Monthly Archives: May 2016

Thomas Jefferson and the Idea of Revolution

Thomas Jefferson had a lifelong dream when he died on Independence Day, 1826. The epitaph that he composed to mark his passing highlighted the three great achievements of his life: creating the Declaration of Independence, penning the Statute of Religious … Continue reading

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George Washington: The First (and Best?) President

In Philadelphia, the summer of 1787, the members of the Constitutional Convention, following the lead of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, decided that the office of a single executive, with his power checked and balanced by the Congress and Courts, … Continue reading

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Alexander Posey and the Vernacular of Nature

Alexander Posey was a poet. His poems about nature are some of the most beautiful ever published. Growing up on a farm in the Creek Nation, near Eufaula, Posey’s native language was Creek, but his “vernacular,” as he once wrote … Continue reading

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War Story

Bob lived in an old two story tenement, thin, tall, and long with clapboard exterior badly in need of paint. Other tenements of similar age and quality lined the street, which was crowded with parked cars, some working but others … Continue reading

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Reflections on “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

First, I will admit that I have been teaching American history for almost 35 years and have never, until recently, read Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Why? For several reasons, I suppose. First, it was never assigned in any … Continue reading

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Blessed are the Poor?

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus taught his disciples as well as others what he considered to be the most important lessons by which to live. Matthew and Luke … Continue reading

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Images of Lincoln

When I was a teenager–not very thoughtful and focused mostly on baseball and basketball–my grandfather, a retired custodian whom I would have never thought would read such books, gave me a three-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sandburg. The … Continue reading

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