Madison and Original Intent

Joe Ellis explained the absence of serious Madison biographies… by proclaiming “he’s boring as hell” and that “only lawyers like him.” As previously stated, Ellis’s recent comments on the Framers and Original Intent cast doubt on the rigor of his scholarship- and these nuggets of wisdom only enhance the evidence of his misguided revisionism. TheContinue reading “Madison and Original Intent”

On Immigration

Jefferson discussed immigration to the United States in 1805: “Shall we refuse the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe?” America was growing and Jefferson approved: “We contemplate this rapid growth, and theContinue reading “On Immigration”

Lincoln and Majority Rule

Abraham Lincoln succinctly explained the insanity of secession in his First Inaugural Address. The majority rules in our democratic-republic. Failure to accept this is not patriotism, it is anarchy. “From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, theContinue reading “Lincoln and Majority Rule”

“The Patriot” – A Lost Opportunity

Early in 2000, the Smithsonian Museum of American History announced… it would assist in the production of an epic film about the American Revolution starring Mel Gibson.  Historians, history buffs, and living historians were further enticed by the original script detailing the exploits of “Swamp Fox” Francis Marion.  Disappointment with “The Patriot” started early, asContinue reading ““The Patriot” – A Lost Opportunity”

History Wishes for the New Year

For History’s sake, I’d like to see… The Thomas Jefferson Foundation focus on Jefferson scholarship and curatorial work, rather than Hemings family research A national movement to protect historical monuments and memorials from vandals who would erase our past to suit their present The New Eisenhower memorial generate an appreciation of his governing and militaryContinue reading “History Wishes for the New Year”

Boston Tea Party in Perspective

Modern political activists invoke history… to justify and rationalize their activism- but often lose the real lessons of the events.  The Boston Tea Party was not a simple protest against taxation; it was a complex disagreement over duties, exemptions, tariffs, and trade balance.  Current political rhetoric cheapens the truly historic events of that December inContinue reading “Boston Tea Party in Perspective”

Garry Owen!

The Irish Brigade crossed the Rappahannock river at Fredericksburg… a shadow of its former self.  Three months earlier, along the banks of the Antietam Creek, the Irish Brigade marched to glory with more than 2,000 men.  At Fredericksburg, the newly arrived 28th Massachusetts regiment bolstered the ranks to 1,200, but the veteran regiments had been decimatedContinue reading “Garry Owen!”

December 6, 1941

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

Pearl Harbor Hero

Mess Attendant Third Class, Doris Miller was awarded the Navy Cross Citation for heroism displayed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was the first black sailor to receive the honor. CITATION: “For distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in PearlContinue reading “Pearl Harbor Hero”

Jefferson on Jackson

Thomas Jefferson saw enough of Andrew Jackson to form this succinct, remarkably accurate description of the “military chief” in 1823. “I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President.  He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place.  He has had very little respect for lawsContinue reading “Jefferson on Jackson”