This hasn’t been America’s finest week.
FWIW, I did run across some interesting items relating to early America over the past few days, some of which I’d planned on posting earlier. Other than that, I’ve got nothing, other than to commend some wisdom from a long time ago:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.…So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:1-3, 13 (ESV)
Here are the links.
- Archaeologists have identified the site of the 1779 Battle of Beaufort/Port Royal in South Carolina. There’s some good news.
- The National Park Service has acquired the site of Werowocomoco, where Powhatan held court in the seventeenth century.
- Looks like the Continental soldier look is back in.
- If you were going to pick seven sites every American history buff should visit, which would they be? Here’s one list.
- Historians of religion are weighing in on Eric Metaxas’s new book If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty. Metaxas claims that colonial America was a haven of religious freedom. As John Fea explains, that was only true for certain colonies. Proselytizing for the wrong church in Massachusetts or Virginia could’ve gotten you flogged…or worse.
- Meanwhile, Robert Tracy McKenzie finds Metaxas guilty of misreading John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” remark. Like a lot of people, Metaxas takes the quote as a statement of proto-Amrerican exceptionalism. It was actually a warning, reminding the Puritans that if their “errand into the wilderness” failed, the whole world would see their downfall. “Rather than puffing up the Puritans with claims of a divine mission,” McKenzie writes, “Winthrop intended his allusion to ‘a city upon a hill’ to send a chill down their spines.”
- A Thomas Jefferson letter dating from the end of the War of 1812 turned up in an attic. It can be yours for $325,000.