Madison's Invitation to Washington

To George Washington

Richmond Dec. 7th. 1786

Dear Sir

Notwithstanding the communications in your favor of the 18th. Ult: which has remained till now to be acknowledged, it was the opinion of every judicious friend whom I consulted that your name could not be spared from the Deputation to the Meeting in May in Philada. It was supposed that in the first place, the peculiarity of the mission and its acknowledged pre-eminence over every other public object, may possibly reconcile your undertaking it, with the respect which is justly due & which you wish to pay to the late officers of the army; and in the second place that although you should find that or any other consideration an obstacle to your attendance on the service, the advantage of having your name in the front of the appointment as a mark of the earnestness of Virginia, and an invitation to the most select characters from every part of the Confederacy, ought at all events to be made use of. In these sentiments I own I fully concurred, and flatter myself that they will at least apologize for my departure from those held out in your letter. I even flatter myself that they will merit a serious consideration with yourself, whether the difficulties which you enumerate ought not to give way to them.

American Iconoclasm

Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for. For not one of us, no, not one, is perfect. And were we to love none who had imperfection, this world would be a desert for our love.”

― Thomas Jefferson

Kyle Sammin correctly surmises in a recent edition of  The Federalistthat historical figures are imperfect- the millennial demands of  removing every monument and memorial to historical figures who do not satisfy their modern sensibilities is both foolish and destructive.  Though many of his comments following the Charlottesville violence were divisive and insensitive, Trump’s fear that removing monuments to Confederate generals may lead to the destruction of memorials to our Founders were not far from reality.  Trump’s implication(inadvertent)  is that there is a slippery slope with historical revisionism–    Click on links

These links are the steady progression of arbitrary historical revision… being driven by a generation of social justice warriors completely lacking any semblance of humility.  So-called activists who are convinced they are not only morally superior to their grandparents, but to all previous generations.  This is hubris at its most blatant and dangerous.  Politicians, like Nancy Pelosi pander to these intellectual pipsqueaks by joining in this fool’s chorus- moral redemption through historic erasure.

As previously stated in the pages of this blog… there are more appropriate places for Confederate symbols and monuments than government buildings and public squares.  This is a reasonable debate and it should continue.  The slippery slope of historical revisionism is real and we are well on the way down it.  Sadly, legitimate leadership is required during such a crisis of conscience.  We have Donald Trump…

Confederate Dead Should be Forgotten

Confederate War dead should not matter

There is no compromising with revisionists who are set on changing how we remember the American Civil War.

  • First they argued that the Confederate flag should not be flown on public buildings- reasonable.
  • Then they argued that monuments to specific Confederate leaders should not stand in public spaces- also reasonable.
  • Now they are pressing for ALL monuments to anything/anyone connected to the Confederacy should be torn down, even Confederate war dead – unreasonable.
J. RWV wikiCommons

Writer Joshua Zeitz makes the case in Politico that the United States should follow the example of Germany following WW2.

The problem with his comparison is that there are monuments to German war dead throughout their country. Nazi symbols were removed and outlawed, but not memorials to Germans who died that war. These monuments are remarkably similar to the hundreds located in cities and towns across the American South.

Lafayette’s Sentimental Journey: 1824-25

Presidential History Blog

The Marquis de Lafayette was only nineteen when he was appointed Major General in the American Continental Army.

The Marquis: A Quick Background:

The Marquis Gilbert (with a pile of middle names) de Lafayette (1757-1834) was one of the wealthiest noblemen in France, orphaned early in life, and raised as a ward of the King. As such, he was well educated, including military training.

While still in his teens, he was infected by a passionate love of American independence. He outfitted his own ship, recruited a contingent of soldiers at his own expense, and sailed to America to volunteer. Arriving in Philadelphia in 1777, the 19-year-old Frenchman announced his “availability to Congress.” When he also advised that he and his men were volunteering and expected no pay, Congress was impressed enough to send him to General George Washington in Massachusetts.

George Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge

It is assumed…

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The Latest on “Silent Sam”

Student of the American Civil War

(Image: Samee Siddiqui)

The monument to white supremacy torn down by students at the University of North Carolina is at the center of a settlement between the University and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This article details the agreement:

“The terms of the agreement include:

  • The university will turn over possession of the monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
  • The Sons of Confederate Veterans will ‘forever maintain possession of the monument outside any of the 14 counties currently containing a UNC System campus.’
  • The university system – ‘using non-state funds’ – will endow a charitable trust in the amount of $2.5 million, proceeds of which will be used for ‘certain limited expenses related to the care and preservation of the monument, including potentially a facility to house and display the monument.’ “

The article gives us a short history of the monument and protests against it, and gives us…

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December 6, 1941

“No, young man. I don’t think they’d be such damned fools.” Admiral Husband Kimmel, Dec. 6th 1941.

USA Today

Kimmel granted an interview to the Christian Science Monitor and was incredulous when the young reporter asked about the possibility of Japan starting a war with the United States.

The events of the following day forced Kimmel to retire in disgrace as the US government was quick to place all the blame on him.

Cryptic war “warnings” and casual disregard for military realities in the Pacific could be excused as only the civilian leaders enjoyed the benefit of hindsight.

  • Roosevelt had personally promoted Kimmel to command of the Pacific Fleet, jumping over 50 flag officers.
  • Kimmel’s superior Admiral Stark, chose not to immediately notify Hawaii after the translation of Japan’s war message on the morning of Dec. 7th.
  • It was Kimmel’s decision to keep the aircraft carriers at sea, thus sparing them from destruction on December 7th.

What is Political Courage?

Speaker Pelosi announced the intention to file articles of impeachment against Donald Trump…

Pundits, eager for readership, attempt to recall impeachments past as evidence of political courage. –  **only in 1974 and 1868.  1999 was a gross overreach of Congressional power, for some reason. ?

President-elect_Donald_J._Trump_and_U.S._Speaker_of_the_House_Nancy_Pelosi,_January_20,_2017_cropped

Historians are getting involved in the debate- citing the historical necessities of the 1974 and 1868 impeachment proceedings.  Opponents were obviously partisan hacks lacking in political courage. Edmund G. Ross is the obvious target from 1868- historian David Greenberg called him a “scoundrel.”

Edmund_G._Ross_-_Brady-Handy

What did Ross actually think about impeaching the President of the United States?

“Conditions may, and are not unlikely to arise, some day, when the exercise of the power to impeach and remove the President may be quite as essential to the preservation of our political system as it threatened to become in this instance destructive of that system. Should that day ever come, it is to be hoped that the remedy of impeachment, as established by the Constitution, may be as patriotically, as fearlessly, and as unselfishly applied as it was on this occasion rejected”**

** Ross was ostracized by the radicals in his party and voted out of office two years later.