Thursday, October 9, 2008
Do you think you have rebel blood in you? I've just discovered I do. My book club is reading the Pulitzer Prize winning biography of John Adams and to go along with it Lyle and I and the big kids have just finished watching the HBO series based on the book. The beginning of each episode starts with blood-pumping music set to images of Revolutionary war flags with sayings such as, "Don't Tread on Me," and "Unite or Die", and "Appeal to Heaven." Surprisingly, for the first time it really struck me that despite the wigs and tights, the founding fathers were truly rebels. If things didn't swing their way, which often seemed likely, they would have been swinging from the gallows.
Lyle and I wondered if we'd lived in that time if we would have been rebels.
Statements like "Liberty or death" might have seemed a bit extreme to me. I think I would have presented King George with something more like, "Liberty or.....maybe just treat us a little nicer. Whichever is more convenient...."
I love Abigail Adams. I love that she was every bit as much of a rebel as her husband. She wrote to John saying, "You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you, an inactive spectator....We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them." She wanted him right in the fray. No wishy-washiness for this family.
This morning I pulled out my big dusty genealogy binder and found much to my delight ancestors of that time period naming their kids "America" and "Liberty" and "George Washington". How cool is that? No Tory blood here. We were rebels through and through.
And then half of my ancestors went and fought for the Confederacy, rebels of a different sort. I guess I can't expect the ancestors to bat 1000.
Posted by Eileen at 10:29 AM