Southern Faction- Election of 1860

John C. Breckinridge served as Buchanan’s Vice President and was a leading voice in the “Fire Eater” movement which dominated the US Senate. The Southern faction of the Democratic party nominated him for President rather than support Stephen Douglas in 1860. Douglas was seen as a weak on the issue of slave owning rights. TheContinue reading “Southern Faction- Election of 1860”

Fighting Words- Brooks and Sumner

Shortly after the violent sacking of Free State Headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner stood before the Senate and lambasted the primary authors of the Kansas/Nebraska bill, Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina. Sumner was especially malevolent to Butler, who he saw as the leader of the pro-slavery block,Continue reading “Fighting Words- Brooks and Sumner”

Tariffs Did Not Cause the Civil War

Historians, politicians, and neo-secessionists who argue that the Civil War… was caused by the Federal government’s manipulation of tariffs are at best terribly deluded, at worst, they are scurrilous ideologues with a shameful political agenda. A brief history lesson for Tom DiLorenzo, Governor Greg Abbott, President Donald Trump, the Freedom Caucus, Ron and Rand Paul, Continue reading “Tariffs Did Not Cause the Civil War”

Polk’s Rise

Great men with larger-than-life personalities … do not always make the best Presidents.  Too much of their focus is directed inward, and the needs of the electorate are overlooked (see Jackson.)  Consistency is required when dealing with momentous issues. A top ten President James Knox Polk was the right man… in the right place, at theContinue reading “Polk’s Rise”

Douglass Out of Context

Armchair historians like Colin Kaepernick often quote Frederick Douglass when making disingenuous points about civil rights history. Douglass is too often misquoted or valuable context is ignored, most persistently in regards to Abraham Lincoln and emancipation. In history, context does matter.   Frederick Douglass is often cited as proof that slaves never cared for LincolnContinue reading “Douglass Out of Context”

Best Biographies of Jefferson

There is excellent Jefferson scholarship… available to interested readers.  Current scholars seem bound by political correctness to debase the Jeffersonian legacy with tales of slave concubines and youthful indiscretions.  Look to the work of the established Jefferson scholars to find the elusive inroads to one of America’s greatest, but most enigmatic minds. Jefferson and the NewContinue reading “Best Biographies of Jefferson”

Jefferson and a New Historical Focus

Revisionists perpetuating the allegation that Thomas Jefferson… fathered all of Sally Hemings’ children now believe history is on their side.  The pressures of political correctness have relegated reasonable discourse on the issue to the fringe.  A scholar who questions the findings of writers like Annette Gordon-Reed, must be prepared to be labeled a racist.  TheContinue reading “Jefferson and a New Historical Focus”

TV Review- History Channel’s “Washington”

Historical documentaries have changed forever. Reduced attention spans have spelled the end of the wistful images and genteel music of the Ken Burns style of documentary making. Now, actors and live action fill the time between the insight provided by “experts.” The word of historians apparently ring hollow, so the new style also interjects opinionsContinue reading “TV Review- History Channel’s “Washington””

Uncommon Valor- Fredericksburg

Lt. Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain describes the horrific night of December 13th, 1862 at the base of Marye’s Heights. Fredericksburg, Virginia- December 14, 1862 “But out of that silence rose new sounds more appalling still; a strange ventriloquism, of which you could not locate the source, a smothered moan, as if a thousand discords wereContinue reading “Uncommon Valor- Fredericksburg”