Even some of the lesser known Founding Fathers have a place in the halls of Congress.
Thanks for this column on the statutes of some less well known American Revolutionary patriots. My wife and visited the Capitol in May and took a tour, seeing some of statues shown here. We also happened to see Rep. Kevin McCarthy walk through Statuary Hall within spitting distance of us, though I didn’t spit.
Yesterday we visit Morven, the former New Jersey’s governor’s mansion in Princeton and the residence of Richard Stockton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Like many of the other signers he owned as many as 6 slaves. One wonders what they thought as the signed a document that declared that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” yet owned other humans without those rights.
Still, happy 247th!
I lifted this reference today from "The Daily Stoic" newsletter by Ryan Holiday and it seems relevant:
"The Stoics would have loved a toast given by Admiral David Farragut in the American Civil War, a similar fight of good against evil, a struggle of many years, not just to keep the country together but to triumph over the evil of slavery. 'What matters if, General, whether you and I are killed or not?' Farragut said as he raised his glass to a colleague. 'We came here to die. It is our business and it must happen sooner or later. We must fight this thing out until there is no more than one man left and that man must be a Union man. Here’s to his health...We have people [now] who are trying to revert or oppose age-old traditions of equality, fairness under the law, justice, freedom, as well as virtue itself. There is the modern nihilism, excess, hopelessness. We have to fight for those ideas, we have to put ourselves on those front lines."
More than one observer has likened this moment in our country's history to the time before the Civil War. But hasn't it always been thus? There are always people who will try to advantage themselves against the best interests of others, whether it be in this democracy or another circumstance. The point is that those with the courage and wisdom to do the right thing, to support the rule of law, justice, freedom must DO SOMETHING. Evil persists in the world when men (and women) of good conscience do nothing. Happy 247th Birthday America! May we celebrate many more.
I usually watch “1776” with my kids on the 4th. We missed it this year because of health issues so I really appreciate this for photographic reminder. We live in NJ so the kids and I give out a loud “hurrah” when the missing delegates from NJ finally make it. For all you other states, “you’re welcome” :)
For anyone who hasn’t seen it...
“While I live, let me have a COUNTRY. A FREE country!”
Sam Adams looks like he just said, 'So THERE!' with folded arms.
This is great, Joe and Hannah. Thank you and Happy 4th!!
Thank you. Lovely Tour. Enjoy the 4th!
From Prof. Heather Cos Richardson's "Letters from an American":
"...But just as in the 1850s, we are now, once again, facing a rebellion against our founding principle, as a few people seek to reshape America into a nation in which certain people are better than others.
The men who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, pledged their “Lives, [their] Fortunes and [their] sacred Honor” to defend the idea of human equality. Ever since then, Americans have sacrificed their own fortunes, honor, and even their lives, for that principle. Lincoln reminded Civil War Americans of those sacrifices when he urged the people of his era to “take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” America's words.
Happy Independence Day to my fellow patriots! And thanks for the photos, Joe & Hannah.
I watched a show on HBO Max last night in which Repub & Dem politicians, former presidents and vice-presidents and Secretaries of State, various celebrities & kids read the unabridged versions of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was fantastic listening to those amazing words crafted by our brilliant forefathers; it was really motivating and made me feel proud. BUT apparently this show was produced between 2016-2020 because Trump (reading some of the words of Article II, no less), a couple Fox News talking heads, and others who support(ed) the Jan 6 insurrection were included as some of the readers. Now THAT was horrifying and nearly made me sick to my stomach - listening to THAT ORANGE MAN read our sacred text, the very text that he so profoundly attacked and degraded, was nauseating. Even then it was clear that as he read he had no feeling of connection to those words and what they meant to generations of Americans who lived, toiled, suffered, fought, and died for our Republic. That image still sticks in my mind as if I had just watched something revolting and dirty. Yuck!
Thanks so much! Most of those shown were portrayed in the film and stage production,"1776!" It is gratifying to see how they really appeared.
And each one of those statues is more sentient than most current members of Congress.
Thanks for the photos.
George Washington is the greatest American who ever lived, and ever will.
We Noreasters know Sammy A. all too well. He's the guy that invented his namesake beer, yes?
Were it not for General J.Stark (pronounced with an exaggerated "ah" as its only vowel, and a silent r), routing and capturing the thousands of resource exhausted Red Coats marauding from Canada in the Battle of Bennington (on Vermont-NH border, and home of Grandma and Will Moses), we'd all be speaking Brit-anese, and smoking Earl Grey.
- Thanks GJS!
What would these patriots think of our country today?
Sure miss seeing the women!
Thank you, Joe and Hannah!! What a wonderful tribute to the people who contributed to our founding on this day 248 years ago. We have been fighting some dark forces for awhile, but we still have the best gig around.
Happy Independence Day, my fellow Bulkwarkians!!