Welcome to the American History and Ancestry Blog!

Gods and Generals (2003)

I’d like to take the time to welcome all my new readers (and some friends from elsewhere who know my work) to this new project blog.  Let me begin by explaining a little about me, the concept of this blog, and why I felt the urge to create it.

I was raised with a keen awareness of the value of the past.  Not everyone gets it; in fact it has been rare I’ve come across a few other black sheep like myself with a deep sense of respect for history.  At the same time I find it nearly impossible to ignore and have always found it bizarre that so many people can continue on with their lives without a desire to know even personal details–like learning more about their own grandparents.

I was born and raised just a handful of miles from where General Sullivan started his long (and doomed) campaign north against the native Iroquois Confederacy and the British; in the town where I was raised, there lived a Declaration of Independence signer and on one day every year, ‘Heritage Day’, we celebrate the fact that where we live, over 200 years ago, was one of only three locations where the Declaration of Independence was publicly read.  A few miles west of me, the Liberty Bell was carried and hidden during the British occupation of Philadelphia.

And the county in which I lived raised 9 companies to fight in the continental line, and one of those individuals is my direct ancestor.  Of those individuals raised to fight in the militia, almost all my direct ancestors were called to duty (though not all saw action).  My childhood home rested on what was once Leni-Lenape territory; land that was, in a large sense, stolen from them by the family of William Penn.  The area, called the Forks of the Delaware, was where the Treaty of Easton was signed, and where during the 1760′s, dozens of settlers were forced to flee their land, their homes, because of raids by the natives–some were killed.  General La Fayette, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin were among those who visited the town and spent time in its local establishments.

I raise these points because I want to be clear that not only do I have an keen interest in the American Revolution, but I have practically grown up around symbols and places directly related to it.  Anyone with a sliver of situational awareness, who comes into my hometown, is immediately aware of its rich history.  Even the very flag of our town is modeled after the stars and stripes (13 of each).

In brief, and bio aside, this blog is a representation of my interests in the period from the time of William Penn to the period of reconstruction following the Civil War.  Occasionally, I will challenge the media or news pundits (on both sides) and also correct various misuses of these periods for political agendas.  I may also just write on a topic that I find particularly interesting or review books related to these periods.  Therefore the views on this blog are my own and I, rightly, must take full responsibility for them (as freedom of speech does not ipso facto mean we are relieved of such responsibility–as many people today mistakenly seem to believe).

Oh, one more thing!  This is, officially, the first post on this blog.  While I encourage everyone to read the older content (imported from my other WordPress blog), from here on out, all new posts will only be found on this site.


Discuss the past

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