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Showing posts with the label Cultural Christian Influence

Remembering Founding Father Dr. Joseph Warren

'The mistress we court is LIBERTY; and it is better to die than not to obtain her.' ~Joseph Warren to Samuel Adams, June 15, 1775 I recently read Dr. Joseph Warren's biography  Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution's Lost Hero   written by  Christian Di Spigna  and was impressed with the facts presented in his book. I learned a great deal and recommend others read it as well. It's balanced and presents a thoroughly researched account of one of our leading founders few have heard about. I also viewed the Youtube video featured below and the speaker, Vern Frykholm,   does an excellent presentation of summing up the character and life of Dr. Warren, who has become one of my favorite heroes living during the events leading up to our separation from Great Britain. However,  there is more to the story as Dr. Warren's body was mutilated by the British because they hated and feared him due to the influence he had over the col

Patriotic Ladies: 'Republican Mothers'

James Peale , The Artist and His Family, (1795) (Source:  Republican motherhood - Wikipedia ) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ While reading biographies of Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams, who were not only peers, but also close friends during the War for Independence, I often find the term "Republican Motherhood" used to describe them and other ladies of that time who cherished their role as homemakers, but also did what they could to promote liberty. These founding ladies weren't "feminists," but they were intelligent and helpful to their husbands and the other men leading the charge for our independence from Great Britain. They also believed education for both sexes would be instrumental for a free society.  Wikipedia tells us: "Republican Motherhood" is an 18th-century term for an attitude toward women's roles present in the emerging United States before, during, and after the American Revolution . It centered on the belief that the patriots' d

The Early Life of Patrick Henry

 Encyclopedia Virginia gives us a snapshop into the life of Virginia Statesman and great orator Patrick Henry. Let's take a look at his formative years: Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736, at Studley plantation in Hanover County. His father, John Henry, was a planter, mapmaker, and justice of the peace who was educated at Kings College, Aberdeen; his mother, Sarah Winston Syme Henry, was a former widow from a prominent family. Henry was the second of their nine children. He was educated by his father and by his uncle the Reverend Patrick Henry, rector of the Hanover parish , Saint Paul’s. Though Henry held true to his Anglican beliefs throughout his life (becoming an Episcopalian after the American Revolution), as a youth he regularly accompanied his mother to sermons given by the evangelical Presbyterian Samuel Davies , whose oratorical example had a strong influence on Henry. Here we have a hint of the Christian foundation that guided Mr. Henry throughout his amazing life,

Patriotic Betty Washington Lewis

George Washington's Mount Vernon has a biography of Betty Washington Lewis which tells us something of her character and that of the Washington children; they were a hard-working, moral. loyal and patriotic family.  Please read Betty's biography here . I've also posted some select excerpts below.   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Betty Washington Lewis was more than just the only sister of George Washington to survive to adulthood; she was also a patriot. Lewis and her husband, Fielding, contributed a considerable amount of their personal wealth and time toward the American Revolution. Their devotion and loyalty to the wartime effort and to its leader, George Washington, inadvertently led them to financial hardship. "Born on June 20, 1733, Betty Washington was the second child and only surviving daughter of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington . Christened Elizabeth, Betty was most likely named after her mother’s beloved half-sister, Elizabeth Johnson Bonhum. Along

Examining the Religious Habits of the Washington Family

 What were the religious practices of George and Martha Washington, you might ask? Let's take a look and see if their Christian faith played an important part of their lives. Sampler made by Martha Parke Custis (Martha Washington’s second granddaughter) in 1784 at age seven. Her rendering of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments can be seen as lessons in sewing, reading, writing, and also as instruction in the Christian faith.  Image Source:  George Washington's Mount Vernon The website  George Washington's Mount Vernon   reports   that  " Martha Washington was a devout Christian, her granddaughter Eleanor 'Nelly' Parke Custis Lewis noted that she 'never omitted her private devotions, or her public duties…'" and goes on to say "Mrs. Washington regularly retired to her room between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning 'for an hour of meditation reading & prayer and that hour no one was ever allowed to interfere with.' She and Ne

General Henry Knox - 'a supporter of Christian institutions' and the propogation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

While learning about the patriotic lady Lucy Knox, I was prompted to look into the character and religious beliefs of her husband, General Henry Knox. I found an excellent resource at Massachusetts Genealogy Trails . They have an excerpt of General Knox's biography from the book "Military Journal of the American Revolution": By James Thacher; M. D., Surgeon in the American Revolutionary Army; Publ. 1862; Pgs. 477-486 (Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack) posted online. Let's examine the facts from this credible source and decide for ourselves if he had a Christian worldview...(Emphases in bold are mine.) SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF GENERAL KNOX. Among those of our countrymen, who most zealously engaged in the cause of liberty, few sustained a rank more deservedly conspicuous than General Knox. He was one of those heroes, of whom it may be truly said, that he lived for his country. The ardor of his youth and the vigor of his manhood were devoted to acquiring its liberty and e

Choosing Love and Liberty: Lucy Knox

Lucy Flucker Knox (August 2, 1756 – June 20, 1824)  "Lucy hailed from the Flucker family, a wealthy Massachusetts family with deep loyalty to King George III . The family patriarch was Thomas Flucker, Secretary of Massachusetts, and Lucy’s mother was Hannah Waldo, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. The land her family owned and held trading rights to eventually became Maine. Lucy grew up in New England wealth and extravagance with her younger sister, Hannah, and her older brother, Thomas (both named after their parents). "However, Lucy’s unique story begins the moment she met her future husband. While out-and-about in Boston, Lucy noticed a uniformed man mounted on horseback riding around Boston Common. She was immediately enchanted by him and soon learned his name: Henry Knox. Lucy discovered Henry ran a small bookshop across from Williams Court in Cornhill, a popular location for British officers. An avid reader herself, Lucy frequented the bookshop. Henry also became quit

John Adams shares thoughts about his cousin Samuel...

 “Mr. Adams was born and tempered a wedge of steel, to split the knot of lignum vitæ which tied North America to Great Britain. Blunderheaded as were the British ministry, they had sagacity enough to discriminate from all others, for inexorable vengeance, the two men the most to be dreaded by them, Samuel Adams and John Hancock; and had not James Otis been then dead, or worse than dead, his name would have been at the head of The Triumvirate. “James Otis, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, were the three most essential characters; and Great Britain knew it, though America does not. Great and important and excellent characters, aroused and excited by these, arose in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, South Carolina, and in all the other States; but these three were the first movers, the most constant, steady, persevering springs, agents, and most disinterested sufferers and firmest pillars of the whole Revolution. “I shall not attempt even to draw the outlines of the biography of Mr. Samuel

George Washington - 1st President of the United States (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)

  George Washington - The White House Was Christianity an influence in the life of our first president? Please examine the facts and decide for yourself.  "There was a long tradition of service to the church in the Washington family. George Washington’s great-great-grandfather, Lawrence Washington, was an Anglican minister in England, while his great-grandfather, John Washington, and his father, Augustine Washington, were vestrymen for their parishes in Virginia. Both John Washington and his son, Lawrence Washington (who was George Washington’s grandfather) left statements of their belief in the basic tenets of the Christian faith in their wills. "In addition, within their home, George Washington’s parents had both a Bible and several theological books, which are believed to have been used in educating their children. His mother, Mary Ball Washington , was remembered by her grandchildren as a devout woman, who liked to visit a quiet spot outside, where she instructed the yo

Mercy Otis Warren: 'published poet, political playwright and satirist during the age of the American Revolution'

"Born on September 14, 1728 in Barnstable, Massachusetts, Warren was the third of thirteen children of James Otis and Mary Allyne Otis. Her exposure to politics began early; her father was an attorney who was elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1745. Like most girls at the time, Warren had no formal education; hers came from sitting in on her brother’s lessons, where she took a particular interest in history and politics. She also made extensive use of her uncle’s large book collection to educate herself. "In 1754, she wed the politically active James Warren, a classmate of her brother’s at Harvard, who encouraged her to pursue writing. The couple had five sons. After James Warren’s election to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1766, the Warrens began hosting leading citizens in their Plymouth home, particularly those opposed to British policies. In fact, Warren herself would maintain a lifelong, though at times tumultuous, friendship with John Adams, which included ex

'Unlikely Friends: The Remarkable Story of George Whitefield and Benjamin Franklin'

At Leben (A Journal of Reformation Life) , Aaron Sharp writes: "At first glance, the friendship that developed between Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield would seem improbable at best and more likely a work of ironic historical fiction. Yet, the bond that developed between two of the eighteenth century’s most colorful figures was one that was genuine, and probably not as conflicted as one might initially assume. "Americans today are very familiar with the image of Franklin and his importance to the founding of the United States. As an author, publisher, thinker, politician, inventor, and statesman, Franklin’s contributions to American life, culture, and thinking are all but impossible to calculate. De-spite the fact that Franklin’s parents had in his words, 'brought me through my childhood piously in the Dissenting way,' he would also recall that, 'I was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in the differen

Dr. Barry Waugh Reviews 'Benjamin Franklin, Cultural Protestant' by D.G. Hart:

"Biographies of American historical personalities often prove disappointing for Christians anticipating serious consideration of the subject’s theological commitments within the religious environment of the era. For the Founding Fathers this can be particularly frustrating because the eighteenth century was decidedly religious whether Christian based, or a belief system that is a product of Enlightenment rationalism such as deism. The American colonial era extending to the end of the century proved crucial for the continued battle between God’s authoritative revelation of His will in the Bible and autonomous reason developing religious systems from natural revelation. Reason is good and necessary for understanding, but Christians must have reason captive to the Word of God. D. G. Hart shows in Benjamin Franklin, Cultural Protestant, Oxford, 2021, that in Franklin’s case the revelation based Puritan theology of his youth informed his religious commitment to personal and public good