Frontier Feud

Searching for the causes of the War of 1812… will invariably lead to the Indiana frontier.  William Henry Harrison was granted power by President Thomas Jefferson to negotiate with the Indian nations (13 treaties and over 1 million acres.)   Harrison orchestrated the Treaty of Ft. Wayne in 1809, granting US settlers unlimited access toContinue reading “Frontier Feud”

Caution with Constitutional Amendment

Routine teaching about the US Constitution… instructs students that its genius is found in the fact that it can be changed.  This dogma can be traced to the influence of Charles Beard’s contention that it was purely an economic document, and well timed amendments rescued our republic from new world feudalism.  Such orthodoxy perfectly definesContinue reading “Caution with Constitutional Amendment”

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?”

On Experimentation

The American experience has always been built on experimentation… Our very existence doubted by most of the world, the optimism of Thomas Jefferson became essential to the survival of our republican experiment. As the election of 1796 loomed… the friendship between Jefferson and John Adams waned.  Jefferson reminded his friend of their experiment:   “IContinue reading “On Experimentation”

Confederacy and Freedom

For too long defenders of Confederate heritage… have associated it with freedom and individual rights for all whites. The specter of the conquering Yankee invading the homeland to oppress the yeoman and steal his acre was the rallying cry.  Policy makers in the Confederacy used this propaganda to dupe poor whites  to defend the landedContinue reading “Confederacy and Freedom”

Jefferson on Education

“We shall have our follies without doubt. Some one or more of them will always be afloat. But ours will be the follies of enthusiasm, not of bigotry … bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both. We areContinue reading “Jefferson on Education”

Context for Historic Monuments is Subjective

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington DC has submitted a list of Federal monuments in her city which should be “removed, relocated, or contextualized.” She recently formed a commission to study this highly contentious issue. These recommendations come at a crucial time in our analysis of American remembrance. Bowser’s commission actually lists the Washington Monument andContinue reading “Context for Historic Monuments is Subjective”

Jefferson and the Press

Jefferson was a champion of the free press, but never considered freedom of speech as blanket protection for slander. Throughout his career, he struggled with the contradictory nature of politics and media. “Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could notContinue reading “Jefferson and the Press”

Jefferson’s Birthday

  Further proof that the trend of combining different commemorations into banker’s holidays… is truly foolish, look no further than Thomas Jefferson. Upon entering the executive mansion… citizens began petitioning him for the use of his birthday as a holiday, he gently reminded them, ‘The only birthday I ever commemorate, is that of our Independence,Continue reading “Jefferson’s Birthday”