A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
I agree. It's a good book. Here's a taste:Perhaps the most persuasive evidence that Washington did not say "so help me God" is the report of Ashbel Green, a Presbyterian minister who would become Senate Chaplain in 1792. Years after attending the inauguration, Green wrote a letter to his son describing the events of the day. He said Washington "took the oath prescribed by the constitution," but does not mention the use of any additional language. This is significant because at the time of his letter, the mid-1840s, Green had become the chief defender of Washington's personal religious convictions. In 1829, Thomas Jefferson's papers were published, and included the assertion that Gouverneur Morris "has often told me that Washington believed no more [in Christianity] than he himself did." Green responded by writing a long essay for the Christian Advocate, citing numerous examples of Washington's piety. In neither this essay nor his letter to his son did Green speak of the inaugural oath, though he did discuss the inaugural address, which was given to Congress shortly after the oath was taken.
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