E Pluribus Unum

By the 1873 Treaty of Paris, the boundaries of the new nation had been set.  The Constitution of four years later coincided with the end of a serious post-Revolutionary economic depression; a vigorous economic and political life characterized the decade.  Equally energetic, settlers moved over the plains and prairies and rolling foothills to the Rockies … Continue reading

Marbury Vs Madison 1803

“A law repugnant to the Constitution is void” In this historic fundamental decision, the U.S. Supreme Court applied the emergent doctrine of judicial review to a Congressional statute for the first time. John Marshall (1755–1835), Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court opined for the unanimous court of five justices that the section of … Continue reading

Happiness Depends Much On The Modes Of Government

Mercy Warren,  A Columbian Patriot 1788 It wasn’t until 1930 that family papers proved that the playwright, historian (three volumes on the War of Independence with intimate comments on the important personages of the day), and Grumbletonian Mercy Otis Warren (1728–1814) was a “Columbian Patriot,’ who had argued heatedly against ratification of the Constitution, the … Continue reading

Edgar Allan Poe

Creator of Literary Genres There are many different and varied bookstores around the country today that are filled with all types and kinds of books written and dedicated to the edgy genres of fantasy, horror, science-fiction, detective stories, historical novels, and the like. The creator of these off-center and hugely popular genres lived an off-beat … Continue reading

Supreme Court Justice John Marshall

Supreme Interpreter of the Constitution It was the political trial of the young century. In the Richmond, Virginia, federal circuit court room in 1807, Aaron Burr, President Thomas Jefferson’s former vice president, and killer, in a duel, of former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, was on trial for treason. Jefferson alleged Burr had conspired to detach … Continue reading

The Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery

Expedition for the Ages It was a rough slog for the 33 elite frontier soldiers, trekking across 2,572 miles of Missouri River wilderness. Sometimes the men had to haul their 55-foot keelboat and two pirogues, or riverboats, loaded with gear, across shallow water covering sand bars or out into the strong river currents. Thick clouds … Continue reading