Washington and Vaccination

In a 1777 letter to Continental Congress President John Hancock, George Washington called on the army to be inoculated against smallpox. He feared it every bit as much as the muskets of the British. “Finding the smallpox to be spreading much and fearing that no precaution can prevent it from running through the whole ofContinue reading “Washington and Vaccination”

Echoes Through History

Jefferson declined an invitation to speak about the Declaration of Independence on its 50th anniversary. His health was failing him in the summer of 1826. Modern writers are so quick to label Jefferson a hypocrite – and at best a contradiction. All of these “scholars” dismisses the Declaration as imperfect – implying it was eitherContinue reading “Echoes Through History”

Is it the Fourth?

Can we endure without the man who gave us our creed? Americans, largely through the efforts of a lewd media, used the Fourth of July 2019… to denigrate and trivialize Thomas Jefferson’s memory. Salacious accusations disguised as legitimate archaeology and scholarship dragged the author of our Declaration of Independence down into tabloid scandal-mongering. We haveContinue reading “Is it the Fourth?”

Jefferson on our Resilience

Jefferson offered an optimistic assessment of our republic’s fortitude. Words that we should turn to today; “I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government whichContinue reading “Jefferson on our Resilience”

“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”

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”

The Authority Passes- Bernard Bailyn

Eminent historian Bernard Bailyn passed away Friday at the age of 97. His work earned him all the important historical accolades, including two Pulitzers. Many credit him with creating an American Cambridge(Mass.) school of historiography, influencing such students as Pauline Maier, Mary Beth Norton, and Gordon Wood. No other scholar impacted the study of theContinue reading “The Authority Passes- Bernard Bailyn”

Historical Revision in Perspective

At the heart of historical revisionism is distrust… a lack of faith in previous interpretations of the historical record.  This blog has bitterly observed the crass consumerism and intellectual vanity that often drive outlandish revisions in our history.  But, a closer examination reveals the true divide between revisionist and traditionalist- trust. As historians rush toContinue reading “Historical Revision in Perspective”