Connected successfully  The Okie Legacy: Vol 9, Iss 25 Constitution of USA

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Volume 9, Issue 25 -- 2007-06-23

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Volume 9
1999  Vol 1
2000  Vol 2
2001  Vol 3
2002  Vol 4
2003  Vol 5
2004  Vol 6
2005  Vol 7
2006  Vol 8
2007  Vol 9
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Forgot to mention that Bayfield, CO gas prices for regular have been around $3.35.9 the last few days.
 ~NW Okie regarding Okie's story from Vol. 10 Iss. 11 titled UNTITLED

Just read the article about Brink asking where it is located [more]...
 ~Reta Jackson regarding Okie's story from Vol. 7 Iss. 39 titled UNTITLED

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Duchess Says...

Duchess says, "Whew! It has certainly been hot and dry here in the valley of southwest Colorado."

The monsoon season officially (if that is the correct word to use here) does not begin until sometime in July here in Colorado. AND... I guess in another couple of weeks we shall see, huh!? Meanwhile, this pug and friends find a nice, cool, shady spot to relax during the first few days of Summer.

NW Okie's tomatoes are growing bushy by the days, but she had to get some bloomset to spray on some of the blooms because they were drying up and falling off the vine. Other than that we are surviving the first few days of Summer this week.

Last week we mentioned the Alva High Class Reunion for '56. Well! That should have read Class of '57. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. It has been corrected to read Alva High Class of '57. If you know of any Class of '57 Alva High graduates that they are looking for, please contact Jim Barker - Email address:, or give Jim a call: 580-327-1943.

If you Oklahoman's, Texas folks get too much rain in your areas, send it back this way to southwest Colorado! Thanks for listening to this audacious Pug!
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Eagle Chief Creek Floods

While Eagle Chief Creek was flooding it banks North of Hopeton, Oklahoma, it was also creating havoc in the western part of Woods County, along highway 14 and North of Waynoka, Oklahoma.

Eagle Chief Creek flowed over it's banks last week, Wednesday and Thursday (June 13 & 14, 2007) with over 5 inches of rain and most of it following within an hour on Thursday evening. Afterwards, some residents living about ten miles north of Waynoka, Oklahoma, were filling dumpsters full of stuff because of the flooding.

I wonder if the beavers have built dams along that area as they have in the past... OR... if the residents along Eagle Chief Creek on Hwy 14 have been destroying the natural flow of the creek through there.

At the same time it was raining North of Waynoka on Eagle Chief Creek, our Fairvalley property was getting some nice rain on the grass pastures and old townsites. I am told that it rained 1-1/2 inches both evenings (Wednesday & Thursday of last week, June 13 & 14, 2007). The report is: "Fairvalley has had lots of good rain, just like we have. The grass is absolutely excellent in these parts."
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OkieLegacy Centennial Moment

On Friday, November 15, 1907, W. F. Hatfield, Editor & Proprietor of The Alva Pioneer, a northwest Oklahoma, Woods County newspaper, started his column with this quote by Henry Ward Beacher:

"There is a distinct joy about owning land, unlike that which you have in money, in houses, in books, in pictures or anything else which men have devised. Personal property brings you into society with men. But land is a part of God's estate in the globe; and when a parcel of ground is deeded to you; and you walk over it and call it your own, it seems as if you had come into partnership with the original owner of the earth."

What a great sentiment to print in mid-November, 1907, fourteen years after the last land run in Oklahoma Territory when our ancestors were walking, settling their own lands and were in the process of becoming the 46th state in the United States of America, November 16, 1907.
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Whittet Family History

"On My Whittet Web Page I have a map showing all the recorded births of Whittet's in Scotland during the last 300 years from parish and town records. It may be of interest. Regards." -- Iain Whittet, New Zealand. -- Iain Whittet - email:
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Lambert, Yewed, OK & Old Yewed Church

"Carolyn and I drove to Lambert and Yewed this evening (SW of Cherokee in Alfalfa county, northwest Oklahoma, for your readers who do not know where those towns were located) and discovered, just a half-mile north of Yewed, the remains of the Methodist Church, scheduled to be destroyed in the not-so-distant future. In its day, it must have been a magnificent structure, as evident by the triple windows on the south, east, and west sides of the sanctuary and the large size of the sanctuary itself. I took about four dozen photographs while we were out there and have added fifteen of them to a special set of photographs on my Flickr site.

I am interested in any of the history of this church; I'm particularly interested to know if any of the windows have been preserved (we would love to see them if they are available for public viewing somewhere). Here the link to the church photo set

I also posted a photo of the old Lambert gymnasium which I understand is now home to large bales of hay, for the most part. There are also a few photos of the old railroad depot from Yewed (eight photos), which is preserved, though there is evidence of serious damage to the north side of the building." -- Rod Murrow, Jet, Oklahoma

[Editor's Note: If anyone has an old photo of the Yewed Methodist Church, we would love to see what it looked like in it's heyday. AND... do the windows of this old church still exist? Intact?]
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1926 - Britton Church Members

"It's folks from the Britton Christian Church. I have the other parts of that 'yard-long' photo attached here! In the 'left center' picture (on the right), I think that's Erma Ford (her maiden name might have been 'Brown') just above the word 'First' and then just above the 'tian' of the word 'Christian,' I think is my mom. The Fords lived just a block south of my grandparents Lewis.

My great-grandparents Lewis appear in both of the right-hand photos. In the right-center photo you will see at the far right, standing in the front row, my great-grandmother Mary Ann "Molly" (Mills) Lewis (wearing the fashionable black straw hat) and next to her is my great-grandfather William Michael Lewis (he's bareheaded here).

You also see them in the center of the front row of the far-right end picture. There are other folks who I think I may know but keep in mind that this photo was from 1926 (several years before I was born) and altho I have an excellent memory, even I cannot remember things or people that were here on this earth before I was.

If some of you DO recognize a few of these folks I would certainly love to hear from you. That's a good picture of the church in the background and that's before the basement and classrooms were added to the east, and before the back of the church was cut off and extended to add the new baptistry, office and choir room (even I got to help on that one). I was probably about 15 or 16 at the time and I climbed through the maze of 2x4's that held the two sections together and hammered and sawed to rejoin the back end to the rest of the building after we had moved it about six feet. It was similar to the "barn-raisings" you've seen in the movies, and I suspect that most of the idea as to how to do it was probably from my grandfather's past experiences. I believe that it was shortly after that when my grandfather wrote the play that was performed in the church showing just how the people had come together to form the Britton church in the first place, and if I remember correctly, the actors included my aunt Margaret Basey, along with Naomi (McCollum) Clausing, and a teen-aged Joyce Rosecrans (in a "granny-bonnet" and apron). as a couple of the lead actors.

My mom's family (her grandfather William Michael Lewis and his sons, Herbert and Orville [and perhaps their younger brother J.L.], and about 2 dozen others (including the Martin family) built that first wood-frame church with their own hands (my grandfather, Wm. Orville Lewis was a carpenter all his life). That same grandfather was the last surviving charter member for several years. My mom had been born in 1911, the year after that first church building was dedicated. The first house she remembered living in (after they moved in from the farm) was the house where the Floyd Loves lived just east of the church. Later my grandfather bought the corner lots to the east and across the street from the church, and then bought a large wooden farm house and had it moved into town and put on two of those lots. He spent the rest of his life (at least 50 years) constantly remodeling and adding to the inside of that big old house. He and my uncle (whom you possibly knew as "Billy" Lewis) continued to dig out rooms underneath the house and pouring more concrete until there was a full basement with a concrete floor, complete with a shower and a toilet that flushed up into the Britton sewer system. This was the home they had at 900 NW 90th (my brother Ray, and I were both born, 3 years apart, in the front bedroom of that house). My dad's parents, the Ernest Kendrick's lived on the west end of that same block until the late '30s." -- Roy
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Music & video Site

"I choose the '50's but you can pick any year. check out the video's too." -- Steve -
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1907 - New State Notes

On page 4 of The Daily Oklahoman, dated July 4, 1907, there were these "New State Notes" that we transcribed. We especially, liked the item we have numbered as #7 concerning a one dollar bill and a pair of socks. Check it out below. What do you suppose that was all about?

1. "Up to date and down to the minute no one has been downed in the flow of gas "flooding the valley of Muskogee."

2. "Ripe peaches are general over the territory, as is evidenced by various printed notes of thanks by blissful editors."

3. "The El Reno American says green bugs have gotten into the matrimonial crop. That is the kind that has always infested that crop."

4. "The Eagle Editor at Enid must be living a gayer life than the majority of the fraternity. He says we put too much life in too few years."

5. "Petrified teeth weighing fourteen pounds have been excavated near Lawton and are causing much conjecture. Are any of President Roosevelt's ancestors buried in that vicinity?"

6. "The proof of the pudding seems still be be in the eating thereof, despite the pure food label, as can be testified to by that Chickasha woman who ate pure food berries and got ptomaine poison."

7. "At Alva a man bought a pair of socks with a one dollar bill raised to a twenty, and got the change. He was acquitted by a jury but the man whom he claims gave the bill to him is being held. What became of the socks?"
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July 1907 - Murray Will Issue The Election Call Tomorrow

Here is another front page headline from The Daily Oklahoman, dated July 4, 1907, with headlines reading: "Convention President To Ignore Court Injunction - Issuance from Tishomingo will Avoid Court Contempt -- Some Party leaders Fear Move Is Grave Error - Say He Did Not Consult Others."

The article goes on to say, "President Murray of the Oklahoma constitutional convention has the result of a conference of several convention delegates in Oklahoma City, Sunday, will issue a call tomorrow for an election to be held throughout the new state, August 6, 1907, for the ratification of the constitution that has been framed for the new commonwealth. The members of the constitutional convention known to have participated in the conference held in this city Sunday are President Murray and Delegates C. L. Moore of Enid, George W. Wood of Cherokee, M. J. Kane of Kingfisher, E. Herring of Elk City,"
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July 4, 1907 Headlines

In the The Daily Oklahoman dated July 4, 1907, the front page headlines read: "Cut Married Teachers Out" - "School Board Decides to Revolutionize Present System" - "Matrons Are Barred" - "Only Single Women Are Included in This year's Appointments" -- The article goes on to state, "Married women teachers are to be dropped from the public schools of Oklahoma City. This was decided at a meeting of the board of education when the teachers for the school year of 1907-1908 were appointed. The board also argued to increase salaries." What did they have against Married (Matron) female teachers? Seems to me that women did NOT have to many rights back then, did they?! BUT... I guess women suffgrage was just beginning!
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Searching For Britton Memories

"I am trying to find info on Britton and not having much luck. My grandfather pastored a church in Britton 1933-34 and I was wanting to see if I could find pictures of the church or parsonage, any history or pictures of Britton during that time. Where can you get information on the History of Britton? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you!" -- Cindy Ehrl - Email:
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Britton, OK Memories

"The early Kendrick Grocery was owned by my grandparents and was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Western Avenue and Britton Highway (just west of the Santa Fe Railroad tracks). Left to right, starting with woman behind the counter is my grandmother, Martha Elizabeth (Burdick) Kendrick; my dad, J. Chasteen Kendrick; his dad (my grandfather) Ernest C. Kendrick; next is unknown but might be Roy Avey (for whom I was named); next two unknown; and finally my dad's twin brother, W. Chester Kendrick. The store was sold and torn down for new construction (the Britton City Hall, police and fire station) in about 1928.

The house where I was born (my grandparents Lewis) is still there. That address is now 900 W. 90th Street. The house where I lived became another 'Kendrick Grocery' (we tore out a wall between the living room and the front bedroom to create a small, family operated grocery store when I was a teen-ager). That house was located at 1129 W. Britton Road just about a block west of where the first Kendrick Grocery had been back in the 1920s. In the mid-'50s, our store was sold and eventually torn down to become a part of the present parking lot of the Britton Baptist Church (that's located just to the east of Sherman-Demuth Funeral Home).

The Sherman's who had the funeral home when I was growing up were all close friends to our family and bought all their groceries at our store. The daughter, Sandra Sherman, and her cousin, Janice Baldwin, were part of "the gang" (including my youngest brother, Allan) who went all the way through school (from kindergarten through 12th grade) together.

The first one of "the gang" to die was Danny Leazenby who fell on a grenade that exploded during basic training (thus saving the rest of the guys in his group). The second one to die was my brother Allan, of a car crash in Texas after he'd been discharged from the army. In the service he'd been trained as a Russian Linguist and assigned to monitor Russian military broadcasts from a base in the Aleutian Islands (Isle of "Shemya" just 3 islands from the Russian mainland). He learned scuba diving (in a wet-suit) in the icy waters there. After his discharge, he finished his education at Oklahoma City University (the same college that I and my other brother, Ray, had attended, and then he became a seismologist and worked in south Texas exploring for oil. On July 3rd, 1965 he and a buddy were hurrying towards Mexico to see the bullfights and were driving too fast in the friends Jaguar XKE and a Texas highway patrol officer tried unsuccessfully to stop them for speeding. They outran him but missed a curve and flew through the air. My brother flew out of the car at a speed in excess of 100 MPH and struck a tree. He died instantly of brain separation. We buried my brother at Rose Hill Cemetery at 63rd and north Western.

The photo of the later Kendrick Grocery with my mom and dad standing in front was taken in 1946. In the background (to the right side which is east) is a floral shop located on Western and between the two buildings you can see the supports of the Britton water tower which furnished water for the entire city.

The next photo is of the 1930 graduating class of Britton Highschool. That building was demolished shortly after the classes were moved into the new John Marshall Highschool building on north Military in 1950. In the class photo, my mom is the one wearing glasses, 2nd from right on the front row.

In the last photo, my grandfather, W. Orville Lewis is standing just behind the large lady who is 3rd from the left. I think the girl seated 4th from left is my mom's younger sister, my aunt Margaret Lewis who later married Otha Basey of Piedmont. I think that photo was taken near the Christian Church which was located (at that time where the parking lot is now) on NW 90th street." -- Roy K. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

Britton, OK Jr & Sr High School

"The photo of Britton Jr-Sr High school is from the 1948 high school annual but the school was built in late '20's or '30s.

The next photo is of the Britton Theatre on the north side of Britton Highway (the main street). It was formerly known as the Ritz Theatre before the newer theatre was built (about 1947) on the south side of the street, and then it was remodeled for awhile into a roller-skating rink and a couple of years later was changed back to a theatre showing double features on Friday and Saturday only. Years later the building was sold and became doctors offices. I worked at both theatres, and later became a theatre owner myself (first in a tiny town in Missouri, just after serving in the Airforce. Then I returned to Oklahoma to attend college at Oklahoma City University (majored in electronics engineering) and worked as a projectionist at the Lakeside Theatre. Later became a film editor at KWTV channel 9 and while there, leased small town theatres in Tuttle and Minco, Oklahoma, before moving to Perry to operate the indoor and drive-in theatre). I still live in Perry, and own and manage an antique mall." -- Roy
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Enjoy OkieLegacy

"Dear Linda, I enjoy your Okie Legacy so very much and look forward to receiving it each week. I have a new address now and hope that you will change it." -- Bette
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1956 - Mildred Anne Reynolds Firey Death

"Thank you for an interesting site. Very tragic death of Mildred Reynolds. Speculation is of course a little false as decisive information may be known to law enforcement but not the public. Although certainly appearing suspicious, definite proof of murder, which one would expect to find, is missing; and proclaimed evidence - blows to her head and shoulders, "criminal" (or attempted) assault, tyre tracks of another vehicle forcing her off the road - remain unproven on further examination. Her actions strike me as more consistent with a freak accident than with murder.

Mildred Reynolds could have been taken ill and attempted to turn back to Alva, making a 3-point turn far too fast - if she momentarily fainted her foot would be a dead weight on the accelerator. She could have resued her bag, bleeding a little from striking her face on the windscreen or steering wheel, lost a shoe, then treurned to her car as brake fluid exploded.

Were there further developments in the following half century?" -- rhys pidgeon - Email:
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The Rest of the Story

1904 Pioneer Articles... "In the Alva Pioneer 1904 edition, Early Recollections. Says - Johnny Pots was killed by Benj. Franklin--. Was his last name Franklin, or was it his middle name? Needing any information on Benjamin Winters. Thanks." -- Charlene Winters Hicks - Email:

Packsaddle, OK... "Dean, try looking for "Pack Saddle Oklahoma" in Google. You will find it mentioned." -- Lois Caywood Guffy - Email:

Another Packsaddle, OK... "There was an area known as Packsaddle south of Arnett, Oklahoma. My relatives (surname ENFIELD) built a rock home there in the early 1900's. There is still a family cemetery located in the area. I had a great-uncle who wrote a book entitled The Man from Packsaddle. It was a fictional western novel, and not very good." -- Barbara Enfield Patterson

Share Bros. of Oklahoma Territory... "Charles Morton "Corky" Share was the son of Charles C. Share." -- SBW

Share Bros of Oklahoma Territory... "Linda, here is more information on the Shares, since you asked! Sylvester B. Share was working in a sawmill in Ludington, Mason Co., Michigan in the 1880 Census. He was born in New York in Nov., 1855, son of Richard A. Share and Charlotte (last name unknown). Charlotte died in about 1875 and was replaced. I have looked at the original census form, and the long-hand writing looks to me like "Leomelia."

The family moved to Michigan about 1875 from NY. Sylvester married three times to: Frances M. Thorn, 20 June, 1881 in Ludington; Belle Carrico, 23 October, 1890 in Harper, KS; and Ida Jost, between 1910 and 1920, possibly in Alva (though she was born in Wyandotte Co., KS). Ida was 16 years younger. Sylvester fathered only one child, Gladys, born about 1891, to Belle. Sylvester died in Alva on 28 January 1925 (not 1905). In 1910, Sylvester (age 51) was living alone in a rooming house. (Belle lived up the street with her niece.) Ten years later, he was living with Ida.

Charles C. Share, Sylvester's brother, was born in NY in September, 1851. He married Lizzie Pierson in about 1889, and their sole issue was Charles Morton Share, born 23 June 1890 in Harper.

John D. Share was born in about 1848. John D. was living in Liberty, Clay Co., MO, single, occupation listed as Postmaster (at age 21!) in 1870. There he married Ella D. Dougherty, on 29 Oct, 1874. Ten years later, he was in Wellington, KS, with Ella, 29, and daughter Mary Elizabeth, age 4. He was then a merchant. The year 1900 finds him in Alva with Ella and Mary S. McLean, 24 (married 1 year), and son, Arthur L., 19, also married 1 year. John is not found in the 1910 Census. Ella died 1 Dec. 1914 in Wellington. In the 1920 Census, John D. is in Denver, CO, age 71, with wife, Delia C., age 32!, born in OK.

The known issues of Richard and Charlotte Share were: John D., born about 1848; Charles C., born Sept., 1851 in NY; Sylvester B., born Nov, 1855 in NY; William G., born Mar, 1857 in NY; Mittie, born about 1859; Alonzo, born 1864 in NY; Harriet, born about 1866 in MO; and Gertrude, born Apr., 1875 in MI.

Alonzo was a doctor, and was found in Kingfisher, OK in 1900 and 1910 with his wife, Grace B. (Pardin). Their issue, Louis and Beatrice, were born in OK, in 1902 and about 1904, respectively." -- Joe M.

Alva, OK Cemetery Records... According to the Alva Cemetery records online, this is what I found out about the Share brothers of northwest Oklahoma.

Charles C. Share is buried in the Alva cemetery in block A-086-05. There is a Lizzie B. Share (died August 4, 1947) buried in block A-086-06. Their son, Charles Morton Share (died June 13, 1959) is buried in block A-086-07 of the Alva cemetery.

Sylvester B. Share died January 18, 1905. (Other reports show date of death for Sylvester Share to be 28 January 1925. is the Alva Cemetery online records a typo?) and wife (died February 6, 1954) are buried in the Alva cemetery in block 02-055-05 and block 02-055-06, respectfully. There is an infant boy Share buried in block 02-055-07 with death date August 13, 1901.

There was no listing of John D. Share being buried in the Alva cemetery. Where is John D. Share buried? Kansas? Michigan? Oklahoma? Colorado?
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Brink (Drink), Oklahoma

Have you ever heard of "Brink, Oklahoma?" How about "Drink?" We have learned that "Brink" was sometimes called "Drink" on various Woods County and Oklahoma place name lists. We could not find Brink or Drink in the "Oklahoma Place Names" book, though. Someone told us the coordinates for both are Section 8 Twp. 27N Rge 13WIM in the Spring Township.
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George Washington's Farewell Address - 17 Sept. 1796

[George Washington had been the obvious choice to be the first president of the United States, and indeed, many people had supported ratification of the Constitution on the assumption that Washington would be the head of the new government. By all measures, Washington proved himself a capable, even a great, president, helping to shape the new government and leading the country skillfully through several crises, both foreign and domestic. Washington, like many of his contemporaries, did not understand or believe in political parties, and saw them as fractious agencies subversive of domestic tranquility. When political parties began forming during his administration, and in direct response to some of his policies, he failed to comprehend that parties would be the chief device through which the American people would debate and resolve major public issues. It was his fear of what parties would do to the nation that led Washington to draft his Farewell Address. The two parties that developed in the early 1790s were the Federalists, who supported the economic and foreign policies of the Washington administration, and the Jeffersonian Republicans, who in large measure opposed them.]

Friends and Fellow-Citizens:
The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the Executive Government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made....

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed toward the organization and administration of the Government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it....

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare which can not end with my life, and the apprehension of danger natural to that solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present to offer to your solemn contemplation and to recommend to your frequent review some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to permanency of your felicity as a people.... Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth, as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together. The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the same agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and while it contributes in different ways to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations, and what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other....

Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our union it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations --Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western -- whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You can not shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection....

To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate union and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government....

Toward the preservation of your Government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what can not be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember especially that for the efficient management of your common interests in a country so extensive as ours a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to con-fine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy....

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose; and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those intrusted with its administration to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.... If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear....

Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct. And can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period a great nation to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that in the course of time and things the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.

So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld; and it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country without odium, sometimes even with popularity, gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation....

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it, for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand, neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the Government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard....

Though in reviewing the incidents of my Administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence, and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love toward it which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize without alloy the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow-citizens the benign influence of good laws under a free government -- the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers." -- George Washington's Farewell Address, 17 September 1796. Source: J.D. Richardson, ed., Compilation of Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol.1 (1907), 213.SEE ALSO: - US History -
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Constitution of USA

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.....

The Separation of Powers devised by the framers of the Constitution was designed to do one primary thing: to prevent the majority from ruling with an iron fist. Based on their experience, the framers shied away from giving any branch of the new government too much power. The separation of powers provides a system of shared power known as Checks and Balances." -- The U.S. constitution
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