Background Information

It must be remembered that we make war only upon armed men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemies, and offending against Him to whom all vengeance belongeth… General Robert E. Lee, 1863

An accident – in philosophy – is an attribute of a subject which does not affect its essence. The wearing of a colonel’s uniform is a good example. Both Washington and Lee wore colonel’s uniforms during the revolutions that they participated in as a matter of honor – it was the highest rank they had […]

This light of history is pitiless; it has a strange and divine quality that, luminous as it is, and precisely because it is luminous, often casts a shadow just where we saw a radiance… Babylon violated diminishes Alexander; Rome enslaved diminishes Caesar; massacred Jerusalem diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. Woe to the man who leaves behind a shadow that bears his form… Victor Hugo

Tomorrow is Juneteenth another of the host of misunderstood facts of American history. On January 1, 1863 Lincoln had issued his Emancipation Proclamation – a few hours before signing an order deporting another 5,000 blacks from the north – declaring all black slaves in the states that had seceded to be free. By April 1865 […]

The public conviction that a railroad linking the West and the East was an absolute necessity became so pronounced after the gold discoveries of ’49 that Congress passed an act in 1853 providing for a survey of several lines from the Mississippi to the Pacific… John Moody

When Abraham Lincoln was still a failed ex-congressman flailing about for some means of advancing himself Mephistopheles like the railroads came to the fore needing an eager young lawyer to handle titles and conveyances as they dispossessed the poor and the widowed to gain their rights of way and to defend them when their pesky […]

If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel… George Washington

The last Virginian to occupy the White House was true to the principles of the first as the following excerpts from President James Monroe’s seventh annual message to Congress of December 2, 1823 show and indeed the desire to be let alone is a theme throughout the founders and their successors all the way through […]

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,600 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. Click here to […]

I pray that, on this day when only peace and good-will are preached to mankind, better thoughts may fill the hearts of our enemies and turn them to peace… Robert E. Lee letter to his wife on Christmas Day, two weeks after the Battle of Fredericksburg (25 December 1862)

The Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan (February 5, 1838 – April 22, 1886) was an American poet, a Catholic priest and a chaplain for the Confederate States of America. THE PILGRIM. A CHRISTMAS LEGEND FOR CHILDREN. THE shades of night were brooding O’er the sea, the earth, the sky; The passing winds were wailing In a […]

William Lowndes Yancey Speech of Protest in the Charleston Convention

IT  has been charged, in order to demoralize whatever influence we might be entitled to, either from our personal or political characteristics or as representatives of the State of Alabama, that we are disruptionists, disunionists per se; that we desire to break up the party in the State of Alabama, to break up the party […]