Founding Fathers Blog

John Adams–What is Your Recipe for Preserving the Constitution?

April 7th, 2010

John Adams was the First Vice President of the New United States of America, serving under the Father of Our Country, George Washington. When Washington refused to serve a third term as President, John Adams was elected President. He served only one term.

In his Inaugural Address John Adams shared his vision for America as a “City on a Hill,” to be admired by every Nation of the Earth as a beacon for liberty and freedom. Adams advocated the support of “every rational effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion among all people. [It is] the only means of preserving our Constitition.”

In his Farewell Address, President George Washington warned us that religion and morality are indispensible supports to our Nation’s political properity.

Our current political prosperity seems now to be floundering. Perhaps the pendulum for separation of Church and State has swung too far. Maybe virtue, religion, and morality need to be propagated more effectively in our schools, colleges, universities, acadamies, and other institutions, in order to perserve our Nation’s political prosperity. We should listen to our founding Presidents.

The First Amendment to the Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” it doesn’t prohibit Americans from being religous and virtuous people. Our founders thought the propagation of religion and virtue was required to perserved our Nation’s political prosperity.

Benjamin Franklin recommends “Air Baths” to Avoid the Flu

March 16th, 2010

Benjamin Franklin had a habit of engaging in a daily “air bath.” He regarded this as a novel method to avoid cold, flu, and even smallpox. He wrote in 1768: “I have found it . . . agreeable to my constitution to bathe in another element. I mean cold air.”

Ben would arise every morning, and sit in his chamber without any clothes on whatever. He would throw open the room’s windows, even in cold weather, and enjoy the fresh air for a half hour or even an hour, depending on the season. During this time he would either read or write.

“This practice,” he said, “is not in the lease painful, but on the contrary, agreeable.” He considered it one reason he seldom suffered from colds or influenza.

Ben frequently recommended this practice to other people, but his advice seemed to fall on deaf ears. It was one of the reasons, though, that others, such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would seldom travel with or share a room with Doctor Franklin.

John Adams: Why Did You Want to Be A Lawyer?

March 9th, 2010

John Adams, the second President of the United States, was given his father’s name. John was athletic as a youth, and his father noticed he was extremely bright. John loved and excelled at ice-skating, wrestling and swimming.  But at an early age he didn’t care too much for books or learning, and saw no sense in talk of college. He wished only to become a farmer.

John’s father, though decided that his son should go to Harvard College and become a minister. John entered college at the then typical-for-the-time young age of 15. Most young men went to Harvard College to learn one of the three prominent vocations taught there. One would become a minister, a teacher, or a lawyer.

Harvard College in those days was made up of 4 brick buildings, a chapel, seven faculty members, and approximately 100 scholar students. John received a partial scholarship. His regimen was strict and demanding. John had learned from “ecclesiastical councils” which had been held in his fathers home, that he had no desire participate in the “dogma and bigotry in clergy and laity,” and chose the path to become a teacher.

After graduation John became a schoolmaster. As a youthful teacher, John believed he had to maintain a stiff and frowning countenance. This was not to his liking and so after 1 year of teaching, he returned to Harvard to study law. He believed his abilities as a public speaker would allow him to become a better lawyer than preacher or teacher.

Even if the legal profession was not held in very high esteem at the time, John developed a reputation as an honest and fair lawyer. He also grew a passion for learning and research. His reputation sky-rocketed when he won partial acquittal for the soldiers brought to trial for what became known as the “Boston Massacre.”

One of John’s greatest achievements was the defense in the Continental Congress of his friend and fellow lawyer, Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence. After the debate over his document, Thomas Jefferson announced, ” John Adams was our Colossus on the floor. He was not graceful nor elegant, nor remarkebly fluent but he came out occasionally with a power of thought and expression, that moved us from our seats.”

Aren’t you glad John Adams became a lawyer?

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