18 July 2017
I'm currently up to my neck in various writing, website and professional development projects and sometimes feel like I'm not getting anywhere on any of them, but I did want to take a moment to make an announcement. Yesterday, I received an email inviting me to become a Contributing Editor to a national magazine that focuses on relic and treasure hunting and collecting. I'm extremely pleased and honored and will have more to say about this in the near future.
Now, back to work on those projects . . .
30 June 2017
|Common as Elam, Anson Mount as Cullen in AMC’s “Hell on Wheels”|
I've mentioned AMC's Western TV series, Hell on Wheels before. The last episode was last year after running for 5 seasons. Despite it's TERRIBLE and anticlimactic ending, it was an excellent series and, despite the raunchiness of some of the scenes, I'd recommend those interested in the WBTS and Western expansion watch it. The acting is superb and authentic. As I previously noted, it is one of the most politically incorrect television shows to air in the last 20 years. Though certainly not true to history, it does contain some authentic themes and historic references and parallels about the events depicted. Netflix carries all 5 seasons. I've seen every show, but started watching them all over again last night as some of the show's themes tie into some research I'm currently involved in.
Google notes the following about the series:
The Civil War is in the past, but former Confederate soldier [actually, a colonel] Cullen Bohannon can't put it behind him. Fresh are the horrific memories of the death of his wife, killed at the hands of the Union soldiers, an act that sets Bohannon on a course of revenge. This contemporary Western tells the story of his journey, a story that rides on Union Pacific's construction of the first transcontinental railroad. Bohannon's westward travels take him to a lawless melting pot of a town called "Hell on Wheels," which moves with the construction of the railroad.In the series, Bohannon owned 5 slaves but claims to have set them all free a year before the WBTS started due to the fact his yankee wife made him see the evils of slavery. Ironically, she's raped and strangled by Union marauders during Sherman's Meridian Campaign while her husband is away defending Southern honor (his words), and not slavery. (Sounds like the script was written by an SCV Member. LOL.) Another twist of irony: Bohannon becomes close friends with a former slave employed on the railroad. After beating the crap out of each other, they ending up saving each others' lives and grow to respect and admire one another. Bohannon also ends up becoming somewhat of a confidant of President Grant.
Anyway, there were some recent comments on another blog about Sherman's March through the South which reminded me of this scene. Enjoy.
29 June 2017
Despite what moral reformer historians spout and leftist politicians proclaim. Just ask Professor Walter Williams (no relation). The following is being brought to you by your favorite news clipping service:
Article 1 of the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the war between the Colonies and Great Britain, held “New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States.” Representatives of these states came together in Philadelphia in 1787 to write a constitution and form a union.And . . .
During the ratification debates, Virginia’s delegates said, “The powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.” The ratification documents of New York and Rhode Island expressed similar sentiments.
At the Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made to allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” rejected it. The minutes from the debate paraphrased his opinion: “A union of the states containing such an ingredient (would) provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.” [Emphasis mine.]
Confederate generals were fighting for independence from the Union just as George Washington and other generals fought for independence from Great Britain. Those who’d label Gen. Robert E. Lee as a traitor might also label George Washington as a traitor. I’m sure Great Britain’s King George III would have agreed.I'm sure too. Great minds do think alike. More here.
Now we know that some historians like to refer to selectively chosen original writings and documents when it advances their preferred narrative. I wonder if they'll like to refer to the ones referenced by Dr. Williams?
28 June 2017
|Confederate memorial in Maplewood Cemetery, Durham, NC|
Reports that the anti-fascist [sic] group Antifa plans to burn Confederate flags and desecrate graves have prompted calls on social media for other groups to gather in Gettysburg to counter those protesters. [Source.]Sounds like a great event to take your family to for an outing, huh?
I wonder if this kind of thing will spread to other National Parks and monuments? Violence and criminal vandalism. Should be great for increasing visitation numbers, right? Just what the NPS needs.
"Hey honey, wanna take the kids to Gettysburg this weekend and watch protestors burn flags and desecrate graves? I hear the weather is going to be great!"
Actually, this is nothing new.
The radical left, with "intellectual" cover being provided by moral reformer historians, can't even let the dead rest in peace.
And criminal vandalism against other types of monuments is spreading.
15 June 2017
Just quoting the good Doctor here, courtesy of your favorite news clip service:
George Orwell said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” In the former USSR, censorship, rewriting of history and eliminating undesirable people became part of Soviets’ effort to ensure that the correct ideological and political spin was put on their history. Deviation from official propaganda was punished by confinement in labor camps and execution. Today there are efforts to rewrite history in the U.S., albeit the punishment is not so draconian as that in the Soviet Union.And . . .
Removing statues of Confederates and renaming buildings are just a small part of the true agenda of America’s leftists. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and there’s a monument that bears his name — the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. George Washington also owned slaves, and there’s a monument to him, as well — the Washington Monument in Washington. Will the people who call for removal of statues in New Orleans and Richmond also call for the removal of the Washington, D.C., monuments honoring slaveholders Jefferson and Washington? Will the people demanding a change in the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School also demand that the name of the nation’s capital be changed?And . . .
Rewriting American history is going to be challenging. Just imagine the task of purifying the nation’s currency. Slave owner George Washington’s picture graces the $1 bill. Slave owner Thomas Jefferson’s picture is on the $2 bill. Slave-owning Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s picture is on our $50 bill. Benjamin Franklin’s picture is on the $100 bill.And . . .
The job of tyrants and busybodies is never done. When they accomplish one goal, they move their agenda to something else. If we Americans give them an inch, they’ll take a yard. So I say, don’t give them an inch in the first place. The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.You may read Dr. Williams's (no relation) piece here.
14 June 2017
Part of their public statement on the Charlottesville controversy:
The SVBF has been extremely concerned about the recent removals of historic monuments. The SVBF does not support the wholesale eradication or removal of plaques, statues, monuments, place names, and other public honors associated with the history and heritage of the United States. Monuments are, and always have been, important parts of commemorating, memorializing, and telling the story of the Americans – Union and Confederate soldiers, free and enslaved civilians – who lived through the tumultuous Civil War era.More here.
“As an organization established to protect and promote our nation’s Civil War history, we do not support the recent removal of Civil War-related monuments across the nation,” said Keven Walker, Chief Executive Officer of the National Historic District. “But there is no place in this discussion for the KKK and their fearmongering. And no place for anyone else who wants to spread hate and promote division.”
13 June 2017
12 June 2017
|George Washington statue in the Boston Public Garden, Boston, Massachusetts|
That is the ultimate goal. Not just Washington of course, all the Founders. And all of America's founding principles.
08 June 2017
David French of National Review wrote an insightful piece today and raised some interesting points about the future of our republic. It's worth reading. For example:
A civil war results when the desire for unification and domination overrides the desire for separation and self-determination. The American civil war is a classic example. There were grounds for separation — North and South were culturally different on a scale that dwarfs modern divides between red and blue — but the North did not consent. It sought to first unify and then transform the southern states.
He concludes that federalism (a kinder, gentler way of saying "states' rights") will save us from Civil War and from one political faction totally dominating the other:
I don’t believe a civil-war mentality will save America. There are simply too many differences and too many profound disagreements for one side or the other to exercise true political dominance. Red won’t beat blue in the same way that blue beat gray. Adopt the civil-war mentality and you’ll only hasten a potential divorce. No, absent a presently unforeseen unifying ideology, event, or person, the idea that will save America is one of the oldest ideas of the Republic: federalism.And adds:
So long as we protect the “privileges and immunities” of American citizenship, including all of the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights, let California be California and Texas be Texas. De-escalate national politics. Ideas that work in Massachusetts shouldn’t be crammed down the throats of culturally different Tennesseans. Indeed, as our sorting continues, our ability to persuade diminishes. (After all, how can we understand communities we don’t encounter?)Does that not sound like an argument for states' rights? Of course it does. But French doesn't deny the possibility of separation:
We can either rediscover this federalism, or we may ultimately take a third path — we may choose to separate.More here.
02 June 2017
I recently read a comment by a historian that stated, in part:
" . . . it’s more accurate to say that America was founded as an 18th century leftist venture than not."
Ummm . . . no.
But you could accurately say this instead:
"It’s more accurate to say that America was founded as an 18th century classical liberal venture than not."
The Founders would certainly recoil from the intrusive nanny-state and soft tyranny that today's leftists/progressives have heartily embraced. It is the absolute opposite of their worldview. The Founders favored free enterprise, free speech, federalism, liberty, private property and freedom of religion. Does that sound anything like a "leftist venture" that toady's leftists would embrace? Certainly not.
The concept of "liberal" (or "liberalism") has changed since FDR and the Democrat Party have embraced state sponsored social programs, wealth redistribution and power being more centralized at the federal level vs. the state level. Classical liberalism has much more in common with today's political philosophies of libertarianism and conservatism.
Perhaps a bit over-simplified, but a useful observation would be to state that modern liberalism ("leftists") can trace its roots to Jean-Jacques Rousseau while classic liberalism's (conservatives and libertarians) roots run to John Locke; as noted by Dr. Kim Holmes:
For Americans, the state of nature was very real. It was where individuals were endowed by the Creator with natural rights like life and liberty. Looking largely to John Locke, they believed governments should be instituted to protect those rights.
For the French, it was completely different. They imagined a new order in which everyone naturally loved and cared for one another, but only if all the bad laws and customs of the past were completely destroyed.If you want an 18th century revolution that would better compare to a "leftist venture", look to France, not America.
27 May 2017
"Remarks at the Unveiling of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Statue, Dallas, Texas.," June 12, 1936
I am very happy to take part in this unveiling of the statue of General Robert E. Lee. All over the United States we recognize him as a great leader of men, as a great general. But, also, all over the United States I believe that we recognize him as something much more important than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen. ~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt
|George Washington Monument as the Virginia State Capitol - On the radar?|
Today, the men we were taught to revere as the great captains, explorers, missionaries and nation-builders are seen by many as part of a racist, imperialist, genocidal enterprise, wicked men who betrayed and eradicated the peace-loving natives who had welcomed them. What they blindly refuse to see is that while its sins are scarlet, as are those of all civilizations, it is the achievements of the West that are unrivaled. The West ended slavery. Christianity and the West gave birth to the idea of inalienable human rights. . . . What happens, one wonders, when these Philistines discover that the seated figure in the statue, right in front of D.C.’s Union Station, is the High Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Christopher Columbus?More here.
26 May 2017
25 May 2017
Public Statement from the Board of Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc.
May 23, 2017:
The Board of the Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc. is sad to announce that the museum, located on Nash Farm Battlefield, which was funded and maintained by our group, will close effective June 1, 2017. The main reason is that the current District 2 Commissioner, Dee Clemmons, has requested that ALL Confederate flags be removed from the museum, in addition to the gift shop, in an effort not to offend anyone. For anyone who studies the American Civil War, or War Between the States, they realize there were two parties that fought in this war. We have always prided ourselves with being an unbiased museum that told the entire story of the battles that took place on this property, as well as being a voice of the people in Henry County and Georgia during this time. These stories were told mainly through primary sources, sometimes secondary, but never tertiary sources. To exclude any Confederate flag would mean the historical value has been taken from our exhibits, and a fair interpretation could not be presented to each guest. Confederate flags were on this hallowed ground, as were the Union flags. To remove either of them would be a dishonor.
To date, the museum, in its seven years of operation, has seen visitors from all 50 states and 15 foreign countries. Heritage tourism dollars have added money to the tax base in Henry and Clayton Counties, helping to fund many projects, including roads and schools. Prior to the recession, it was not uncommon to see over 2,000 students in a year; however, the yearly school day now has just shy of 500 students who visit not only the museum, but many different hands on stations to help to engage every student. Never have we had a teacher or student complain about the variety of flags or uniforms being presented in these educational settings. In fact, most teachers applaud our efforts to help them in the classroom. . . . We have worked with the Boy Scouts, Eagles Scouts, the Audubon Society, Master Gardeners, Civil War Trust, and other community groups. Our volunteers have put up split rail fencing, painted, cleared barbed wire, mowed, graded roads, picked up debris, fixed many “broken” things around the property, and so much more. Our mission was to assist Henry County, not only with the historical aspect of the property, but to make this a property the entire community could be proud of. To be honest, majority of the people in District 2 are proud of Nash Farm Battlefield.I wonder if the Moral Reformer Historian Class is happy about this.
24 May 2017
“He was a master storyteller making what he found in the dirt come alive for a broad national public.”I was listening to a relic hunting related podcast recently and, sadly, learned of the passing of Ivor Noël Hume. Hume led a fascinating life and I bought and read his book, A Guide to the Artifacts of Colonial America a few years ago. Hume has fascinated me for several reasons. We have some things in common (though I'm certainly not comparing myself to him when it comes to expertise or accomplishments). He's largely self-educated in the fields of archeology and history and he has an obvious love for artifacts and relics--particularly those from Colonial America.
The news of Hume's death was providential timing for me as I'll be sifting for artifacts at an early 19th historic homesite in the Shenandoah Valley within the next few days. I hope to have something to share on this ongoing project in the near future.
I've had discussions here and elsewhere regarding "formal education." I've also argued there are many, many (and often better), ways one may become knowledgeable in a chosen field. Ivor Hume was a perfect example of that truth. As a recent article about his life and passing noted:
Born and raised in London, Noël Hume had no formal training in archaeology, but he managed to turn his enthusiasm for collecting and identifying objects into a career where his talent and expertise were recognized around the world.In fact, his "enthusiasm" led to one of the most prestigious positions in the field of history and archeology in the United States. In 1957, he became Williamsburg's Virginia's chief archeologist. As the referenced article notes:
“He artfully combined the analytical mind of a detective, the knowledge of a connoisseur, and the draw of a storyteller.”
You can read more of Hume's amazing life and contributions here and here.
22 May 2017
I love Mike Rowe's wit and wisdom and read much of what he writes. He posted some comments and observations recently on his Facebook page which I found quite interesting. Here are a couple excerpts.
Consider the Confederate flag. Many people now insist upon removing that flag from the public square, because the sight of it offends them. And yet, many of those calling for its removal are the same people demanding the right to burn The American Flag wherever it suits them. In other words, they want the right to offend, but they can’t bear to be offended.And . . .
Consider the administrators in public universities. Somehow, they’ve gotten it into their heads that it’s OK for their students to shout down speakers they don’t like. Overnight it seems, the feelings of the students have become more important than the first amendment rights of anyone who disagrees with them.Of course, the two topics are related. Just some food for thought. You can read his complete post here. Logic and reason vs. emotions and agendas.