George and Martha Washington tomb

On this day in 1802, the first first lady, Martha Washington, that is, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington dies. Martha was twice widowed and outlived all four of her children.

Her son John Parke Custis, aka Jacky, wrote this comforting consolation to his mother after his little sister, also named Martha, died:
“I am confident she enjoys that Bliss prepar’d only for the Good & virtuous, let these considerations, My dear Mother have their due weight with you…”

Look for consolation

Nevertheless, Martha herself wrote this just one month after the death of her husband George:

“When the mind is deeply afflicted by those irreparable losses which are incident to humanity, the good Christian will submit without repining to the dispensations of divine Providence, and look for consolation to that Being who alone can pour balm into the bleeding heart, and who has promised to be the widow’s God.”

Also, the inscription pictured immediately below is in the tomb of George and Martha Washington:

Washington tomb


This is photograph of Martha Washington’s Bible, in which she wrote her name several times:

Martha Washington Bible

Abigail Adams "Remember the Ladies"

Abigail Adams and John Adams are renowned for their prolific correspondence. In fact, they wrote each other thousands of letters.

So, to write something along the lines of “On this day in 1776, Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John Adams…” is almost a given.

However, in this particularly noteworthy letter, Abigail urges Mr. Adams and the Continental Congress to “Remember the Ladies” in the battle for independence:

“I long to hear that you have declared an independancy—and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”


She goes on writing:

“Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as Beings placed by providence under your protection and in immitation of the Supreem [sic] Being make use of that power only for our happiness.”

Abigail Adams is one of only two women to have been both wives and mothers of American presidents.

Can you name the other?

Abigail Adams "Remember the Ladies"

Mayflower Compact

On this day in 1620, the Mayflower ship docks at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. This marked the culmination of an arduous journey to the New World. However, it also marked the start of a long winter, after which 50 of the 102 Mayflower passengers were dead.

Previously, on November 11, the Mayflower anchored across Cape Cod Bay. Then, before going ashore to begin scouting the area, the 41 male passengers wisely signed the Mayflower Compact.

“Covenant and combine”

Below is the full text of the Mayflower Compact. This document was a progenitor of the form of self-government found in the Constitution of the United States:

“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.”

Mayflower Compact

Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

On this day in 1788, Virginia becomes the tenth state to ratify the Constitution. Thus, Virginia becomes the tenth state in the union.

The Virginia state seal was created in 1776. The motto on the obverse of the Virginia seal is Sic semper tyrannis, which translates to Thus always to tyrants. This is clear reference to the declaration of independence from Great Britain.

The motto is similar a motto that was likely suggested by Benjamin Franklin (but not used) for the Great Seal of the United States: Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. This motto was however used by Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian, as one of his own personal seals (not pictured), as well as for a medal (pictured below) commissioned by Jefferson as governor of Virginia.

Virginia State seal

Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God










Next, from the Constitution of Virginia:
Section 16. Free exercise of religion; no establishment of religion.
That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

Eight Presidents

Virginia is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents. This lofty list includes George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson, John Tyler, William Henry Harrison. Finally, of course, the third president, Thomas Jefferson, whose personal seal and the cemetery gate at his beloved home Monticello are the inspiration for Our “Rebellion/Obedience: t-shirt.

Thomas Jefferson TJ


On this day, April 16, 1789, newly elected President George Washington leaves Mount Vernon for New York to be sworn in as the first American president on April 30.

He wrote in his diary:
“I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity; and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express.”

So, when I have a setback, like I did today, which will likely delay the release of Our George Washington inauguration-inspired t-shirt, meaning it will no longer coincide with his inauguration date, my disappointment is quickly put in perspective by a statement like that, written in the context of leading a new nation.

That is yet another example of why it is so worthwhile to rediscover Our Lost Founding.

Mount Vernon