As you recover from Independence Day merriment

Gaze upon the daguerreotypes of those who fought in the Revolution to secure that Independence.

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6 thoughts on “As you recover from Independence Day merriment

  1. Hello, CI,

    The Daguerrotypes were fascinating and intriguing, although I must admit I have no knowledge of any of the gentlemen depicted, and know nothing of the role any might have played in The American Revolution. Nevertheless, the staunch, stern character revealed in the pictures, which might seem grim and forbidding to the selfish infantile, militantly frivolous society we have become, looks oddly attractive to me.

    The last part of this topic sentence says so much:

    “The adoption of the Declaration of Independence—237 years ago today—can sometimes feel like an event not just from another time, but from another world. As depicted in John Trumbull’s now-iconic 19th-century painting of the founding fathers in Philadelphia, collectively creating the framework for the nation’s revolutionary political system, such an act of open rebellion by prominent, wealthy and established figures is literally inconceivable to most living Americans.”

    Why are the bravely audacious deeds of the Founding Fathers “inconceivable” to people of means and standing in their communities today?

    Because, as I indicated above, we have become a nation of childish, shallow, self-indulgent people filled with free-floating hostility, neurotic discontent, and resentment that all we desire is not handed to us on a silver platter. We have reduced ourselves to this sorry state precisely because with rare exceptions we have lost all sense of connection to the concept of living according to PRINCIPLE — a concept that would have to mean an acknowledgement of “Something” greater and more significant than one's little self. Can't have that in this post-Freudian era, can we?

    Do you know who the fellow in the first picture might be? He may have a Ben Franklin hairstyle, but I don't think he is Ben Franklin. Ben, bless him! was never that good looking.

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  2. I find distinct agreement with what you wrote, especially the following: “we have become a nation of childish, shallow, self-indulgent people filled with free-floating hostility, neurotic discontent, and resentment that all we desire is not handed to us on a silver platter.”

    I rather like the fact that we don't know these gentlemen depicted in the Daguerrotypes. To the extent we receive any education in history at all, it's typically of the bumper-sticker, pass the test variety, with a smattering of pop culture appropriation for partisan image, variety. We should learn more about guys like these, in a fundamental aspect, they won the fight for Liberty more than the hero's we're instructed to look up to.

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  3. “I rather like the fact that we don't know these gentlemen depicted in the Daguerrotypes. To the extent we receive any education in history at all, it's typically of the bumper-sticker, pass the test variety, with a smattering of pop culture appropriation for partisan image, variety. We should learn more about guys like these, in a fundamental aspect, they won the fight for Liberty more than the hero's we're instructed to look up to.”

    Interesting. You seem to have a penchant for disagreement — even with yourself. Your first and third sentences are distinctly at odds, while your second supports the contention with which you said you disagreed.

    When I went to school — admittedly a lifetime ago — I assure you we were required to read several books on history in addition to our basic text, which by today's standards was both comprehensive and authoritative.

    If partisan shibboleths are all that's left of education in history today, it appears they must be heavily biased in favor of leftist initiatives and collectivist pipe dreams.

    We must be careful of trying to deal too much with myriad specifics lest we lose sight of The Big Picture.

    I think, however, that a close study of the lives cited of these obscure survivors of the American Revolution through whatever might be left of their correspondence, their work record, the properties they owned, the civic and municipal projects in which they participated, and possibly their diaries, etc. would make a potentially valuable contribution to serious scholarship in American History. I'm too old even to think of taking on such a project, but perhaps you are not?

    I do wonder, however, if we could find anyone to read the book assuming it could be produced? The growing illiteracy and aforementioned shallowness, perversity, and lack of any sense of purpose beyond the immediate gratification of basic sensual drives does tend to discourage the publishing industry from printing anything other than “pap for the masses,” and even there television and the computer most certainly tend to discourage reading — even for pleasure — these days.

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  4. I see the conflict of my words, thanks for pointing it out. What I meant, was that I like that the subject matter is of obscure Patriots, because of the shallow education most of us receive formally. I enjoy learning about the unsung heroes, that don't get marathons of documentaries of the History Channel.

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  5. Thanks. With your kind permission. I would visit you again in the near future I've appreciated your thoughtful, often-challenging approach at other blogs for long time.

    If we are ever to move past the deplorable condition we're in politically and economically now, we certainly need to dig deeper and learn much more. Merely airing our grievances and well-practiced denunciations of those whose views we don't like is frankly a waste of time.

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