Category Archives: The Birth of a Nation ~ 1621 to 1796

The conception had brought us to the landing at Plymouth Rock… what now – for what purpose – to what end – or more importantly – toward what beginning? Where would this journey take these orphans of the storm who landed at this obscure, remote location? The next 175 years would see the founding of the greatest experiment – learned from the greatest mistakes ever made by mankind – as related to nation/empire states.

David Selleck, Colonist (Boston – 1633)

~Foreword ~

During the process of compiling and editing the first volume of AMERICA: The Grand Illusion ~ Book I: Orphans of the Storm, I had occasion to work with my twelve year old granddaughter, Taylor (whose name fittingly works its way into this tale) on a history project for school, dealing with the War Between the States (which we have covered extensively on this site, but will eventually move into a category of its own). Needless to say, her teacher has been compromised in her education, and is subsequently passing her ignorance of American history onto the next generation of ill-informed children.

I searched our families’ boxes of historical archives to gather information on an ancestor, who had fought in that un-civil action, and found a family genealogy, which had been compiled by my great-grandparents in 1926, and later updated in 1959 by a family cousin. Whether it has been updated since remains to be seen, but that, which I am about to share with you has led to great discoveries on the internet about the subject matter of this chapter. For the purposes of brevity however, I will share with you directly from the family records, which are not unlike hundreds of thousands of similar ancestral stories, which can be told of this grand experiment we call, ‘America.’

Just as those who came through Ellis Island many years later, the spellings of one’s name was altered for many reasons and by many sources, including both the legal system and the media (then known as newspapers or broadsides). David’s story is no different.

The following was compiled by the author’s Great Grandparents, Maude Van Hise Gardiner and Harry Martin Gardiner in 1926. – Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher and Author Continue reading

John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765)

Publisher’s Note: As we open the second segment of Words That Men Live By, please note that in the beginning, there will be no specific order, however as we continue to add to this marvelous Classroom – we will sort all entries out in their proper order. Bear with us and enjoy REAL history.

We open with a lengthy post written by John Adams, an American patriot who would some years later serve as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and the first Vice President (1789–97). He was a lawyer, diplomat, statesman, political theorist, and, as a Founding Father, a leader of the movement for American independence from Great Britain. The following was written by him some years before all of these events transpired. ~ Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher and frustrated Historian. Oct. 5, 2017


John Adams, Patriot

“Ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind.” This is an observation of Dr. Tillotson, with relation to the interest of his fellow men in a future and immortal state. But it is of equal truth and importance if applied to the happiness of men in society, on this side the grave. In the earliest ages of the world, absolute monarchy seems to have been the universal form of government. Kings, and a few of their great counselors and captains, exercised a cruel tyranny over the people, who held a rank in the scale of intelligence, in those days, but little higher than the camels and elephants that carried them and their engines to war.

By what causes it was brought to pass, that the people in the middle ages became more intelligent in general, would not, perhaps, be possible in these days to discover. But the fact is certain; and wherever a general knowledge and sensibility have prevailed among the people, arbitrary government and every kind of oppression have lessened and disappeared in proportion. Man has certainly an exalted soul; and the same principle in human nature, — that aspiring, noble principle founded in benevolence, and cherished by knowledge; I mean the love of power, which has been so often the cause of slavery, — has, whenever freedom has existed, been the cause of freedom. If it is this principle that has always prompted the princes and nobles of the earth, by every species of fraud and violence to shake off all the limitations of their power, it is the same that has always stimulated the common people to aspire at independency, and to endeavor at confining the power of the great within the limits of equity and reason. Continue reading