The Federalist Papers

When the final agreement was reached with the 55 signers of the U.S. Constitution, it had to be submitted to the 13 new States for ratification. That road was still rough. Even though the document was signed unanimously as requested by Benjamin Franklin, there was still much uncertainty among the States.

Each State had its own ratification Convention. To explain the arguments in favor of adoption, three great men, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” wrote a series of articles explaining the meaning of this new intended Constitution. read more

Thomas Jefferson and the Constitution

Not only was John Adams not present at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, neither was Thomas Jefferson. Although Jefferson had sent his good friend, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, trunk-loads of books about government for use in preparing for the Constitution.

Why wasn’t Jefferson there? He was in France, from where he sent those books to Madison. Why was he in France? Because he was sent there by Congress to join Benjamin Franklin and John Adams in preparing the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War. Adams went to England and Franklin returned home to Pennsylvania after that treaty was signed. read more

Benjamin Franklin Diplomat

John Hancock the President of Congress, called Benjamin Franklin aside after The Declaration of Independence had been signed.

Hancock told Franklin in their meeting: “We have an important assignment for you.”

Franklin responded: “I am too old to be a soldier.”

John Hancock corrected him, saying: “No, no, we want you to be our new Minister to France.”

“Oh, that’s all right,” quipped Franklin, “A soldier has to die for his country, but a diplomat only has to lie for his country.” read more

Benjamin Franklin on Vacation

Benjamin Franklin was a hard worker. He became a printer, a scientist, a writer, a diplomat, musician, an inventor, and a philosopher. His tips and words of wisdom included in “Poor Richard’s Almanac” have stood the test of time. Many are repeated today. And yet he seemed to always find time for some fun and entertainment.

I believe Ben would have loved the words of Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of the Chrysler Corporation. He may have even stolen them and printed them in his almanac: “Over the years, many executives have said to me with pride: ‘Boy, I worked so hard last year that I didn’t take a vacation.’” read more

A Prayer for a Nation

Benjamin Franklin was a religious man, but he didn’t much care for organized religion. At least not as it was presented to him. But he did believe in God. And he had some things to say about our Constitution.

“I beg that I may not be understood to infer,” he said, “that our General Convention (Constitutional Convention) was divinely inspired, when it form’d the new Constitution . . . .yet I must own that I have so much faith in the general Government of the world by Providence (his, and George Washington’s, way of naming God) that I can hardly conceive a Transaction of such momentous Importance to the Welfare of Millions now existing, and to exist in the posterity of a great Nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree inflluenc’d, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior Spirits live, move and have their Being.”
(“A Comparison of the Conduct of Ancient Jews and Anti-federalists in the United States of America” (1788), as quoted in “First Freedom” by Randall Palmer, et al, 2012, page 37. read more

Amendments to the Constitution

Looking back on it, many would agree that the two Amendments to the U.S. Constitution which were both ratified in 1913, were the worst Amendments ever adopted (some say they weren’t actually properly ratified). Those were the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments.

The Sixteenth is the one that approved the previously unwanted collection of an income tax (see discussions about this in our early history). For some reason, we, the people, approved this burdensome tax. That has been the subject of many disputations—and I won’t continue that here. read more

Founding Fathers as Christians

Some have said that the Founding Fathers were not Christian. They haven’t read the words of these men themselves. They all left quotes and references that would convince most anyone otherwise..

Read George Washington’s Farewell address. Read Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Read James Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention. Give yourself time to read Benjamin Franklin’s speeches at that same Convention.

Patrick Henry summed it up well in his last will and testament. “This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed. read more

Founding Fathers’ Light

Here’s a quote from a recent religious gathering. It caught my attention because it seemed to me to teach just what our Founding Fathers believed according to their own writings.

“Each of us was given a portion of God’s light, called ‘the Light of Christ,’ to help us distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. This is why even those who live with little or no knowledge of the Father’s plan can still sense, in their hearts, that certain actions are just and moral while others are not. read more

Our Founding Fathers and Moral Virtues

Benjamin Franklin created his “Project for Moral Perfection” in order to become as perfect as he could in his chosen principles.

George Washington was taught at the request of his father in Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour.

Thomas Jefferson sometimes recited the Lord’s 10 Commandments out behind the barn to help his school go faster.

John Adams’ father wanted him to become a minister and that’s the main reason he was sent to The College of New Jersey to study.

Patrick Henry had a tradition of spending each evening with his family to read scriptures together. read more

The George Washington Birthday Celebration

Perhaps you were able to attend one of the Mesa, Arizona, George Washington Birthday Celebrations. I was the organizer, the planner, the idea man, and the chief fundraiser and donor. They were held for four years in a row on Presidents Day Monday. The attendance increased each year until the crowd of 2,500 was simply too much for our location. The Mesa School District offered to let me continue the event at any of the Mesa schools. However, I declined. I knew that would ruin the neighborhood feeling of the annual event. read more