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This is the archive for December 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

John Randolph, son of a wealthy Roanoke, Viginia tobacco planter, half-brother of Nathaniel Beverly Tucker, six term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, owner of 383 inherited slaves later freed by the terms of a will written fourteen years before his death, co-founder of the American Colonization Society, duelist against Henry Clay in which he fired into the air after Clay missed with his shot, proponent of a patriarchial form of government guided by the planter class, and celebrated orator who believed in minimal federal intervention, when asked for his opinion of the greatest orator he ever heard:

"A slave, sir. She was a mother and her rostrum was the auction block."


Saturday, December 05, 2009

In 1961 Robert Penn Warren, a native Kentuckian and the only American to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for both fiction and poetry, penned "The Legacy of the Civil War: Meditations on the Centennial." As America edges closer to the 150th anniversary of the conflict his words stand as a reminder of where we were as a nation and how far we've come in the 48 years since he fixed a punctuation mark to his concluding sentence. Today we excerpt a section Penn termed "The Great Alibi."