Who among the nation’s children has the skills to qualify for the nation’s best colleges? How to help everyone with health, education or other concerns? And why is everyone so stupid?
The story of the first person to use the word “rape” in the context of the American Revolution is one that has been repeated time and again, but this morning we’re going to go one step further.
We are going to talk about John Wilkes Booth’s use of the word “rape” in the context of the Virginia State Senate.
Wilkes Booth: The first man to use the word rape
Today we are going to talk about a famous document we see quoted constantly in the U.S. today: John Wilkes Booth’s letter from Boston to his wife after his assassination, and in a letter from Booth to the editor of the Times on the night of his death.
As you are probably aware, on March 18, 1789, John Wilkes Booth, one year before he became the first person to be executed in the United States, penned a letter called “An Address to the people of Virginia on the subject of their civil liberty.”
This was a remarkable document. It is almost impossible to imagine that any newspaper ever published it. It is a letter addressing the people of the commonwealth of Virginia on what is now our 21st century. In it, John Wilkes Booth (whom we’ll go into more detail below) lays out a plan for a major revolt against the Virginia State government, which he believes will ultimately succeed.
Wilkes Booth writes to his wife:
Your own feelings on account of the war have rendered it necessary for me to have a short discourse before you to inform you that I should, with the whole of our people, assemble from Monday to Friday in front of the State House, upon their request. We will not stay beyond the month of March, but shall commence our meetings in April. I shall take with me two men whom I feel certain of doing a great deal, not, however, for the purpose of making war, but, on the contrary, to make it known to the people that we should have a standing and concerted army, and under the leadership of a great and distinguished General of the French kind, if necessary to preserve the civil and political liberty of the state. This idea I am convinced has been too much propagated, and is not well understood, by the people of America. What we have experienced in England over the last
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