Today we begin our discussion with a brief history of the life of Alexander Hamilton. The details of his life and his involvement in the formation of our early government are so voluminous that it would take many Coffee Breaks to recount, so I offer you the following. We’ve already mentioned him and talked about some of his influence with our nation’s founding, but let’s get a little more specific today. For a man who had such a short life with such questionable beginnings, Alexander Hamilton used his life to literally change the world of his day and influence the world economy even to the present.
We continue today with our discourse on Daniel Webster and his history. As noted last week, few names are more discussed or mentioned in today’s discussions than that of Daniel Webster. Losing a race in 1836 for the Presidency on the Whig ticket, he nonetheless gained more in national prominence, and when William Henry Harrison ran for President in 1840, he was offered the position of Vice-President. He declined with a dry but humorous phrase he would use again eight years later when Zachary Taylor ran for Presidency, "I do not propose to be buried until I am dead."
Today we will talk briefly about Abraham Lincoln; and then we will -- over the next few discussions -- delve into the process that has unfolded over the past 50 years or so in which our covenantal rights as Americans have been stolen, and the emerging reversal of that process which has taken place in the past few years. Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (1861 - 1865), has been both praised and vilified: either as one of the greatest presidents this nation has ever had, or as one of the worst -- all subject, of course, to the biases of those praising or criticizing.
I’m going to run a little long today but I want to finish up with our abbreviated history of one of the most significant founding fathers, George Mason. In May of 1776, George Mason wrote, "All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural rights .... among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety." His statement became part and parcel of the Virginia Constitution. It was a mere two months later that Thomas Jefferson cribbed from Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights while writing the Declaration of Independence. Many historians have suggested that Jefferson's version was not an improvement on Mason's.