July 17, 1852: Herman Melville is overshadowed by Nathaniel Hawthorne,

My Dear Hawthorne: — This name of “Hawthorne” seems to be ubiquitous. I have been on something of a tour lately, and it has saluted me vocally & typographically in all sorts of places & in all sorts of ways. I was at the solitary mellvilleCrusoeish island of Naushon (one of the Elisabeth group) and there, on a stately piazza, I saw it gilded on the back of a very new book, and in the hands of a clergyman. — I went to visit a gentleman in Brooklyne, and as we were sitting at our wine, in came the lady of the house, holding a beaming volume in her hand, from the city — “My Dear,” to her husband, “I have brought you Hawthorne’s new book.” I entered the cars at Boston for this place. In came a lively boy “Hawthorne’s new book!” — In good time I arrived home. Said my lady-wife “there is Mr Hawthorne’s new book, come by mail” And this morning, lo! on my table a little note, subscribed Hawthorne again.
— Well, the Hawthorne is a sweet flower; may it flourish in every hedge.

I am sorry, but I can not at present come to see you at Concord as you propose. — I am but just returned from a two weeks’ absence; and for the last three months & more I have been an utter idler and a savage — out of doors all the time. So, the hour has come for me to sit down again.

HawthorneDo send me a specimen of your sand-hill, and a sunbeam from the countenance of Mrs: Hawthorne, and a vine from the curly arbor of Master Julian.

As I am only just home, I have not yet got far into the book but enough to see that you have most admirably employed materials which are richer than I had fancied them. Especially at this day, the volume is welcome, as an antidote to the mooniness of some dreamers — who are merely dreamers — Yet who the devel aint a dreamer?

H Melville

My rememberances to Miss Una & Master Julian — & the “compliments” & perfumes of the season to the “Rose-bud.”

July 16, 1964: Barry Goldwater accepts the GOP Nomination for President

The good Lord raised this mighty Republic to be a home for the brave and to flourish as the land of the free-not to stagnate in the swampland of collectivism, not to cringe before the bully of communism.

Now, my fellow Americans, the tide has been running against freedom. Our people have followed false prophets. We must, and we shall, return to proven ways– not because they are old, but because they are true. We must, and we shall, set the tide running again in the cause of freedom. And this party, with its every action, every word, every breath, and every heartbeat, has but a single resolve, and that is freedom – freedom made orderly for this nation by our constitutional government; freedom under a government limited by laws of nature and of nature’s God; freedom – balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the slavery of the prison cell; balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the license of the mob and of the jungle…

Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.

Fellow Republicans, it is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism. It is the cause of Republicanism to ensure that power remains in the hands of the people. And, so help us God, that is exactly what a Republican president will do with the help of a Republican Congress. ..
It is further the cause of Republicanism to remind ourselves, and the world, that only the strong can remain free, that only the strong can keep the peace…

Back in 1858 Abraham Lincoln said this of the Republican party – and I quote him, because he probably could have said it during the last week or so: “It was composed of strained, discordant, and even hostile elements” in 1858. Yet all of these elements agreed on one paramount objective: To arrest the progress of slavery, and place it in the course of ultimate extinction.

Today, as then, but more urgently and more broadly than then, the task of preserving and enlarging freedom at home and safeguarding it from the forces of tyranny abroad is great enough to challenge all our resources and to require all our strength. Anyone who joins us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those who do not care for our cause, we don’t expect to enter our ranks in any case. And let our Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels.

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

July 15, 1838: Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers his Divinity School Address

In this refulgent summer, it has been a luxury to draw the breath of life. The grass grows, the buds burst, the meadow is spotted with fire and gold in the tint of flowers. The air is full of birds, and sweet with the breath of the pine, the balm-of-Gilead, and the new hay. Night brings no gloom to the heart with its welcome shade.Emerson

Through the transparent darkness the stars pour their almost spiritual rays. Man under them seems a young child, and his huge globe a toy. The cool night bathes the world as with a river, and prepares his eyes again for the crimson dawn. The mystery of nature was never displayed more happily. The corn and the wine have been freely dealt to all creatures, and the never-broken silence with which the old bounty goes forward, has not yielded yet one word of explanation. One is constrained to respect the perfection of this world, in which our senses converse. How wide; how rich; what invitation from every property it gives to every faculty of man! In its fruitful soils; in its navigable sea; in its mountains of metal and stone; in its forests of all woods; in its animals; in its chemical ingredients; in the powers and path of light, heat, attraction, and life, it is well worth the pith and heart of great men to subdue and enjoy it. The planters, the mechanics, the inventors, the astronomers, the builders of cities, and the captains, history delights to honor.

But when the mind opens, and reveals the laws which traverse the universe, and make things what they are, then shrinks the great world at once into a mere illustration and fable of this mind. What am I? and What is? asks the human spirit with a curiosity new-kindled, but never to be quenched. Behold these outrunning laws, which our imperfect apprehension can see tend this way and that, but not come full circle. Behold these infinite relations, so like, so unlike; many, yet one. I would study, I would know, I would admire forever. These works of thought have been the entertainments of the human spirit in all ages.

A more secret, sweet, and overpowering beauty appears to man when his heart and mind open to the sentiment of virtue. Then he is instructed in what is above him. He learns that his being is without bound; that, to the good, to the perfect, he is born, low as he now lies in evil and weakness. That which he venerates is still his own, though he has not realized it yet. He ought. He knows the sense of that grand word, though his analysis fails entirely to render account of it. When in innocency, or when by intellectual perception, he attains to say, — `I love the Right; Truth is beautiful within and without, forevermore. Virtue, I am thine: save me: use me: thee will I serve, day and night, in great, in small, that I may be not virtuous, but virtue;’ — then is the end of the creation answered, and God is well pleased…

July 14, 1798: The Sedition Act is Approved by Congress

“Be it enacted…that if any person shall write, print, utter, or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered, or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering, or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either House of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or adam sedition.1either House of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States; or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the Constitution of the United States; or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act; or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.”

James Thomson Callender, who wrote a book entitled “The Prospect Before Us” in which he called the Adams administration a “continual tempest of malignant passions” and the President a “repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite and an unprincipled oppressor” was indicted and convicted in 1800, fined $200 and sentenced to nine months in jail.
• Matthew Lyon, who wrote an essay in the Vermont Journal accusing the administration of “ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice” was fined $1,000 and sentenced to four months in jail.
• Benjamin Franklin Bache who accused George Washington of incompetence and financial irregularities, and “the blind, bald, crippled, toothless, querulous Adams” of nepotism and monarchical ambition in his newspaper “The Aurora”. He was arrested in 1798 under the Sedition Act, but he died of yellow fever before trial.
• Anthony Haswell, a printer in Vermont, reprinted parts of the Aurora, including Bache’s claim that the federal government had employed Tories. Haswell was found guilty of seditious libel and sentenced to a two-month imprisonment and a $200 fine.
• David Brown, who had set up a liberty pole in Dedham, Massachusetts with the words, “No Stamp Act, No Sedition Act, No Alien Bills, No Land Tax, downfall to the Tyrants of America; peace and retirement to the President; Long Live the Vice President” was arrested and tried, fined $480, and sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

JULY 13, 1775: The Continental Congress sends a message to the Six Nations

BROTHERS, SACHEMS, AND WARRIORS, of the Mohawk, Oneida, Tuscarora, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca, We, the Delegates from the Twelve United Provinces …now sitting in general Congress at Philadelphia, send this talk to you our brothers…Brant1

When our fathers crossed the great water and came over to this land, the king of England gave them a talk: assuring them that they and their children should be his children, and that if they would leave their native country and make settlements, and live here, and buy, and sell, and trade with their brethren beyond the water, they should still keep hold of the same covenant chain and enjoy peace…

Trusting that this covenant should never be broken, our fathers came a great distance beyond the great water, laid out their money here, built houses, cleared fields, raised crops, and through their own labour and industry grew tall and strong…

We will now tell you of the quarrel betwixt the counsellors of King George and the inhabitants and colonies of America. Many of his counsellors are proud and wicked men.-They persuade the king to break the covenant chain, and not to send us any more good talks. A considerable number have prevailed upon him to enter into a new covenant against us, and have torn asunder and cast behind their backs the good old covenant which their ancestors and ours entered into, and took strong hold of…

Brothers, this is our present situation … If our people labor on the field, they will not know who shall enjoy the crop.-If they hunt in the woods, it will be uncertain who shall taste of the meat or have the skins.-If they build houses, they will not know whether they may sit round the fire, with their wives and children.

We upon this island have often spoke and entreated the king and his servants the counselors, that peace and harmony might still continue between us-that we cannot part with or lose our hold of the old covenant chain which united our fathers and theirs-that we want to brighten this chain-and keep the way open as our fathers did; that we want to live with them as brothers, labor, trade, travel abroad, eat and drink in peace. ..

Brothers, thus stands the matter betwixt old England and America. You Indians know how things are proportioned in a family-between the father and the son-the child carries a little pack-England we regard as the father-this island may be compared to the son. ..

BROTHERS AND FRIENDS! We desire you will hear and receive what we have now told you, and that you will open a good ear and listen to what we are now going to say. This is a family quarrel between us and Old England. You Indians are not concerned in it. We don’t wish you to take up the hatchet against the king’s troops. We desire you to remain at home, and not join on either side, but keep the hatchet buried deep…

Brothers! We live upon the same ground with you. The same island is our common birth-place. We desire to sit down under the same tree of peace with you: let us water its roots and cherish its growth, till the large leaves and flourishing branches shall extend to the setting sun, and reach the skies. ..

July 10, 1822: James Madison writes to Edward Livingston concerning Freedom of Religion

I observe with particular pleasure the view you have taken of the immunity of Religion from civil jurisdiction, in every Madisoncase where it does not trespass on private rights or the public peace. This has always been a favorite principle with me; and it was not with my approbation, that the deviation from it took place in Congress, when they appointed Chaplains, to be paid from the National Treasury. It would have been a much better proof to their Constituents of their pious feeling if the members had contributed for the purpose, a pittance from their own pockets. As the precedent is not likely to be rescinded, the best that can now be done, may be to apply to the Constitution the maxim of the law, de minimis non curat.

There has been another deviation from the strict principle in the Executive Proclamations of fasts & festivals, so far, at least, as they have spoken the language of injunction, or have lost sight of the equality of all religious sects in the eye of the Constitution.

Whilst I was honored with the Executive Trust I found it necessary on more than one occasion to follow the example of predecessors. But I was always careful to make the Proclamations absolutely indiscriminate, and merely recommendatory; or rather mere designations of a day, on which all who thought proper might unite in consecrating it to religious purposes, according to their own faith & forms.

In this sense, I presume you reserve to the Govt. a right to appoint particular days for religious worship throughout the State, without any penal sanction enforcing the worship. I know not what may be the way of thinking on this subject in Louisiana. I should suppose the Catholic portion of the people, at least, as a small & even unpopular sect in the U. S., would rally, as they did in Virginia, when religious liberty was a Legislative topic, to its broadest principle.

Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favor of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject.

Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law, was right & necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; And that the only question to be decided was which was the true religion.

The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects, dissenting from the established sect, was safe & even useful. The example of the Colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all Sects might be safely & advantageously put on a footing of equal & entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the declaration of Independence, has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent Country.

If a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States, which have abolished their religious establishments. I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia where it is impossible to deny that Religion prevails with more zeal, and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by Public authority.

We are teaching the world the great truth that Governments do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Government.

July 9, 1795: James Swan liquidates the Public Debt

James Swan emigrated from Scotland to Boston in 1765 at the age of 11. He joined the Sons of Liberty at 19, took part in the Boston Tea Party and was wounded during the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775.

During the American Revolution, the American colonies had borrowed roughly two million dollars from France. In order to pay this debt, Congress had printed more money and borrowed from foreign governments to meet the deficit. James-SwanBack then Congress lacked the authority to levy taxes, which would have risked alienating an American public that had just gone to war over unjust taxation.

After the war James Swan became a very successful businessman. By 1795 he was living in Paris, and had become a purchasing agent for France in the United States. On July 9, 1795 he consummated a deal in which he personally took on the entire French debt, meaning that the United States was no longer indebted to any foreign country.

This was a very patriotic act, and a very savvy business move. Swan then resold the debt for a profit to private investors in America and abroad. He returned to America and continued his wheeling and dealing. By the time Napoleon found himself in a cash crunch and agreed to sell Louisiana in 1803, Swan was France’s major creditor.

He then returned to France, but a business partner charged Swan with a debt of 2,000 francs in 1808, which he vehemently denied owing. He was thrown in debtor’s prison in St. Pelegie, where was incarcerated (with servants, cooks, stables and female companionship) for the next two decades. Swan could have walked out the door any day if he paid the debt he owed, which he had funds to do, but it was the principle of the thing…

Twenty years into his imprisonment, King Louis Phillipe began his rule by forgiving all debt. By this time, Swan was 76 and in poor health. He had one last wish – to see his old friend Lafayette one more time.

He visited the old Marquis for a short while – then he went home and passed away.

July 8, 1863, Robert E. Lee explains his retreat from Gettysburg to Jefferson Davis

Mr. President,
My letter of yesterday should have informed you of the position of this army. Though reduced in numbers by the hardships and battles through which it has passed since leaving the Rappahannock its condition is good and its confidence unimpaired.

When crossing the Potomac into Maryland, I had calculated upon the river remaining fordable during the summer, so R E LEEas to enable me to recross at my pleasure, but a series of storms commencing the day after our entrance into Maryland has placed the river beyond fording stage and the present storms will keep it so for at least a week.

I shall therefore have to accept battle if the enemy offers it, whether I wish to or not, and as the result is in the hands of the Sovereign Ruler of the universe and known to him only, I deem it prudent to make every arrangement in our power to meet any emergency that may arrive.

From information gathered from the papers I believe that the troops from the North Carolina and the coast of Virginia, under Generals Foster and Day have been ordered to the Potomac and that recently additional reinforcements have been sent from the coast of South Carolina to General Banks. If I am correct in my opinion this will liberate most of the troops in those regions and should not your Excellency have already done so I earnestly recommend that all that can be spared be concentrated on the upper Rappahannock under General Beauregard with directions to cross the river and make demonstration upon Washington.

This course will answer the double purpose of affording protection to the capital at Richmond and relieving the pressure upon this army. I hope your Excellency will understand that I am not in the least discouraged or that my faith in the protection of an All merciful Providence, or in the fortitude of this army is at all shaken.

But though conscious that the enemy has been much shattered in the recent battle I am aware that he can be easily reinforced while no addition can be made to our numbers. The measure therefore that I have recommended is altogether one of a prudential nature.
I am most respectfully your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General

July 7, 1928: The Greatest Thing Ever – Sliced Bread!

Otto Frederick Rohwedder was a jeweler by trade, but a dedicated tinkerer at heart. In 1912, while living in St Joseph, Missouri, with his wife and two children, Otto had his “Eureka!” moment which changed the history of lunch forever.

It came to Otto in a flash: What the world needed most was SLICED BREAD!A&P Bread

Convinced that he had hit on a great idea, Rohwedder sold his three jewelry stores and invested the money in his new venture. He assembled a prototype – it held bread slices together with hat pins – but he had a hard time convincing bakeries to adopt his contraption since the pins regularly fell out.

Otto went back to the drawing board but suffered a setback when fire destroyed the factory that contained both the blueprints and his prototype bread slicer.

By 1927 he had designed another slicing machine. This one not only sliced  loaves, but it also wrapped them in paper to keep the bread fresh and the loaf in one piece. Most bakers were again skeptical, but Frank Bench, a friend of Rohwedder’s who baked in Chillicothe, Missouri, agreed to put the bread slicer to the test.

The very first loafs of “Sliced Kleen Maid Bread”, hit the shelves on July 7, 1928. Sales skyrocketed almost overnight.

Wonder Bread and several other major companies were soon slicing bread with Rohwedder’s machines. By 1933 sandwich bread had become a household staple and eighty percent of the bread baked in America went through the slicing machine. Sandwiches for lunch were now simple to prepare – until World War II broke out…

When America began rationing food in 1943, the Federal food administrators announced that the country would have to go without sliced bread. Government officials, in their bureaucratic wisdom, explained that “the ready-sliced loaf must have a heavier wrapping than an unsliced one if it is not to dry out.” According to the ban, no bakery or deli was permitted to slice its own bread, and American families were forced to cut loaves themselves.

The public outrage was immediate and overwhelming. Two months later the government remarkably determined that the money saved the ban from un-sliced bread was negligible and the ban was rescinded.

Lunch once again became a simple pleasure to prepare.

July 6, 1881: Kate Shelley Saves Two Hundred Lives

It was a dark and stormy night in Boone County, Iowa, where nineteen year old Kate Shelley lived on her family’s farm near Honey Creek. The rain was pouring down in torrents and the creek was spilling over its banks and carrying away barns and lumber and threatening to sweep away the family cow.

It was such a horrendous night that the Northwestern Railroad was concerned that the flooding was weakening the

Fridge Magnet from USA

Fridge Magnet from USA

railroad bridge just past the Shelley homestead, and dispatch sent a pusher engine out to check the tracks for damage.

Looking from her window, which in daylight commanded a view of the Honey Creek bridge, Kate Shelley could barely make out through the darkness and storm the approaching locomotive’s headlight. A second after she spied it she heard a tremendous crash and the light vanished; she knew that the bridge had collapsed and that the locomotive had fallen into the abyss.

There was no one at home but her mother and her little brother and sister, and Kate knew an eastbound passenger train was due about midnight and would soon be barreling towards the chasm.

Hastily filling an old lantern and wrapping herself in a waterproof, she sallied out in the storm against her mother’s protests. She climbed up the steep bluff to the track, tearing her clothes to rags and painfully lacerating her flesh on the thick brambles.

When she reached the part of the bridge which still remained Kate crawled out as far as she could, swung her lantern over the dark abyss, and called out at the top of her voice. It was pitch black below but she heard the faint answer of the engineer, who had crawled upon some of the broken timbers.

He called to her to find her way to the station a mile away and to warn the approaching express of the fall of the bridge.

Without hesitation, Kate set out toward the small station at Moingona. She crept along the timbers of the damaged bridge, thirty feet above the roaring current, gingerly stepping from tie to tie. Then she had to cross the Des Moines River bridge, about five hundred feet in length. Just as she tremblingly put her foot on this structure, the wind, rain, thunder and lightning gusted so hard that she lost her balance and her lantern went out. Without her light she could not see a foot ahead of her, except when flashes of lightning revealed the outlines of the bridge and the seething waters beneath.

With no time to lose, Kate threw away the useless lamp, and dropping on her hands and knees, crawled across the high trestle. When she again reached solid ground, she ran to the station, told her story in breathless haste and then fell unconscious.

When she came to, she led a party back to rescue the crew. Edgar Wood, perched in a tree, grasped a rope thrown to him, and came ashore hand-over-hand. Adam Agar couldn’t be reached until the floodwaters began to recede. Pat Donahue’s corpse was eventually found in a cornfield a quarter mile downstream from the bridge, but A.P. Olmsted was never found.

Thanks to Kate’s warning, the express train was successfully stopped at Ogden, and the 200 passengers aboard were saved.

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