The Civil War: William G. Brownlow to R.H. Appleton

November 29, 1860 Knoxville, Tennessee When the United States faced the prospect of disunion, in the fall of 1860, there was virtually no precedent to which Americans could look. This wasn’t a matter of policy differences: states were debating whether to leave the Union. And many felt that it was inherently wrong and tried to […]


Constitution Sunday: Answers to Mason’s “Objections”: “Marcus” [James Iredell] I

Answers to Mason’s “Objections”: “Marcus” [James Iredell] I Norfolk and Portsmouth Journal (Virginia), February 20, 1788 Following are excerpts from James Iredell’s responses to George Mason’s “Objections” to the Constitution: “IIId. [George Mason’s] Objection.¬†‘The Senate have the power of altering all money bills, and of originating appropriations of money, and the salaries of the officers […]


America in 1848

In 1848, when word spread to America that a revolution was breaking out in France, President James Polk wrote: “The great principles of popular sovereignty which were proclaimed in 1776 by the immortal author of our Declaration of Independence, seem now to be in the course of rapid development throughout the world.” James Knox Polk […]