July 31, 2009
July 30, 2009
Cats Sleep Anywhere
Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.
Open drawer, empty shoe, anybody's lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don't care! Cats sleep anywhere.
Eleanor Farjeon (1881 - 1965)
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July 29, 2009
July 28, 2009
Flowers You Can Eat
Learn How to Grow and Harvest Edible Flowers(I'm reminded of a gentleman on television a couple of decades ago named Ewell Gibbons who advocated eating from nature)
|To add chive blossoms to green salads, remove the central stem and separate the florets.|
Nothing says "gourmet" like a sprinkling of colorful flower petals in a salad, a tiny bouquet of Johnny jump-ups on a birthday cake or a sautéed daylily bud in a stir fry. Edible flowers are a fun and easy way to add color and flavor to all sorts of dishes — especially when you can pick them right from your own garden.
Most edible flowers are best eaten raw—simply pick and rinse with water. Flowers will taste and look their best right after they have opened, rather than after they have been open for a few days.
There are only two important things to remember about edible flowers: First is that not every flower is edible. In fact, some flowers can be poisonous. So stick with flowers on the list below, or do sufficient research to ensure your safety. The second caution is to avoid flowers that may have been sprayed with an insecticide, fungicide or herbicide. Since most edible flowers—except for roses—are easy to grow, this is rarely a problem. Be sure to take dandelions off the list unless you have an organic lawn.
For flowers that look good as well as taste good, consider some of the following:
Alliums. Chives, leeks and garlic are all delicious in green salads, potato and pasta salads and dips. Remove the central stem from the flower cluster to release the separate florets.
Nasturtiums. Blossoms have a peppery flavor like watercress. All colors and varieties are tasty in salads or as garnishes. Leaves can be eaten, too.
Marigolds. Use the tiny flowers of signet marigolds known as Lemon Gem and Tangerine Gem. Their blossoms have a citrus taste.
Pansies and Johnny jump-ups. These flowers have a wintergreen flavor and are pretty on cakes and other desserts. Glaze with warmed jelly for a jeweled look.
Calendula. An easy and prolific edible flower that's easy to grow from seed right in the garden. Separate the petals from the center of the flower and sprinkle the petals into salads. Colors range from pure yellow to orange and red. Remove spent flowers and the plants will bloom continuously from early summer into late fall.
Anise hyssop. If you like anise, this is the edible flower for you. Separate the florets and add them to sweet or savory dishes. Or use the full flowers to garnish a cheese plate.
Honeysuckle. The blossoms make a pretty addition to salads. Don't use the berries; they're poisonous.
Scarlet runner beans. Mix these bright-red flowers into salads, or in with steamed veggies.
Borage. This fuzzy-leaved herb has sky-blue flowers with a light cucumber taste. Add to fruit salads, green salads or freeze in ice cubes for cold drinks.
Bee balm. This member of the mint family has minty-tasting flowers. Colors range from bright red to purple and pink.
Chamomile. English chamomile has small, daisy-like flowers with an apple-like flavor. If you're allergic to ragweed, you might want to avoid chamomile.
Daylily. Daylily buds and flowers taste a bit like asparagus. They can be used as a garnish, or can be stuffed or made into fritters. Good in stir-frys, too.
Mint. Like bee balm, all flowers of the mint family are edible and have a pleasant taste. Try lemon balm or spearmint in iced tea.
Squash blossoms. Use these as you would daylilies (see above).
July 27, 2009
Oh shoot, some of my favs are on this list. As if I didn't have a clue how bad they were for my health, but oh so good tasting.
The Worst Artery Cloggers in America - DivineCaroline
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July 26, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 24, 2009
I love reading history. Thanks to Harper's magazine and it's fantastic archive I can read history as if it was today's news. I'm able to look over a persons shoulder and in the perception of hind sight determine if they were dreamers or realists, right or wrong. Today I have been reading articles written in 1942 and the immediacy comes through in article or poem. Two articles and a poem in part follow.
This is the first page of a ten page article, a poem in full, and one page of another article only, but enough to give you the essence and immediacy of the writing.
ENGLAND IN THE GREAT LULL
BY JOHN DOS PASSOS
THE most beautiful autumn weather of
the century. Day after day the sky
over London was clear and sunny.
Nights of sharp cool moonlight brought
no bombings. Late afternoons the streets
had a holiday air under the silver barrage
balloons; when you saw them end-on
against the bright patches of sky and
cloud they had funny faces as if a child
had tried to draw a cow or a moose. The
British, like a man crawling out unhurt
from under a car he has just wrecked,
were feeling themselves allover and deciding
that they were alive and that,
moreover, it felt remarkably good to be
alive. To an American a walk round
London was as solemn and stirring as
reading the Hebrew prophets. Never
before had I understood the significance
of Jeremiah's curse: "And Babylon shall
In the West End the damage is scat
tered; you tell yourself that the accidents
of war don't stack up to much more than
the ordinary accidents of peace. But as
you walk east down the Strand and past
the gutted churches into Fleet Street
you see ahead of you, framed between
scorched stone facades that have no
buildings behind them, St. Paul's stand
ing up oddly alone at the top of Ludgate
This is the region of what people are
starting to call the Second Fire of London;
A whole tangled quarter of overbuilt
lanes of the old City has been obliterated.
In places you can't even find
where the streets went. Stumbling over
heaps of rubble, looking up at a grate
high in a wall, or at tangled lianas of
twisted steel machinery still dangling
from some attic clothing shop that has
lost its floor, or at the white bowl of a
piece of plumbing hanging from a ledge,
you begin to feel a sort of remote archaeological
interest. What kinds of people
were to have worn the burnt shoes piled
in that pit? Why should this brick pile
be littered with small tin trays? You
rather resent the husky young fellows
with pickaxes and crowbars who are risking
their necks to bring these remnants of
a strange past crashing in dust to the
ground. It's surprising how many trees
there are and how green and leafy they
grow. Nobody ever knew there were so
many trees in the City.
Beyond the City the East End begins.
The first thing I noticed there was that
people looked better than the last time I
had been in London. I had never remembered
seeing before people in the
East End with color in their cheeks. The
sidewalks are less crowded. Most of
the stale little shops are closed. Today
there is neither smoke overhead nor
mud underfoot. Walking through almost
empty streets of the old slums which
were so densely packed with people three
years ago gives you an odd, ghostly feeling.
There are places where avenues of
flattened wreckage through block after
block of jammed-together houses give
you vistas to the river that no Londoner
had seen for two hundred years.
The lady from the Ministry who
drove me down to visit one of the eastern
boroughs was an anthropologist from
OFFICE FOR THE DEAD
BY MARTHA KELLER
Rocking a little, rolling in the tide
At waterline like any swollen skate,
Here is a boy, lost, lying on his side-
Ashore at last, poor sailor, but too late.
Here where the shells lie broken on the beach;
And scavenging gray gulls above the bay
Wheel, and the sea sucks in, and pebbles bleach,
A little crowd has come.••• If you must stay--
Comfort him, girl. Except you be his wife,
Give him your eyes at least for an embrace.
Remember him. Remember all your lift.
How dare you scream or turn away your face?
TWELVE THINGS THE WAR WILL
DO TO AMERICA
THERE are two things about this war
that all Americans take for granted.
The first is that we shall win it.
The second is that we shall have to make
the greatest national effort in our history
to achieve victory. To foresee what the
war will do to America we must, therefore,
keep these two assumptions in mind.
We must first consider just what has to be
done to win the war. Then we must
consider what our victory will do to us
and the rest of the world.
The national effort required to win the
war has already revolutionized the American
way of life. We not only have military
conscription, but plans are also
under way to draft men and women from
the entire population into war work of
one kind or another. The government
is telling private industry what it shall
and shall not make; it is fixing prices and
taxing away profits; it is rationing raw
materials and consumer goods. Organized
labor has surrendered the right to
strike for the duration. There will soon
be a ceiling on wages as well as on prices.
Many farm prices are already fixed.
The President and his numerous administrative
agencies have taken more
and more power away from Congress.
Virtually our entire foreign trade is being
conducted on what amounts to a barter
basis under the terms of the Lease-Lend
Act. The press and radio have submitted
to a voluntary censorship. Taxes
and war bonds consume surplus buying
power that might, in other times, have
gone into private investment or savings:
To see what the war has in store for us
we need only look at what has happened
in Britain, Australia, Canada, and New
Zealand. Those countries have not
gone Fascist or Communist, but their
people have surrendered many of the
liberties that went hand in hand with
capitalist democracy in times past. But
the people of Britain and the British
Dominions have gladly sacrificed certain
liberties in order to win the war. They
are prepared to make still more sacrifices
-and so are we.
Before the war President Roosevelt
used to twit his Republican critics by
reminding them that the New Deal reforms
duplicated in many respects what
the Tories had already done to give England
more social security. In both
countries the national government encroached
more and more upon free enterprise
and individual liberty. The war
July 23, 2009
July 22, 2009
I am 72 today. The following will prove a point I am living proof of. One is that it seems I cannot construct a proper sentence and that living long does not guarantee that you gain much sense as years pile up.
Once upon a time in 1937, seventy-two years ago, I was born in a little red brick building called General hospital. Today that red brick building is a lot bigger and is known now as Med Central hospital. My cosmic connections to world events, some good and some not so good bombarded my body much like Dr. Frankenstein bombarding his monster with life giving electrical jolts, which idea was later stolen by a movie maker for a film called THE NATURAL. I wondered why I stood up and screamed "Oh Daddy", when I was watching the movie and Redford hit the ball into the light standards and the electric bolts flew all over the stadium. I was reborn.
My cosmic connection only three years before I arrived was a fellow named John Dillinger whom it was decided that he would depart on my birthday. Dillinger, a famous thief gave me a feeling of unworthiness being given so much that I sometimes feel I don't deserve what I have, much like that thief, but I will keep it and enjoy it.
My favorite baseball teams hometown was founded on my birthday in 1796, and was named Cleveland. A mixed blessing I'm sure since it has only been to the world series five times in all those years, and have only won twice. It has taught me patience.
On the same day I was born FDR tried to load the supreme court and was rejected. He hung in there and became one of our countries greatest presidents. He taught me to be persistent and good things will come.
In 1975 on my birthday the United States House of Representives voted to restore citizenship to Robert E. Lee and offered me the idea that sins I may commit in the future would be forgiven in time, if you truly want them to be.
One of the people who share my birthday with me is Alex Trebek. I wonder if all those years on Jeopardy have made him any smarter? He is only 69, a mere tot.
July 21, 2009
July 20, 2009
July 19, 2009
Ouch that would hurt a lot having that said to me, worse I think than telling me to go to that way down southern region.
Check out this site to find out all about 'old Bill'.
July 18, 2009
That there is a general malaise about the subject of moon landings, moon men, scifi moon adventures there is no doubt. Since we all saw that there is nothing much there, no creatures lurking behind moon rocks, or anyone or anything to chase Neil Armstrong around the dusty plain we have lost seemingly all interest in the subject. Ted Gioia has written a very readable essay on the subject.
July 17, 2009
(NEWS ITEM) Economy 'Back From the Abyss:' Summers
Posted 1 hour, 49 minutes ago in US, Business |
(Newser Summary) – President Obama's top economist is confident that swift action by the administration averted disaster, ABC News reports. “We were at the brink of catastrophe at the beginning of the year,” Larry Summers says, “but we have walked some substantial distance back from the abyss.” Summers credits the recovery to the two-tiered plan that moved quickly to stabilize the financial system while simultaneously preparing for future growth.
“First, the most immediate priority was to rescue the economy by restoring confidence and breaking the vicious cycle of economic contraction and financial failure,” Summers says. “Second, the recovery from this crisis would be built not on the flimsy foundation of asset bubbles but on the firm foundation of productive investment and long-term growth.” Even Summers is in awe of the progress: “The distance we have traveled these past six months is remarkable.”
Source: ABC News
July 16, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Watergate Hotel made famous by a presidential scandal is expected to be on the auction block next week.
Alex Cooper Auctioneers is announcing that it will take bids Tuesday on the Washington landmark.
A 30-day foreclosure notice expires Thursday. It was sent to hotel owner Monument Realty last month after the company defaulted on its loan and lists an outstanding $40 million balance.
The Watergate complex was made famous by the 1972 burglary that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation.
Monument officials said two weeks ago they hoped the lender could agree to new terms, but a company spokeswoman declined to comment Wednesday.
Alex Cooper's Web site does not name the Watergate but describes a 12-story hotel at the Watergate's address.
July 15, 2009
July 14, 2009
This is sad news. I must take this moment to recommend once again the film adapted from his book ANGELA'S ASHES. I thought it was great. Besides the fantastic story of Frank and his family in Ireland, the cinematography was so good. It rains a lot in Ireland, hence all the green grass, and the cinematography is so realistic you feel the need to towel off from time to time.
Edgar Allan Poe
(a poem about a lifetime quest for self-contentment)
July 13, 2009
Monday Morning's Meanderings...
Today starts the confirmation hearings for the supreme court opening. I might check in on that occasionally on CSPAN...
Fell into the strange story regarding the Washington Post, RIP. Is this a true story? If so, what is it all about? Read about it here.
The major league baseball season has reached the half way mark, and my favorite team has reached the stage where a chef would stick in the fork and scream, "throw it out, it can't be saved."
I've got to mow the grass today, or call in Farmer MacDonald and have him bale it...
Recent purchase of a laptop computer has turned out to be more fun than a volkswagon full of clowns....
The wife cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the charcoal grill the other day for the first time this year. Oh, so good. We used to do this all the time but times change and......
Brought a DVD home from the library, PEOPLE WILL TALK with Cary Grant, Hume Cronyn, Walter Slezak and others, a really good movie...
Stop mowing with the natural no-lawn solution
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July 12, 2009
To see more of the paintings created under this program, click here.
The painting above is: Third Avenue
The latter painting is: Northern Minnesota Mine
The reason I picked Third Avenue as an example is because my grandparents who immigrated to Ohio from Austria-Hungry lived all their lives in America on another Third Avenue, (not the Third Avenue of the painting.) My guess is that the Third Avenue of the picture is in New York.
July 11, 2009
- JULY 11, 2009
A Farewell to Harms
Palin was bad for the Republicans—and the republic.
By PEGGY NOONAN
Sarah Palin's resignation gives Republicans a new opportunity to see her plain—to review the bidding, see her strengths, acknowledge her limits, and let go of her drama. It is an opportunity they should take. They mean to rebuild a great party. They need to do it on solid ground.
Her history does not need to be rehearsed at any length. Ten months ago she was embraced with friendliness by her party. The left and the media immediately overplayed their hand, with attacks on her children. The party rallied round, as a party should. She went on the trail a sensation but demonstrated in the ensuing months that she was not ready to go national and in fact never would be. She was hungry, loved politics, had charm and energy, loved walking onto the stage, waving and doing the stump speech. All good. But she was not thoughtful. She was a gifted retail politician who displayed the disadvantages of being born into a point of view (in her case a form of conservatism; elsewhere and in other circumstances, it could have been a form of liberalism) and swallowing it whole: She never learned how the other sides think, or why.
In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn't thoughtful enough to know she wasn't thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. "I'm not wired that way," "I'm not a quitter," "I'm standing up for our values." I'm, I'm, I'm.
In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying.
McCain-Palin lost. Mrs. Palin has now stepped down, but she continues to poll high among some members of the Republican base, some of whom have taken to telling themselves Palin myths.
To wit, "I love her because she's so working-class." This is a favorite of some party intellectuals. She is not working class, never was, and even she, avid claimer of advantage that she is, never claimed to be and just lets others say it. Her father was a teacher and school track coach, her mother the school secretary. They were middle-class figures of respect, stability and local status. I think intellectuals call her working-class because they see the makeup, the hair, the heels and the sleds and think they're working class "tropes." Because, you know, that's what they teach in "Ways of the Working Class" at Yale and Dartmouth.
What she is, is a seemingly very nice middle-class girl with ambition, appetite and no sense of personal limits.
"She's not Ivy League, that's why her rise has been thwarted! She represented the democratic ideal that you don't have to go to Harvard or Brown to prosper, and her fall represents a failure of egalitarianism." This comes from intellectuals too. They need to be told something. Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College. Richard Nixon went to Whittier College, Joe Biden to the University of Delaware. Sarah Palin graduated in the end from the University of Idaho, a school that happily notes on its Web site that it's included in U.S. News & World Report's top national schools survey. They need to be told, too, that the first Republican president was named "Abe," and he went to Princeton and got a Fulbright. Oh wait, he was an impoverished backwoods autodidact!
America doesn't need Sarah Palin to prove it was, and is, a nation of unprecedented fluidity. Her rise and seeming fall do nothing to prove or refute this.
"The elites hate her." The elites made her. It was the elites of the party, the McCain campaign and the conservative media that picked her and pushed her. The base barely knew who she was. It was the elites, from party operatives to public intellectuals, who advanced her and attacked those who said she lacked heft. She is a complete elite confection. She might as well have been a bonbon.
"She makes the Republican Party look inclusive." She makes the party look stupid, a party of the easily manipulated.
"She shows our ingenuous interest in all classes." She shows your cynicism.
"Now she can prepare herself for higher office by studying up, reading in, boning up on the issues." Mrs. Palin's supporters have been ordering her to spend the next two years reflecting and pondering. But she is a ponder-free zone. She can memorize the names of the presidents of Pakistan, but she is not going to be able to know how to think about Pakistan. Why do her supporters not see this? Maybe they think "not thoughtful" is a working-class trope!
"The media did her in." Her lack of any appropriate modesty did her in. Actually, it's arguable that membership in the self-esteem generation harmed her. For 30 years the self-esteem movement told the young they're perfect in every way. It's yielding something new in history: an entire generation with no proper sense of inadequacy.
"Turning to others means the media won!" No, it means they lose. What the mainstream media wants is not to kill her but to keep her story going forever. She hurts, as they say, the Republican brand, with her mess and her rhetorical jabberwocky and her careless causing of division. Really, she is the most careless sower of discord since George W. Bush, who fractured the party and the movement that made him. Why wouldn't the media want to keep that going?
Here's why all this matters. The world is a dangerous place. It has never been more so, or more complicated, more straining of the reasoning powers of those with actual genius and true judgment. This is a time for conservative leaders who know how to think.
Here are a few examples of what we may face in the next 10 years: a profound and prolonged American crash, with the admission of bankruptcy and the spread of deep social unrest; one or more American cities getting hit with weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source; faint glimmers of actual secessionist movements as Americans for various reasons and in various areas decide the burdens and assumptions of the federal government are no longer attractive or legitimate.
The era we face, that is soon upon us, will require a great deal from our leaders. They had better be sturdy. They will have to be gifted. There will be many who cannot, and should not, make the cut. Now is the time to look for those who can. And so the Republican Party should get serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party—a party that deserves to lead—would do.
It's not a time to be frivolous, or to feel the temptation of resentment, or the temptation of thinking next year will be more or less like last year, and the assumptions of our childhoods will more or less reign in our future. It won't be that way.
We are going to need the best.
July 10, 2009
The time has come. Maybe. For months now rumors have been circulating that the financially strapped New York Times was considering charging for content in some form or other. Now it looks like they may be ready to make it a reality. Is all the news that is fit to print worth $5 to you?
This is typical of many leads in many articles on the internet this week. I, myself taking a purely personal view of the matter of course, do not wish to pay even five dollars a month for the privilege of reading the paper. Please do not take this to mean I don't think it's worth it, I do. If there is any site I would pay for it is the New York Times. I read it every day conceding that it is the best, but if I pay for the Times, what will be next?
By this act does the Times concede that our economic plight is going to last forever? It won't. When the economy is again strong, will they give their subscribers a thank you and a well done in their time of need in today's economic uncertainty and revert back to a free New York Times.
The answer is, of course, no. By being the premier newspaper in the USA, it is perhaps not the best example of a newspaper in trouble. Certainly it has the best paid talent available, with the highest circulation for sure. It is not outwardly an example of a newspaper in great need looking for handouts and government assistance. It is perhaps the best paper in the land, and maybe that is why it is very unseemly for them to be whining how they need $5 a month from all of us to keep afloat. No, I for one think that this is nothing more than a try to establish another revenue stream. I hope it fails for them and as a precursor of more of the same from other internet providers to cash in on economic uncertainties of the day.
July 9, 2009
July 8, 2009
July 7, 2009
Reporters Getting Owned
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July 6, 2009
Before the memory of fireworks, and all things patriotic leave us for another year, you might watch this book review of John Adams. Adams was present at the moment of creation along with the rest of our founding fathers doing miraculous things like creating a new country with rules that still work (mostly).
Book Reviews: Book Review of John Adams, by David McCullough -- Blue Rectangle
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July 5, 2009
Coffee 'may reverse Alzheimer's'
Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say.
The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease.
Previous research has also suggested a protective effect from caffeine.
But British experts said the Journal of Alzheimer's disease study did not mean that dementia patients should start using caffeine supplements.
“ The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve ”
Dr Gary Arendash University of Florida
The 55 mice used in the University of Florida study had been bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
First the researchers used behavioural tests to confirm the mice were exhibiting signs of memory impairment when they were aged 18 to 19 months, the equivalent to humans being about 70.
Then they gave half the mice caffeine in their drinking water. The rest were given plain water.
The mice were given the equivalent of five 8 oz (227 grams) cups of coffee a day - about 500 milligrams of caffeine.
The researchers say this is the same as is found in two cups of "specialty" coffees such as lattes or cappuccinos from coffee shops, 14 cups of tea, or 20 soft drinks.
When the mice were tested again after two months, those who were given the caffeine performed much better on tests measuring their memory and thinking skills and performed as well as mice of the same age without dementia.
Those drinking plain water continued to do poorly on the tests.
In addition, the brains of the mice given caffeine showed nearly a 50% reduction in levels of the beta amyloid protein, which forms destructive clumps in the brains of dementia patients.
Further tests suggested caffeine affects the production of both the enzymes needed to produce beta amyloid.
The researchers also suggest that caffeine suppresses inflammatory changes in the brain that lead to an overabundance of the protein.
Earlier research by the same team had shown younger mice, who had also been bred to develop Alzheimer's but who were given caffeine in their early adulthood, were protected against the onset of memory problems.
Dr Gary Arendash, who led the latest study, told the BBC: "The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve.
"They provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease and not simply a protective strategy.
"That's important because caffeine is a safe drug for most people, it easily enters the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process."
The team now hope to begin human trials of caffeine to see if the mouse findings are replicated in people.
They do not know if a lower amount of caffeine would be as effective, but said most people could safely consume the 500 milligrams per day.
However they said people with high blood pressure, and pregnant women, should limit their daily caffeine intake.
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "In this study on mice with symptoms of Alzheimer's, researchers found that caffeine boosted their memory. We need to do more research to find out whether this effect will be seen in people.
"It is too early to say whether drinking coffee or taking caffeine supplements will help people with Alzheimer's.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/07/05 22:10:54 GMT
© BBC MMIX
July 4, 2009
July 3, 2009
July 2, 2009
Representing Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress
Born: November 13, 1732
Birthplace: Talbot County, Maryland
Education: Private tutors, Temple of London, England (Lawyer)
Work: Elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, 1764; Member of Stamp Act Congress, 1765; Member of the Continental Congress, 1774-1776, '79; Member of Delaware Assembly, 1780; Governor of Pennsylvania, 1782-1785; Member of Constitutional Convention, 1787; Member of Delaware Constitutional Convention, 1792.
Died: February 14, 1808
John Dickinson lived one of the most extraordinary political lives of all of the founding fathers. It is perhaps only because of his steadfast opposition to American independence that he is not celebrated with the likes of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.
He was born to a moderately wealthy family in Maryland. His father was first judge to the Court of Pleas in Delaware. He studied law at the Temple in London, the most prestigious education that a young man could hope for. Dickinson joined politics as a member of the Pennsylvania assembly in 1764, proceeded with the Stamp Act Congress in 1765 where he drafted the Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress. It was also during this he wrote an important series of essays, Letters of a Pennsylvania Farmer, regarding the nonimportation and nonexportation agreements against Gr. Britain. These essays were published in London in 1768 by Benjamin Franklin, and later translated to French and published in Paris. In 1774 he attended the first Continental Congress and wrote an Address to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec. There also, in 1775, and in combination with Jefferson, he wrote a Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms. Dickinson was opposed to a separation from Gr. Britain and worked very hard to temper the language and action of the Congress, in an effort to maintain the possibility of reconciliation. It was for this reason that he abstained from voting on and signing the Declaration of Independence. In what may have been a rather cruel joke, Thomas M'Kean (a signer of the Declaration), then president of Delaware, appointed Dickinson a Brigadier-General in the Continental Army. His Military career is said to have been brief.
Dickinson was elected again to the Continental Congress in 1779, then to the Delaware Assembly in 1780. He was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 1782 and served there until October, 1785. He joined the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and afterward joined the chorus of writers promoting the new constitution, in a series of nine essays, using the pen name of Fabius. In 1792 he assisted in forming a new constitution for Delaware. He wrote another series of articles in 1797. He shortly thereafter retired from public life to his home at Wilmington, where he died on the 14th of February 1808. Dickinson College, at Carlisle Pennsylvania, is monument to his memory.
A CLIP FROM THE MINI-SERIES JOHN ADAMS WHERE DICKINSON GIVES HIS FAREWELL TO THE CONGRESS SPEECH: