Censure of a President- The Senate’s Voice

Whig opposition to President Andrew Jackson did not have enough votes in the House of Representatives to impeach Jackson for his Constitutionally suspect attacks on the Second Bank of the United States.

Jackson’s rival, Senator Henry Clay took matters into his own hands and censured Jackson’s conduct in the Senate.

“Resolved that the President in the late Executive proceedings in relation to the public revenue, has assumed upon himself authority and power not confer’d by the Constitution and laws but in derogation of both”…. “Resolved that in taking upon himself the responsibility of removing the deposits of the public money from the Bank of the U. States, the President of the U. S. has assumed the exercise of a power over the Treasury of the U. States, not provided to him by the Constitution and laws, and dangerous to the liberties of the people.”

1919 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Almost Chosen People

The season of the year has again arrived when the people of the United States are accustomed to unite in giving thanks to Almighty God for the blessings which He has conferred upon our country during the twelve months that have passed. A year ago our people poured out their hearts in praise and thanksgiving that through divine aid the right was victorious and peace had come to the nations which had so courageously struggled in defense of human liberty and justice. Now that the stern task is ended and the fruits of achievement are ours, we look forward with confidence to the dawn on an era where the sacrifices of the nations will find recompense in a world at peace.But to attain the consummation of the great work to which the American people devoted their manhood and the vast resources of their country they should, as they give thanks…

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A New Trend Regarding Historians and R. E. Lee

Student of the American Civil War

I’ve noticed a new trend appearing among historians and their evaluations of Robert E. Lee. They are out to chip all the marble off the marble man, and in doing so it seems to me they’re hitting the man as well as the marble. In other words, it seems to me they’re going a bit too far. An example is this article. Michael McLean is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Boston College, and I think his article epitomizes the misunderstanding several historians trained in social history have regarding Lee as a general.

Image of R. E. Lee from the article.

Before I get to that, let’s take a look at the areas in which I mostly agree with Mr. McLean.

He starts by pointing out Lee committed treason against the United States. “Robert Lee was the nation’s most notable traitor since Benedict Arnold. Like Arnold, Robert Lee had…

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Washington Knew this was Coming

Attorney General Barr recently made the erroneous claim that the Founders wanted most power consolidated in one branch of our Government- specifically the Executive. Any alternative interpretation he considers juvenile. Mr. Barr, I give you George Washington’s Farewell Address

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates.”

George Washington’s Two Revolutionary Sons

Presidential History Blog

young GW George Washington, General of the Continental Army

George Washington had no children of his own, although he raised two step-children, and was considered a responsible and affectionate parent.

GW: The Revolutionary War

When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, George Washington was 43 years old. Having served in the Virginia Militia in his youth, rising to the rank of Colonel, he was considered the highest ranking “American” officer. He was appointed General, and sent to take command of a ragtag army forming in Massachusetts.

Forty-three was considered well into middle-age at that time. A new generation was now approaching adulthood – and enlisting as soldiers. Washington’s aides would become his military “family.”

Lafayette: The Favorite Son

lafayette The Marquis de Lafayette “joined” the American army when he was nineteen. And at his own expense.

When the shot fired at Lexington was “heard round the world,” it was a clarion call to…

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Jefferson to Wasington- Free Press

Thomas Jefferson cautioned George Washington about the importance of a free press…. his words should serve as warning to citizens today…

“No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defense. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth whether in religion, law or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know nor notice its sycophants or censors, as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter.”

Facts in Five- Jefferson the Man

Thomas Jefferson edition- part 1

  • Jefferson had one of America’s great wine cellars- his love of wine always had him in debt.  During his presidency he spent an estimated $11,000 on wine, equivalent to $147,000 today.
  • Public speaking terrified him- John Adams claimed never to have heard him speak more than a sentence while in the Continental Congress.  Jefferson never gave a State of the Union address- all eight of his were hand delivered to Congress. 
  • No abuse of power allowed- Jefferson was the first two-term President never to veto a bill. 
  • Man of the world- Jefferson was fluent in six languages (English, Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish,  French) and could understand 12 different American Indian dialects.
  • Lively dinner conversation- Jefferson frustrated supporters and rivals alike by insisting upon a round dining table at the White House. He sat rivals next to one another to observe and enjoy the discourse.