Category Archives: Profiles

Biographical commentary on famous people – of note – and maybe not so.

Cicero: Rome’s Greatest Politician

~ Prologue ~
As nineteen-plus years have gone by since the advent of the journey of Kettle Moraine Publications, we have amassed a collection of files which we have never made available. The following is but one of said files. We are making the following available for those who have an interest in expanding their knowledge of history – something that is being ignored in the public School System in America today.

Be prepared to bookmark this addition to Le Metropolis Café, as it is lengthy, but the lessons are tremendous. Welcome to Profiles.

We begin our story of Cicero from the Preface of author, Anthony Everitt’s monumental work, The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician: CICERO. ~ Ed.
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They Call Me MISTER Gatto

The following essay was originally published in the Fall ’91 issue of Whole Earth Review. It finally clarified for many, why American school is such a spirit-crushing experience, and suggested what to do about it.

Before reading, please set your irony detector to the on position. If you find yourself inclined to dismiss the below as paranoid, you should know that the design behind the current American school system is very well-documented historically, in published writings of dizzying cynicism by such well-known figures as Horace Mann and Andrew Carnegie. Continue reading

It’s Jesse ~ but NOT James…

His mother was 40 years old when Jesse was born. Jesse grew up in a very rough home in Morgantown, West Virginia. Jesse’s father, who was mentally ill, was a violent man and was abusive to Jesse. At 13, his father died leaving his mother to take care of him and his brothers. At the time, things weren’t easy for Jesse and he didn’t think life held much hope for him.

While Jesse had his struggles, he had dreams too. He wanted to be a ventriloquist and he found books on ventriloquism. He practiced with sock puppets and saved his money until he could get a real ventriloquist dummy. When he was old enough, he joined the military. Continue reading

Dr. Mildred F. Jefferson

March is recognized by the U.S. Government as “Women’s History Month.” According to womenshistorymonth.gov, we “join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society”. There are countless women who have dedicated themselves to making the world a better place and to ushering in a turning point in history, so it’s fitting that we should honor and celebrate them this month.

Surgeon, right-to-life activist, and noted speaker, Mildred Fay Jefferson was the first African American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School in 1951. Continue reading

In Memoriam: the Death of ‘Stonewall‘ Jackson

“Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”

~ Lieutenant General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall‘ Jackson

 

The South lost one of its boldest and most colorful generals on this day in 1863, when 39-year-old Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson died of pneumonia a week after his own troops accidentally fired on him during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. In the first two years of the war, Jackson terrorized Union commanders and led his army corps on bold and daring marches. He was the perfect complement to Robert E. Lee. Continue reading

Slavery and Abolitionism as Viewed by a Georgia Slave

In 1861 an educated Georgia slave named Harrison Berry wrote a book explaining why he and his fellow slaves preferred their life in the South to the “so-called” freedom in the North. It was a scathing critique of the hypocrisy of Northern abolitionism, and explains why the vast majority of slaves remained loyal to the South.

The following excerpt examines from this fascinating primary source. Here is presented a paragraph explaining why there was a close bond between master and slave in spite of the “peculiar institution.” Here he lambasts the “radicals” for their attempts to destroy that bond and as a result made things worse for the slave… Continue reading

The Federal Reluctance to bother John Surratt

The Lincoln Assassination saga continues…

Body of Abraham Lincoln lying in state

There are several anomalies regarding the Lincoln assassination and its aftermath that have not been resolved even to this day. For those folks who like to see all situations all neatly tied up with a nice big red bow, the Lincoln assassination and its environs is not your cup of tea. Too many unresolved situations and unanswered questions, which leads one to believe that not all is as it seems or as it should be… Continue reading

How Ulysses S. Grant Came to Be Seen as a Failure

Grant ‘won‘ the Civil War and the presidency, but ultimately lost the game of history

Caricature of Ulysses S. Grant inebriated. (Library of Congress

Victor in the bloodiest conflict in American history. Twice elected President, where he crushed the Ku Klux Klan. Author of one of the most celebrated works ever produced by this nation. This is the resume of Ulysses S. Grant. Yet you may think of him as a drunken butcher who went on to become an incompetent commander-in-chief. Even his champions often wind up dwelling on his perceived flaws, as when President Trump saluted Grant’s military acumen but noted contemporaries generally saw him as a man with a “drinking problem,” an “alcoholic.” Continue reading

Who IS Buried In John Wilkes Booth’s Grave?

I watched an interesting segment on the Infowars.com site on April 29th dealing with some history I had written about somewhere in the distant past. It was narrated by David Knight. I have always enjoyed watching David Knight’s commentary. He is a Christian man who is not ashamed of his faith and he lets you know that in a quiet, humble way.

His commentary on April 29th dealt, in part, with the fact that it does seem that we have been lied to for the past 150 years about whether Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth was really killed at Garrett’s Farm in Virginia and buried in the grave that, supposedly, contains his remains.

It would seem now that this may not be the case. Years ago, back in the 1990s, some in the Booth family were concerned about this and they went to court to get permission to have Booth’s body exhumed so DNA testing could be done to prove whether it was Booth or someone else buried there. The court refused their request and the cemetery did not want to be bothered either. Just too much trouble to go into all that. The “history” books have all been written and generations of kids have all learned the way it was supposed to have been, so why change all that now and upset the Establishment apple cart that has trundled along unimpeded for over 150 years? Continue reading

Benson: Sheridan the War Criminal

Clifford Dowdey, in his book The History of the Confederacy 1832-1865, he had some commentary about the subject of this article, Philip H. Sheridan and it was not particularly complementary. Mr. Dowdey noted of Sheridan that he “…was an undersized man (five feet three) with an oversized head, in all ways…But Grant perceived in the man a quality he wanted in his all-out, no-holds-barred war of total conquest. The Sheridans, Milroys, and Hunters had a different kind of arrogance from the neo-princelings of the Cotton South. They had the arrogance of unrestrained might. Without regard for rights–of belligerants or fellow citizens or even of the so-called ‘human rights,’ let alone of the Union–these bully boys had a lust for physical violence and wanton destruction.”

In other words, Sheridan and Sherman and others of their ilk were going to wage total, unrestrained war on the South, both on civilians as well as soldiers, not because it was right, but because they could do it and get away with it. He noted all this on page 321 of the above mentioned book. Continue reading

Sybil Ludington

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere . . .

This month in U.S. history, we remember that famous ride that would warn the colonies that the British were coming.

The Colonel needed someone he could trust, someone brave enough, someone who could ride a long distance, through the darkness, from 9 p.m. to dawn, someone who could fight off enemy combatants, to alert the Colonial militia to the approach of British forces.

So, the Colonel chose the “best man for the job.”

Sybil Ludington was born on this day, April 5, 1761. Continue reading

A Postwar Conversation with Mr. Davis

“Mr. Davis once talked to me long and earnestly on the [postwar] condition of the South. Among other things he said:

“There is no question that the white people of the South are better off for the abolition of slavery. It is an equally patent fact that the colored people are not. If the colored people shall develop a proper degree of thrift, and get a degree of education to keep pace with any advancement they may make, they may become a tenantry which will enable the South to rebuild the waste places and become immensely wealthy.

The colored people have many good traits, and many of them are religious. Indeed, the 4,000,000 in the South when the War began were Christianized from barbarism. In that respect the South has been a greater practical missionary than all the society missionaries in the world.” Continue reading

Cesar Chavez Holiday: Honoring An American Hero

I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men! ~ Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez

March 31 is an official State holiday in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and is observed in several other States, in honor of the birth on March 31, 1937, of an extraordinary American — Cesar Estrada Chavez, the late co-founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America who became a legend in his own time in the civil rights era.

In his honor, his headquarters for the UFW, which he named “La Paz” (“The Peace”), in the Tehachapi Mountains in Keene, CA, on Highway 58 between Bakersfield and Tehachapi, is now officially the U.S. Cesar Chavez National Monument, established by the federal government. Continue reading

John Letcher, Governor of Virginia

“I received your telegram of the 15th, the genuineness of which I doubted. Since that time I have received your communication, mailed the same day, in which I am requested to detach from the militia of the State of Virginia ‘the quota designated in the table’ which you append, ‘to serve as infantry or riflemen for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged.’

In reply to this communication I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States, and a requisition made upon me for such an object – an object, in my judgement, not within the purview of the Constitution or the act of 1795 – will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war, and having done so, we will meet it in a spirit as determined as the Administration has exhibited toward the South.”

John Letcher, Governor of Virginia, to Cameron, 16 April 1861

Remembering Gov. Letcher on his birthday, born March 29, 1818.

Forgotten Virtue: The Baseball Hero Nobody Knows

NOTE: The following post has nothing to do with ‘Education’ per se – other than that of a life-lesson. The subject and message of the article is well worth a place in ‘Profiles.’ ~ Ed.

Gil Meche

His career stats indicate that he was a mediocre baseball pitcher – perhaps the epitome of mediocrity: 84 wins; 83 losses; a 4.49 Earned Run Average; a Walks-plus-Hits-to-Innings-Pitched ratio of 1.42. Yet Gil Meche, who played for the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, was responsible for one of the most astounding, yet almost unnoticed, acts of virtue ever committed by a sports figure.

In the winter of 2011, Mr. Meche, then with the Royals, voluntarily retired from the game, foregoing the final $12 million on his multi-year contract. Mr. Meche was injured and would have sat out the 2012 season while receiving paychecks. Continue reading

She was a maid at 9, wrote a hit song at 11 –  and won a Grammy at 93

Elizabeth Cotten was never famous, and almost slipped into total obscurity

Domestic, 71, Sings Songs of Own Composition in ‘Village,’” ran a New York Times headline in November of 1965. The piece, about a woman with “five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, a guitar, a banjo and about 20 old-time folk songs,” heralded the return of then-unknown folk songstress Elizabeth Cotten, who was poised to play the Gaslight Cafe, on Macdougal Street in a Greenwich Village still quaintly set off by single quotation marks. Continue reading