Founding Fathers and American Heroes

French Huguenots, Apollos Rivoire and Deborah Hitchborn, made their way to Boston, Massachusetts, after being determined to leave France. They may have been in some kind of trouble. In America, Apollos Rivoire changed his name to Paul Rivoire, and then later to Paul Revere. Deborah became Deborah Revere. They had a son and named him Paul Revere. You may have heard of him.

Yes he is the one who rode with the warning that the Redcoats are coming. But the real history is not quite like the famous poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Paul never even made it all the way to Concord. But the poem’s a beauty anyway, and we love the story. read more

Founding Fathers and War

As you know George Washington wasn’t bashful about going to war—even with an army of untrained, unschooled, and even unpaid farmers, merchants, and shopkeepers. And look what he did with the British!

Thomas Jefferson was not known for his willingness to fight. But when the Barbary Pirates continued their demands for payments of ransoms for ships captured in the Mediterranean, Jefferson refused to meet their demands. Instead he sent ships to fight the pirates (think Muslims). He had to request more men and ships to meet the test. read more

What About Benedict Arnold?

Benedict Arnold is widely held in disdain by most Americans for becoming the most famous traitor in our history. What most Americans don’t realize is that Arnold was a hero before he became a turncoat. His heroism is recognized by a monument in Saratoga National Historic Park in New York.

At that park a boot, yes a boot, monument is erected in honor of Benedict Arnold’s heroic acts in the Battles of Saratoga. The monument is in the form of a boot because of the injury Arnold sustained to his leg in that battle. The dedication of the monument reads: To the “most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army . . .winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General.” 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

The Revolutionary War

Why did the Colonists win the Revolutionary War? America was not at the center of the world at the time. England was. Great Britain was slow to understand the nature of the threat of war with America and its colonies.

Americans were a bunch of rag-tag but hearty fighters dedicated to an idea. The idea was quite real. It was an idea of personal liberty, freedom and self-government.

The soldiers fighting for England were fighting for their empire or they were being paid to fight for it. When you are fighting for something more personal you are more devoted to the purpose of the fight. It is more personal. It means more to the fighters. read more

Morality, Freedom, and Liberty

The Founding Fathers of our nation established a republic, a democracy that turned the power to the people. It was a new nation that said that the citizens, the people, would come first and would therefore choose their own leaders for the new nation.

In and around this rich new culture, there was faith and morality. The Founders hoped that culture would continue to allow America to become a light on the hill for the whole world.

The combination of the Spirit of the Revolution, Declaration of Independence, the new U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the foundation in law was new in the world. As Benjamin Franklin said: “It’s a Republic—if you can keep it. The most fervent desire of the Founding Fathers was that we, as a people, would watch over this nation, with these founding documents, culture, and faith, and keep it strong forever. read more

The Father of Our Country

George Washington became known as “The Father of Our Country”. Such a fine title for someone who had no children of his own. The country was his child. He was the Indispensible Man.

Washington also relied on the help from Providence, the name he used for God, out of reverence for the Almighty. He relied on his own faith and that of his soldiers. He said: “No man has more perfect Reliance on the alwise and powerful dispensations of the Supreme Being than I have nor thinks his aid more necessary.” read more

George Washington’s Faith

In his youth, George Washington developed faith. He was very private about his faith. During the Revolutionary War his soldiers Knew he often went into the trees to be alone in prayer, or sometimes he knelt in his officers quarters. But George was private about his beliefs, usually referring to “the hand of Providence” when he knew he had been protected by God.

Faith to him was a private thing. Faith required no proof.

Or as Emily Dickinson put it:

“I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea,
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be. 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

George Washington and His Donkey

Here’s something I didn’t know before. In addition to being the Father of our Country, George Washington also gave America the first “Mammoth Jackass.” Yes, the large donkey. In Washington’s time the donkeys were short in height and lacked the stamina Washington needed them to have for work.

He imported donkeys from Spain and France. He received one donkey from the Marquis de Lafayette, which was named the “Knight of Malta.” But this animal was only 4 ½ feet tall. Washington was very disappointed. read more