Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk (1924-2014) was the navigator on the Enola Gay when it dropped the atomic bomb “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II on August 6, 1945. As navigator, Van Kirk was responsible for guiding the plane to its target destination and confirming where exactly to drop the bomb. As the last surviving member of the crew, Dutch Van Kirk often spoke about the reasons behind employing the atomic bomb and how it led to the end of World War II. In the WallBuilders collection we have a picture of the destruction at Hiroshima inscribed by Dutch Van Kirk with the following statement:
Most people do not recall why we dropped the atomic bombs. It was forgotten after 64 years only remembering the large casualties they caused. We dropped the bombs to end the war and stop the killing by destroying military and military support facilities defending against an invasion. Earlier we dropped millions of leaflets which were largely ignored.
The leaflets Van Kirk refers to warned the Japanese citizens of the impending bombs and advised them to evacuate the cities targeted beforehand. (You can see some and read their translations at WallBuilders.)
I am opposed to the Democratic Party, and I will tell you why. Every State that seceded from the United States was a Democratic State. Every ordinance of secession was drawn by a Democrat. Every man that endeavored to tear the old flag from the heaven that it enriches was a Democrat. Every enemy this great Republic has had for twenty years has been a Democrat. Every man that shot Union soldiers was a Democrat. Every man that starve union soldiers and refused them in the extremity of death a crust was Democrat. Every man that tried to destroy this nation was a Democrat. Every man that loved slavery better than liberty was a Democrat. That man that assassinated Abraham Lincoln as a Democrat. Every man that sympathized with the assassin — every man glad that the noblest President ever elected was assassinated — was a Democrat. Every man that impaired the credit fo the Union States; every man that swore we would never pay the bonds; every man that swore we would never redeem the greenbacks was a Democrat. Every man that resisted the draft was a Democrat. Every man that wept over the corpse fo slavery was a Democrat. Every man that cursed Lincoln because the issued the Proclamation of Emancipation — the grandest paper since the Declaration of Independence — every one fo them was a Democrat. Every man that wanted an uprising in the North, that wanted to released the rebel prisoners, that they might burn down the homes of Union soldiers above the heads of their wives and children, while the brave husbands, the heroic fathers, were in the front fighting for the honor of the old flag, every one of them was a Democrat. Every man that believed this glorious nation of ours is only a confederacy, every man that believed the old banner carried by our fathers through the Revolution, through the war of 1812, carried by our brothers over the plains of Mexico, carried by our brothers over the fields of the Rebellion, simply stood for a contract, simply stood for an agreement, was a Democrat. Every man who believed that any State could go out of the Union at its pleasure; every man that believed the grand fabric of the American Government could be made to crumble instantly into dust at the touch of treason was a Democrat.
Soldiers! Every scar you have got on your heroic bodies was given you by a Democrat. Every scar, every arm that is lacking, every limb that is gone, every scar is a souvenir of a Democrat.
What the Republican Party Has Not Done.
The Republicans have done some noble things–things that will be remembered as long as there is history. But there are some things they did not do.
They did not use an army to force slavery into Kansas.
They did not fire upon Fort Sumter.
They did not attempt secession.
They did not plunder the nation of its arms.
They did not inaugurate rebellion.
They did not drive American commerce from the seas.
They did not “huzza” over Union disasters.
They did not “huzza” over Rebel victories.
They did not mourn over Rebel defeats.
They did not oppose enlistments in the Union army.
They were not draft rioters.
They were not “Knights of the Golden Circle.”
They did not commit the atrocities of Libby, Belle Isle, Salisbury and Andersonville.
They did not oppose emancipation.
They were not “Ku-Klux.”
They did not commit the Butchers at Fort Pillow.
They did not commit the horrible massacre at New Orleans.
They did not murder Dixon.
They did not butcher the Chisholm family.
They did not massacre black men at Hamburg.
They did not scourge, and hang, and shoot, and murder men for opinion’s sake.
They did not organize the Louisiana white league of the South Caroline rifle clubs.
They did not drench the South with the blood of inoffensive colored men.
They did not invent the “Mississippi plan.”
They did not use tissue ballots.
They are not “moonshiners.”
They do not resist the national authority.
They did not set up their States above the nation.
They did not try to destroy the Nation’s credit.
They did not try to pauperize the American mechanic.
They have not been an impediment to national growth.
They have not been an impediment to the people’s prosperity.
Can the Democratic party and all Democrats say as much? The people can trust a party that has not done these things, but they cannot trust a party that in whole or in part did do them.
In 1760 America became the first nation to publish a work of prose by a writer of African descent.[i] In fourteen pages, the slave and author Briton Hammon recounts nearly 13 years of trial, hardship, and adventure—ending in a way that would surprise most people today. Only two copies of his original work remain in existence, meaning Hammon’s remarkable story of hardship and God’s deliverance is rarely told today, but he deserves credit for beginning a literary tradition which would grow to include people like Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup, and many others.
Hammon starts his narrative in 1747 when his master, General John Winslow (the great-grandson of the Mayflower Pilgrim Edward Winslow), granted him leave to sail by himself to Jamaica for Christmas.[ii] However, after a successful cruise to the Caribbean, the vessel accidentally ran onto a reef off the coast of Florida during its return voyage. For two days the ship and crew were stranded, unable to move and with little hope of rescue.
Before they were able to make it to shore, twenty Indian canoes approached them under the guise of an English flag. Upon getting closer, they attacked and killed all of the sailors except for Hammon who, “jumped overboard, choosing rather to be drowned, than to be killed by those barbarous and inhuman Savages.”[iii] The marauders soon captured him, however, and Hammons describes how the they:
“Beat me most terribly with a cutlass [sword], after that they tied me down… telling me, while coming from the sloop [the ship] to the shore, that they intended to roast me alive.”[iv]
Upon reaching the Indian camp, Hammon was relieved that, “the Providence of God ordered it other ways, for He appeared for my help,” preserving his life till the chance for escape presented itself.[v] Soon a Spanish ship, whose captain was a personal friend of Hammon’s, miraculously found him and helped him escape to Havana. The Indians nevertheless persisted, tracking him down and suing the Spanish Governor for his return. Instead of simply giving the shipwrecked slave back to his captors, the Governor purchased Hammon from the Indians for $10 to be one of his slaves.[vi]
One year into his Havanan servitude while walking down the street, an impressment gang (groups of men who would physically coerce people to fight in the Spanish navy) suddenly captured Hammon and imprisoned him for nearly five years because he refused to serve in the fleet—all unbeknownst to the governor. Through years of appealing random visitors, Hammon successfully got word to the governor who freed him from the dungeon only to become a slave once more.
After two failed attempts to escape from the Havana, Hammon successfully worked himself on board a British Man-of-War vessel about to depart for England. The governor was not one to let him go without a fight though and demanded the captain turn him over immediately. This British captain, however, was a man of courage and, “a true Englishman, [who] refused… to deliver up any Englishmen under English Colors.”[vii]
Having now been liberated from Spanish slavery, Briton arrived in England and signed up for the British navy, fighting in several naval battles before being wounded. After an honorable discharge from the service, he continued to hire himself out on numerous voyages eventually signing up for a voyage to Guinea.[viii] However, before shipping out to Africa, Hammon heard of a boat set to sail to Boston. Instantly, he abandoned plans for Africa and instead joined the crew heading back to the colonies.
To his great astonishment and apparent joy, Hammon heard that his old master, Gen. John Winslow on the same exact vessel. He explains that:
“the Truth was joyfully verified by a happy sight of his person, which so overcame me, that I could not speak to him for some time—my good master was exceeding glad to see me, telling me that I was like one arose from the dead, for he thought I had been dead a great many years, having heard nothing of me for almost thirteen years.”[ix]
In short, Briton Hammon lived nothing short of a miraculous life, something which he was the first to admit, exclaiming:
“How Great Things the Lord hath done for me; I would call upon all men, and say, O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! O that Men would Praise the Lord for His Goodness, and for his Wonderful Works to the Children of Men!”[x]
Perhaps the most striking aspect of Briton’s narrative is the apparent fondness he had for his master. In order to begin understand this, some context must be given. As mentioned, General John Winslow (1703-1774) was the great-grandson of the Governor Edward Winslow who came on the Mayflower in 1620. Although seemingly good-natured, over three generations the piety of the Winslow family was merged with a martial spirit and led John into the military, participating in operations from Cuba to Nova Scotia as a part of the British army.[xi] As a Major General and a descendant of an early governor, he commanded respect even during a period of increasing unrest as the War for American Independence was quickly approaching.
Naturally then, it is no small factor in Briton Hammon’s story that his master is none other than the noted General. However, on Christmas day 1747 when Briton departed, his master had yet to climb the ranks as most of Winslow’s military leadership would occur over the thirteen years while Briton was gone. Thus, upon his miraculous reunification with the now General Winslow, he remarks that, “I asked them what General Winslow? For I never knew my good Master, by that Title before; but after enquiring more particularly I found it must be Master.”[xii]
That a slave would seek out his master or return to them after being away for many years almost recalls the Biblical story of Onesimus and Philemon. Interestingly, prior to the reunion Briton lamented that while he was extremely sick and poor it was, “unhappy for me I knew nothing of my good Master’s being in London at this my very difficult Time,” indicating that had General Winslow known of his condition his master would have undoubtedly come to his assistance.[xiii]
The fact that General Winslow is universally referred to in affectionate terms strikes the modern reader as especially remarkable considering the fact that at the end of his journey Briton had not arrived at what we would consider freedom, only a return to slavery. Combined with the decision to return to Boston instead of pursuing his career in the merchant marine on the voyage to Guinea, we are left to question why a slave would intentionally seek out his old master.
As mentioned above, Hammon’s slave narrative seems strangely different than the stories of Douglass, Northup, and the rest. Instead of fleeing from slavery, Hammon voluntarily returns to his master in America—choosing to board a ship to Boston instead of one to Africa. Why would Hammon choose America, the land of his slavery, over Africa, the land of his heritage? Why would he choose slavery abroad, over freedom at his ancestral home?
The answer to this is the realization that Hammon, far from identifying his home as Africa, has become a colonial American in thought and deed. Through his life in the colonies, an emerging nationalism has taken root and supplanted any previous attachments.
Briton’s narrative is not one of slavery to manumission, but rather one of coming to the place he considered his home. In fact, after having suffered at the hands of un-Christian Indians and barbarous Spaniards, Briton sees the reunification with Winslow as a kind of freedom and a return to his true home. He explains:
“And now, that in the Providence of that GOD, who delivered his servant David out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, I am freed from a long and dreadful captivity, among worse savages than they; And am returned to my own Native Land” (emphasis added).[xiv]
The fact that he considers New England as his native land explains why he chose to abandon his plans to sail for Africa. For Briton Hammon, Massachusetts is his homeland and where he desires to return. In this sense, his story actually does relate closely to the later slave narratives—they all were seeking a home. Hammon saw himself as an Englishman, and was seen by others (such as the helpful ship captain) as an Englishman. A new identity had sprouted within him, and he now claimed a new homeland.
In the years following Hammon’s return, his proclaimed homeland changed dramatically. As the colonists felt the increasingly heavy hand of the English monarchy, more and more Massachusetts men began to realize the hypocrisy inherent in slavery. Leaders like John and Samuel Adams who were coming of age during that time rejected the institution entirely, by the time of the War for Independence the state was leading the world in progress towards emancipation, earning the honor of being the only state to have totally abolished slavery by the time the first census was completed in 1790—achieving legal emancipation 43 years before England followed suit.[xv]
In fact, Massachusetts’ push towards liberty signaled a major shift in the Northern states concerning slavery. All of the New England states, as well as New York and New Jersey, had passed laws for either the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery by 1804. This directly translated into a rapid increase of manumissions, and from 1790 to 1810 the number of free blacks in America increased from 59,466 to 108,395, displaying a growth rate of 82%. The next decade saw that number expand another 72% to 186,446.[xvi]
The 1810 census documented that the total population of those states—Massachusetts (Maine included), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey—stood at 3,486,675.[xvii] This was approximately 48% of the total population, slave and free, of the United States at that time. Although not entirely free of slavery due to the gradual emancipation laws in states such as New York and New Jersey, the total percentage of the population waiting for emancipation was only 0.9% in those states.
In fact, by 1804 nearly half of America had succeeded in passing laws for the abolition of slavery, and only six years later they had been 99% effective in accomplishing that goal. Nowhere else in the world was anywhere close to what those Northern States had succeeded in doing.
So, what happened to Briton Hammon upon returning home? Unfortunately, the historical record is extremely sparse. It seems likely that General Winslow assisted in the production of Hammon’s Narrative, as the publishers, John Green and Joseph Russell, worked for the English government as the, “appointed printers to the English commissioners.”[xviii] Suggesting that Winslow, with his extensive government connections, might have recommended the book to them or offered it to them first, instead of going to other prominent Bostonian or New England printers.
Two years after his book was published, records suggest that Briton married a long-standing member of the inter-racial First Church of Plymouth.[xix] After Gen. Winslow passed away in 1774, Briton seemingly was passed to Winslow’s sister and brother-in-law, the Nichols family. A certain “Briton Nichols” appears at this time indicating that Hammons took the name of his new masters. When the War for Independence broke out, however, Briton served four different times from 1777 to 1780 in Washington army, eventually winning his freedom and heading a family of three by the time of the first census.[xx]
While there are many questions remaining to be answered about the remarkable life of Briton Hammon (and even more concerning his likely second round of adventures as Briton Nichols), his place as the first printed black prose author in America (and likely the world) deserves to be remembered. From slave to soldier, imprisonment to independence—Briton’s life is a valuable part of the American story. We ought to heed his words and, “Magnify the Lord…and let us exalt his Name together!”[xxi]
[i] Frances S. Foster, “Briton Hammon’s ‘Narrative’: Some Insights Into Beginnings,” CLA Journal 21, no. 2 (1977): 179; “Briton Hammon,” Rayford Logan and Michael Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: Norton, 1982), xxx.
[ii] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 3, here.
[iii] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 6, here.
[iv] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 6-7, here.
[v] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 7, here.
[vi] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 7, here.
[vii] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 11, here.
[viii] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 12, here.
[ix] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 13, here.
[x] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 14, here.
[xi] Maria Bryant, Genealogy of Edward Winslow of the Mayflower and His Descendants, From 1620 to 1865 (New Bedford: E. Anthony & Sons, 1915), 37.
[xii] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 13, , here.
[xiii] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 12, here.
[xiv] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 14, here.
[xv]The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1858 (Boston: Crosby, Nicholas, and Company, 1858), 214.
[xvi] Joseph Kennedy, Preliminary Reports on the Eighth Census, 1860 (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1862), 7.
[xvii]Aggregate Amount of Each Description of Persons Within the United States of America, and the Territories Thereof (Washington: 1811), 1.
[xviii] Isaiah Thomas, The History of Printing in America (Worchester: Isaiah Thomas, Jr., 1810), 245, here.
[xix] Robert Desrochers, “‘Surprizing Deliverance’?: Slavery and Freedom, Language, and Identity in the Narrative of Briton Hammon, ‘A Negro Man,’” Genius in Bondage: Literature of the Early Black Atlantic, edited by Carretta Vincent and Gould Philip (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), 168.
[xx] Robert Desrochers, “‘Surprizing Deliverance’?: Slavery and Freedom, Language, and Identity in the Narrative of Briton Hammon, ‘A Negro Man,’” Genius in Bondage: Literature of the Early Black Atlantic, edited by Carretta Vincent and Gould Philip (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), 168.
[xxi] Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Servant to General Winslow, Of Marshfield in New England (Boston: Green & Russell, 1760), 14, here.
This document from the WallBuilders collection is a recipe for Thieves Vinegar from the late 1700s. Thieves was used in a number ways as a remedy to fight against several diseases which affected early America.
Take rue, wormwood, tansey [sic., tansy], sage, hoorhound [sic., horehound], rosemary and flowers of lavender—of each one handful—put these herbs into a quart of strong white wine vinegar.
Let it stand either by the fire or in a sand heat 4 days, then boil it in a covered jar emerged to the neck in water. Cone must be taken not to let the steam evaporate when cold. Strain it and add 1 ounce of camphor. Bottle it and cork it close.
To keep off infection wash the loins, feet and hands, and sniff it.
Below are signatures by three American astronauts, including the first American to orbit the Earth and two of the 12 people to walk on the moon!
1) Photograph of the Mercury capsule on the U.S.S. Noa (Prime) recovery ship following John Glenn’s return to Earth after his Friendship 7 mission. This photograph is signed by John Glenn (1921-2016). Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth in February 1962 and later served as US Senator from Ohio (1974-1999).
2) Unused block of 10 cent Postage Stamps depicting Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, titled ‘First Man On the Moon.’ This block of stamps was signed by Alan Bean (1932-2018), member of the Apollo 12 mission in November 1962 who walked on the moon.
3) Brochure titled “Footprints On The Moon” (c. 1970s-1980s) that was signed by James Irwin on the cover: “Stella/Love of Jesus/Jim Irwin.” Irwin (1930-1991), walked on the moon in the Apollo 15 mission in July/August 1971.
Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) achieved international fame when he became the first person to set foot on the moon in July 1969 as part of the Apollo 11 mission. At the time this historic “giant leap for mankind” was shown on television, the viewing audience was estimated to be 650 million (see video of this first step on the moon).
Below, from WallBuilders’ collection is a Certificate of Confirmation (June 13, 1943) belonging to Neil Armstrong. At the time this certificate was issued, Neil was 13 years old.
Certificate of Confirmation
This Certifies That Neil Armstrong born August 5, 1930 having been duly instructed in the doctrines of the Christian Religion as confessed, taught, and believed by the Evangelical and Reformed Church and having formally professed faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and vowed obedience to His Gospel was received into full communion with Trinity Evangelical and Reformed Church, Upper Sandusky, Ohio by the solemn rite of CONFIRMATION on the 13th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and 43.
Below is an original letter in WallBuilders’ collection, from George Washington, dated February 1, 1785. This letter was written during a short period of retirement for Washington, following the War for Independence and before the Constitutional Convention. After resigning his military commission, he settled back in Mount Vernon following an almost continuance absence of eight years.
Mount Vernon 1st Feb. 1785
You may think me very troublesome – and the reason I assign for being so (that I am of the opinion you can serve me better than any other) no good apology for the liberty I take.
My Miller (William Roberts) in now become such an intolerable serv, and when drunk so great a madman, that he never unwilling I am to part with an old servant (for he has been with me 15 years) I cannot with propriety on common justice to myself bear with him any longer.
I pray you once more, therefore, to engage & forward to me, a miller as seen as you may have it in your power; and whatever engagement you shall enter into on my behalf I will religiously fulfil. I do not stipulate for the wages at altho’ my Mill (being on an indifferent stream & not constant at work) can illy [sic] afford high wages.
My wishes to procure a servant who understands the manufacturing business perfectly – and who is sober and honest, that I may even at the expense of paying for it, have as little trouble as possible with him. If he understood the business of a Mill _____ and was obliged by his attitude to keep the Mill works in repair, so much the better. Whatever agreement you may enter into on my behalf, I pray you to have it reduced to writing, & specially declared, that there may be no misexception [sic] or disputes thereafter.
The House in which such Muller will live, is a very comfortable one, within 30 yards of the Mill (which works two pairs of stones one pair of them french Burns) – it has a small Kitchen convenient thereto and a good garden properly paled it. There is a Coopers shop within 50 yards of the Mill, with three Negro Coopers which will also be under the direction of the Miller. Whose allowance of meat, flour, & privileges of every kind, I would have ascertained, to prevent after claims. I do not object to the Mans having a family (a wife I could wish him to have) but if it was a small one, it would be preferable.
At any rate be so good as to let me hear from you, that I may know on what to depend, as it is no longer safe for me to entrust my business to the care of Willi’m Roberts. It only remains now for me to ask your sanguineness for this trouble & to assure you of the esteem with which I am
During the festivities celebrating the centennial of the creation of America through the Declaration of Independence, then president Ulysses S. Grant took time to speak to the younger generations of Americans. His message centered on the vital influence and role the Bible in American and the preservation of the liberties enjoyed by here citizens.
One of the ways Grant’s message got disseminated was through cards such as the example below from the WallBuilders’ Library. The body of the card reads:
Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your heats, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look for our guide in the future. “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Listen to David Barton and Audrea Decker from the Pro-Family Legislative Network discuss this artifact:
Below is an interesting item from WallBuilders’ collection — the first federal budget of the United States, dated July 9, 1789. This budget takes up only about 1/2 page of the newspaper it’s printed in, The Gazette of the United States (July 18, 1789).
Here’s the complete front page, the budget is on the top right.
The 1789 inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States under the Constitution was a very important event. It established several precedents for inaugurations that have withstood the test of time, including many religious activities. Congress had set up a basic procedure for the inauguration but there were some of the details that Washington added in himself during this historic event — such as the phrase “so help me God” after the oath and the practice of giving an inauguration address. Below, from WallBuilders’ collection, is a May 3, 1789 excerpt of an eyewitness account of the inauguration that was printed in the newspaper, Gazette of the United States (May 9-May 13, 1789).
Philadelphia, May 8.
Extract of a letter from New-York, May 3.
“I was extremely anxious to arrive here, in order to be present at the meeting of the President and the two Houses. That event, however, did not take place til Thursday last, when The President was qualified was qualified in the open gallery of the Congress House, in the sight of many thousand people. The scene was solemn and awful, beyond description. It would seem extraordinary, that the administration of an oath, a ceremony so very common and familiar, should, in so great a degree excite the public curiosity. But the circumstances of his election—the impression of his past services—the concourse of spectators—the devout fervency with which he repeated the oath—and the reverential manner in which he bowed down and kissed the sacred volume—all these conspired to render it one of the most august and interesting spectacle ever exhibited on this globe. It seemed, from the number of witnesses, to be a solemn appeal to Heaven and earth at once, Upon the subject of this great and good Man, I may, ‘perhaps, be an enthusiast; but I confess, that I was under an awful and religious persuasion, that the gracious Ruler of the universe was looking down at that moment with peculiar complacency on an act, which to a part of his creatures was so very important. Under this impression, when the Chancellor pronounced, in a very feeble manner, “Long live George Washington,” my sensibility was wound up to such a pitch, that I could do no more than wave my hat with the rest, without the power of joining in the repeated acclamations which rent the air.”
*Originally Published: Nov. 18, 2018
American liberty is being eroded, and our Biblical foundation is under constant attack. Here at WallBuilders, we provide education, training, and resources to equip people to know and defend the truth to protect our freedom.
American liberty is being eroded, and our Biblical foundation is under constant attack. Here at WallBuilders, we provide education, training, and resources to equip people to know and defend the truth to protect our freedom.