The Library of the Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers of the United States were among the best-read generations in history.  Because of their extensive reading, they knew human nature was flawed, but also capable of greatness.  That is why they constructed a government that divided power, gave each division the ability to check and balance the…

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Thanksgiving, and the Religious Awakening of Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving is one of the “high holidays” of America’s civic life.  While proclamations of national days of thanksgiving went back to George Washington, the holiday didn’t become an official feature of the American calendar until, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the holiday would fall on “the last Thursday of…

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Knowledge is Power: The Forgotten Perils of the Intellect

I’ve been reviewing some of the stories and lessons in McGuffey’s Readers, which were by far the bestselling textbooks in 19th century America (the only book that outsold them was the Bible).  They were originally authored by William Holmes McGuffey in 1836.  McGuffey, who was a deeply religious man, believed…

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The Bible and the Founders, Part 3—Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving is among the most American of American holidays.  While it was not celebrated as an annual national holiday until 1863, the origins of the holiday are found in a proclamation by George Washington in the first year of his presidency.  The proclamation is full of biblical language and religious…

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