Page 1 of 5

The Founding Of The United States

Posted: February 10th, 2016, 7:17 pm
by Gary Oak
I don't know much about the American constitution but all I do know about it is was created by some amazingly smart patriots. I also believe that any country that adopts a constitution like the American constitution will naturally gravitate to being a success and I am hoping that some American posters can help educate me on this topic. I will have to buy a book on the American constitution.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 10th, 2016, 7:23 pm
by Blue Frost
The constitution is a guideline, and authority of the land, but people such as Obama are destroying it by working around it in Illegal ways, and calling it old, and out of date with the times.
The core constitution is there to keep people like him from being what he is, but since most politicians are bought off they let him run wild.
It's time for a revolution again, we need to clean out the criminals running things. Elitist being above the law is unacceptable on what ever side they are on.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 11th, 2016, 4:07 pm
by Twilight turtle
Frosty, what about this thing where there's doubt about where Obama was born. Something in the constitution about a president has to be US born. If he isn't, what he's been doing is all illegal in more than one way then.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 11th, 2016, 4:11 pm
by Blue Frost
More proof is out he isn't American, but they wont do anything because the other leaders are busy robbing America blind.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 11th, 2016, 8:11 pm
by Gary Oak
One of the people who created the American constitution said " those who would give up their freedom and liberty for safety do now deserve freedom and liberty. Christie said that the job of the number one job of the president is to make Americans safe. Shouldn't he have said to keep America free ? IWasn't there another one of the people who said that for this constitution to work the nation needs a moral and educated populace ? Maybe this is why Obama is so adamant about letting immoral conniving sneaks into the country. Did another of the people who created the American constitution say that those who will take our freedoms will try to take Americans guns away ? Japan and many other nations did this. I do believe that one of the very important reasons that Japan was a success after WW2 is that the Americans helped create for Japan an American style constitution. Also of course Japan got to keep a lot of the gold that it had stolen during WW2 if it agred to secretly pay off the Americans billions of $$$ [ for black ops ] and to be an American ally against communism.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 11th, 2016, 8:15 pm
by Blue Frost
Keeping America safe is a number one job, but not at the expense of freedoms. The Patriot act, The NSA spying, and Unreasonable search is out of line.
Protecting the constitution, and it's core ideas should be on top the to do list also, they take an oath for that first day. How many have tried i wonder.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 11th, 2016, 9:08 pm
by Gary Oak
Has any of the previous presidents ever gotten this so important oath wrong ? Doesn't it mean that if he doesn't say it correctly that he hasn't sworn the oath at all ? Both times he blew it. I don't belive that it was the tiniest bit accidental.

President Obama Messes Up Both His 2009 and 2013 Oath of Office... Is this On Purpose?

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 15th, 2016, 9:28 am
by Gary Oak
I believe that I heard once that the one of the people who created the American constitution said something along the lines that this constitution will only work if the average morality of the people is high enough. Do you know if any of them said this ?

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 15th, 2016, 11:34 am
by Blue Frost
Gary Oak wrote:Has any of the previous presidents ever gotten this so important oath wrong ? Doesn't it mean that if he doesn't say it correctly that he hasn't sworn the oath at all ? Both times he blew it. I don't belive that it was the tiniest bit accidental.

President Obama Messes Up Both His 2009 and 2013 Oath of Office... Is this On Purpose?

It's not a teleprompter, and he is not that bright unless someone is telling him what to say.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 15th, 2016, 11:36 am
by Blue Frost
Gary Oak wrote:I believe that I heard once that the one of the people who created the American constitution said something along the lines that this constitution will only work if the average morality of the people is high enough. Do you know if any of them said this ?
" Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 15th, 2016, 11:54 pm
by Gary Oak
I do believe that Obama knows this and one of the tactics that Obama and his handlers are using to try and destroy America is to flood as many conniving sneaks in as possible.

Re: The American Constitution

Posted: February 15th, 2016, 11:58 pm
by Blue Frost
I believe he killed that court justice just so he can help destroy it.
He will be surprised I think if he pushes a bit far like cutting out the second amendment. A lot are already getting ready for it, and some are law enforcement.

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: February 22nd, 2016, 3:17 pm
by Gary Oak
I changed the name of this thread to the title of the very interesting book that I am currently reading. I have finished the part on the American constitution, this book starts with the Revolutionary war which I didn't know much about. Living next to the USA I do believe that I should have at least a good basic knowledge of American history. I am finding it interesting too. Naturally it is related to Canadian history.

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: February 22nd, 2016, 3:18 pm
by Gary Oak
Thanks for answering this question.
Blue Frost wrote:
Gary Oak wrote:I believe that I heard once that the one of the people who created the American constitution said something along the lines that this constitution will only work if the average morality of the people is high enough. Do you know if any of them said this ?
" Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: February 22nd, 2016, 4:21 pm
by Blue Frost
I'm not as much up on the history as i used to be, i have forgotten most the last few years since I had nobody to discuss it with.
I have many favorite characters, one that might surprise many is Benedict Arnold, he was brilliant up till he turned sides.
John Burgoyne, a British General also, he was so full of himself.

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: March 9th, 2016, 9:10 pm
by Gary Oak
I emailed a couple of American friends and one of them just sent me this answering my question. It was basically all of them saying it in different ways. America better not let in a critical mass of immoral people or even it's constitution won't be able to save America.

Quotes of the Founding Fathers
The Importance of a Moral Society

John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen stating, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our second President.

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said. "[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary said, "[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence."

Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution. "[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."

Fisher Ames author of the final wording for the First Amendment wrote, "[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind."

John Jay, Original Chief-Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court , "The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts."

James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice, "Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other."

Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary stated, "The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."

Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, "Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet."

George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation, " Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence "[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

"Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof." Continental Congress, 1778

Note that the above quotes are but a small sample of hundreds of quotes the Founding Fathers made in regards to the importance of a religious and moral people in a successful Republican Democracy.

In our young nation, the Bible was used as a text book for the purpose of teaching children moral principles to live by. As time went on, the Bible was gradually replaced by other text books such as Noah Webster's Primer. Webster's Primer taught children to spell but was also filled with moral Bible verses. In the front of his Primer was his picture with the inscription, "Who taught millions to read but not one to sin."

This is the exact opposite of the school curriculum today. The courts in this country have revised the First Amendment, thus erecting a wall of atheism around every public school in America, where in God is not allowed to be mentioned. This is not the same wall that Thomas Jefferson envisioned.

Has the School Prayer issue affected other Freedoms?

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: March 9th, 2016, 9:13 pm
by Blue Frost
The Socialist Liberals of today are ripping the constitution up any chance they get, and along with the corruptness being aloud it's being done freely by Republicans.

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: March 11th, 2016, 1:50 pm
by Gary Oak
It isn't mentioned but I believe that it is true that these great minds were referring to the Christian bible and definitely not the quran when referring to religion in the above quotes.

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: March 11th, 2016, 2:21 pm
by Blue Frost
No quran, yeah not even thought of, but Obama, and his minions would like you to believe is was all about the quran, and not the constitution at all.

Re: The Founding Of The United States

Posted: March 21st, 2016, 3:28 pm
by Gary Oak
Here is a bit of interesting info on the black participation of the civil war that I didn't know about.

DOUBLE AGENTS03.19.16 10:01 PM ET

The Black Spies in a Confederate White House

How a secret intelligence network successfully spied on Confederate leader Jefferson Davis in his own home.

The servants knew. The Confederate White House in Richmond, Virginia, was not a happy home. The coachman had heard Varina Davis, the first lady of the South, wondering aloud if the rebellion her husband led had any prayer of success. It was, he heard her say, “about played out.” Less than a year into the war, she had all but given up hope. And the president himself, Jefferson Davis, gaunt and sere, was under tremendous strain, disheartened and querulous, complaining constantly about the lack of popular support for him and his policies.

What the servants at the dinner table heard could be even more interesting: insights into policy, strategy and very private lives. They could glimpse up close the troubled emotions of Varina, who was much younger than her husband. She was in her mid-30s, he was in his mid-50s, and her energy, even her sultry beauty, were resented by many in that small society. She had a dark complexion and generous features that led at least one of her critics to describe her publically as “tawny” and suggest she looked like a mulatto.

Varina’s closest friend and ally in the cabinet was Judah P. Benjamin, the cosmopolitan Jewish secretary of war and then secretary of state. He was a frequent visitor to the Davis residence. He shaped Confederate strategy around the globe. And over port after dinner, what intimacies might have been revealed about this man, whose Louisiana Creole wife lived in self-imposed exile in Paris, and whose constant companion in Richmond was her beautiful younger brother?

As in any of the big households of yesteryear (one thinks of Downton Abbey, to take a popular example), what the servants knew about the masters was a great deal more than the masters knew about them. And in the Davis household the servants were black slaves, treated as shadows and often as something less than sentient beings. The Davises knew little of their lives, their hopes, their aspirations, and they certainly did not realize that two of them would spy for the Union.

History is almost equally oblivious. When it comes to secret agents, or servants, or slaves, all learned to tell the smooth lie that let them survive, and few kept records that endure. When it comes to the question of the spies who worked in the Confederate White House, where solid documentary evidence has failed, legend often has stepped in to fill the gaps and, to some considerable extent, to cloud the picture.

The one slave-spy we know the most about is William A. Jackson, the handsome coachman who appears to have been hired out by his owner at one point to work as a waiter in a Richmond hotel before being rented to the Davis family to drive them around the city.

In early May 1862, soon after New Orleans had fallen to the Union and as the Federal army under Gen. George McClellan was inching its way up the peninsula from Yorktown toward Richmond, the slave William Jackson crossed the lines into the Federal camp and began telling his story to the officers, who debriefed him at length, then to a handful of reporters. Over the next several weeks, tales about his revelations were printed and reprinted in papers all over the country.

Thus, one could read in the The Liberator, an abolitionist paper out of Boston, an article picked up from Horace Greeley’s Tribune in New York that was a paean to the escaped slaves making their way to Union encampments. Typically they were called “contrabands,” not yet entitled to their freedom (the Emancipation Proclamation was not announced until later that year, and did not go into effect until 1863).

“The fact cannot be questioned that the most important information we receive of the enemy’s movements reaches us through the contrabands,” the author of the Tribune article proclaimed.

When Jackson made his appearance in the Union camp, we are told, generals, colonels and majors flocked around him and the commander, Gen. Irvin McDowell, telegraphed the War Department with some of Jackson’s revelations.

If he brought useful tactical intelligence, however, it didn’t make it into the Northern newspapers, which focused on the gossip he passed along.

Jackson described Jefferson Davis as “pale and haggard,” sleeping little, eating nothing, constantly irritable and complaining about his generals: ‘He plans advances, but they execute masterly retreats,’” Jackson is quoted saying.

Varina Davis, meanwhile, had become a terror to her servants. “Mr. Davis treated me well,” said Jackson, “but Mrs. Davis is the d–––l,” the word devil considered too fraught for the paper’s readers.

Jackson seems to have spent quite a bit of time driving Varina around, and listening closely to her depressed views of the “played out” Confederacy. In part, no doubt, Jackson was telling the Union officers and press what they wanted to hear, raising their morale by talking about the declining mood in Rebel Richmond. He said not only slaves but whites were looking forward to the arrival of the Union troops. The Davises kept their bags packed and ready to go, he said, and even Mrs. Davis couldn’t pass off Confederate money.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the smartest, sharpest takes from The Daily Beast

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of news and must-reads from The Daily Beast and across the Web

By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


Harper’s Weekly magazine published an engraved portrait of Jackson with his flowing signature beneath it, and a brief article filled with the kind of amazed admiration and inbuilt condescension that was common throughout the Northern press when it lionized escaped slaves: Jackson was “an extremely intelligent man, reads and writes (as his signature shows), and converses in a manner which shows that he has been used to good society.”

The Tribune’s backhanded praise, picked up by The Liberator, had been even worse. “The old plea, that a mulatto may have a soul and be intelligent on account of the white blood in his veins, while a pure negro is nothing but an overgrown monkey minus the caudal appendage, will not hold true in this instance. Jackson is as black as a Congo negro, and much more intelligent than a good many white folks.”

By the end of the summer of ’62, as McClellan’s peninsular campaign faltered and the war seemed to be stretching on endlessly, Jackson, the contrabands, and what came to be called their “black dispatches” started to catch the blame for military and political failings. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which billed itself as the evening paper with the highest circulation in the United States, started writing about “that arrant humbug, ‘Jeff Davis’ coachman,” who supposedly had assured the North that Union sympathizers would rise up in Richmond.

After that, Jackson faded from the scene, and it was not until after the war that stories began to circulate about another, and potentially much more effective spy in the Confederate White House.

Her name in popular history is Mary Elizabeth Bowser, but she used many different names, in fact. She was part of an extensive Union spy network run by Elizabeth Van Lew, a Richmond society woman who once owned Mary, had her educated in the North, and freed her in secret only to enlist her in the spy ring that included, it seems, Mary’s assignment as a slave-servant in the Confederate White House. Mary was of mixed blood, and she may well have been tied by that blood to Van Lew’s family, but if she worked for the Davises, as she and others claimed, she did so under a false name and false pretenses. Varina, asked about her years later, said she’d never heard of her.

The most careful and authoritative research on Bowser is to be found in Southern Lady, Yankee Spy, by Elizabeth R. Varon, a professor at the University of Virginia. As she notes, the spinsterly Van Lew never hid her Union sympathies entirely, but built a reputation for eccentricity as “Crazy Bet” that, along with her social status, afforded her considerable protection in Civil War Richmond.

As every intelligence service knows, when a woman is not taken seriously by the men around her she can work wonders as a secret agent, and that certainly was the case with Van Lew. She hid fugitive soldiers who escaped from Confederate prisons, she plotted with Union sympathizers and met clandestinely with couriers and spies from the Federal army.

By 1864, when Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was closing in on the Confederate capital in long, drawn out, bloody sieges, Van Lew’s network of white and black “detectives,” as spies liked to call themselves in those days, provided important, concrete military intelligence to Grant’s army. Of that there is no doubt. Grant recognized Van Lew’s valor publicly after the war, and in 1869, when he was president, had her appointed as Richmond’s postmaster (a somewhat ironic post for a former spymaster).

But what role did Mary play in Van Lew’s network?

It is safe to say (with ambiguity appropriate to espionage) a very special one.

In 1846, 15 years before the Civil War began, Van Lew had arranged the baptism of “Mary Jane, a colored child” in St. John’s church, which normally was reserved for white parishioners. It also appears from the chronologies provided by Van Lew’s biographers that Mary was not an infant at the time of the baptism. Probably she was 4 or 5 years old.

When that same little girl had barely reached her teens, Van Lew sent her to Princeton, New Jersey, “to receive an education, in order to prepare here to go to Liberia to serve as a missionary.”

Mary was only 14 when she sailed for Monrovia to teach the Gospel among slaves who had been liberated in the United States only to be sent “back to Africa” to a place among a people they never knew. Although desperately unhappy, Mary stayed for almost four years before Van Lew brought her back to Richmond. “I do love the poor creature,” Van Lew wrote to a friend in the American Colonization Society. “She was born a slave in our family—& that has made me always feel an awful responsibility.”

Interesting choice of words: “Born a slave in our family.” Later in life, Mary would talk about having “the advantage over the most of my race both in blood and intelligence,” and would tell Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe, among others, that her mother was white but her father was “a Cuban-Spaniard and negro.” The rigorous and cautious Varon concludes it was much more likely that Mary’s father “was a white man, perhaps a member of the Van Lew family or their Lynchburg cousins, the Richardses.”

One might note that Mary was conceived and probably born before the death of Van Lew’s much-loved father in 1843.

The only physical description we have of Mary was after the war: “a Juno, done in somber marble … her features regular and expressive, her eyes exceedingly bright and sharp, her form and movements the perfection of grace.” (None of the photographs that purport to be her have been confirmed, according to Varon.)

Could such a woman, when she was about 20 years old, have found a place in the Davis household in Richmond? Not if she came directly from Van Lew, who was certainly no favorite of Varina Davis. Nor if she came under the name of Mary Richards, who had been arrested and jailed for not being a slave when she came back from Liberia in 1859, before the Van Lews claimed her again as part of the family’s chattel just to protect her. But under yet another alias? Very possibly.

In 1905, as a very old woman, Varina Davis felt called upon to deny that she had ever had in her employ “an educated negro ‘given or hired’ by Miss Van Lew as a spy,” and added, “My maid was an ignorant girl born and brought up on our plantation.”

But nobody had claimed Mary was Varina Davis’s maid. The executor of Van Lew’s estate had written in a biographical sketch and subsequent correspondence that Mary’s name was Mary Elizabeth Bowser (Mary Richards had married a Mr. Wilson Bowser in 1861). Then that name and general details of Mary’s life wound up in a Harper’s Monthly article in 1911:

“She was installed as waitress in the White House of the Confederacy. What she was able to learn, how long she remained behind Jefferson Davis’s dining chair, and what became of the girl ere the war ended are questions to which Time has effaced the answers.”

In fact, Varon and Lois Leveen, whose novel The Secrets of Mary Bowser tries to fill some of the gaps with fiction, did manage to find a bit more fact.

In September 1865, a woman calling herself Richmonia Richards gave a talk in New York City’s Abyssinian Baptist Church which the Anglo African, a ­newspaper there, described as “very sarcastic” and “quite humorous.” Among her anecdotes were stories of intrigue in the Confederate Senate as well as the Confederate White House. But the real substance of the intrigues is not there.

By 1867, Mary, with missionary zeal, was teaching freed slaves and their children in St. Mary’s, Georgia, on the Florida border, when Harriet Beecher Stowe, her brother the Rev. Charles Beecher, and the Rev. Crammond Kennedy of the Freedmen’s Bureau paid a visit. They were enthralled, especially by stories she told of her work as “a member of a secret organization in Richmond … a detective of Gen’l Grant.” The Rev. Kennedy thought “she could write a romance from her experience in that employment.”

Would that she had, or, if she did, that it could be found.

In fact, the last we know of Mary J.R. Richards Bowser Garvin (there was another husband after the war) aka Mary Jones aka Richmonia Richards and also known as names unknown is from her letters in 1867 to the superintendent of education for the Georgia Freedmen’s Bureau explaining why she could no longer carry on with so few resources trying to meet such enormous needs in ever more hostile and dangerous territory. The white Southerners, the old elites, meant to make it impossible to educate the former slaves and their children.

“I wish there was some law here, or some protection,” she wrote. “I know the southerners pretty well … having been in the service so long as a detective that I still find myself scrutinizing them closely. There is … that sinister expression about the eye, and the quiet but bitterly expressed feeling that I know portends evil … with a little whiskey in them, they dare do anything … Do not think I am frightened and laugh at my letter. Anyone that has spent 4 months in Richmond prison does not be so easily frightened."

What happened to Mary after that? The facts of her life fell prey to prejudice, the sinister turmoil in the Reconstruction South, and the traditions of spies who take their greatest secrets to grave. Almost 150 years later, truly, time has effaced the answers.