How to Use This Blog

The posts on this blog need not be read in order. As the blog description says, they are really just a collection of random things I hear or read about concerning history. The list of labels on the left side of the screen shows the topics I have discussed so far. Feel free to browse them if you're looking for something particular, or just read straight through the posts in the order I've written them. I update often, so be sure to visit me again soon!

Edited to Add: Okay, so maybe I don't update as often as I'd like. Visit my other blog if you want frequent updates, and this one if you want cool random history stuff!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Today Dad asked me where the name "Yankees" came from. A man from England asked him about it. Here's what I replied with;

From what I've heard, back in the late 1700s, and early 1800s, colonial Americans liked to pick on the Dutch. If food was bad, it was called Dutch food. If a house was bad, it was called a Dutch house. If a man was known to have bad habits or character, he was called "John Keys" - apparently a common Dutch name.

I guess the Dutch decided that enough is enough. They started calling the other colonial Americans the name the colonials had tried to pin on the Dutch; "John Keys." All the early Americans were soon being called "John Keys."

...However, Dutch pronunciation being what it is, we all became "Yan-kees."

Now, is that story correct? What have y'all heard?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"For ye have not received the spirit of of bondage to fear;
but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
~ Romans 8:15

Two cool facts about adoption:

~ According to common law in England, an adopted child cannot be disinherited. You can disinherit your own children, but not those who are adopted. This law was made years ago by the Puritans, who understood the concept of adoption as taught in the Bible.

~ In Roman times - the time in which the book of Romans was written - the Latins had a law that an adopted son could never associate with his old family. Many times, Roman citizens would adopt their slaves. When they did so, all old debts would be forgiven the slave.

Doesn't this parallel our spiritual adoption well?

Small Fact Known Only to Few...

...Okay, so maybe more than a few people know this one. But for those of you who don't:

Columbus didn't discover America.

The Vikings beat him to it. And there is a possibility that the Romans crossed the Atlantic Ocean as well. And the Chinese possibly found our west shores long before Columbus. The "lost" continent wasn't that lost and unknown.

I'm not sure why Columbus is hailed as the discover... I enjoy reading about his voyage and all that, and I agree he furthered the advance of Europeans settlement in North America, but he wasn't the very first. Anyone have an idea why he's presented as the one who discovered America?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

World Views...and some random thoughts

I was just thinking about how so few people know much about what happened in the southern half of the colonies during America's War for Independence.

It is a pity that an American child should think that the only important cities during that time were Boston and Concord. The Boston tea party and the march to Concord certainly have their place in our history, but there were 13 colonies involved in the fight!

In the past two years I have had a growing interest in the southern involvement with the War for Independence - particularly Virginia and North Carolina's part in it all. Through my research, I have discovered amazing, wondrous, thrilling accounts that testify to God's hand working through many incidents that occurred in Virginia and North Carolina - and in Tennessee and Kentucky land too, though they were not states yet.

I am sitting here, staring at the computer screen, wondering where to begin, and how to say all I am thinking. I suppose I shall have to consider this post as an introductary one, and give out little bits of information as I have time. For the present, let me encourage all my readers to research and read for themselves.

I suppose I should mention that I was homeschooled through all the grades. This gave me the wonderful advantage of being able to spend a ton of time researching topics that were of special interest to me - though I suppose any determined student could do that if he had a mind to. I spent a good deal of my last year in school studying history of the Revolution era.

I consider history one of the most important subjects under the sun because... how can we know where we're going if we don't know from where we've come?

How can we learn from the mistakes our ancestors made if we don't know what they were?

How can we chart our course if we don't know what works and what fails?

How can we properly praise God for His guiding hand if we don't see what He has done?

How can we see what will be if we don't know what has been?

How can we hold forth the Bible as trustworthy when we can't show people how the prophesies have been fulfilled?

I think a life that is out of touch with the past would be a life with a very warped view of the present. Of course, our forefathers don't hold the answer for everything; they were sinners too. But they can certainly teach us quite a bit, and if we balance what we see in history with what we see in the present and, most importantly, what we see in the Bible, I believe we will have very clear views of the world.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Take a look at the counter at the bottom of this page. Have you ever thought about these kind of counters? The kind that start at 0, and roll around to 9, then bump the next number up to 1?

Know who invented them?

Benjamin Franklin.

What made her ask that?

This morning at breakfast, my younger sister asked an interesting question.

"Mommy, who was the first person to sit in the electric chair?"

I don't know why she was thinking about that, but none of us could give her an answer. Do any of my readers know?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sure would come in handy

Did you know that Issac Newton could give the weight of an object - to the ounce - simply by picking it up and weighing it in his hand?

Wish I could do that - sure would come in handy!