The Future is Ours for the Taking – Through the Lessons of the Past
Category Archives: Mr. Adair’s Classroom
Where REAL American history comes to life – that which hasn’t been taught in the Public ‘school’ system in America for a very long time. It doesn’t fit the agenda. INVITATION: Serious Teachers and Educators everywhere – bring your students here for REAL history lessons. Then open the dialog. Mr. Adair is ready to continue – or shall we say – “enlighten you.”
For a long time, lawn jockeys have adorned the front yards of American homes, but you may have noticed in recent decades that the number of them is fewer and fewer. Somewhere along the line, they started being touted as a symbol of racism. One woman says that she grew tired of people trying to ‘educate’ her about her lawn jockey, and of complaints that she needs to take it down. With a single social media post, the woman blew away her critics. Continue reading →
The following excerpt is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on May 12, 2017, at the dedication of a statue of Frederick Douglass on the College’s Liberty Walk.
Frederick Douglas ` American
Frederick Douglass, a former slave and a leading abolitionist writer and orator, was the most photographed American of the 19th century. And as you at Hillsdale College know, one of the most famous photographs of Douglass was taken in this town, just a few weeks after President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. At the invitation of a ladies literary society, Douglass came to Hillsdale and spoke in the College Chapel on January 21, 1863. The title of his lecture was “Popular Error and Unpopular Truth.” As reported in the newspaper, Douglass said: “There was no such thing as new truth. Error might be old or new; but truth was as old as the universe.” Continue reading →
In his book Segregation–Federal Policy or Racism (Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, South Carolina) author John Chodes noted, on page 53 that: “In 1867, a small agency was created by Congress. It was called the Bureau of Education. It consisted of only five employees: a supervisor and four clerks, ‘to collect such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several states and territories…as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country.“
From this miniscule beginning, over time, the Bureau of Education became a gigantic department, nationalizing, controlling, and separating black and white primary and secondary schools by administering the Morrill colleges and absorbing the Freedmen’s Bureau schools into its own bureaucracy.”
We have all been led to believe that the federal Department of Education didn’t happen until Jimmy Carter brought it in during his one-term presidency as payback to the National Education Association for their support of him. Actually, it seems that all Carter did was to support the most recent manifestation of something that had really been around, in one form or another, for a very long time. Continue reading →
“The idea pervades the bill that severe penalties will secure enforcement; but all experience shows that undue severity of laws defeats their execution … [N]o law can be sustained which goes beyond public feeling and sentiment. All experience shows that temperance, like other virtues, is not produced by lawmakers, but by the influences of education, morality and religion. Men may be persuaded — they cannot be compelled — to adopt habits of temperance.” ~ Horatio Seymour, 1854
This essay is about a long-forgotten New Yorker who served in his state’s legislature and twice as governor, then nearly became President of the United States. Much respected, even beloved by many in his day, his name was Horatio Seymour. He deserves to be dusted off and appreciated now, almost 130 years since his death. But first, some context.
The Democratic Party in the state of New York these days is about as “liberal” (in the twentieth-century, American sense of the term) as it gets. On economic issues in particular, it is reliably statist, meaning it rarely deviates from the “more government is the answer” mentality, no matter how strongly logic or evidence point elsewhere. But not so long ago, New York’s Democrats were largely of the opposite persuasion. They were often what we now would call “classical liberals,” ardent skeptics of the concentration of power. Classical liberals really believed in liberty; today’s liberals really don’t. Continue reading →
Southern leaders had few complaints with the old Constitution under which they had lived. The heart of the conflict, they felt, was that the intent of the written law had been subverted by Northern sectionalists.
Three major areas of conflict were over protective tariffs, the settlement of common territories, and the right to be secure in one’s property. Although tariffs enacted to foster industry had received initial approval from the South, Southerners came to be opposed to these measures as overly beneficial to Northern manufacturers and injurious to the agricultural South. The question of settlement and territorial administration was a particularly abrasive issue, as Northern states sought to stop the expansion of slavery into the territories and Southerners insisted on the right of persons to migrate into the territories with their property, including bound laborers. This was related to the third issue—security in property. Specifically, the properties in question were slaves, and Northern Abolitionists had already demonstrated their view on this matter in the halls of Congress, the prairies of Kansas, and Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
Various compromises and appeasements had held the Union together through past crises, but Abraham Lincoln’s election in November 1860 was the solvent that destroyed the glue. Seeking to form a new coalition of states, Southern representatives met as a provisional Congress in early February 1861 and a “Committee of Twelve” was appointed to draft a plan of government. Their work resulted in a provisional Constitution, and on March 11 a permanent Constitution was adopted. Continue reading →
Part 2: Will Dallas join the 2017 Great Purge of American History?
Does the Dallas task force on Confederate monuments know what the antebellum politician, for whom their city was named, thought about the Congressional Acts that supported slavery?
George Mifflin Dallas was born July 10, 1792, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before he died on December 31, 1864, he served as an American diplomat to two countries, and was elected or appointed to government service at the city, state, and national levels representing the Democratic Party.
I haven’t the education nor the inclination to write so many words.
But to the point and I pray these words will reach the Governor and all political representatives.
An Open Letter to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
I was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Ohio. I have taught Political Science at the collegiate level in Cincinnati, been published in The Wall Street Journal and am in my 12th year of research for a forthcoming book on Columbine.
For the past seven years I have made Rockbridge County, Virginia my home. That was a dream planted in my heart as a 14-year-old boy decades ago on my first visit to the Commonwealth. I have loved this commonwealth since then and when offered a change of life, there was never a moment’s indecision where to move. Virginia first, Virginia only, Virginia last and Virginia always.
I chose Lexington for just one reason. I had no family in Virginia. I had no prospects for employment lined up in Virginia. I owned no property here. None of the factors that ordinarily move men to uproot after a lifetime in one state and move to a place where he has no ties motivated me. The one and only reason I live in Lexington, Virginia is because it is the final resting place of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson. Their lives, character, faith, integrity, honor and testimony shone so brightly a century and a half after their decease that there is no other place on the Earth I want to be but where they lived and served. Continue reading →
In the aftermath of Charlottesville, an awful lot of awful things have been said about Republicans and race relations – BUT you might wish to reconsider what you have heard.
The Democratic Party was responsible for passing Jim Crow laws, in addition to Black Civil Codes that forced Americans to utilize separate drinking fountains, swimming pools, and other facilities in the 20th century. (Wikipedia Commons)
However, the Left’s accusations of racism couldn’t be further from the truth that has played out in the halls of Congress over the last 150 years.
It is shocking that as talk of statues and historical racism is being bandied about, no one has mentioned the Democrats’ utterly shameful treatment of African Americans throughout history.
Over the last 100 years, Republicans have stood up for African Americans while Democrats not only stood on the sidelines, but in fact served as obstructionists to civil liberties.
Here are at least 12 examples in which Democrats voted against African Americans, and Republicans voted to free them: Continue reading →
When I read Professor Thomas DiLorenzo’s article, the question that lept to mind was, “How come the South is said to have fought for slavery when the North wasn’t fighting against slavery?”
Two days before Lincoln’s inauguration as the 16th President, Congress, consisting only of the Northern states, passed overwhelmingly on March 2, 1861, the Corwin Amendment that gave constitutional protection to slavery. Lincoln endorsed the amendment in his inaugural address, saying “I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”
Quite clearly, the North was not prepared to go to war in order to end slavery when on the very eve of war the US Congress and incoming president were in the process of making it unconstitutional to abolish slavery. Continue reading →
The story of Bill Wilson has been told throughout the Ozark Mountains since he began his bloody career in 1861 to the present day. He is a true folk hero. The Ozarks were full of men who took to the bush and waged a single man to a small gang warfare on the union soldiers, red legs, jayhawkers and spies for the Union. Although there were a lot of these men, if someone said, “The Bushwhacker,” “The Great Bushwhacker,” or the “Famous Bushwhacker,” everyone knew that they were talking about Bill Wilson. His daring deeds are still considered miracles due to his never being wounded once. He is remembered for his superior skill with revolvers and clever tactics in surprising his enemies. The writings and movie about Josie Wales are based on the real bushwhacker, Bill Wilson.
Bill Wilson was born around 1830 in Phelps County, Missouri. His father, Sol Wilson, was a very well-to-do farmer who owned several slaves, but freed them before the Civil War. Sol remained neutral and advised his children to do the same. Continue reading →
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.”
Let’s consider the Lincoln record. During just one term (plus 45 days), Lincoln managed to do the following “socialist-communist” acts: Continue reading →
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 →
The Union cavalry surrounded a lone Confederate soldier who had no horse and whose clothes were dirty and tattered. A Union officer said to him that it was obvious that he had no wealth and not the means to own slaves. The officer asked: “Why are you fighting this war?” Continue reading →
Born on January 17th, 1846 in Nansemond County, Virginia to his parents Rev. Edward Howell and his wife Americus Howell.
Julius grew up on a plantation the youngest of 16 children. He attended school at home and then later was a student at Reynoldson Institute in Gates County, North Carolina. The institute closed with the declaration of war in 1861. At the age of sixteen Howell entered Confederate service and would later become a member of the 24th Virginia Cavalry. Continue reading →
Liberals, Progressives, and Socialists are leading America to re-fight the War Between the States. The blood of 600,000 Americans killed in war from 1861 to 1865 is insufficient to cleanse the sin of enslavement. And it is in that context that you should find Mr. Williams comments both highly interesting and instructive:
The victors of war write its history in order to cast themselves in the most favorable light. That explains the considerable historical ignorance about our war of 1861 and panic over the Confederate flag. To create better understanding, we have to start a bit before the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Continue reading →
Part I ~ The Road to Secession: Antebellum Society and Politics
President Abraham Lincoln
North Carolina waited longer than any other state except Tennessee to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. This is not to say that the Old North State had no secessionists. Rather, North Carolinians had conflicting ideas about leaving the Union. Although staunch supporters of slavery, many North Carolinians hesitated when it came to taking such a significant step as secession. Some felt it better to stay in the Union and enjoy the Constitutional protections offered there, rather than give up those protections to embark on a new journey. However, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln asked for troops from North Carolina to put down the rebellion, the state acted swiftly and decisively. North Carolina seceded from the Union on May 20, 1861, and the state’s involvement in the Civil War began. The following narrative details North Carolina’s antebellum political, economic, and social circumstances that led up to this decision. Continue reading →
Slavery in America, typically associated with blacks from Africa, was an enterprise that began with the shipping of more than 300,000 white Britons to the colonies. This little known history is fascinatingly recounted in White Cargo (New York University Press, 2007). Drawing on letters, diaries, ship manifests, court documents, and government archives, authors Don Jordan and Michael Walsh detail how thousands of whites endured the hardships of tobacco farming and lived and died in bondage in the New World.
Following the cultivation in 1613 of an acceptable tobacco crop in Virginia, the need for labor accelerated. Slavery was viewed as the cheapest and most expedient way of providing the necessary work force. Due to harsh working conditions, beatings, starvation, and disease, survival rates for slaves rarely exceeded two years. Thus, the high level of demand was sustained by a continuous flow of white slaves from England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1618 to 1775, who were imported to serve America’s colonial masters.
These white slaves in the New World consisted of street children plucked from London’s back alleys, prostitutes, and impoverished migrants searching for a brighter future and willing to sign up for indentured servitude. Convicts were also persuaded to avoid lengthy sentences and executions on their home soil by enslavement in the British colonies. The much maligned Irish, viewed as savages worthy of ethnic cleansing and despised for their rejection of Protestantism, also made up a portion of America’s first slave population, as did Quakers, Cavaliers, Puritans, Jesuits, and others. Continue reading →
Did battle, and US future, hang on thread of fate?
Originally Published on the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Antietam Creek.
SHARPSBURG, Md. – From as far away as Minnesota, Colorado and Ohio they came, more than 30 members of the Bloss and Mitchell families who converged on the hallowed Civil War fighting grounds of rural Maryland.
John McKnight Bloss, now 81, had just parked his RV at a campground when he tried to sum up what this gathering of his clan was about. He’s been researching his namesake great-grandfather, who was wounded four times during Civil War battles, including the epic fight along meandering Antietam Creek 150 years ago – and he wanted the younger generation to “understand the sacrifices that were made.”
Robert Mitchell Menuet spoke proudly of Barton Mitchell, his ancestor who served alongside John Bloss in the 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and suffered a life-shortening wound at Antietam – one of the 23,000 casualties that made the battle on Sept. 17, 1862, the single bloodiest day in U.S. history.