Excerpts from: Americanism Redux: May 9, on the journey to the American Founding, 250 years ago today, in 1774

The news that will change the life of people in Boston and Massachusetts is only a day way. Written descriptions of the Boston Port Act are onboard the ship Harmony and will arrive on the 10th, meaning, the ship is roughly fifty miles away, between Boston harbor and Nova Scotia, headed west. As Harmony slices through the salt water, daily life in the colonies is a blend of order and upheaval, momentous change and entrenched continuity. Phillis Wheatly writes letters to her dearest friend and shares her anxiety over the challenges of faith, and also to an anti-slavery Christian minister who seeks her advice for a black evangelist struggling to gain spiritual converts in northern Africa.

Conflicts between Natives and British colonists erupt in the upper Ohio River valley and the lower Appalachian Mountain chain; war has broken out or is on the verge of doing so. Thomas Jefferson writes a legislative bill in the colony of Virginia which he believes can free he and his wife Martha from the confines and limitations of colonial land law. His effort, as shown below, has major implications. And in Holland, a philosopher named Eelco Alta attempts to persuade listeners that a recent alignment of the planets will produce unimaginable and unprecedented change on earth. A collision between the planet and the sun is coming.

Americanism Redux, a series by historian author, Dr. Dan Miller, explores what Americanism meant 250 years ago and its significance for America today. Visit Dr Dan Miller’s website>


Reference: The Remnant Trust Collection

Thomas Jefferson’s legislative bill is the first step in what will be one of the most important social and political aspects of the American Revolution. Within two years’ time of his family bill in the colonial assembly of the Virginia colony, he will seek broader state-wide change land laws in the new American state of Virginia. His work will fit into a larger stream of thought embodied by James Harrington’s “The Common-Wealth of Oceana”, Remnant Trust Archival holding (#0158), published in 1656. Harrington argues that the ownership of land is directly related to the possession of political power—to alter the former is to change the latter. Jefferson’s actions with land reform in May 1774 is the beginning of his efforts to follow Harrington’s argument to a logical end.

View The Remnant Trust “Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum PDF for reference>