Tour Updates: As 2020 continues to present challenges, we have adapted our tours to incorporate many more venues that are outside. We have rescheduled many of our spring and summer tours to the fall and winter of 2020, and moved our international tours to summer 2021 (view updated tour schedule here). All domestic tours will conform to the local laws (not necessarily local suggestions) and will incorporate wireless audio sets, enabling each guest to hear our guides while maintaining a comfortable distance. We ask all participants to be empathetic to fellow guests and practice effective hygiene habits while we strongly recommend those with high-risk health issues wait until conditions improve to participate. All registrations are fully refundable up until the tour starts. We will keep you updated with any changes on our end and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. May God grant us proper perspective as we remember His sovereignty and steadfast love.

Mary Surratt Executed, July 5, 1865

2020-07-06T08:55:56-05:00July 6, 2020|HH 2020|

“The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the Lord; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.” —Joshua 6:17

Mary Surratt Executed, July 5, 1865

On April 14, 1865, the popular stage actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Booth was the leader of a conspiracy to kidnap the President and hold him for ransom to grant the Confederacy their independence and end the war. The madcap scheme went awry when the kidnap plot could not be pulled off. Booth and his fellow conspirators then determined to kill the President, plus the next two in line for the office, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State, William H. Seward. After the kidnap plot failed, one of the conspirators, John Surratt, a courier for the Confederate Secret Service, dropped out of the gang and fled northward toward Canada. The others tried to carry out the assassinations. Only Booth succeeded.

John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865)

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, April 14, 1865

Upon the death of President Lincoln, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton essentially seized control of both the government and the investigation, directing the officers who rounded up the would-be assassins and tracked the fleeing Booth through Virginia. Booth was trapped in a burning barn and shot to death by a trooper named Boston Corbett. The other suspects, including the rest of the gang who had been in on the kidnapping and murder plot, the doctor who set Booth’s broken ankle, and Mary Surratt, the proprietor of the boarding house where the plotters occasionally met, were rounded up and imprisoned. John Surratt, on an unrelated secret mission in New York, eluded pursuers, escaping to Canada and then to Europe.

Edwin Stanton (1814-1869) United States Secretary of War (1862-68)

Mary Surratt (1820-1865)

John Surratt (1844-1916)

Stanton determined that all the accused civilians would receive a military trial, thus precluding how evidence could be gathered and waiving other rules normal to civilian courts. The suspects were kept shackled and hooded in isolation at Old Capitol Prison and the Washington Arsenal. Mary Surratt, mother of three, proved the most troubling case of all the accused conspirators. The Surratt family were Confederate-sympathizing Marylanders and the wife and children, devout Roman Catholics. Mary Surratt’s alcoholic husband had died in 1862 and she had moved to a D.C. townhouse and took in boarders. The Surratt family had offered shelter to spies and couriers in years past, and young John abandoned his studies for the priesthood to work for the Confederate Secret Service. The Booth cabal met at the boarding house periodically and three of them—Booth, Atzerodt and Powell—rented rooms at different times. The military tribunal had little or no direct evidence that confirmed Mary Surratt’s involvement in the assassination conspiracy. She admitted her Southern sympathies but denied she had any knowledge of the murder plot.

Temporarily serving as the Capitol of the U.S. (1815-1819) the Old Brick Capitol building in Washington, DC. also served as a private school, a boarding house, and, during the American Civil War, a prison known as the Old Capitol Prison.

Lewis Powell (1844-1865)

George Atzerodt (1835-1865)

Maryland Senator Reverdy Johnson took on Mary’s case, but the tribunal questioned his loyalty and “poisoned the well,” effectively damaging his ability to represent her. A Vermont journalist, recently turned attorney, Frederick Aiken, had offered his services to Jefferson Davis when the Confederacy was formed. However, he served in the Union army during the war, was wounded and returned home a brevet Colonel. He was a newly minted lawyer and was tapped by Johnson to take over the case. Woefully inexperienced and up against a military tribunal presided over by General David Hunter (known for disobeying superiors’ orders and whose career was filled with atrocities on behalf of the Union, burning homes and making war on civilians), Aiken’s case seemed doomed from the start.

Frederick Aiken (1832-1878)

The case against Mary hinged on two witnesses, John Lloyd, a drunken tenant on property owned by the Surratts and Louis Weichmann, a friend of John Surratt, boarder at the Surratt house, and clerk in Stanton’s War Department. Both men implicated Mary Surratt in the conspiracy, their questionable character and suspected perjury mishandled by the defense. Lloyd had supplied Booth with weapons and supplies but escaped punishment for his testimony against Mary. Of the dozens of people arrested and examined, four received the death penalty, including Mary. The majority of the tribunal voted to not hang Mary, in an attempt to intervene in her becoming the first woman officially executed by the United States government. President Johnson did not rescind the tribunal’s sentence for her; some historians believe he never received the amended appeal, others believe he was frightened of the power of the War Department. John Surratt was run to ground in Egypt by agents of the American Government. He stood trial eighteen months after his mother was hanged, but in a civilian court. Eight of the twelve jurors declared him not guilty for the assassination of President Lincoln, the jury was thus hung, and not Johnny Surratt. He was released and lived until 1916, dying at the age of 72.

Louis Weichmann (1842-1902), one of the primary witnesses for the prosecution in the trial of the alleged assassination conspirators

Execution by hanging of four convicted conspirators: Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt

Note: There are good modern biographies of both Mary and John Surratt, as well as a cottage industry of books on the Lincoln assassination.

Gone with the Wind Published, 1936

2020-06-26T19:54:53-05:00June 26, 2020|HH 2020|

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” —1 Peter 2:1

Gone with the Wind Published, June 30, 1936

Does Hollywood just reflect the mores and viewpoint of the popular culture, or does it create and perpetuate the popular culture? It is an age old debate. In the case of the blockbuster 1939 film Gone With the Wind, Hollywood reinforced a view of the Old South already accepted in popular culture, as evinced in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel upon which the movie is based, published in late June of 1936. Millions of people had read the book, for in the crisis of the Great Depression, romantic escapist literature dominated the reading public, as it has over the last six months of our current “crises.” Gone With the Wind, as a film, however, has become a victim itself, of political correctness and historical myopia, being banned from the television airwaves. Entertainment must conform to the iron discipline of the cultural brown-shirts stalking the government schools, social media, corporate boardrooms, halls of the state houses and Congress, and the “useful idiots” that live in the street.

First edition cover of Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949), author of Gone with the Wind, published June 30, 1936

GWTW was the creation of Margaret Mitchell, an Atlanta-born daughter of a radical suffragette and a wealthy attorney who was the son of a Confederate officer in the Civil War. In her early years, Margaret was steeped in the lore of the War, sitting on the knees of old veterans telling their stories. Her mother’s Irish sisters (Fitzgeralds) recounted the depredations of General Sherman and the post-war Reconstruction difficulties visited on Georgia. Young Margaret read the books of G.A. Henty and others of the same ilk, and imbibed a great love for history. Her reading included the works of Sir Walter Scott and other works of medieval knighthood. She also developed a rebellious and self-centered streak from her outspoken mother and grandmother.

Atlanta attorney Eugene Muse Mitchell (1866-1944), father of Margaret Mitchell

A popular misconception of the Old South, accepted in the North and South alike, implied that most antebellum whites were slave-holders and that most whites and blacks alike grew up on plantations of hundreds of slaves. Such an idea made for colorful stories and romantic images of a pre-war Eden-like environment for all concerned; it was a stereotype that GWTW would seemingly embed forever in the minds of readers, much like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, had done in the antebellum era, in a message of polar opposite. Historically, more than 80% of Southern families were not slave holders, and in fact, some African-Americans were slave-holders themselves.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) American abolitionist and author, best known for writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin

A still image from the film adaptation of the book depicting Scarlett O’Hara as portrayed by actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967)

The novel’s main character is the volatile and self-centered Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of an Irish Catholic planter in Georgia. When the War for Southern Independence finally begins, with the hearty approval of all of Scarlett’s beaus and friends from adjoining plantations, the men all leave to fight the Yankees. She marries one of the local boys to spite her sister, but she remains in love with Ashley Wilkes, who marries Melanie, a virtuous woman. An outsider, another self-centered rogue and blockade-running realist, Rhett Butler, sees Scarlett for what she is—a grasping, insincere, trouble-maker, much like himself. Inevitably, Scarlett’s husband, Hamilton, dies during Reconstruction defending Southern honor, and she marries Rhett, though still scheming to acquire Ashley Wilkes. She never succeeds.

A still image from the film adaptation of the book depicting Rhett Butler as portrayed by actor Clark Gable (1901-1960)

The book paints an antebellum background that infuriates the guardians of the modern historical ethos: most of the slaves are both happy and loyal; the white overseer is a corrupt and violent carpetbagger, the Southern Cause was both impetuous and noble, but foolishly romantic and doomed from the start. The novel, beside its soap-operaish love stories and romantic sub-plots, places the actors on a stage, that even in its most realistic passages, typically shows the lives of a tiny minority of the wealthiest class of Southerners. It is meant to. Peggy Mitchell never intended to write a sociological treatise or demographically precise commentary on Southern society. Stereotypes resonate with readers.

The Siege of Atlanta led by Union General William T. Sherman, July-August 1864

The book is a story-telling masterpiece that appealed to a nation weary of shortages and troubles. It vividly describes the horror of war in Atlanta during the siege operations of Sherman, and the utter destruction visited upon the people and state at the end of the War. The 21st century interpretation of Reconstruction is that it was mild and did not go far enough; the book shows the reality as lived by the Mitchells’ family and friends. The book sold more than 30 million copies; a poll conducted in 2014 found it was still the most popular book in the United States, second only to the Bible. A first edition, first printing in excellent condition sells for $25,000 or more, today.

Margaret Mitchell aboard the USS Atlanta in 1941 during her time as an American Red Cross volunteer

Powerful historical novels can determine how people view their own day or the past. Using fictional characters to convey universal truths, the importance of virtue and character, and a vivid construction of the historical context can have more impact on popular culture than the best history book ever written. People love a great story, artfully told, even if it perpetuates a stunted, inaccurate or mythological past, or goes against the prevailing ideology of the official version, often politically motivated or part of a larger agenda.

The Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, home of Mitchell at the time that she authored her famous novel

Schaeffers Meet at Unitarian Thrashing, 1932

2020-06-22T10:48:07-05:00June 22, 2020|HH 2020|

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” —2 Chronicles 7:14

Schaeffers Meet at Unitarian Thrashing, June 26, 1932

Francis Schaeffer became one of the most famous and effective evangelical theologians and philosophers of the 20th Century. His writings appealed to all sorts of intellectuals, especially Christians seeking the relevance of their Faith to modern cultures, steeped in humanism and hostile to biblical worldview thinking. He and his beloved wife Edith established a Christian study center in Switzerland, which became a refuge for a variety of alienated believers and inquiring seekers after truth. The Schaeffers’ study centers, books, and lectures, influenced multiple thousands of Christians, especially people in their teens and 20s, over a fifty-year period.

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)
American theologian, philosopher and pastor best known for founding L’Abri in Switzerland with his wife Edith

The grounds of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, where Francis Schaeffer graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1935

Francis was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, to a “non-intellectual, working class family” in 1912. Edith’s parents were missionaries with China Inland Mission, and gave birth to her, their fourth child, in 1914, in Wenzhou, China. Francis surprised his parents with his desire for Gospel ministry, after becoming a Christian upon reading the Bible straight through, “searching for the answers to life’s questions,” at the age of 17. He matriculated at the premier Presbyterian college in the South—Hampden-Sydney. He was an intense student, burning the midnight oil and eschewing the wasted time and high-jinks of fellow classmates. Edith attended Beaver College in Pennsylvania, also Presbyterian (now known as Arcadia).

Francis and Edith met at Arcadia College (previously known as Beaver College) in Glenside, Pennsylvania where Edith Schaeffer (née Seville) attended

In God’s providential timing, Francis visited a liberal Presbyterian Church in a town nearby to his home on June 26, 1932, where a noted Unitarian Universalist speaker presented his views of why he denied the Bible and its teachings about God, Jesus Christ, and other doctrines of the historic Christian faith. The precocious and intellectually formidable Edith had come to the meeting prepared to challenge the teacher publicly and refute all his arguments; her time growing up on the mission field had well prepared her in apologetics. When the Unitarian had concluded his presentation and asked for comments, Francis leaped to his feet first and shredded all the skeptic’s arguments. The brilliant Schaeffer had three years remaining at Hampden-Sydney where he would graduate Magna Cum Laude. Edith Rachel Merritt Seville, duly impressed with the bold young man and his powerful arguments, stood when he was done and delivered her response to the hapless speaker. Francis, also duly impressed, asked her if he could walk her home. They were married in 1935, right after Francis graduated, and they moved to Westminster Seminary near Philadelphia.

J. Gresham Machen Memorial Hall at Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside, PA where Francis studied under presuppositional apologist Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987)

Francis pastored several churches, and after the Second World War, they were sent by the Independent Board for Presbyterian Missions to Switzerland. Although he always considered himself a pastor and evangelist, Francis Schaeffer, in 1955, established a study center called L’Abri, (French for “the shelter”) in Switzerland, which became a retreat for intellectuals seeking guidance and counsel and sound biblical teaching. The application of a biblical worldview to art, culture, and family was at the center of Schaeffer’s teaching. He wrote twenty-two books and oversaw the production of two influential films derived from two of his books: How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, and Whatever Happened to the Human Race?

Chalet Les Melezes at Swiss L’Abri, an organization founded in 1955 by Francis and Edith Schaeffer in Huémoz-sur-Ollon, Switzerland

L’Abri is located on the outskirts of Ollon, Switzerland, situated a few miles southeast of Lake Geneva

Besides bearing him four children, Edith closely assisted Francis in the Study Center (which has expanded into eight different locations on several continents) and wrote twenty books herself, several best-sellers on family and homemaking, after her husband’s death in 1984 of cancer. Edith lived till 2013, dying at age 98 in Switzerland. From what began as an almost routine attendance at a liberal church in the early 1930s, Providence forged into a marriage that influenced millions of people, contributed to a resurgence of evangelical participation in American politics again, helped an untold number of Christians rediscover their faith and grow in it, led many to Christ, and built an institution that keeps their legacy alive into the 21st Century. We need even greater individuals and teams to step forward in the pagan and depraved American culture today, that Francis Schaeffer foresaw in its early days, and fought against for decades, fifty years ago.

Order Issued for the Arrest of William Tyndale, 1528

2020-06-15T09:12:55-05:00June 15, 2020|HH 2020|

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” —II Timothy 3:16,17

Order Issued for the Arrest of William Tyndale, June 18, 1528

Translating the Bible into English has a long and bloody history; long because the Roman Catholic Church sanctioned only the Latin versions, which only educated priests could read; bloody because they killed—or tried to kill—anyone who attempted translation into the vernacular language. Translations in the language of the people were available in France and Germany well before England officially allowed it. John Wycliffe in the 14th Century oversaw the translation of the Bible from Latin to English and hand-copied and disseminated it. He himself died peacefully, but his disciples—known as Lollards—were hounded and murdered in the following two centuries.

John Wycliffe (c. 1328-1384)

Wycliffe sends his translation out with his followers, the Lollards—a derogatory term used generally to deride those without an academic background, and more particularly those who followed the teachings of John Wycliffe, a forerunner of the Protestant Reformation.

It took William Tyndale in the 16th Century, during the Protestant Reformation, to produce a translation from the original languages into English, and break the barriers of Bible prohibition for the people. He was strangled and burned at the stake as a heretic.

William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536)

Just as most of the leading Protestant Reformers were either priests or monks, William Tyndale studied for and was ordained to the priesthood of the Roman Church. He came from a noble family and attended both Oxford and Cambridge. He apparently had a natural gift for languages, for he became fluent in six other languages than English, including Hebrew and Greek. In his studies, Tyndale had acquired a copy of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus of Rotterdam, discovering the doctrine of salvation by faith alone early in his career. He became convinced that his countrymen would never hear the Gospel until they had the Scriptures in their own language. Putting the Bible in their hands became a passion of the learned priest, and he set out to translate the New Testament from Greek to English. His request to the Bishop of London for permission was utterly rejected and declared an illegal and dangerous act. The development of the printing press, and the dissemination of Martin Luther’s writings spurred his efforts in biblical translation, and Tyndale set out to find a city on the continent amenable to his quest.

Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536)

Tyndale was an alumnus of University of Oxford’s Hertford College, established in the 1280s

He published his first New Testaments in the German City of Worms in 1525, from where it was smuggled into England. King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, and Sir Thomas More were infuriated. More called it the “testament of Tyndale’s master, the Antichrist.” The authorities of Church and State bought up all the copies they could get their hands on, unwittingly financing the next printings that would follow and be smuggled again into the country. By that time, Tyndale’s translation and publishing efforts were being carried on in several places in the “Low Countries.”

Location of Worms within Germany

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey issued a demand on June 18, 1528 for the Ambassador to the Netherlands to track down Tyndale for trial and execution. Secret agents were also sent from England, but he was able to elude his pursuers for eight years in the city of Antwerp before being discovered and seized. The translator was convicted of heresy by special prosecutors of the Holy Roman Emperor for teaching salvation by faith alone, among other “Protestant” doctrines. He was strangled and burnt at the stake. In the same year, one of Tyndale’s translations was presented to Henry VIII without Henry’s knowledge of its origins. He declared “in God’s name let it go abroad among the people.” Two years later, Henry ordered every church in England to have at least one copy of the Bible in English for every church.

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1473-1530) English archbishop, statesman and cardinal of the Catholic Church

Before being strangled and burned at the stake, Tyndale is said to have cried out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”. (Woodcut from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1563)

The Tyndale Bible legacy lived on in the “King James Version,” abut seventy-five years later, which is about 90% identical.

“Let it not make thee despair, neither yet discourage thee, O reader, that it is forbidden thee in pain of life and goods, or that it is made breaking of the king’s peace, or treason unto his highness, to read the Word of thy soul’s health—for if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes.” —William Tyndale

Memorial to William Tyndale in Vilvoorde, Belgium where he was martyred

Robespierre and the National Convention Inaugurate New Religion, 1794

2020-06-11T15:02:22-05:00June 8, 2020|HH 2020|

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” —Psalm 2:3-4

Robespierre and the National Convention Inaugurate New Religion, June 8, 1794

The French Revolution became the template for revolutions since the 1790s—especially in the 19th Century—and then its ideological heirs of the 20th. At first, men like the Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the American War for Independence, saw the rebellion in his native land as an opportunity to accomplish what the Americans had done—establish a constitutional republic, or at least make the crown answerable to a fixed law. The intellectual groundwork of revolution had been laid, however, in the preceding years, by the radical French Philosophes who promoted an agenda of very different goals and magnitude. This was going to be a comprehensive revolution, led by lawyers, bent on eradication of Christianity, monarchy, and aristocracy, committed to the enshrinement of democracy, social levelling, and the worship of man and his sovereign “reason.” The results, of course, created a monstrous and murderous tyranny far beyond anything the hapless King Louis XVI could ever have imagined, much less implemented, had he wanted to. The new “Republic of Virtue” even created its own religion for mass democratic man.

François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), French Philosophe best known by his pen name Voltaire. Regarded by the National Assembly as a forerunner to the French Revolution, his remains were brought back to Paris and enshrined in the Panthéon.

View of the Bastille in Paris c. 1715

Although France was a leading nation of Europe—commercially prosperous, well educated, and militarily capable—“the old Regime did have one overriding problem that was unique, even unprecedented. French intellectuals, middle and upper classes had grown ashamed of their country, history and institutions. Such a phenomenon had never before arisen in any nation or race throughout the long history of mankind.” (Scott, p.6) The roots of the problem lay in the triumph of the so-called “Enlightenment,” with the main French Philosophes, led by Voltaire, bringing his vituperative attacks on the Church as religious superstition, and the state, which only promoted economic inequalities, and oppressed the poor. The philosophical efforts to destroy church, state, history, and social order took on new dimensions with the rise of Rousseau, a “writer with poetic gifts but whose mental balance teetered perilously close to lunacy.” An eccentric misfit, he detested all forms of hierarchy and especially “loathed excellence.” (ibid.)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Philosopher whose writings helped spread Enlightenment thinking throughout Europe

He and other French intellectuals elevated man’s reason to god-like status and pursued that historic folly of believing that a perfect society could be created by the state. Thus, a utopian mysticism ensnared the masses through the leadership of Enlightenment secular humanists. Real-world difficulties faced by the urban poor exacerbated the violent potential of the mobs of the streets, and their willingness to be led by radical thinkers brought an all-encompassing revolution to France, a revolt wholly unlike the civil war recently waged by Britain’s American colonies. What the Americans had sought—Liberty—was expanded in France to Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, with liberty eventually falling by the wayside to “a new type” of radical equality and fraternity. A “secular surrogate” for religious belief developed among a sub-culture of literary intellectuals who were immersed in journalism and fascinated by conspiracies and ideology.

A 1793 propaganda poster features the slogan “Unity and Indivisibility of the Republic. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity or Death.” Symbols such as the tricolor flag, phrygian cap and the gallic rooster are also present.

King Louis XVI of France (1754-1793)

Queen Marie Antoinette (1755-1793)

In five months—May to October, 1789—“absolute monarchy and aristocratic authority were overthrown forever in the most powerful kingdom in Christendom.” The decisive event of the period was the creation of the “Third Estate,” representing everyone but the clergy and aristocracy, and led by middle-class lawyers. They declared themselves the National Assembly, abolishing social stratification and guaranteeing equality for all Frenchmen, establishing a revolutionary Republic. The armed masses in Paris, rioting and killing, eventually overturned the elected assemblies and put the state in the hands of a revolutionary council, led by Maximilien Robespierre, the most radical political leader. Thousands of people of every class, including the King and Queen, were sent to the guillotine and beheaded.

Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794)

The Fête de l’Etre Suprême, or the Festival of the Supreme Being, June 1794

In June of 1794, Robespierre and the National Convention declared a new revolutionary religion, separated from the “superstition of Christianity”, but affirming a supreme being and immortality of the soul. Churches became the “temples of Reason” and priests were forbidden to teach. The “goddess of Reason” statue was erected at Notre Dame Cathedral, and the new Trinity worshipped: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. As with all revolutions installing false gods, as Chesterton so poignantly observed, “Liberté, Equalité, and Fraternité soon gave way to Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery.” Napoleon rose through the ranks of the Revolutionary Army to establish a dictatorship, which reasserted order and went to war with all of Europe.

A depiction of the Feast of Reason, held at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

1794 standard of the Cult of the Supreme Being, one of the proposed state religions to replace Christianity in revolutionary France. Translated, it reads: “The French people recognize the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul.”

As James Billington observed, “the city is the modern crucible of revolution. The revolutionary tradition, seen from below, is a narrative of urban unrest. . . . seen from above the revolutionary tradition is a story of elite, intellectual leaders.” (Billington, p.15, 16) How rightly the Puritans saw that “democracy is a poison” and a religion based on man’s law rather than God’s. “This democratic and social equality is nothing but the canonization of envy and the chimera of jealous ineptitude. This equality was never anything but a mask which could not become reality without the abolition of all merit and virtue.” (Count Charles Montelembert on the French Revolution)

  • Fire in the Minds of Men, by James Billington (1980)
  • Robespierre: The Voice of Virtue, by Otto Scott