The Great American Essay

…fiat justitia, ruat coelum                                       Lord Mansfield, The Decision in Somerset’s Case, June 22, 1772[1] America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.                                                                                 Frederick Douglass, 1852[2] The wealthy landowners of Virginia and other southern colonies were fat and happy in 1766. TheContinue reading “The Great American Essay”

The Legacy Perhaps of James Smithson

by Jerry Leibowitz Knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom…                                                                                                      Frederick Douglass Ever since the British burned the White House down, there’s a bleeding wound in the heart of town…                                                                                                     Bob Dylan, Narrow Way (2012) The most vast and incredible complex of museums in the world sprang from the bequest of a manContinue reading “The Legacy Perhaps of James Smithson”

Who is James Renwick and What are His Plans?

Who is James Renwick? This is not an Ayn Rand question about a fictional engineer. There was an engineer turned architect named James Renwick (1819-1895) who designed several of the most iconic structures built in America’s early years, including the Castle at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NewContinue reading “Who is James Renwick and What are His Plans?”