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Search Results for "James McHenry"

Your search for posts with tags containing James McHenry found 17 posts

Elizabeth Powel and James McHenry Revisited

I’ve gotten some messages about this, so I might as well address it for posterity.Back in March 2017, I wrote a series of postings about the anecdote of Benjamin Franklin telling a woman we the Constitutional Convention had established “A...
From: Boston 1775 on 27 Jan 2020

The Story Behind “a familiar anecdote”

This past week, historian Zara Anishanslin published an op-ed essay in the Washington Post headlined “What we get wrong about Ben Franklin’s ‘a republic, if you can keep it’.” It begins:Last month, when House Speaker Nancy...
From: Boston 1775 on 3 Nov 2019

Meeting George Washington’s Indispensable Men

Back when I was researching Gen. George Washington’s life and work in Cambridge for the National Park Service, one of the books I drew on heavily was Arthur S. Lefkowitz’s George Washington’s Indispensable Men. This is a study of the...
From: Boston 1775 on 25 Sep 2018

“The story is told…”

As I’ve been discussing, James McHenry recorded in his diary an anecdote about Benjamin Franklin, Elizabeth Powel, and the results of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. And then he changed that story when he published it over a decade later....
From: Boston 1775 on 31 Mar 2017

“The all important Subject was frequently discussed at our House”

On 21 May 1814, Elizabeth Powel wrote to a relative named Martha Hare, commenting about an exchange with Benjamin Franklin from twenty-seven years before. I haven’t seen this letter in full, only the phrases that David W. Maxey quoted in his article...
From: Boston 1775 on 30 Mar 2017

“Dr. Franklin…met with Mrs. Powel”

In 1811, an anonymous pamphlet appeared in Baltimore titled The Three Patriots, Or, the Cause and Cure of Present Evils: Addressed to the Voters of Maryland. It was an attack on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Sixty-five years later,...
From: Boston 1775 on 29 Mar 2017

“We pronounce it to be an impudent forgery”

Two days ago I quoted an article signed “The Mirror” from the 15 July 1803 Republican newspaper of Baltimore.Over the next month the same essay was reprinted in other Federalist periodicals: Middlebury (Vermont) Mercury, 3 Aug 1803. Spectator...
From: Boston 1775 on 28 Mar 2017

How Dr. McHenry Operated on His Anecdote

As Dr. James McHenry first recorded the story of Elizabeth Powel, Benjamin Franklin, and the new Constitution in his journal, it was only twenty-six words. This was the entire exchange he wrote down (exact words, different formatting): Powel: Well, Doctor...
From: Boston 1775 on 27 Mar 2017

“This prophetic answer of the Doctor”

Yesterday I quoted a short anecdote from Dr. James McHenry’s diary of the Constitutional Convention. That diary was first published in 1906, becoming part of the twentieth century’s understanding of the Constitution. But it doesn’t appear...
From: Boston 1775 on 26 Mar 2017

“A republic…if you can keep it.”

This is the launch of a deep dive into one of the most popular and portentous anecdotes from the Constitutional Convention of 1787. I wrote about that story before, but a prodding tweet from Zara Anishanslin sent me further into the depths. The earliest...
From: Boston 1775 on 25 Mar 2017

John Barker Church: “the mere man of business”?

So was the marriage of Angelica Schuyler (shown here) and John Carter/John Barker Church happy? We don’t have a body of correspondence between them as we have for, say, John and Abigail Adams. But their marriage lasted until their deaths, and they...
From: Boston 1775 on 7 Jan 2017

Mr. Jefferson’s Respects on the President’s Birthday

Amid the controversy over the birthday ball for George Washington in Philadelphia in 1798, Abigail Adams wrote home to a relative:I have heard that there is a design to shift this matter off upon the Vice President, but in Justice to him, he had no hand...
From: Boston 1775 on 28 Oct 2016

President Adams’s Birthday Celebrated—in Lisbon

Though there was no public observation of President John Adams’s birthday in Philadelphia in 1797, one branch of the small U.S. government definitely celebrated it. William Loughton Smith was a fervent Federalist from Charleston, South Carolina....
From: Boston 1775 on 23 Oct 2016

“He would produce a better one”

In investigating the anecdote about George Washington’s whisper at the Constitutional Convention, I started to wonder about the political views of Maryland delegate John Francis Mercer. Mercer arrived at the Philadelphia convention on 6 Aug 1787....
From: Boston 1775 on 23 Jul 2016

“The army shall not consist of more than — thousand men”

When John Francis Mercer arrived late at the Constitutional Convention on 6 Aug 1787, he was only twenty-eight years old—the second youngest man there. But he wasn’t shy about speaking up.The day after Mercer signed in, James Madison’s...
From: Boston 1775 on 22 Jul 2016

“What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

Yesterday I had a Twitter discussion about a well-known anecdote about the Constitution—whether it was equally well-founded in documents, less well-founded in reminiscences, or most likely myth.In this, case, the story falls into the first category....
From: Boston 1775 on 19 Jan 2016

“The General’s usual mode” of Correspondence

What was it like to work as one of Gen. George Washington’s aides de camp? Dr. James McHenry was a hospital surgeon during the siege of Boston, but later in the war he became an aide to the commander-in-chief.On one manuscript McHenry wrote a description...
From: Boston 1775 on 14 Mar 2013

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Caveats and Work in Progress

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The search is at present quite basic and limited. I plan to add a number of more sophisticated features in the future including the ability to filter by blog tags and by dates. I may also introduce RSS feeds for search queries at some point.

Constructing Search Query URLs

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This is the basic structure:

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I'll do my best to ensure that the basic URL construction (searchcat?s=...) is stable and persistent as long as the site is around.