Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Regulators Movement in the Carolinas

The following is an article I wrote on the Regulators Movement in the Carolinas. The Regulators, as they were known for trying to regulate prices, started as a rebellion to government officials overtaxing and forcing rural farmers to pay more than required. The culmination of the movement was the Battle of Alamance where they defeated by the Carolina and Virginia militias. The interesting element to the story is that the very men fighting against each other here were fighting along side each other only 5 years later in the American Revolution.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Visiting Red Hill

For those of us out there that love history it can be difficult sometimes to feel apart of it. Sure we can read the stories, analyze the journals, and examine the letters but to feel connected, it can be difficult. There are those moments when we take a trip to a historical site and have that opportunity to see the chair that Washington sat in, witness the landscape that Jefferson saw, view the battlefield as Meade had seen it. Those are the moments that we feel most connected to history. Those are the moments I suggest you try and seek out.

I had one of these opportunities the other day when I visited the last home of Patrick Henry. One area of disappointment, which I know many history pundits out there probably get frustrated with, are replicas. Much of the original home of Henry's was destroyed in a fire and so they rebuilt the structure just recently, bringing it back to what they believe was the original design. I completely understand and appreciate their line of thinking and it still beneficial to see a time period piece of architecture but it does not hold the same weight in my mind. It just does not quite have that feeling of authenticity. The one amazing element of the home was the actual in the far east part of the lot. It was the grave stone of Patrick Henry. This was the actual spot that one of our founding fathers and as Jefferson stated, greatest orator, of America. The moment I touched the solid stone tablet I felt connected to history, to the moment and period of the Revolution. It felt like I was apart of history in a small way. Henry was one of the great orators and thinkers of the Revolutionary period and we thank him for his service.

Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.---- Patrick Henry

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior

By the time George Washington reached the age of 16 he had written a list of 110 rules of etiquette. Taken from a book on French etiquette Washington more than likely wrote these out as an exercise of penmanship. He showed however that from a young age and through his Presidency, he regarded it important to act as a gentleman at all times. John Adams was quoted as saying, "There is something charming to me in the conduct of Washington, a gentleman of one of the first fortunes upon the continent." The list below identifies just a few of the rules that Washington consistently lived his life by and maybe we should take to heart.

#1 - Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.

#6 - Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

#22 - Show not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.

#40 - Strive not with your Superiors in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.

#45 - Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought to be in public or in Private; presently, or at Some other time in what terms to do it & in reproving Show no Sign of Cholar but do it with all Sweetness and Mildness.

#47 - Mock not nor Jest at any thing of Importance break [n]o Jest that are Sharp Biting and if you Deliver any thing witty and Pleasant abstain from Laughing thereat yourself.

#48 - Wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than Precepts.

#50 - Be not hasty to believe flying Reports to the Disparagement of any.

#56 - Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for 'is better to be alone than in bad Company.

#59 - Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules Moral before your inferiors.

#63 - A Man ought not to value himself of his Achievements, or rare Qualities of wit; much less of his riches Virtue or Kindred.

#65 - Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion

#70 - Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents Masters and Superiors.

#73 - Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.

#74 - When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speech be ended.

#79 - Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A Secret Discover not.

#81 - Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach those that Speak in Private.
#82 - Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Careful to keep your Promise.

#89 - Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.

#108 - When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be poor.

#109 - Let your recreations be manful not sinful.

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