Category Archives: Mr. Adair’s Classroom

“Where do we begin Mr. Adair?”

“At the beginning, ” he said. And throughout the year that I was under his tutelage – he would continue to challenge me to, “Never stop searching for truth.” In this endeavor, we provide – once again – the writings of many writers – many of whom I have known for years – providing historical lessons of import and understanding – little of which is addressed in our “classrooms” today.

Ever Heard of “The Inquiry”?

No? More “Lost” History

After our entrance into World War One, Woodrow Wilson asked his alter-ego, Edward Mandell House, to organize a new group of “experts” to develop postwar solutions to the world’s problems. This new group was called “The Inquiry.”

President Woodrow Wilson and Edward Mandell House

Never heard of this group? Didn’t see anything about them in your “history” books? No surprise there. This is another one of those little episodes the “historians” have decided we don’t need to be aware of. Don’t feel bad. If I had not read about them in Arthur Thompson’s new book In the Shadows of the Deep State I would not have known about them either, and I have read a bit of history over the years. Continue reading

More Americans Today Really Need to Read the Federalist Papers

Federalist Papers, T. Jefferson’s copy

In order to have a good grasp on the founding of America, it is often said that one should read the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federalist Papers.

It’s easy to see why the Declaration and the Constitution make the list of must-reads, but why the Federalist Papers?

According to Gregory Maggs, law professor at George Washington University Law School, the Federalist Papers should be read because they provide “an extremely important source of evidence of the original meaning of the Constitution.” Maggs goes on to say:

“In the aggregate, academic writers and jurists have cited the Federalist Papers as evidence of the original meaning of the Constitution more than any other historical source except the text of the Constitution itself.”
Continue reading

First Person Account of the Discovery of Gold in California in 1848

An Elderly Californian Recalled the Very Beginning of the California Gold Rush

Fortune seekers traveling to the California goldfields to find new diggings during the California Gold Rush era, 1849. Stock Montage/Archive Photos/Getty Images

When the 50th anniversary of California Gold Rush approached there was great interest in locating any eyewitnesses to the event who might still be alive. Several individuals claimed to have been with James Marshall when he first found a few gold nuggets while building a sawmill for adventurer and land baron John Sutter. Continue reading

Jefferson or Lincoln: America Must Choose

Secession between the views of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln!

Over the course of American history, there has been no greater conflict of visions than that between Thomas Jefferson’s voluntary republic, founded on the natural right of peaceful secession, and Abraham Lincoln’s permanent empire, founded on the violent denial of that same right.

That these two men somehow shared a common commitment to liberty is a lie so monstrous and so absurd that its pervasiveness in popular culture utterly defies logic.

After all, Jefferson stated unequivocally in the Declaration of Independence that, at any point, it may become necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them… Continue reading

Red Jacket, Chief of the Seneca Tribe (1805)

You have got our country …you want to force your religion upon us.”

Red Jacket, Chief of the Seneca Tribe

SENECA, N.Y., 1805 – Red Jacket Chief, of the Seneca Tribe and dominant spokesman for the Six Nations, eloquently challenged the ablest spokesmen among the Christian missionaries in an address here, replying to appeals to the Indians to be baptized and thereby take one more step toward integration into the American community.

To the surprise of these spokesmen for the Christian church, the eloquent warrior and friend of the late General George Washington, told the junior race that in his view the Indians have a better religion and one with less division than the white man. For good measure, using quotations that might I well have been taken from the Bible itself, he cited actions by the white man in encroachment upon Indian rights, in self-divisions over doctrine and in other matters, that constituted an indictment comparable with those spoken in earlier days by the great Reform leaders within the church itself. Continue reading

New York Times ‘1619 Project’ Is Revisionist History

The Times says that slaves arriving in 1619 is the date of our “true founding,” not 1776.

These days it’s hard to find any mention of Donald Trump and Russia in The New York Times. Of course, after the train wreck of Robert Mueller’s testimony, it’s no wonder they dropped that hot potato. But don’t underestimate the leftist zealots at the Times, nor their creativity in trying to ensure that a “racist” Trump doesn’t win a second term. Continue reading

Lincoln: The Hangman (December 26, 1862)

The Tyrant Lincoln had struck again! He wasn’t just a Racist, he hated everyone that stood in his way of a Complete and Tyrannical Regime!

Sic Semper Tyrannus!

On the 26th day of December – one day after Christmas , President Abraham Lincoln ordered 38 Dakota Warriors to be hung. It was the largest mass execution in U.S. history, but this will never be talked about in any history class. Continue reading

Why American Democracy Is Worth Defending

Editor’s NOTE: But we’re not a Democracy – we are a Republic.” Hundreds of times over the past quarter century I have heard this. Well, Yes – we ARE a Republic, which functions under a Democratic form of government. Go find an old Black’s Law Dictionary (1823 I believe) and you will discover that there is no way to separate those two words. They are intertwined like peanut butter and jelly. ~ Ed.

What is American democracy, and why is it worth defending? The current political climate, in which democracy is increasingly (and troublingly) equated with populism, compels us to reflect on this question. Democracy is an ancient form of government, but historically, democracies that rise above mere mob rule and reflect genuine self-governance, while respecting basic rights, are rare. Although the Declaration of Independence asserts the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are self-evident, they’ve been embodied and respected in few societies throughout human history. By comparison, the US government does a reasonably good job at protecting those rights. Continue reading

After Promising Fairness & Justice for the Black Vote, Here’s What Woodrow Wilson Really Did

In 1912 Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate for president, promised fairness and justice for blacks if elected. In a letter to a black church official, Wilson wrote, “Should I become President of the United States they may count upon me for absolute fair dealing for everything by which I could assist in advancing their interests of the race.” Continue reading

The false argument about the “Act of 1871

For several years now, certain groups and websites like Worldnewsstand have advocated an argument that the “federal” government was created as a municipal corporation via an act of February 21, 1871. The truth is otherwise.

There is a history regarding the formation of Washington, D.C. The Constitution specifically provides for the formation of a district, 10 miles square, to be the seat of the federal government; see Art. 1, § 8, cl. 17. When the Constitution was ratified, the defacto seat of that government was in Philadelphia. The Residence Act of 1790 (1 Stat. 130, July 16, 1790), started the process of establishing the District of Columbia; in the interim, the government continued to meet in Philadelphia. On December 19, 1791, Maryland adopted “An Act concerning the territory of Columbia, and the City of Washington,” which ceded lands and jurisdiction for the Maryland part of the District. Continue reading

5 Causes of the Civil War (Besides Slavery)

With talk of secession heating up, a look back on the causes of America’s (first?) Civil War.

As I type, the secession movement in California is picking up steam. Polling shows that one in three Californians support leaving the Union following Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign, and an organization–YesCalifornia.org–is circulating a petition calling for a special election that would allow Californians to vote for or against independence.

The movement is unlikely to succeed, at least for now. Still, the secession question would seem to present an opportunity to look back on causes and conditions that led to America’s Civil War.

Obviously, it’s difficult to separate slavery from any discussion on the Civil War. The peculiar institution hovers over the conflict specter-like. Indeed, it’s an apparition that still haunts modern American politics. But to say that slavery was the sole cause of the Civil War overlooks other stark differences that divided the North and South in the lead-up to it. Historians have speculated that even had the slavery question been resolved peacefully, war or secession still might have occurred during the westward expansion. Continue reading

Ross, Bastiat and The Law

Let’s Try Something A Little Bit Different

Frédéric Bastiat

I want to do something a little bit different this time around. Instead of me just rambling on, while inserting a quote here or there, this time I want to share with you some select passages from the classic book, The Law, by Frédéric Bastiat. It is my belief that if a majority of the people could learn, and apply, what I’m about to share with you we could easily fix what’s wrong in this country without the need for any kind of violent revolution or suffering; well, the only people who would suffer are those who use government to plunder the wealth and liberty of everyone else.

Bastiat wasn’t a Founding Father, nor was he an American, but that shouldn’t preclude you from having an open mind to what he has to say. Also, Bastiat wrote his book after the Colonies had obtained their independence and established our current system of government, so it should be read with that thought in mind. Continue reading

FDR and His Deal for a Desperate Time

Editor’s NOTE: The past is prologue. The stories we tell about ourselves and our forebears inform the sort of country we think we are and help determine public policy. As our current president promises to “make America great again,” this moment is an appropriate time to reconsider our past, look back at various eras of United States history and re-evaluate America’s origins. When, exactly, were we “great”?

A cropped version of Dorothea Lange’s iconic image of Florence Owens Thompson and some of her children, photographed at a California migrant camp in 1936. “Migrant Mother,” laden with trouble, would come to be seen as a depiction of the mood of a nation gripped by the Great Depression.

FDR was neither radical nor conservative, no matter what his defenders and critics claimed, both then and now. One part “traitor to his class” and another part defender of capitalism, he was both dangerously power hungry and the savior of American-style liberal democracy. This man was—like his party’s co-founder, Thomas Jefferson—an enigma, an unknowable sphinx. And yet he was the man for his moment. Indeed, FDR and his “New Deal,” as both a response to economic depression and reorganization of society, represent one of the most profound transitions in U.S. history. FDR served as president (1933-45) longer than anyone before or since, elected four times by wide margins. His opponents feared the man, and his supporters canonized him with rare and remarkable passion. Continue reading

Historic mansion on land George Washington once owned is set to be demolished

Silent George???

Some in Virginia bemoan losing Collingwood, a Potomac River landmark

The Collingwood mansion, which sits on farmland once owned by George Washington. Washington bought the Collingwood property in 1760, after he married the widow Martha Dandridge Custis.

A historic mansion on farmland once owned by George Washington is set to be demolished, a loss bemoaned by some in Virginia.

The Collingwood mansion, located on almost nine acres of land along the Potomac River about four miles north of Mount Vernon, was once part of Washington’s sprawling estate, which included five farms, nearly 8,000 acres and up to 200 enslaved people. Part of the mansion may have been built to house one of Washington’s overseers, local historians believe. Continue reading

The Best Civil War Movie Ever Made Gets Its Due

Up until a year ago, Federal Observer had a category named, Sunset Boulevard, which was used for columns dealing with film, or the lessons which film taught us on life. The following is the first post in this year that I felt was worth publishing – for numerous reasons – the historical accuracy that was depicted. Right or wrong, Left or Right, North or South…. this is not what matters here. The lessons here belong to Mr. Adair. ~ Ed.

On Sunday and on July 24 (2019), Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are presenting big-screen showings in theaters nationwide of “Glory,” in honor of the 30-year anniversary of its release. The greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War, “Glory” was the first and, with the exception of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the only film that eschewed romanticism to reveal what the war was really about.

The story is told through the eyes of one of the first regiments of African American soldiers. Almost from the time the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., the issue of black soldiers in the Union army was hotly debated. On Jan. 1, 1863, as the country faced the third year of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, rapidly accelerating the process of putting black men into federal blue. Continue reading