Founding Fathers


How Did the Colonists React to the Stamp Act

How Did the Colonists React to the Stamp Act?

How did the colonists react to the Stamp Act? When Patrick Henry presented a series of resolves against the Stamp Act—the first direct tax on the American colonies—in the Virginia House of Burgesses in May 1765, he aimed to defend and preserve the traditional rights of Englishmen. Henry’s verbal assault…

Alexander Hamilton Gay

Was Alexander Hamilton Gay?

Myth: Alexander Hamilton Was Gay One often gets the impression that myths like this are perpetrated to justify modern moral values. Hamilton certainly had a colorful career and death, but this accusation is based on amateur psychoanalysis and extremely circumstantial evidence.  If Hamilton was gay, he certainly did a fine…

George Washington Facts

Myth: George Washington had an affair with his neighbor’s wife

Myth: Washington had an affair with his neighbor’s wife! This myth has been a rumor since the publication of a suspicious letter in the New York Herald in 1877. The contents of the letter seemed to indicate that Washington and Sally Fairfax, the beautiful, intelligent, graceful, and potentially flirtatious wife…

Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson

Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: Myths and Facts

Myth: Thomas Jefferson kept a concubine slave and fathered children with her! In 1802, James T. Callender published an editorial in the Richmond Recorder that claimed President Thomas Jefferson had fathered a child with Sally Hemings, one of his own slaves. The story gained traction in the Federalist press (Jefferson…

Lies My Teacher Told Me Summary

Fact Check: Benjamin Franklin Had Dozens of Illegitimate Children

Myth: Benjamin Franklin had thirteen to eighty illegitimate children! This myth has been around for a long while, and is even, apparently, perpetuated by tour guides in Philadelphia. In my experience as a professor lecturing students, the image of the balding, portly Franklin as the consummate ladies man incites giggles…

African American Struggles

The Founding Fathers and Slavery

African American Struggles. In the South, of course, slavery was a fact of life. The overwhelming majority of black people (about 95 percent) lived in the South. But Southerners, particularly Virginians, were vexed by the institution. Washington, Jefferson, and Madison cursed slavery, and George Mason called the slave trade the “nefarious…

Edmund Randolph History of Virginia

Edmund Randolph of Virginia

Edmund Jennings Randolph (August 10, 1753 – September 12, 1813) was an American attorney and politician. He was the seventh Governor of Virginia, and as a delegate from Virginia, attended the Constitutional Convention, helping to create a national constitution. He was the second Secretary of State, and the first United…

America Is Not a Democracy

America Is Not a Democracy: The Argument

America Is Not a Democracy. Myth: The Founding generation created a democracy From a technical standpoint, America is not a democracy and was never intended to be a democracy. The United States is a republic, and a great number in the Founding generation, if not the majority, classified themselves as…

Who was Involved in the Korean War

Who Was Involved In the Korean War?

Who was involved in the Korean War, the U.S. Congress or the United Nations? In the Korean War (1950–1953), Communist North Korea—with Stalin’s knowledge and support, we now know—invaded the non-Communist South. Despite a public statement by Secretary of State Dean Acheson in January 1950 that had placed Korea outside…

Claudette Colvin Quotes

“Separate But Equal”: The 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson Case

Historical overviews of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s inevitably focus on certain well-known events: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott; the forced integration of Little Rock’s Central High School; the desegregation drive in Birmingham in 1963; and other important episodes. This chapter will focus instead…

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