How Much Are You Willing to Pay to Have Free Speech?

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James McHenry was born in Ireland in 1753. His Scots-Irish family send him to America in 1771 after he became sick from studying too hard. He may also have been sent to check out the colonies in anticipation of the entire family’s eventual immigration. In fact, a year later, the McHenry clan settled in what were then (for only a few years more) the British Colonies.

McHenry finished his studies in Philadelphia before serving as an apprentice under Benjamin Rush. You may remember Rush as the doctor/patriot who signed the Declaration of Independence, the founder of Dickinson College and the mentor/teacher of both Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) and future president William Henry Harrison.

Perhaps influenced by Rush, or maybe the whole Philadelphia experience, McHenry joined the cause of the patriots. After the British captured and then released him, McHenry served on the staffs of both George Washington and General Lafayette.

Two things about McHenry stand out in his long and illustrious career as a Founding Father. It’s likely you don’t know his connection to either.Continue Reading “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to Have Free Speech?”

‘A Republic, If You Can Keep It’

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Photo by visuals on UnsplashRemember the day. Remember the time.

Thursday, March 30th. 5:03pm.

At least that was the date and time for me. I had just come out of the quarterly board meeting of the New York Press Association. Ironically, during that meeting, we had no idea of any breaking news. It’s likely the news didn’t break until we adjourned.

Perhaps, given the participants, the timing of the release was out of respect.

Not likely.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the event I’m referring to is the first time there was ever Continue Reading “‘A Republic, If You Can Keep It’”

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