History Lesson: The Founding Phratters

Hey Y’all,

Or should I say “hear ye, hear ye, y’all”? I am here in the eighteenth century as promised to bring American history to life. As you know it is political season in our century right now. Many of the politicians and partisans on both sides like to claim (or even disclaim) the Founding Fathers. Whenever I hear people quote “the Founders” rather than specific historical figures I tend to chuckle. It’s as if we assume that all people, particularly politicians from different backgrounds and colonies all thought alike. We somehow assume that just because these men achieved great things that they were somehow “demi-gods” or “supermen” that bequeathed to us our great country.

Now I’m not saying the Founding Fathers weren’t great. On the contrary. That particular generation was blessed with a remarkable group of talented scholars, soldiers, lawyers, and other leaders that came together, declared independence, won a war, and put together the Constitution we still use today. At the same time, when one reads copies of these men’s letters, diaries, and journals, we see just how human they were. They had rivalries, factions, and petty jealousies like we have in politics today. And their regional, social, and class prejudices that they launched against one another sometimes makes for some funny reading. It’s as almost if they were like….


rather than just tell you I thought I could use the power of my blog to travel back in time to 1776 and meet some of the Founding Fathers. Since this is the SOUTH Will Blog Again, I invited several members of the South Carolina delegation to show us around “campus”. They will take us through Independence Hall in Philadelphia and tell us their thoughts about the delegates from the various thirteen colonies. I suspect we might get a glimpse of what also made the South different than the north back then.

We will be touring with Mr. Edward Rutledge who is the gentlemen wearing the lime green outfit with gold palmettos on his pants, Mr. Arthur Middleton Jr, who’s wearing the cape and the garnet and black Gamecocks attire, and Mr. Thomas Heyward Jr, who is dressed in sky blue with the Palmetto golf visor. Without a doubt these men are South Carolinian to the core…

so without further ado…

-Southern blogger


Charleston: Producing most of the South's Fops since 1689

Rutledge – Hello y’all. We were just at the house a bit pre-gaming it before we had to go to Congress. Southern Blogger said y’all were like from the future and stuff. Well, I guess we’re supposed to show you around and talk about the different colonies and their delegates and stuff. And like, how we’re important in history.

Middleton – Yeah Ned…I think it’ll be pretty cool. We can really show everyone our “phrattitude”. What’s that? You’ll see. Nobody and I mean nobody phrats harder than South Carolina.

Heyward – Well a few of the other colonies are pretty phrat. But we gotta warn everyone…once we meet some of the people from the Geed Northern Colonies, the phratmosphere is gonna go down to zero.

Rutledge – Well, they’ll see. Come along everybody. We’re gonna head down the street and check out Congress. I’ve already had some fresh pheasant and a couple bottles of madeira, so I’m pretty much good to go.

Middleton – Yeah me too, I just slammed a couple of drams of Triangular Trade Rum five minutes ago…I’m ready for some legislating! Who should we show them first?

Heyward – How about the other Southern Colonies? I know the Georgians and North Carolinians hang out on the side of the State House around now. Let’s check it out.

(head towards Independence Hall and turn to the right)

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: The Georgia Way to Found a Country

Rutledge – There’s some of them right there. They like to hang out at the side of the building. It gets pretty boring when everybody’s making laws and stuff. I know I have to leave the room sometimes when John Adams starts whining real loud. Man I hate that guy.

Heyward – There’s Button Gwinnett. He’s from Georgia. That guy’s pretty cool. He always carries around a loaded pistol. You never know when someone’s going to challenge your honor so you gotta be prepared. He told me he’s gonna go out in a blaze of glory. Fighting a revolution is no fun when you have to live long enough to make boring new laws.

Middleton – There’s my good friend Dr. Lyman Hall. That guy’s an animal man. He’s like a doctor but he didn’t even study. He told me he went to London to train and just copied of some majarajah from Punjab. You always see him dipping. Any doctor that dips and does cool experiments is pretty phrat.

Rutledge – Oh…haha there’s Joseph Hewes from North Carolina. Man that guy tries too hard. I mean I don’t know why the Georgians hang out with that guy. I think that camo Tri-corner hat is rather ┬áhomespun- looking don’t you think? What is he like a yeoman or something?

Heyward – No man, he’s okay…but yeah he kind of tries too hard to be down with the Southern Colonies…he’s originally from the North.

Rutledge – Oh…he must represent Charlotte then.

Middleton – Yeah…probably. Still these guys are pretty phrat…just not close as phrat to us.

Rutledge – Let’s see if we can catch the Virginians. Those guys have some major phrattitude.

(They leave the East Wing of the State House and move to the front entrance)

The Virginia Delegation: Giving the Carolinians a Run for their Money

Heyward – I see them right now. Those guys always stick together.

Middleton – Yeah I know. They kind of get on my nerves…they think they phrat so much harder than us…but man…I’ll tell you….WHOAH! Is that the new Chevy Tally-Ho Coach and Six?

Rutledge – Yeah, that it is. That is one phrattastic carriage. It uses up like two horses an hour. Costs more than the entire Colony of Rhode Island. Whose is it?

Heyward – Benjamin Harrison V. That guy is pretty phrat. He’s like a legacy in the Virginia House of Burgesses. His family has been in it for over 150 years so he doesn’t have to do anything. He just got elected here just for show. I don’t think he’s ever made a speech.

Middleton – Yeah but Richard Henry Lee has. That’s him standing next to Harrison. I like that guy. He’s pretty cool. Every time Adams starts running his mouth Lee cuts in and makes the same points. He’s a good speaker. He uses his hands and stuff. One of them’s messed up pretty bad so he keeps it in a glove. It annoys the crap out of James Wilson.That’s pretty funny. He’s a legacy too…his little brother is here now as well.

Rutledge – That him on the right?

Middleton – No man…That’s the new guy Jefferson. They didn’t send Patrick Henry this time because he got in trouble for locking his wife in the basement and he started a war with the royal governor without authorization.

Heyward – That’s a total phrat move! What’s the deal with this guy? He’s like reading…not phrat!

Rutledge – Yeah that’s kind of weird. If he’s the new guy they were talking about he’s also a Randolph…so he’s legacy. Apparently he’s got good taste in wine and gets lots of chiques so that’s pretty phrat I guess. The Virginians definitely phrat hard.

Middleton – Yeah…but not as hard as us.

Heyward – No way! I agree. Hey…we better check out the Middle Colonies before we go inside. You see all kinds of weird back there. Follow us.

(Head through the courtyard towards the rear of the State House)

Careful: You See All Kinds of Weird in the Middle Colonies

Rutledge – ‘Zounds! What’s all this?

Heyward – Yeah you must not come back here much. It’s the Middle Colonies…but some of them look like they’ve already declared their G– D— Independence! Haha.

Middleton – Total Geedfest. Well some of them are okay. There’s Charles Carroll and Caesar Rodney now. The Maryland and Delaware guys are always playing lacrosse.

Rutledge – What’s that?

Middleton – It’s some Iroqouis game they brought back with them from the Albany Conference. I think six schools belong to the Albany Conference now. Mostly the Maryland and Delaware guys play it. I guess it’s pretty phrat.

Rutledge – No…that stuff is “Brough” not “Phrat”. Playing golf and watching phootball is phratty. It’s okay…I mean they’re kind of like us in some ways. They definitely can throw a good party but they let in some Geed elements.

Heyward – That’s all some colonies let in. Check this out…those are those Signsters and Hippe-sters. Sherman and Witherspoon!

Middleton – Haha! What’s Roger Sherman wearing? Is that an ironic Hessian mustache and hat? What’s it say?

Heyward – “Don’t Mess with Hesse”. I don’t get it. That’s so macaroni!

Rutledge – And Witherspoon’s that Princeton guy. He’s into obscure symphonies. He’s always talking about these new composers I’ve never heard of like Mozart. Not classical baroque like us! Grateful Bach and Widespread Pachelbel!

Middleton – Yeah…those guys suck but they normally keep to themselves. Check out those guidos off the boat from the Papal States!

Rutledge – Man…all the delegates from Philadelphia and New York are like that. Check out Philip Livingstone.What’s he wearing? Pre-ripped breeches? How’d he get so big?

Heyward – He gets illegal prescriptions from GNC Apothecary. Benjamin Rush gives them to him. I think he’s a doctor.

Rutledge – Oh yeah…that guy’s a Townie…check it out…he’s wearing his hat backwards…and his stockings are wool not Siamese Silk like mine. GEED!

Middleton – What a waste of a phratty name like “Rush”!

Rutledge – Art…How many times do I have to tell you? “Rush” isn’t a phratty name at all! It’s like saying you’re never getting a bid. Now “Abraham Active”…THAT’S a Phratty name.

Heyward – I agree…man…let’s go inside…these guys are creeping me out.

(They head inside to the House chamber where the Continental Congress meets)

John Hancock: Bright Spot in Mass

Rutledge – Here are those guys from Massachusetts. They’re always in here. Don’t they have anything better to do than found a new nation?

Heyward – Really. I know. That guy Sam Adams is lame. He’s wearing wool hand me down stockings, and a fishmonger’s waistcoat. Total GDI. He doesn’t even ride a horse. He walks. Ha Ha!

Middleton – Looks like he’s throwing down North End gang signs. What a Geed. There’s John over on the other side.

Rutledge – Yeah I totally hate that guy. He’s always getting up in my face about independence. Man I hate independents. Who wants to be independent? Plus I hear his wife totally tells him what to do.

Heyward – Not Phrat. Yeah but at least they’ve got John Hancock with them. That guy’s one Phratty New Englander. He totally inherited his uncles whaling, textile, and wine merchant firm, and he smuggles all his supplies and doesn’t pay any taxes.

Middleton – What’s his company called?

Heyward – Vineyard Vines. He also has an insurance company named after him.

Rutlege – D— that’s phratty as ph—!

Middleton – Let’s check out the back room.

(walk past the president’s desk to the rear cloakroom)

Franklin and the Hippie Delegation: Lot's of Chemistry Going on

Middleton – Man, there’s a lot of smoke in there. I think I’m getting a contact high.

Rutledge – Yeah this is where Ben Franklin hangs out. There’s Josiah Bartlett and Stephen Hopkins. They’re all from New England and met in the Green Mountains during the 1760s.

Heyward – Yeah I can see they’ve declared a lot of Independents in here. (Cough Cough). Still…Franklin’s a cool guy…we sometimes buy our “Poor Richard’s” from him.

Rutledge – Yeah…these guys are pretty old and harmless. I agree…Franklin is like the mack of London and Paris too.

Middleton – Pretty cool for an old guy.

Rutledge – Without a doubt. Well I guess that’s pretty much it. I’m kind of losing my old buzz now and this new one will wear off pretty soon. I guess we’ve got to leave you now and show up for Congress.

Middleton – Yeah….I totally hate “nationals”.

Heyward – You said it!



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