After the Revolution: Profiles of Early American Culture by Joseph J. Ellis

By Joseph J. Ellis

Via pictures of 4 figures—Charles Willson Peale, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, William Dunlap, and Noah Webster—Joseph Ellis offers a different point of view at the position of tradition in post-Revolutionary the US, either its excessive expectancies and its frustrations.
Each existence is interesting in its personal correct, and every is used to brightly light up the old context.

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Propriety called for religious training, which some boys resisted. When the schoolmaster, J. H. Harris, could not persuade Mr. Besselleu’s youths to accompany him to St. 8 Authority over the Orphan House was exercised by a Board of Commissioners, which first met on October 28, 1790. The board included Arnoldus Vanderhorst—who had recently become intendant (mayor) of Charleston and would later be governor of South Carolina—and other leading lights. Commissioners needed to establish rules for daily operations, gather the scattered children together, and arrange for laborers to perform necessary chores.

In Charleston, where blacks had formed a majority from time out of mind, fresh stories of atrocities that circulated with each new shipload of refugees only reinforced the acute fear of slave violence. ” The Charleston elite felt a particular bond with these children that crossed language barriers, and even superseded their relationship with the poor whites of Charleston. The poor of Charleston needed the Orphan House, but the rich of Saint-Domingue had suffered exactly the anarchy that establishment of such civic institutions had aimed to prevent.

Three years after beginning his apprenticeship, Charles received a bequest from a Mrs. Elizabeth Frisch, which consisted of fifteen dollars in cash and three shares of stock in the Planters and Mechanics Bank. As Charles was still a minor, the commissioners held this stock in trust for him at the Bank of the State of South Carolina, diligently collecting dividends and adding them to his account. 42 Ideally, a child bound out from the institution as an apprentice would spend several years living in his master’s family and learning a trade, after which he would begin his life’s work.

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