot of our meat comes from factory farms huge industrial systems that house thousands of animals Engineered to be as efficient as possible. They have little regard for things like quality of life Most pigs are raised in gigantic windowless sheds and never get to see the sun Sows are kept in pens too small to turn around where they give birth to one litter of piglets after another Until it's their turn to be turned into bacon Dairy cows are forced to breathe continually to ensure their milk supply, but are separated from their calves hours after birth To fatten up beef cattle for slaughter, they're put in feedlots confined pens where they can't roam and put on weight more quickly To make it possible to keep them so tightly together without dying of diseases the majority of antibiotics we use are for livestock up to 80% in the US which helps in the short term, but also fuels antibiotic resistances But the ones that may have got the worst deal are chickens In factory farms They're kept in such vast numbers and so close to each other that they can't form the social structures they have in nature So they start attacking each other to stop that we cut their beaks and claws Male chickens are deemed worthless, since they can't lay eggs and are not suitable for meat production So within minutes after birth, they're usually gassed and shredded and grinders Several hundred million baby chickens are killed this way each year Even if you had a personal score to settle with chickens how we treat them is beyond broken So better buy organic meat where animals are treated nicely, right? Organic farming regulations are designed to grant animals a minimum of comfort The problem is that organic is an elastic term According to EU regulations, an organic hen still might share one square metre of space with five others That's a long way off from happy farmyard chickens Farms that sincerely do their best do exist of course But meat is still a business. An organic label is a way to charge more money and countless scandals have revealed producers looking for ways to cheat the system And while organic meat might be less cruel, it needs even more resources than conventional meat production So buying organic is still preferable, but does not grant you moral absolution The truth is if suffering were a resource We would create billions of tons of it per year The way we treat animals will probably be one of the things future generations will look down on in disgust While all these things are true. Something else is true too. Steak is amazing. Burgers are the best food. Chicken wings taste great Meat satisfies something buried deep in our little brain. We hardly ever see how our meat is made We just eat it and love it. It creates joy, it brings us together for family meals and barbecue parties Eating meat doesn't make you a bad person. Not eating meat doesn't make you a good one. Life is complicated and so is the world we've created So how should we deal with the fact that meat is extremely unsustainable and a sort of horrible torture ? For now the easiest option is opting out more often Taking a meat-free day per week already makes a difference If you want to eat meat produced with the less suffering try to buy from trusted producers with a good track record Even if it costs more. To make an impact on the environment go for chicken and pig rather than lamb and beef as they convert their feed more efficiently into meat And if you're going to have your steak you should eat it too An average American throws out nearly a pound of food per day a lot of which is meat in The future science could get us clean meat Various startups have successfully grown meat in labs and are working on doing so on a commercial scale But solutions like this are still a few years away For now, enjoy your steak, but also respect it and if you can make it something special again We have something else for you that's also special and tastes even better than steak We get asked a lot how we make our videos We thought we'd just show you. Kurzgesagt teamed up with Skillshare our favorite online tutorial service to teach you our unique animation style We've just released part three of our animation tutorial series where you can learn to animate as seen from our videos Skillshare is an online learning community with over 20,000 classes in all kinds of cool stuff like writing, illustration and animation With their premium membership, you get unlimited access to high-quality classes from skilled professionals - one of them is us And we also snagged a special offer for you The first 1,000 people to use the link in the description get two months of unlimited access for free If you want to learn how we animate our videos you can start there today Outro - In a Nutshell


Early life and family

Bennet Riley was born to an Irish-Catholic couple, Bennet Riley and Susanna Ann Drury[3] in St. Mary's, Maryland, 1787. His father apprenticed him to a cobbler; later, he served as a foreman in a shoe factory. After his father's death in 1811, he signed up for service on a privateer.[4]

Riley married Arabella Israel, of Philadelphia, on 9 November 1834, at the Jefferson Barracks, Lemay, Missouri.[5] They had eight children: William Davenport Riley and Samuel Israel Riley, twins, died in Fort King, Florida, on 15 and 17 November 1841; Bennet Israel Riley, born 1835 in Massachusetts, served in the Navy and died aboard the war-sloop USS Albany, which disappeared with all hands in September, 1854;[6] Mary, born 1836; Arabella I. Riley, 1837–1916) (never married); George, born 1838; and Edward Bishop Dudley Riley (1839–1918), whose military career was split between the Union and Confederate armies.[Note 2]

Ulysses S. Grant described Bennet Riley as "the finest specimen of physical manhood I had ever looked upon...6'2 (190 cm) in his stocking feet, straight as the undrawn [sic] bowstring, broad shouldered with every limb in perfect proportion, with an eagle and a step as light as a forest tiger."[7] An accident or injury in his youth caused him to lose part of his palette, and he spoke with a hoarse voice.[8][9]

Military career

Riley volunteered for service in the War of 1812,[10] and on 19 January 1813, he was appointed Ensign of Rifles. In March of the same year, he became a third lieutenant and in April 1814 a second lieutenant in the First Rifles. He saw action at Sackets Harbor, New York, in second of two battles for control of the shipyards on Lake Ontario. He gained a promotion to first lieutenant in March 1817. Riley was further advanced to captain in the 5th U.S. Infantry, and by 1821 he was transferred to the 6th U.S. Infantry.[8][9]

The officer joined his superior, Colonel Henry Leavenworth, in an engagement against the Arikara Indians in August 1823. Riley was honored for ten years of faithful service by being promoted to brevet major on 6 August 1828, leading the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail in 1829.[8][11]

He had tenures as major in the 4th U.S. Infantry (1837) and lieutenant colonel, 2nd U.S. Infantry, beginning in December 1839.[8] The Battle of Chokachotta in Florida took place on 2 June 1840. Colonel Riley was cited for bravery and good conduct during this engagement in the Seminole Wars. He gained the rank of Brevet Colonel in February 1844.[8][9]

During the Mexican–American War, as colonel of the 2nd U.S. Infantry, Riley fought at the Siege of Veracruz and the Battle of Cerro Gordo, where he was cited for bravery.[8] He was brevetted brigadier general and assumed command of the 2nd Brigade in David E. Twiggs's Second Division. He led his brigade at the Battle of Contreras and the Battle of Churubusco, where Winfield Scott gave him credit for the U.S. victory: Riley had discovered a way around the rear of Velencia's position.[12] He was appointed brevet major general and fought at the Chapultepec. After the battle at Churubusco, he also presided over the courts-martial of 72 deserters of the so-called Saint Patrick's Battalion discovered hiding in the San Patricios convent; among them were John Murphy and John Riley.[13] He was generally considered one of the ablest brigade commanders in the army during the war with Mexico.[8][9]

Role in California statehood

After the war with Mexico, Riley served a brief stint at Fort Hamilton, in Brooklyn, New York, in 1848.[14] In the years 1849 and 1850, General Riley commanded the Military Department in Upper California and exercised the duties of Provincial Governor: the inaction of Congress in deciding the issue of California statehood complicated his service.[15] He relieved Colonel Richard B. Mason on 13 April 1849, as the Gold Rush worked into its most violent phase. In addition to the influx of prospectors seeking their fortunes, daily desertions of his own men rapidly depleted his troops. At the height of the Gold Rush, he had eight companies of infantry, two artillery, and two dragoons stretched between San Diego and San Francisco. When Congress refused to act on the statehood of California and New Mexico, he called for the election of civil officers to a de facto government. Consequently, the military authorities could not prevent the slaughter of California's native population, nor could they suppress the violence in the lawless gold camps. He relinquished all his civil power on 20 December 1849.[16]

After his administrative service concluded on the Pacific, Riley was ordered to take command of a regiment on the Rio Grande. However ill-health prevented further service on his part. He returned to his home in Black Rock, near Buffalo, New York, where he died of cancer.[8] General Riley died on Thursday evening, 10 June 1853, survived by his wife Arabella (who died on 12 February 1894) and four children.[9][17] Riley is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo.[9]


On 27 June 1853, Camp Center (Kansas Territory) was named Fort Riley in Bennet Riley's honor, even though he never served at the fort, and it was a cavalry post, while Riley's career was that of an infantryman. Riley County, Kansas is also named in his honor.[18]

Notes and citations


  1. ^ His name is sometimes written as Bennett, but his own correspondence uses the spelling of Bennet. See United States. Congress. House. 13th Congress, 2d Session-49th Congress. House Documents, Otherwise Publ. as Executive Documents: 13th Congress, 2d Session-49th Congress, 1st Session, p. 822. for an example.
  2. ^ Edward Riley, born in 1839 in Indian Territory, Oklahoma, graduated from West Point in 1860. There is some conflict with the sources over his subsequent service. Sources about his father report that he served with the 4th Infantry in California; upon the outbreak of war in 1861, he resigned his commission on 13 June 1861, and left with Lewis Armistead for Texas, and then to Virginia. He served as a staff officer, under Braxton Bragg and Albert Sidney Johnston and several others, as part of the Confederate staff. Davis, p. 601. According to Army records, he served as a corporal in the 2nd Infantry, and deserted in June 1861 in Troy, New York. New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York; New York Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900; Archive Collection #: 13775-83; Box #: 84; Roll #: 932-933, Edward Riley. Accessed 3 November 2015. He is listed in the "Officers of the 4th Infantry Present and Absent in September 1861", Army Register of Enlistments, p. 539, accessed 3 November 2015, and in US Army Historical Register - Volume 2 › Part III - Officers Who Left the US Army After 1860 and Joined the Confederate Service › Page 4. Accessed 3 November 2015. (subscription required)


  1. ^ California joined the U.S. as a state the year after he took office, in 1850.
  2. ^ Unlike most western states, California was never a U.S. Territory
  3. ^ Spencer Tucker, San Patricio Battalion, found in Alexander Bielakowski (ed), Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military: An Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, Jan 11, 2013. 9781598844283
  4. ^ Jefferson Davis, Papers, LSU Press, 1975 9780807158654, p. 602.
  5. ^ Newspapers and Periodicals. American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014, 29 Nov 1834. Accessed 31 October 201.(subscription required)
  6. ^ Navy Casualty Reports, 1776–1941, Lost and Wrecked Ships, Explosions and Steam Casualties, p. 5, Fold3 12-003. Accessed 3 November 2015. (subscription required) See also Correspondence of Franklin Pierce with the Senate, To the Senate (re sloop-of-war Albany), 26 February 1855, Congressional Edition, Volume 745, p. 331.
  7. ^ Susannah Ural Bruce, The Harp and the Eagle: Irish-American Volunteers and the Union Army, 1861–1865, NYU Press, 2006, 9780814799390 pp. 36–37.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Davis, p. 602.
  9. ^ a b c d e f New York Times, New York Times: General Riley, June 11, 1853.
  10. ^ Durwood Ball, Army Regulars on the Western Frontier, 1848–1861., University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, 9780806133126 p. 8..
  11. ^ Otis E. Young, Philip St. George Cooke, The First Military Escort on the Santa Fe Trail, 1829: From the Journal and Reports of Major Bennet Riley and Lieutenant Philip St. George Cooke, A. H. Clark Company, 1952.
  12. ^ Philip F. Rose, Mexico Redux, iUniverse, Sep 21, 2012 9781475943313 pp. 204–205.
  13. ^ Tucker, in Bielakowski.
  14. ^ National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Returns from U.S. Military Posts, 1800-1916; Microfilm Serial: M617; Microfilm Roll: 442, Fort Hamilton, October 1848. Accessed 3 November 2015. (subscription required)
  15. ^ Anthony Quinn. The Rivals: William Gwin, David Broderick, and the Birth of California. U of Nebraska Press, 1997 pp. 22–24. 9780803288515
  16. ^ Ball, pp. 12–15.
  17. ^ The surviving family is listed in the 1855 State Census for Buffalo City, Ward 11, Erie, New York, USA, household 586. Census of the state of New York, for 1855. Microfilm. New York State Archives, Albany, New York. Accessed 3 November 2015. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Michael A. Beatty, County Name Origins of the United States, McFarland, 2001 9780786410255. #937, p. 140.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Persifor Frazer Smith
Military Governor of California
April 12, 1849–December 20, 1849
Succeeded by
Governor of California
Peter Hardeman Burnett
This page was last edited on 14 October 2018, at 23:16
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