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Letters to the Herald

18th century travels; 21st century politics


I came across this passage in the book “Travels” written by William Bartram, the botanist, poet, scientist and humanitarian while traveling in the wilds of America in 1773 and how his thoughts transfer to our present national political atmosphere.

He writes: “So it is with the varied and mutable scenes of human events on the stream of life. The higher powers and affections of the soul are so blended and connected with the inferior passions, that the most painful feelings are excited in the mind when the latter are crossed: thus in the moral system, which we have planned for our conduct...we quit our hold and fall: the well contrived system at once becomes a chaos; every idea of happiness recedes; the splendor of glory darkens...all is deranged, and...when we see our progress retarded, and our best intentions frustrated, we are apt to deviate from the admonitions and convictions of virtue.”

John Brown, Point Pleasant

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