Category Archives: Founding Fathers

Today In History: April 18-19, 1775: “I Set Off Upon a Very Good Horse”

On the night of April 18, into April 19, in 1775, Paul Revere made his famous ride. The spring of 1775 was a tense time. Prominent Bostonians were under constant threat of arrest from the British, and many of them … Continue reading

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On This Day: December 16, 1773: “This Destruction of the Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid, and inflexible, and it must have important Consequences, and so lasting, that I can’t but consider it as an Epocha in History.” – John Adams

On November 28, 1773, the Dartmouth sailed into port in Boston. It was full of tea. There had already been trouble in Philadelphia when the ship had tried to unload its cargo. A ship had been blown away from the … Continue reading

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On This Day: November 25, 1783

George Washington “took back” New York from the British. The peace treaty had been signed a year before, France had pledged support and recognition of the new United States, but the redcoats remained in New York, waiting for their written … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, John Adams

I’ve written more about him than anyone else. Even Cary Grant or Elvis. I grew up hearing about “John and Abigail” with such familiarity (and I had cousins who lived in Quincy, and when we would go there for Thanksgiving, … Continue reading

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On This Day: July 3, 1776: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”

John Adams, in a July 3, 1776 letter to Abigail, after the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 2 in Philadelphia: The Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. The Hopes of … Continue reading

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On This Day: April 13, 1743

Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia. James Parton: A gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin. From … Continue reading

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On This Day: March 23, 1775

Patrick Henry made his famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. Benson Bobrick writes in his book Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution about a speech Henry … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, George Washington

That video is not safe for work, by the way. Due to its total awesomeness. Here is a big post I wrote for Washington’s birthday in 2010. I love my father’s quote the best: “We were so lucky.”

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Happy Presidents Day!

It was July 4, 1826: the 50th anniversary of July 4, 1776. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, old men by that point, had been invited to attend huge celebrations in honor of the day, but due to illness both … Continue reading

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“It Seemed As If a Total Dissolution of Nature Was Taking Place.” – Alexander Hamilton, Hurricane, 1772

The wind is picking up. It woke me up. So far nothing too unusual, some garbage cans careening down the sidewalk in the darkness, but the storm got me thinking about Alexander Hamilton (of course it did), and the first … Continue reading

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