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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)


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Bentley | 28661 comments What did the founding fathers really think about corporations? This question has become center stage considering the recent Supreme Court decision:

Here is one article from True Slant: (this article is very interesting in that it quotes Lincoln)

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments How are persons different from corporations?

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Bentley | 28661 comments Should corporations have free speech? What did the founding fathers think of it?

message 6: by Steve (last edited Jul 13, 2013 11:22AM) (new)

Steve | 38 comments I checked around in some other threads and didn't see this particular biography, so I thought this was an appropriate spot for it. (Hamilton was the only signer of the Constitution from New York.)

I'm only about three quarters of the way through, but based on what I've read so far, Alexander Hamilton is one of the most fascinating founding fathers, from his tragedy-filled upbringing in the West Indies to his incredibly quick rise to power here in the states.

I would strongly recommend this biography to anyone seeking more information about not only Hamilton, but also the Revolution and subsequent birth of the United States. Very well written and entertaining, and I haven't even made it to Hamilton's feud/duel with Burr yet.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow

message 7: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11543 comments Thanks so much Steve

message 8: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5377 comments Thanks for the addition, Steve.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments I have some photos of the place where Hamilton was born and lived for awhile in Nevis. Visited the location in April.

He was so talented and was sponsored by his community in Nevis and he went to college in North America (King's College now Columbia University)

"Recognized for his abilities and talent, he was sponsored by people from his community to go to the North American mainland for his education. He attended King's College (now Columbia University), in New York City. After the American Revolutionary War, Hamilton was elected to the Continental Congress from New York. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York."
(Source: Wikipedia)

message 10: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11543 comments I was there in 2006 or 2007

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments You too - we must have walked on the same hallowed ground (smile).

Was it for a vacation?

message 12: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11543 comments Honeymoon. It was a great island to visit.

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Ah it is - lovely really - very undeveloped - did you also get to St Kitts - very close via ferry - loved Kitts too.

message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jul 16, 2013 11:27AM) (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Right now - not sure about 2006 but it is a small little museum type place with plaques - stone built (grey) - looks like it was a nice little spot across from the shoreline.

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Bentley | 28661 comments Also, I never realized until the visit that Thomas Jefferson's great grandfather or great great grandfather lived in St Kitts - a place called
Romney Manor which was a former Carib village site but also the former home of one of Thomas Jefferson's grandfathers (not sure how far back) - I viisted there too - a lovely spot.

message 16: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11543 comments Yep, we saw the same thing. Very low scale museum exhibits.

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Bentley | 28661 comments Yes, nothing to write home about aside from the site itself. I think I saw the very worst museum ever there supposedly dedicated to Nelson.

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Bryan Craig | 11543 comments Bentley wrote: "Also, I never realized until the visit that Thomas Jefferson's great grandfather or great great grandfather lived in St Kitts - a place called
Romney Manor which was a former Carib village site but..."

Went there, too, great spot. There is no hard evidence linking TJ with this family, but we saw the circumstantial evidence.

message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments I think there was enough to wonder about the link. And it was a lovely spot.

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Bryan Craig | 11543 comments Books and the Founding Fathers

Books and the Founding Fathers by George H. Nash by George H. Nash (no photo)


In this volume spiced with anecdotes and enhanced by primary source documents, George H. Nash examines how books, libraries, and a rigorous classical education molded the minds and lives of America's Founding Fathers. More than any other group of political leaders in our history, the statesmen who led and preserved the American Revolution were men of learning as well as men of power. Nash shows how their devotion to liberty was nourished and refined by their lifelong encounter with the world of books, including the foundational texts of western civilization.

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Bryan Craig | 11543 comments Gentleman Revolutionary : Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution

Gentleman Revolutionary   Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution by Richard Brookhiser by Richard Brookhiser (no photo)


Since 1996, Richard Brookhiser has devoted himself to recovering the Founding for modern Americans. The creators of our democracy had both the temptations and the shortcomings of all men, combined with the talents and idealism of the truly great. Among them, no Founding Father demonstrates the combination of temptations and talents quite so vividly as the least known of the greats, Gouverneur Morris.
His story is one that should be known by every American -- after all, he drafted the Constitution, and his hand lies behind many of its most important phrases. Yet he has been lost in the shadows of the Founders who became presidents and faces on our currency. As Brookhiser shows in this sparkling narrative, Morris's story is not only crucial to the Founding, it is also one of the most entertaining and instructive of all. Gouverneur Morris, more than Washington, Jefferson, or even Franklin, is the Founding Father whose story can most readily touch our hearts, and whose character is most sorely needed today.

He was a witty, peg-legged ladies' man. He was an eyewitness to two revolutions (American and French) who joked with George Washington, shared a mistress with Talleyrand, and lost friends to the guillotine. In his spare time he gave New York City its street grid and New York State the Erie Canal. His keen mind and his light, sure touch helped make our Constitution the most enduring fundamental set of laws in the world. In his private life, he suited himself; pleased the ladies until, at age fifty-seven, he settled down with one lady (and pleased her); and lived the life of a gentleman, for whom grace and humanity were as important as birth. He kept his good humor through war, mobs, arson, death, and two accidents that burned the flesh from one of his arms and cut off one of his legs below the knee.
Above all, he had the gift of a sunny disposition that allowed him to keep his head in any troubles. We have much to learn from him, and much pleasure to take in his company.

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Jerome | 2990 comments Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic

Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic by Mark David Hall by Mark David Hall (no photo)


One of leading figures of his day, Roger Sherman was a member of the five-man committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence and an influential delegate at the Constitutional Convention. As a Representative and Senator in the new republic, he had a hand in determining the proper scope of the national government's power as well as drafting the Bill of Rights. In Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic, Mark David Hall explores Sherman's political theory and shows how it informed his many contributions to America's founding.

A close examination of Sherman's religious beliefs provides insight into how those beliefs informed his political actions. Hall shows that Sherman, like many founders, was influenced by Calvinist political thought, a tradition that played a role in the founding generation's opposition to Great Britain, and led them to develop political institutions designed to prevent corruption, promote virtue, and protect rights. Contrary to oft-repeated assertions that the founders advocated a strictly secular policy, Hall argues persuasively that most founders believed Christianity should play an important role in the new American republic.

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Jerome | 2990 comments Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution

Robert Morris  Financier of the American Revolution    by Charles Rappleye by Charles Rappleye (no photo)


In this biography, the acclaimed author of Sons of Providence, winner of the 2007 George Washington Book Prize, recovers an immensely important part of the founding drama of the country in the story of Robert Morris, the man who financed Washington’s armies and the American Revolution. Morris started life in the colonies as an apprentice in a counting house. By the time of the Revolution he was a rich man, a commercial and social leader in Philadelphia. He organized a clandestine trading network to arm the American rebels, joined the Second Continental Congress, and financed George Washington’s two crucial victories—Valley Forge and the culminating battle at Yorktown that defeated Cornwallis and ended the war.

The leader of a faction that included Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Washington, Morris ran the executive branches of the revolutionary government for years. He was a man of prodigious energy and adroit management skills and was the most successful businessman on the continent. He laid the foundation for public credit and free capital markets that helped make America a global economic leader. But he incurred powerful enemies who considered his wealth and influence a danger to public "virtue" in a democratic society.

After public service, he gambled on land speculations that went bad, and landed in debtors prison, where George Washington, his loyal friend, visited him.

This once wealthy and powerful man ended his life in modest circumstances, but Rappleye restores his place as a patriot and an immensely important founding father.

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Jerome | 2990 comments Gouverneur Morris: An Independent Life

Gouverneur Morris  An Independent Life by William Howard Adams by William Howard Adams (no photo)


This title is a biography of one of the most colourful and least well-known of the founding fathers. A plain-spoken, racy patrician who distrusted democracy but opposed slavery and championed freedom for all minorities, an important player in the American Revolution, later an astute critic of the French Revolution, Gouverneur Morris remains an enigma among the founding generation. This biography tells his robust story, including his celebrated love affairs during his long stay in Europe. Morris's public record is astonishing. One of the leading figures of the Constitutional Convention, he put the Constitution in its final version, including its opening Preamble. As Washington's first minister to Paris, he became America's most effective representative in France. A successful, international entrepreneur, he understood the dynamics of commerce in the modern world. Frankly cosmopolitan, he embraced city life as a creative centre of civilization and had a central role in the building of the Erie Canal and in laying out the urban grid plan of Manhattan. William Howard Adams describes Morris's many contributions, talents, sophistication, and wit, as well as his romantic liaisons, free habits, and free speech. He brings to life a fascinating man of great stature, a founding father who receives his due at last.

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Jerome | 2990 comments An Incautious Man: The Life of Gouveneur Morris

An Incautious Man  The Life of Gouveneur Morris by Melanie Randolph Miller by Melanie Randolph Miller (no photo)


In An Incautious Man, historian Melanie Miller provides a succinct but sophisticated recounting of the life of one of our lesser-known but most engaging Founding Fathers: Gouverneur Morris. One of George Washington’s “surrogate sons,” Morris played a profound role in ensuring the success of the American Revolution and the creation of the Constitution. Miller provides readers a look behind the closed doors of the Constitutional Convention, where Morris’s crystalline but passionate eloquence gave the debate a vitality that remains both enthralling and keenly meaningful for those of us whose lives have been decisively shaped by the results of that deliberation.

In 1792, Morris replaced Thomas Jefferson as the American minister to France. His experience there during the Terror is unparalleled in diplomatic history. As Miller tells it, Morris’s time in France is a story of conspiracy to help the king escape, of friends imprisoned and murdered, of seized ships and complex problems that had no precedent in the young nation’s history. Upon his return to the U.S., Morris served a brief stint in the Senate before going on to secure the building of the Erie Canal and to direct the design of the Manhattan network of streets we know today.

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Jerome | 2990 comments The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson

The Cost of Liberty  The Life of John Dickinson by Murchison William by William Murchison (no photo)


It has been more than a half century since a biography of John Dickinson appeared. Author William Murchison rectifies this mistake, bringing to life one of the most influential figures of the entire Founding period, a principled man whose gifts as writer, speaker, and philosopher only Jefferson came near to matching. In the ­process, Murchison destroys the caricature of ­Dickinson that has emerged from such popular treatments as HBO’s John Adams miniseries and the Broadway musical 1776.

Dickinson is remembered mostly for his reluctance to sign the ­Declaration of Independence. But that reluctance, Murchison shows, had nothing to do with a lack of patriotism. In fact, Dickinson immediately took up arms to serve the colonial cause—something only one signer of the ­Declaration did. He stood on principle to oppose declaring independence at that moment, even when he knew that doing so would deal the “finishing blow” to his once-great reputation.

Dubbed the “Penman of the Revolution,” Dickinson was not just a scribe but also a shaper of mighty events. From the 1760s through the late 1780s he was present at, and played a significant role in, every major assemblage where the Founders charted America’s path—a claim few others could make. Author of the landmark essays Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, delegate to the Continental Congress, key ­figure behind the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, chief executive of both Pennsylvania and Delaware: Dickinson was, as one esteemed ­historian aptly put it, “the most underrated of all the Founders.”

This lively biography gives a great Founder his long-overdue measure of honor. It also broadens our understanding of the Founding period, challenging many modern assumptions about the events of 1776 and 1787.

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Jerome | 2990 comments James McHenry, Forgotten Federalist

James McHenry, Forgotten Federalist by Karen E. Robbins by Karen E. Robbins (no photo)


A Scots-Irish immigrant, James McHenry determined to make something of his life. Trained as a physician, he joined the American Revolution when war broke out. He then switched to a more military role, serving on the staffs of George Washington and Lafayette. He entered government after the war and served in the Maryland Senate and in the Continental Congress. As Maryland’s representative at the Constitutional Convention, McHenry helped to add the ex post facto clause to the Constitution and worked to increase free trade among the states.

As secretary of war, McHenry remained loyal to Washington, under whom he established a regimental framework for the army that lasted well into the nineteenth century. Upon becoming president, John Adams retained McHenry; however, Adams began to believe McHenry was in league with other Hamiltonian Federalists who wished to undermine his policies. Thus, when the military buildup for the Quasi-War with France became unpopular, Adams used it as a pretext to request McHenry’s resignation.

Yet as Karen Robbins demonstrates in the first modern biography of McHenry, Adams was mistaken; the friendship between McHenry and Hamilton that Adams feared had grown sensitive and there was a brief falling out. Moreover, McHenry had asked Hamilton to withdraw his application for second-in-command of the New Army being raised. Nonetheless, Adams’s misperception ended McHenry’s career, and he has remained an obscure historical figure ever since—until now. James McHenry, Forgotten Federalist reveals a man surrounded by important events who reflected the larger themes of his time

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Jerome | 2990 comments Forgotten Founder: The Life and Times of Charles Pinckney

Forgotten Founder  The Life and Times of Charles Pinckney by Marty D. Matthews by Marty D. Matthews (no photo)


Charles Pinckney (1757-1824) was born into one of South Carolina's most prominent families and quickly became one of the state's most influential figures. Born in Charleston, Pinckney grew up there and on his father's plantations in the Carolina lowcountry. He served in the state militia during the American Revolution and was captured at the surrender of Charleston in 1780. Later he attended the Confederation Congress in 1784. But he is best known for his representation of the Palmetto State at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, where he presented one of the few complete drafts of government for the new nation. The Pinckney Draft of the Constitution would play an integral part in the controversy that swirled around him, giving Pinckney's political enemies ammunition for their charges of arrogance and vanity, and perplexing historians for nearly a century.

He broke with his family - most of whom were staunch Federalists - to support the Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson in the pivotal election of 1800. Pinckney's efforts on Jefferson's behalf helped propel the Virginian into the presidency and changed the course of American political history. As a reward, Pinckney was named minister to Spain, where he served until 1806 before returning home and to state and to national politics. Soon after suffering financial ruin in his personal life, Pinckney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served during the Missouri Controversy of 1820. Pinckney's impassioned speeches in Congress helped lay the groundwork for the states rights ideology that eventually would dominate South Carolina and her southern neighbors, leading them to rebellion and civil war in 1861. as James Madison and even by other members of the Pinckney family. In Forgotten Founder, Marty D. Matthews addresses the reasons for such oversights and examines Pinckney's many important contributions to the founding of the American republic.

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Bryan Craig | 11543 comments James Madison: A Life Reconsidered

James Madison  A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney by Lynne CheneyLynne Cheney


This majestic new biography of James Madison explores the astonishing story of a man of vaunted modesty who audaciously changed the world. Among the Founding Fathers, Madison was a true genius of the early republic.

Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states—so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers—helped shape the country Americans live in today.

Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison would found the first political party in the country’s history—the Democratic Republicans. As Jefferson’s secretary of state, he managed the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States. As president, Madison led the country in its first war under the Constitution, the War of 1812. Without precedent to guide him, he would demonstrate that a republic could defend its honor and independence—and remain a republic still.

message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Thank you Bryan.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Alexander Hamilton (other topics)
Books and the Founding Fathers (other topics)
Gentleman Revolutionary : Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution (other topics)
Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic (other topics)
Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Ron Chernow (other topics)
George H. Nash (other topics)
Richard Brookhiser (other topics)
Mark David Hall (other topics)
Charles Rappleye (other topics)