C. A. L. Totten
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Charles Adelle Lewis Totten (February 3, 1851 – April 12, 1908) was an American military officer, a professor of military tactics, a prolific writer, and an influential early advocate of British Israelism.
Charles Totten was born in New London, Connecticut into a military family. His father, James Totten was a 1st lieutenant in the Army and would become a Brigadier-General in the Missouri Militia during the American Civil War. He was the grandfather of Lieutenant General William P. Ennis who served during World War II and the Korean War. He was not directly related to Brevet Major General Joseph Gilbert Totten, who was Chief of the United States Army Corps of Engineers from 1838 to 1864.
Totten's brother, John Reynolds Totten, graduated from West Point in 1878, was promoted to first lieutenant in 1886 and resigned from the Army on April 1, 1891. After leaving the Army, he pursued his interests in genealogy and hereditary societies.
Totten was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point on September 1, 1869. A year later, his father was dismissed from the Army for misconduct.
Totten graduated from West Point (where he had been an honor student) in June 1873. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th Artillery Regiment. He was promoted to first lieutenant the next year. He would not be promoted again, however, due to slow promotions in the post-Civil War Army.
He taught military science and tactics at Massachusetts Agricultural College, (now known as the University of Massachusetts Amherst) from 1875 to 1878. In this assignment he introduced fencing as a collegiate sport.
Charles Totten and W. R. Livermore are variously credited with being the first to bring the practice of war gaming from Germany to the United States. Totten's book Strategos, one of the first modern wargaming systems in the United States, was published in 1880.
He was stationed at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island from November 9, 1882 to August 1, 1883. He then served as Professor of Military Science and Tactics, Cathedral School of St. Paul in New York from August 4, 1883 until April 21, 1886. A strong opponent of the Metric System, he patented a system of weights and measures in 1884.
He was again assigned to Fort Adams, as well as serving as an advisor at Rhode Island Militia encampments, from May 30, 1886 until October 1, 1889. His last assignment in the Army was as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Yale University from August 1, 1889 until 1892.
Writing and Publishing
After a leave of absence, Totten resigned his commission in August 1893 and settled in Milford, Connecticut with his office in New Haven. He devoted most of his remaining life to writing, chiefly on biblical chronology, biblical prophecy, the Great Pyramid, British Israelism, the symbolism of the Great Seal of the United States and other esoteric subjects.
He was a prolific author, writing over 180 books and articles, including a massive 26 volume series entitled "Our Race" defending British Israelism, and his writings continue to exert influence in some Christian Zionist circles. Totten's works were read and embraced by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Church. British Israelism was later embraced by Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God and the white supremacist Christian Identity movement.
As an active member of the International Institute for Preserving and Perfecting (Anglo-Saxon) Weights and Measures, Totten wrote its theme song, "A Pint's a Pound the World Around," in 1883, which included these lines:
They bid us change the ancient "names."
The "seasons" and the "times;"
And for our measures go abroad
To strange and distant climes.
But well abide by things long clear
And cling to things of yore.
For the Anglo-Saxon race shall rule
The earth from shore to shore.
Then down with every "metric" scheme
Taught by the foreign school.
We'll worship still our Father's God!
And keep our Father's "rule"!
A perfect inch. a perfect pint.
The Anglo's honest pound.
Shall hold their place upon the earth.
Till Time's last trump shall sound!
Then swell the chorus heartily.
Let every Saxon sing:
"A pint's a pound the world around."
Till all the earth shall ring.
"A pint's a pound the world around"
For rich and poor the same;
Just measure and a perfect weight
Called by their ancient name!
- A History of the Metric System Controversy in the United States. U.S. Metric Study Tenth Interim Report. National Bureau of Standards (DOC) , Washington, D.C. REPORT NO NBs-SP-345-10 August 1971. 307p. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 (Catalog No. 0 13.10:345-10, $2.25) ERIC Internet Archive
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