Category Archives: Profiles

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

Cicero: Enemy of the State, Friend of Liberty

Question: If you could go back in time and spend one hour in conversation with 10 people – each one separately and privately – whom would you choose?

My list isn’t exactly the same from one day to the next, but at least a couple of the same names are always on it, without fail. One of them is Marcus Tullius Cicero. He was the greatest citizen of the greatest ancient civilization, Rome. He was its most eloquent orator and its most distinguished man of letters. He was elected to its highest office as well as most of the lesser ones that were of any importance. More than anyone else, Cicero introduced to Rome the best ideas of the Greeks. Continue reading

Dwight D. Eisenhower in Defense of Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee remains one of the most polarizing figures of the Civil War (or War Between the States). Debates and opinions abound in newspapers, books, and social media as to whether Lee is a person to be admired or condemned. Many of the anti-Lee arguments center on his resignation from the U.S. Army to fight for the Confederacy, an act many view as an inexcusable violation of his oath as a West Point graduate and army officer.

Along those lines, surely an exemplary officer and general like Dwight D. Eisenhower would also regard Lee as a traitor, would he not? Basically, that was the question asked of then President Eisenhower in August 1960. During the Republican National Convention of that year, Eisenhower mentioned that he kept a picture of Robert E. Lee in his office. That prompted a dentist from New York to send the following letter to the White House: Continue reading

Lincoln: the FINAL Word

NOTE: From a personal standpoint I learned much of the following at a very young age while going to elementary school – in the North. Be advised – what you are about to read is the last posting I intend on devoting to Lincoln. If you choose to roll your eyes at this point – then you will never understand – and you have become a full-fledged victim of indoctrination. What you are about to read is the coup de gras on this TRAITOR to all that this nation was founded upon and once stood for. ~ JB

The Terrible Truth About Abraham Lincoln and the Confederate War

President Lincoln has been all but deified in America, with a god-like giant statue at a Parthenon-like memorial in Washington. Generations of school children have been indoctrinated with the story that “Honest Abe” Lincoln is a national hero who saved the Union and fought a noble war to end slavery, and that the “evil” Southern states seceded from the Union to protect slavery. This is the Yankee myth of history, written and promulgated by Northerners, and it is a complete falsity. It was produced and entrenched in the culture in large part to gloss over the terrible war crimes committed by Union soldiers in the War Between the States, as well as Lincoln’s violations of the law, his shredding of the Constitution, and other reprehensible acts. It has been very effective in keeping the average American ignorant of the real causes of the war, and the real nature, character and record of Lincoln. Let us look at some unpleasant facts. Continue reading

Sam Houston and Texas Secession

Lincoln, under no circumstances, would I vote for … So, I say, stand by the ‘Constitution and the Union’, and so long as the laws are enacted and administered according to the Constitution we are safe …“ (emphasis added) Letter from Sam Houston to Colonel A. Daly, August 14, 1860

The 1860 Election was still 3 months in the future and Houston had no inclination to pre-judge the new sectarian party that might be brought to power in Washington City. He was wrapping himself, as he always did, with a Jeffersonian understanding of constitutional liberty and wanted Texas protected by that same banner of Law. He was clear-sighted what might happen but remained a Jacksonian Dreamer. He knew the cherished Union of Jackson and his forefathers. Their dreams embodied his. Continue reading

Louis L’Amour: Western Writer and Western Principles

Louis L’Amour – famed western writer, penned roughly 130 Western novels, and short stories, to include the old Maverick television series; I have perused as many as 75% of his books – like many a sailor of my era, I became almost addicted to L’Amour in the USN; reading some of his books more than once… His’ Education of a Wandering Man is (an autobiography in which L’Amour not only recounts his life’s sundry diverse experiences which took place before he settled down to write; he details – by year – the hundreds of books which he studied; books of Classical Literature, Philosophy, Law etc.) included in a number of scholar’s recommended books lists, some quite surprising e.g., Father James V. Schall (S.J.) includes L’Amour’ book in his book titled: Another Sort of Learning. Continue reading

Benson: Did Lincoln’s Theological Views Reflect His Political Actions?

President Abraham Lincoln

The title of this article is a legitimate question – not only for Lincoln, but for the rest of us as well. Do our political actions reflect our theology? If you look today at some of these Democrats and RINO’s that hate Trump and will do or say anything to hurt his agenda, true or not, (and most of the time it isn’t) you have to ask if what they are doing reflects their theology – and if it does – then what does it say about the god they serve?

Similar questions were not always asked about Abraham Lincoln because back then most people didn’t equate a man’s theological perspective with what he did politically. Then, as today, they should have. There is more connection there than most people realize. Continue reading

Jackie Robinson: A Letter

There are times in my continued search for worthwhile pieces to post, that I come across posts of note that do not seem to have anything to do with education – and the following is an example of just such a post. In actuality, it was an advertisement for a hand-signed letter from Baseball legend and (later) political activist – Jackie Robinson. THIS was an American who made his mark. ~ Ed.

Historical Background
After retiring from Major League Baseball in 1957, Robinson wrote a news column, hosted a radio program, and served as vice president of Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee. He also became vitally interested in politics at a great turning point in American history. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the civil rights movement reached its apex, and African-Americans were shifting their allegiance from the Republican to the Democratic Party. Robinson worked with the NAACP, and joined A. Philip Randolph in leading a student march on Washington in 1958. Continue reading

Frederick Douglass Finally Gets His University Degree

Frederick Douglas ~ American

It is long overdue, but one of America’s greatest writers, orators, and voices of freedom has finally received a degree from his hometown university, the University of Rochester. It is an honorary degree, as he was denied an opportunity for a normal education when he was young. While he was not able to attend himself, his great-great-great grandson, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., accepted the award on his behalf. Frederick Douglass died in 1895, but his name remains familiar today with all who know American history. We are a better nation for his presence.

Douglass was born a slave, most likely in 1818, on a plantation in Maryland. He was taken from his mother at a very early age, lived with his grandmother until separated from her at age 6, and was passed around to his master’s brother and then hired out to a man who beat him. For a while, his master’s wife taught him the alphabet and basics of reading, but stopped when his master expressed the view that learning to read would encourage the slave to seek freedom. Still, Douglass managed to gain access to reading material, and some assistance from white children. He became a voracious, if clandestine, reader. Denied a formal education, he taught himself. 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. Continue reading

Confederate General Stonewall Jackson – champion of African-American literacy

Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson

Thomas Jonathan Jackson, better known as Stonewall Jackson, was a legendary Confederate General during the American Civil War and one of the most accomplished tactical commanders in the history of the United States.

However, the story of Stonewall Jackson has more to it than it seems as he was more than just a successful Confederate General.

If we go a little deeper into history, we will discover that General Jackson is considered by many to be a civil-rights leader. In a period when, in the state of Virginia, teaching African-Americans to read and write was against the law, General Jackson broke this law every Sunday.

Born on January 21, 1824, in Clarksburg, Virginia, Stonewall Jackson was the third child of Jonathan Jackson and Julia Beckwith Neale. When he was only 2-years-old, tragedy struck his family, as typhoid fever killed both his father and sister. His mother remarried, but in 1831 she died due to complications during childbirth, so Jackson went to live with his father’s brothers. Continue reading

The Nabob as Antifederalist: Benjamin Harrison of Virginia

Benjamin Harrison the Signer was born at Berkely (later called Harrison’s Landing) in Charles City County, Virginia. He was the son of Benjamin Harrison and Anne Carter Harrison, daughter of Robert ‘King’ Carter of Corotoman. After education at the College of William and Mary this Benjamin in 1749 became the fifth in a line of planter/politicians of the same name to sit in and stolen slaves were returned or replaced. And when an excise was proposed in place of the Impost he fought against it as a Yankee plot, and brought to bear upon the struggle all of his resources.

In 1774 Benjamin Harrison owned (without problems of conscience) eight plantations and hundreds of slaves. His commercial interests involved both importation and shipping, both up and down the coast and across the ocean. All of this plenty he gladly put at risk to preserve in Virginia the regime his family had done so much to create. Indeed he accepted the looting of his great house at Berkeley by British troops as part of the fortunes of war and was generous of his own means in providing supply to Washington’s army. But in the fashioning of a larger patria to contain and modify his identity with Virginia, Harrison was much less venturesome. Continue reading

A. Lincoln, Socialist?

A while ago, I was dumbstruck by a comment a Republican party insurgent in Utah made about her former governor, Jon Huntsman, Jr., a Republican politician who received strong kudos from the libertarian Cato Institute. “‘On a good day, a socialist,’ said Darcy Van Orden, a co-founder of Utah Rising . . . . ‘On a bad day, he’s a communist’.” And, of course, people like Ms. Van Orden consider it obvious that Barack Obama is a socialist, if not worse. David Koch, one of the brother team of conservative financial angels, commented, for example, that Obama’s “father was a hard core economic socialist in Kenya . . . [and Obama] was apparently from what I read a great admirer of his father’s points of view.”

Abraham Lincoln It is striking how the term “socialist” has been redefined so that almost any policy and anyone can get that label. Indeed, many a past president would qualify by these standards ­ surely FDR, Truman, and Democrats through Clinton ­ but so would Republican presidents. By the standards of people such as Ms. Van Orden and David Koch, Abraham Lincoln was surely an out-and-out “socialist-communist.” Continue reading

Smith: In Defense of General Lee

Let me begin on a personal note. I am a 56-year-old, third-generation, African American Washingtonian who is a graduate of the D.C. public schools and who happens also to be a great admirer of Robert E. Lee.

Today, Lee, who surrendered his troops to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House 134 years ago, is under attack by people – black and white – who have incorrectly characterized him as a traitorous, slaveholding racist. He was recently besieged in Richmond by those opposed to having his portrait displayed prominently in a new park.

My first visit to Lee’s former home, now Arlington National Cemetery, came when I was 12 years old, and it had a profound and lasting effect on me. Since then I have visited the cemetery hundreds of times searching for grave sites and conducting study tours for the Smithsonian Institution and various other groups interested in learning more about Lee and his family as well as many others buried at Arlington. Continue reading

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

Jim Limber Davis: Black History’s Forgotten Story

February 24, 2009 God’s children, of African, Asian, European, Hispanic, American Indian, and Jewish ancestry, were once told stories about the men and women who helped make America great. When I was a child, the heritage of our ancestors was very important to both young and old but, today, political correct thought has taken the place of historical truth and many schools, streets and parks, named for our beloved forefathers and mothers have been changed.

I write this article as the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Virginia, a Southern fraternal-historical group, is looking for a location to unveil a historically correct statue depicting Confederate President Jefferson Davis and two of his sons Joe and Jim Limber. Jim was a black child adopted by the Davis family and Joe was tragically killed by a fall in 1864 at the Confederate White House in Richmond, Virginia. Continue reading