The Monroe Doctrine

These famous words occur in President’s Monroe message to Congress on December 2, 1823. The words were brought forth by the fear that European powers, most of which were at the time wedded to monarchical ideas, might attempt to acquire territory in South America and extend their political ideas. Some of the South American states…

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Patriotism Needs Intelligence

General Francis Marion (1732-1795) served in the American Revolutionary War. His irregular methods of warfare became well known, and he is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla and maneuver warfare. He is credited in the lineage of the Green Berets of the U.S. Army. His biography The Life of General Francis Marion by…

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President Washington’s Receptions

William Sullivan (1774-1839) was a prominent Boston lawyer, Federalist politician, and author. Sullivan was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1795, served on the Massachusetts General Court (1804-1830), and was a delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention (1830). From 1830, he devoted most of his career to writing about political institutions of the United States….

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A Child’s Dream of a Star

One of Dickens’ most beautiful stories, it first appeared in the April 6, 1850 issue of the weekly journal Household Words, in which he was editor. The story later appeared in book form and illustrated. I transcribed in Centennial Gregg for the blog. Attachment: a-childs-dream-of-a-star.pdf

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Destruction of Pompeii

This vivid description of the Vesuvius eruption and the damage it caused in Pompeii — here in Anniversary Gregg transcribed by me — comes from the pen of the English writer and politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his novel The Last Days of Pompeii. Lord Lytton’s works are the source of famous phrases, such as “the…

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A Bee-Hunt in the Far West

From his book A Tour on the Prairies, here is an extract of Chapter 9 transcribed by yours truly in Simplified Gregg, in which Washington Irving describes his adventure with honey bees. Attachment: a-bee-hunt-in-the-far-west.pdf

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The Fourth of July in Westminster Abbey

Phillips Brooks was an American Episcopal clergyman and Bishop of Massachusetts. Renowned for his charismatic preaching, he was invited in 1880 to preach at Westminster Abbey in London and at the Royal Chapel at Windsor before Queen Victoria. After his sermon on July 4 of the same year titled The Candle of the Lord, he…

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A Plea for Separation from England

Common Sense was a pamphlet published by Thomas Paine early in 1776. It was so popular, that over 100,000 copies were sold within three months; few writings of the period had so wide an influence. Paine’s epigrams and apt illustrations stuck in people’s minds and proved him a master of the art of spreading ideas;…

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What Independence Means

This selection by American statesman and political philosopher Samuel Adams — whom the famous beer was named after — was taken from a speech delivered in the Continental Congress, about one month after the Declaration of Independence. At the beginning of the speech, Adams is thinking of the hope still cherished by some Americans of…

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