American Originals

May 11, 2009

Source & Documents Illustrating the American Revolution 1764-1788 and the formation of the Federal Constitution, second edition, selected and edited by Samuel Eliot Morison.

As Read by JPD,

Letters from a Farmer, John Dickinson
from Letter XII

“Let these truths be indelibly impressed on our minds—that we cannot be HAPPY, without being FREE—that we cannot be free, without being secure in our property—that we cannot be secure in our property, if, without our consent, others may, as by right, take it away—that taxes imposed on us by parliament, do thus take it away—that duties laid for the sole purpose of raising money, are taxes—that attempts to lay such duties should be instantly and firmly opposed—that this opposition can never be effectual, unless it is the united effort of these provinces—that therefore BENEVOLENCE of temper towards each other, and UNANIMITY of counsels, are essential to the welfare of the whole—and lastly, that for this reason, every man among us, who in any manner would encourage either dissension, dissidence, or indifference, between these colonies, is an enemy to himself, and to his country.”

Virginia Bill of Rights, 12 June 1776

I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

British synonymy by Hester Lynch Piozzi

March 23, 2009

«You are a saucy fellow,» says dying Catherine in Shakespeare’s Henry the Eighth, when a messenger running in hastily forgets his due obeisance to the expiring Queen, who adds with equal dignity and pathos: «Deserve we no more reverence?» A bold man is one who speaks blunt truths, out of season perhaps, and is likely enough to be called saucy, though naturally unwilling to be so. Clytns was bold when he thwarted Alexander’s pride at the feast; and Sir Thomas More lost one of the wisest heads ever worn by man through his honest boldness, or bold honesty.

Bibliography of works about Hester Lynch Piozzi maintained here:

Leviathan; or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil

March 14, 2009

Is it just me, or is it really rather difficult to find a nice hardcover edition of Hobbes’ Leviathan? Oxford / Blackwell seemed to have published one in 1946, 1955 and 1960 with an introduction by Michael Oakeshott. Prices for this Oxford / Blackwell vary between $10 and $100. The current edition of the text, the 1996 Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought edited by Richard Tuck is easily found in paperback, but again I’d prefer a cloth bound edition. There was issued a hardback edition of Tuck’s Cambridge in its first year, but this seems to be scarce today ranging from $190 to $480 in the used category. Looks like I may have to go with a slightly soiled Oxford / Blackwell for now.

Passing notes

January 14, 2009

I checked out the following books in order to compose a letter.

-Thomas Hardy and history / R. J. White.
-Stonehenge decoded [by] Gerald S. Hawkins in collaboration with John B. White.
-The trophies of time : English antiquarians of the seventeenth century / Graham Parry.
-The ending of Roman Britain / A.S. Esmonde Cleary.

Henry Adams’ Tendency of History

January 4, 2009

Henry Adams’ Tendency of History. Posthumously published in ‘The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma,’ 1920.

John Mitchell Kemble, Nietzschean

December 21, 2008

The concluding chapter from the first volume of John Mitchell Kemble’s The Saxons in England: A History of the English Commonwealth to the Time of the Norman Conquest (1876 edition)

Natural Law

December 19, 2008


D. Lyons, ‘The Correlativity of Rights and Duties,’ Nous, 4 (1970)

H.L.A. Hart, ‘Are There Any Natural Rights?’ Philosophical Review, 64 (1955)

W.W. Buckland, A Text-Book of Roman Law, 3rd ed. (Cambridge, 1963)

R. L. Poole, Iohannis Wycliffe, De Domino Divino, (London, 1890)

Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence. Second Series (Oxford, 1973)

Hugo Grotius

De Iure Pradae
De Iure Belli ac Pacis (On the Law of War and Peace)
De Veritate Religionis Christanae

  1. New York Public Library
  2. Harvard University

Introduction to the Jurisprudence of Holland
Opera Omnia Theologica

Table Talk, 1689

Samuel Pufendorf

The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature (London, 1735)

Misc. Persons

John Major, student named Jacques Almain
J. Gerson, moral work, De Vita Spirtuali Animae
L. Lessius, De Iustitia et Lure
C. Summenhart

Sources for Intellectual History.doc

May 13, 2008

Sources for Intellectual History.doc [Incomplete]

a common place

May 2, 2008

“By dint of obscuring the difference between the historical and the philosophical study of law, it becomes possible to shift the point of view and slip over from the problem of the true justification of a thing to a justification by appeal to circumstances, to deductions from presupposed conditions which in themselves may have no higher validity, and so forth. To generalize, by this means the relative is put in the place of the absolute and the external appearance in place of the nature of the thing. When those who try to justify things on historical grounds confound an origin in external circumstances with one in the concept, they unconsciously achieve the very opposite of what they intend. Once the origination of an institution has been shown to be wholly to the purpose and necessary in the circumstances of the time, the demands of history have been fulfilled. But if this is supposed to pass for a general justification of the thing itself, it turns out to be the opposite, because, since those circumstances are no longer present, the institution so far from being justified has by their disappearance lost its meaning and its right.

–Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, trans. T. M. Knox. Oxford.

“Political economy was transformed into economics, the science of private gain. Darwinism introduced a principle which was interpreted as implying an eternal struggle for existence on a material plane, as lending biological sanction to the primary significance of material interests. The Church was divorced from the state and the desiderata of politics became fundamentally secular.

— Charles A. Beard, Idea of National Interest

“Modern culture in its various forms feels certain that, if men could be sufficiently objective or disinterested to recognize the injustice of excessive self-interest, they could also in time transfer the objectivity of their judgments as observers of the human scene to their judgments as actors and agents in human history. This is an absurd notion which every practical statesman or man of affairs knows how to discount because he encounters ambitions and passions in his daily experience, which refute the regnant modern theory of potentially innocent men and nations.

— Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History

“Successive generations have a way of forgetting their most recent past and even repudiating it; their fathers are more passe than their grandfathers, who are apt to reappear in the academic garb of dissertations.”

–Herbert W. Schneider in the 1964 Forward to Sources of Contemporary Philosophical Realism in America published by the Bobbs-Merrill Company as part of the Library of Liberal Arts.

Jesuit Perspectives in Acadia

May 1, 2008

Documents and Sources

History of the Society of Jesus in America, Colonial and Federal, by Thomas Hughes,
I. Text. From the first colonization till 1645.-II. Text. From 1645 till 1773.-III. Documents. pt. 1. nos. 1-140 [1605-1838] pt.2 nos. 141-224 -[1605-1838]


Montcalm and Wolfe, Francis Parkman