Category: The Historical Muse

Thoughts on history and the historical profession. Clio is the muse of history–this category title is a play on that concept.

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 »

Obama's Historical Knowledge

I’ve linked to an article by Victor Davis Hanson previously. I have another one for you today. Hanson nails our president on his lack of historical knowledge and his penchant for fabricating “facts” for political expedience. He evaluates a number of statements Obama has made, including comments in his much-heralded address to the Muslim world last week. Read and learn.

The Reagan Solution

New Reagan Statue in the Capitol Rotunda Nancy Reagan came to Washington, DC, last week to participate in the unveiling of a statue of President Reagan, which will stand in the Capitol Rotunda. I am pleased that Reagan is getting this type of recognition. It’s a little discordant, though, to see Nancy Pelosi beaming at Mrs. Reagan’s side. If it were up to the Speaker of the House, I’m sure there would have been no statue. Pelosi disagrees with everything… Read more »

A Reagan D-Day

Reagan at Point du Hoc 1984 Last Saturday was the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The most memorable anniversary of that occasion, however, took place in 1984 as President Ronald Reagan delivered two outstanding speeches in commemoration of the sacrifices the Allied troops made that day. Reagan’s first speech was at the cliffs of Point du Hoc, where a specialized Ranger battalion scaled the cliffs to take out the German guns. This was a key to victory, since those guns were… 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 »