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Simply Speaking: Greetings from New Mexico

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Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of our Founding Fathers, was the last living signer of  the Declaration of Independence, his life spanning from 1737 until 1832. 

Carroll was well fixed, perhaps the wealthiest man in the colonies, owning thousands of acres in Maryland, upon which was located Doughoregan Manor (dough-oregon or dough oh reagan??).

A little insight into the thinking processes of the Founders may be seen in Carroll’s hostility to the Stamp Act.

Though an Englishman (the colonies were English possessions at that time), he was keenly aware of what was known as the ancient rights of Englishmen (Patrick Henry referred to them as the ancient constitutions). 

From this we deduce that much of what the Founders gave us was English in origin, but not being abided to by the English government of the time, as is required for a free people. 

Kind of what we’re seeing presently in America, though we may have departed from our “ancient constitutions” to a far greater degree than in the Stamp Act time period.

It’s an age-old dilemma of mankind; a wonderful system put in place, only to be corrupted by mankind. This probably started on Planet Earth in the Garden of Eden, continuing up to the present time…in Spades. 

A picture of current affairs might be seen in an early 1770’s Maryland Gazette confrontation between the colony’s most powerful politician of the time, royalist Daniel Dulany, Maryland attorney general, pitting himself in the Gazette as “Antillon,” who was disdainful of persistent attacks on the crown and Parliament, calling out those who did so as the “First Citizen” and “irrational people,” (perhaps today’s Tea Party) as opposed to his ideal, “Second Citizen,” “the rational and conservative adherent to government authority.” 

In rebuttal, Charles Carroll, penning himself (incognito) in the newspaper as “First Citizen,” was critical of “career politicians,” like Dulany, whose status was determined by their government role, saying, “Men under the basis of self-interest, and under personal obligations to Government, cannot act with a freedom and independency becoming a representative of the people.”

Long story, short, the confrontation expanded with both parties becoming known publicly. 

This grudge match between the most powerful politician verses a most powerful private citizen “took off the gloves” and when the dust had settled, Carroll came out as a leader in Maryland politics, with Dulany shamed for his reckless personal attacks on the people.

In another exchange between Carroll and Samuel Chase, “We have the better of our opponents, we have completely written them down,” says Chase.

To which Carroll responds, “And do you think that writing will settle the question between us?”

“To be sure. What else can we resort to?”

“The bayonet. Our arguments will only raise the feelings of the people to that pitch, when open war will be looked to as the arbiter of the dispute.”

Just a bit of history from the words and actions of our forefathers. Much of this history gleaned from the pages of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers” by Brion McClanahan, Ph.D (Regnery, 2009)

God bless.


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