Americanism Redux: June 8, Your Today, On The Journey To The American Founding, 250 Years Ago, in 1773

Americanism Redux

June 8, your today, on the journey to the American Founding, 250 years ago, in 1773

In the sights of your eyes…on a street in Paris, France.

I want to see her, move aside and let me closer to the street. Has anyone seen her yet? I can’t wait to know if she’s as beautiful as they say she is in her portraits. I may look a mess, maybe I’m hungry a lot of the time but none of it matters today. I want to see her for myself. Think of it, the king’s wife. Here in Paris for the first time ever, Marie-Antoinette, queen of France. Listen to the people roar. They love her so. Is it, yes, I think, YES, there she is!!

And another voice is added to the crowd of 200,000 cheering people of Paris.

In the sights of your eyes…on St. Peters Square in Vatican City, Rome.

We’ll hear something any day now from the Pope when he steps out onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Clement XIV has tried to avoid it, but the end of Jesuit Order seems near. The Jesuits have angered too many people, become too politically involved, made all the wrong enemies. The Pope will act. He’s got to. And when he does, the Jesuits will be finished as an organized group. He’ll issue a decree from the Square to every corner of Europe and, next, across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, to the former New France that is now British-held Canada and to the other thirteen British colonies in North America. Shut down the Jesuits. We’ll be in the Square, looking at him and hearing it for the first time in the world.

(he who became Pope Clement XIV)

In the sights of your eyes…at a Catholic school in Baltimore County, Maryland.

It’s the Bohemia Manor School and the children of widow Anne Neal are ready to enter for today’s lessons. Her sons are learning to be Jesuits. It’s a rigorous education that her sons are receiving, a tightly-knit bond that they’re learning to form with other young students who seek to enter the Order. Anne knows nothing of the papal decree about to be issued that will close down the Jesuits world-wide. But if she did know, her reaction today would be the same as it will be in the future: what decree? It’s a long way from Vatican City to Maryland, the colony founded for the purposes of nurturing the Catholic faith. Anne is confident she’ll never quite hear the words pronounced in St. Peter’s Square. If she does hear them, she’ll decide they don’t really account for much.

(a mother’s son, Leonard Neale)

In the sights of your eyes…at Reynolds Tavern in Morristown, New Jersey.

Here’s your ale, like you ordered. Payment received. Looks like I need to give you some money back. Hold on. What’s this? Ah, I understand. You’re one of us. Well, here you go. Tuck it into your pocket, fold it into your purse. Use it like the real stuff, just like any other type of paper currency. They’ll never know it’s counterfeit. Looks genuine, right? For God’s sake, tell no one where you got it. Do right by me this time and maybe I can get you a bigger bundle in a week or so. We’re making a fortune. If anyone you don’t know is asking about me, is asking about David Reynolds, owner and builder of Reynolds Tavern these past ten years, don’t tell them anything until you fully trust them. I’ll wait and see if they’re part of our crowd.

(Reynolds Tavern, site of the counterfeiting ring)


In the sights of your eyes…Braintree, Massachusetts.

“How long will the Tides continue to set in this Way?

John Adams is overwhelmed by the thought of it all. So many strong and forceful expressions of the pro-colonial rights movement in the past weeks and months. Speeches, sermons, printed newspaper essays, and yes, those seventeen secret letters from Governor Thomas Hutchinson which still aren’t public yet. We’re making our case and pushing our Cause. How long will our good fortunes last? How long will fate and God keep smiling on us? What possibly comes next?

(the tides of Adams)

For You Now

A seventeen-year old girl who can’t stop staring at herself. Her ears fill with the stupendous sound of yelling and clapping as the fairy-tale carriage rumbles down the boulevard. When the end comes, and it will, the fall will be hard, brutal, and cruel as her head rolls away from the blade and hits the ground.

A fifty-three-year old woman stands as a mother-pillar for her surviving children. But for all her strength, she has no idea that on almost this very same day, one of her sons has become a priest in Bruges and Liege (in northern continental Europe) and will board a ship bound back to Chesapeake Bay. When the beginning comes, and it will, he’ll hug his mother and continue the mission of the shuttered Jesuits.

A thirty-two-year old man peers through the dark at his next customer, sizing up the motives and mannerisms of the individual. It’s a tricky business to decide who is trustworthy for doing illegal work. When the law comes come, and it will, his neck will stretch and his windpipe will squeeze to nothing under the weight of his body dangling on a rope.

A thirty-seven-year old man yearns to see around the corner of the current moment, to an invisible place called the future. In wanting to know what’s next he’s trying to understand how something he cares deeply about—the Cause—got to now. He’s amazed and anxious at the same time. Will the past consent to an embrace by the future? Will the future deny the appeal of the past? Will there be a particular time when a sharp split or break occurs and severs the connection between them? When the inevitable comes, and it will, what might I do then?


Consider the likeliest case for the near-term American nation and fill-in-the-blank: when___comes, and it will, I want to___. And know that per usual my words are carefully chosen. I used “likeliest” rather than “best” or “worst” or anything similar. Likeliest.

(how a river bend looks in the present moment)