QUOTE: “. . . he is still your brother, and mine, in form and color accepted and approved by his Father, and yours, and mine, and bears equally with us the proudest inheritance of our race—the image of our Maker. Hold him then to be a Man.”William Seward

Old white men. The bane of revisionist historians’ existences. Yet take a look into the eyes of William Seward. He confessed to doing nothing without determining how it might affect his political career.We can take him at his word, I suppose, but I prefer to dig beneath his veneer of cynicism. William’s wealthy father owned…

Bravery=Freedom

What would you do if you saw a person you knew as an acquaintance being taken away by two strange men? John Price escaped from slavery in 1856 with few skills and in sorry health. When the residents of the utopian Christian town of Oberlin, Ohio took him in, they found Price odd jobs and…

Taken Prisoner

A Confederate officer stood alone at a crossroad goading his horse to move on in the aftermath of the Union retreat at BULL RUN. Sensing danger he glanced over his shoulder. A Yankee raced over the field tramping the freshly cut hay. As the Yankee drew closer he struggled to pull something from behind his…

What Would Cyrano de Bergerac Say?

Our son broke his iPhone screen the other day. He also failed his driver’s test so we didn’t have the heart to deny him a trip to the mall (an hour’s drive away) to visit the Apple store. For about 10 minutes we stood around at by far the busiest place in the mall wondering…

Israeli Cowboys!

LINK: Israeli cowboys live frontier life on Syria’s doorstep

Death and Life in a Hospital

I wonder if many people still name their children after the great men and women of the past or have modern historians  poisoned that well too. I named my daughter after Theodore Roosevelt not so much for his policies (some of which I disagree with) but in honor of his zest for life and fearlessness…

All Men Having Power Ought to be Mistrusted

Glade by the Sea by Frederick Ballard Williams “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it…

Poet, Novelist, Diplomat & Friend: Henry van Dyke

Once upon a time there lived on a Saratoga hillside surrounded by lakes a tragic little family of wealth and privilege. Spencer and Katrina Trask lost every child they ever produced, but gathered countless friends, many of whom were artists and poets drawn to the couple’s generosity and toughness in the face of Job-like losses,…