Category: American Character

Individuals who have exhibited Biblical character qualities and have had a positive impact on American history.

Pride Goes Before . . . What Was That Again?

I’m grateful for the example of Calvin Coolidge. Yes, you read that correctly. A man who is ridiculed by all the “right” people actually was one of the most faithful to the Constitution. And he also realized the danger of holding political power. He declined to run again for the presidency in 1928. His reason? Read this carefully and appreciate what he is saying: It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are… Read more »

American Character: Noah Webster

The name “Webster” sounds familiar to most people. They think for a minute and then say, “Oh, yeah, he’s the dictionary guy, right?” Right. But he’s more than that. Noah Webster is a prime example of someone who exhibits the character trait of diligence. A native of Connecticut  and descendant of Pilgrim governor William Bradford, Webster was raised in the Congregational church, graduated from Yale, and even was awarded a master’s degree—unusual for the time. In 1783, he got the nation’s… Read more »

American Character: George Whitefield

George Whitefield Preaching He was a sensation. He was not even strictly an American, but a traveling evangelist from Britain. Yet America was on his heart. When George Whitefield arrived in America in 1740, he started in Georgia and traveled up the coast, preaching in all the colonies. The result was the climax of what we call the First Great Awakening. Whitefield’s voice boomed, and he dramatized his sermons. Thousands traced their conversion to his messages. Ben Franklin became his… Read more »

American Character: Thomas Hooker

Thomas Hooker: Founder of CT I like pointing out certain figures in Amerian history that few people can recall. It’s important to revive our collective memory. One of those individuals is Thomas Hooker. Hooker was a Cambridge-educated Puritan who quickly developed into a very talented preacher. He took a pastorate in a town in England that was notorious for its many taverns and boisterous citizens. He is credited with restoring order to that town by his words and his presence…. Read more »

American Character: John Eliot

Another early Puritan leader was John Eliot, who developed a heart for bringing the Gospel to the natives. Critics today would say he was infringing on their native religion and flexing the muscles of cultural superiority. That’s not how Eliot saw it. What he perceived was a people worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. They needed to know the One who forgives sins and brings new life. One account of Eliot’s life states: Eliot became inspired with the idea of… Read more »

American Character: John Winthrop

John Winthrop, leader of the Puritan migration to Massachusetts, and that colony’s first governor, sometimes gets a bum rap from historians. Even one of my favorite historians, Paul Johnson, considers him too severe. A good corrective on that, however, is a fairly recent biography by Francis Bremer, John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father. Bremer shows rather conclusively, I think, that Winthrop was a man of great moderation fueled by his Christian faith. Winthrop is known, if at all, primarily for… Read more »

American Character: Edward Winslow

There probably aren’t too many Americans who know the name Edward Winslow. He was one of the Pilgrims, a trusted friend and helper for William Bradford for many years. As with Bradford, Winslow’s Christian faith led him to depart England for Holland, and then on to the New World. Winslow suffered in the same way Bradford did at first in the new colony of Plymouth. The first winter was severe, and half the company died. One of those was Winslow’s… Read more »