Foundations of Freedom
Episode 17: Great American Myths

View of America


George Washington’s Religion

Thomas Jefferson’s Bible

Witch Trials

America and Slavery

America’s Religious Founding Fathers

Bible Verses Referenced

Helpful Links
View of America:

National leaders apologize for America
Moni Basu, “Navajo man wants the nation to hear its officials apology,” CNN, December 19, 2012; “Five Times Obama Has Apologized for America,” Washington Free Beacon, August 31, 2012; Nile Gardiner and Morgan Lorraine Roach, “Barack Obama’s Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower,” The Heritage Foundation, June 2, 2009; Elizabeth Harrington, “Michael Moore: ‘Calm Down, White People, and Put Away Your Guns,” CNSNews, December 26, 2012; Louis Michael Seidman, “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution,” The New York Times, December 30, 2012; etc.

Supreme Court justice says not to copy American Constitution as framework
“Ginsburg to Egyptians: I wouldn’t use U.S. Constitution as a model,” Fox News, February 6, 2012.

History test says the dropping of the atomic bomb in WWII raises questions about American values
AP United States: Course and Exam Description (New York: The College Board, Fall 2014), p. 71, “The AP U.S. History Course.”

Loss of life as a result of atomic bombs vs. estimate losses if invasion attempted
See, for example, Thomas M. Coffey, Iron Eagle: The Turbulent Life of General Curtis LeMay, (New York: Avon Books, 1988), p. 474; Richard B. Frank, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (New York: Random House, 1999), pp. 135-138, 140-142, 340.

Japan is now very prosperous
See, for example, “Japanese economic takeoff after 1945,” Indiana University Northwest; “Japan: Economy,” infoplease; “Japanese post-war economic miracle,” Wikipedia.

Early Americans came up with Bill of Rights to protect liberties
See, for example, American History Leaflets Colonial and Constitutional, Albert Bushnell Hart & Edward Channing, editors (New York: A. Lovell & Company, 1896), p. iii, “The Earliest New England Code of Laws, 1641.”

Early Americans founded universities
See, for example, “History of Harvard University,” Harvard University; “About – History,” Yale University.

Early Americans had long-lasting treaties with the Indians
See, for example, “Apr 1, 1621: The Pilgrim-Wampanoag peach treaty,” History.

Mayflower Compact modern quote
Kenneth C. Davis, Don’t Know Much About History (New York: Avon Books, 1990), p. 21.

Mayflower Compact original quote
Ebenezer Hazard, Historical Collections; Consisting of State Papers, and Other Authentic documents; Intended as Materials for an History of the United States of America (Philadelphia: T. Dobson, 1792) p. 119, “Agreement between the Settlers at New-Plymouth, November 11th, 1620.”

Patrick Henry modern quote
Kenneth C. Davis, Don’t Know Much About History (New York: Avon Books, 1990), p. 61.

Patrick Henry original quote
William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (Philadelphia: James Webster, 1817), p. 123.

Modern, edited Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. Specially Edited and Abridged for the Modern Reader, Richard D. Heffner, editor (New York: Penguin Books, 1956).

Original Democracy in America
Alexis De Tocqueville, The Republic of the United States of America, Henry Reeves, translator (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), 2 vols. in 1.
George Washington’s Religion:

Modern: George Washington was a deist because he did not use “God”
The Los Angeles Times, August 3, 1995, “America’s Unchristian Beginnings” Steven Morris, p. B-9. This article was picked up on wire services and appeared in newspapers across the nation.

James Watkins, “Were United States Founding Fathers Christians?” Hope and Humor.

George Washington, Maxims of George Washington, John Frederick Schroeder, editor (Mount Vernon: The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, 1989), p. 164.

“Providence” was used in Geneva Bible 144 times
See The Founders’ Bible commentary for Job 10:12; and, for other examples, here.

George Whitefield used “Providence” extensively
Search through George Whitefield, Eighteen Sermons (New Brunswick: A. Blauvelt, 1802) for “Providence.” Buy the reprint from WallBuilders here.

John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men. A Sermon Preached at Princeton on the 17th of May, 1776 (Philadelphia: 1777).

What people who knew Washington said of his faith
William J. Johnson, George Washington the Christian (New York: Abingdon Press, 1919).

Maxims of Washington; Political, Social, Moral, and Religious, John Frederick Schroeder, editor (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1855), p. 367.

Jared Sparks: George Washington’s writings
George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: John B. Russell, 1834-1837), 12 vols.
Thomas Jefferson’s Bible:

Modern: Jefferson made his own version of the Bible, taking out what he didn’t like and supporting his deist beliefs
See, for example, Craig Cabaniss, Bob Kauflin, Dave Harvey, and Jeff Purswell, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, C. J. Mahaney, editor (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008), p. 15, Robert S. Alley, “The Real Jefferson on Religion,”; Jim Walker, “Thomas Jefferson on Christianity & Religion,”; and many more listed in David Barton’s book The Jefferson Lies.

Two different “Jefferson Bible’s”
See information on these two editions in David Barton’s book The Jefferson Lies, specifically in “Lie #3.”

What are the Bible verses Jefferson included in his 1804 Philosophy of Jesus?
See the list of Bible passages Jefferson included in Henry S. Randall, The Life of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1858), Vol. III, pp. 654-655.

Did Jefferson intend the 1804 work to be used by Indians?
Henry S. Randall, The Life of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1858), Vol. III, p. 654.

Jefferson & Congress: funding missionary efforts to Indians
The American Mercury (Hartford: March 1, 1804), Vol. XX. See also American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive of the Congress of the United States, Walter Lowrie and Matthew St. Claire Clarke, editors (Washington, D. C.: Gales and Seaton, 1832), Vol. IV, p. 687, “The Kaskaskia and Other Tribes,” October 31, 1803.

Sermon that supported preaching to Indians
The Rev. William Bennet, The Excellence of Christian Morality, A Sermon Preached before the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, at their Anniversary Meeting, Thursday, 6th June 1799 (Edinburgh: 1800).

Jefferson studied many philosophers and compared their moral teachings with Jesus
See, for example, Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, H. A. Washington, editor (New York: J. C. Riker, 1856), Vol. IV, p. 475, to Joseph Priestly on April 9, 1803; Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Private Papers, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1829), Vol. IV, pp. 228-229, to John Adams on October 13, 1813.

What were the Bible verses Jefferson included in his 1820 The Life and Morals of Jesus?
The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French, and English, Thomas Jefferson, editor (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1904), Index.

Jefferson’s Life and Morals of Jesus distributed to Congress members
The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French, and English, Thomas Jefferson, editor (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1904), p. 19, introduction by Cyrus Adler, librarian at the Smithsonian Institute; Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson’s “Bible”; The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Judd Patton, editor (Grove City: American Book Distributors, 1996), p. xv, Introduction.
Witch Trials:

How many people were put to death during the Salem Witch trials?
William Warren Sweet, The Story of Religion in America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), p. 61.

The Salem with trails were stopped through the efforts of Christian ministers
Dictionary of American Biography, Allen Johnson, editor (New York: Charles Scribber’s Sons, 1929), s.v. “John Wise,” “Increase Mather,” and “Thomas Brattle.”

Witch trial numbers from Europe vs. America
Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 110.
America and Slavery:

Colonial Americans tried to pass anti-slavery laws but were veoted by King George III
Benson J. Lossing, Harpers’ Popular Cyclopaedia of United States History (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1893), Vol. II, pp. 1299-1300; W. O. Blake, The History of Slavery and the Slave Trade (Columbus: J. & H. Miller, 1858), p. 177; Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Philadelphia: Childs & Peterson, 1840), Vol. VIII, p. 42, to Dean Woodward on April 10, 1773.

Who was involved in starting schools for black Americans in 1768?
See, for example, “Benjamin Franklin – Abolitionist,” University of Delaware; Benjamin Franklin, The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Vols. I4 & 15, a series letters between Benjamin Franklin and Francis Hopkinson on December 16, 1767, January 24, 1768, and March 28, 1768.

First abolition society in America founded in 1774
Dictionary of American Biography, Dumas Malone, editor (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936), Vol. XVIII, s.v. “Rush, Benjamin”; The Constitution of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (Philadelphia: Joseph James, 1787), p. 8; Benjamin Franklin, The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, William Willcox, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976), Vol. 20, pp. 155-156, letter to Richard Woodward on April 10, 1773, p. 193, letter from Benjamin Rush on May 1, 1773, and p. 314, letter to Benjamin Rush on July 14, 1773.

Stephen Hopkins & anti-slavery law
“Stephen Hopkins,” Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame; “Hopkins, Stephen,” Biography.
America’s Religious Founding Fathers:

John Witherspoon: family Bible in America
“The Collins: Bible of Colonial America,”

Charles Thomson: translated Greek Septuagint into English
“Charles Thomson Bible, 1808,” Houston Baptist University.

Benjamin Rush: started first Bible society in America
“Timeline History of the Pennsylvania Bible Society,”; “Bible Society,” Wikipedia.

Benjamin Rush: first mass-produced Bible in America
“1812 Stereotyped Bible,”

Francis Hopkinson: set 150 Psalms to music
See, for example, Cyclopedia of New Jersey Biography (New York: American Historical Society, 1921), Vol. I, p. 33,”Hopkinson, Francis”; The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (Philadelphia: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1882), Vol. VI, p. 124.

Average life span in America’s Founding Fathers time
“The Changes in American Lifestyle: 1776 vs. 2005,” Mineral Information Institute, p. 1.

Charles Carroll: “on the mercy of my redeemer, I rely for salvation”
Handwritten Letter from Charles Carroll to Charles W. Wharton on September 27, 1812.

John Hancock: called state to prayer 22 times as governor
Proclamations were issued by John Hancock as governor of Massachusetts in December 1780, May 1781, December 1781, April 1782, November 1782, May 1783, December 1783, April 1784, November 1784, November 1787, April 1788, November 1788, May 1789, November 1789, April 1790, November 1790, March 1791, November 1791, March 1792, November 1792, April 1793, and November 1793 from W. De Loss Love, The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1895), pp. 505-508.
Bible Verses Referenced:

1 Samuel 17.

2 Samuel 15-18.

1 Kings 1.
Helpful Links:

Purchase David Barton’s book Original Intent here.

Read Charles Coffin’s book The Story of Liberty online here.

Purchase Peter Marshall & David Manuel’s book The Light and the Glory here.

Purchase Mark Beliles & Stephen McDowell’s book America’s Providential History here.

AP United States: Course and Exam Description (New York: The College Board, Fall 2014), available to read here.
Return to Foundations of Freedom sources page.