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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633
  tth@teachinghome.com  

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For 27 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors
_________________________________________________________________________________

Sidebar Contents

  • The Role of Spies
in Early U.S. History

  • TTH Back Issues

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The Role of Spies
in Early U.S. History

by Beverly Schmitt
Preston Speed Publications

The course of history was changed on September 17, 1787——the day the U.S. Constitution was signed by 39 men. Fifty-five delegates attended the Constitutional Convention, but only 39 dared to sign. They risked a great deal, their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, for our freedoms.

"We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." – Preamble to the U.S. Constitution


Spies

There are so many fascinating stories that led to this fateful date. Yet there is also the unknown, secret history of the history for the War of Independence——intelligence, counterintelligence, and espionage. In a word: spies.

A great deal of risk was incurred by Patriot spies. Twenty-one-year-old Nathaniel Hale’s famous statement before his execution for his patriotic spying was, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country!

Thomas Jefferson had successful privateering enterprises. Spies learned the semaphore code which helped them to falsely identify themselves as British ships and smuggle in weapons, munitions, and other important goods—frequently from the Dutch Republic. They listened to secret Tory war plans.

Spies risked all.

The Commission for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies was a counterintelligence organization and the forerunner of the secret service. Their mission was to uncover enemy spies and discover traitors to the Patriot cause. The 1776 Articles of War gave them their rules of operation.

Covert operations like blockade running were imperative to the struggling government waiting to operate freely. Spy saboteurs targeted munitions factories, shipyards, and weapons storage facilities. Some were caught and executed; others continued this dangerous work.

Goods contaminated with small pox and other dangerous diseases were traded back and forth between Tories and Patriots with the goal of infecting the other side.

Complex codes, ciphers, secret writing, invisible inks, and cryptology were used. Tory and Patriot spies worked hard to capture the code books of their opponents, so many committed these codes to memory.


Lydia Darragh

In British-occupied Philadelphia, Lydia Darragh, like Betsy Ross, supported the American war effort.

General Howe was quartered in the home of her neighbor, John Cadwalader, and sent a soldier to tell Quaker Lydia Darragh she had to move out of her home so British officers could use it. She informed him that she had two children to care for and had no place to go. Her two youngest children were already living with relatives.

Captain Barrington, her cousin from Ireland, intervened with Lord Howe on her behalf. Lydia would be allowed to stay in her home if she kept a room available for British officers to hold meetings.

Darragh risked everything to overhear the ultra-secret plans of Lord Howe to attack and, hopefully, capture Washington at Whitemarsh by hiding in a linen closet in another room. If all went well, the British held, the war would soon be over.

Through extraordinary courage, Lydia Darragh warned Washington of his impending danger.


Secret List of Spies

Many today do not realize that a secret list of spies, Patriot and Tory, existed in the city of divided loyalties, Philadelphia. Both sides wanted this list destroyed. We know it exists, but we do not know what happened to it.

British General Sir William Howe astonished all when he occupied the city. Washington was baffled at Howe'’s move and relocated to Valley Forge. Seemingly, confusion reigned on the Patriot side. Intrigue was everywhere——I spy, you spy, he spies, she spies, they spy, we all spy.

Learn about this mysterious time in C.D. Baker'’s The List, a riveting, meticulously researched story that integrates historical facts in an interesting and easy-to-follow plot.



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Sunnyside Up



He Got the Last Part

After our 5-year-old son had learned about money, we began giving him an allowance.

We carefully explained our guidelines: give at least the first nickel to God, save some for a rainy day, and then the rest you may spend wisely.

We stressed the importance of being faithful to God as we use the money He gives us. To make sure he understood, we asked, "What are you supposed to do with your allowance?"

William said with enthusiasm, "Spend it faithfully!"

Submitted by C. Balan, Texas

Send your humorous anecdote to publisher@teachinghome.com.



God Loves You.

Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Him as our Savior and Lord, He will forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)



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Copyright 2007 The Teaching Home

|


Constitution Week, September 17- 23
1.  President's Comments on the Constitution
2.  Studying Our Constitution
3.  Studying Our Government
4.  Biblical Principles: Basis for America's Laws
5.  Resources


Recommended Resources
•  Doorposts: Applying Scripture in Your Home
•  How Great Thou Art (Christian Art Programs)
•  AVKO Multi-Sensory Language Arts


Greetings,

Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

It is important to teach your children about our nation's Constitution and how it affects our lives. Constitution Week, September 17-23, is also a great time to study our government and our Christian heritage with your family!

May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.


Cordially,
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.


1. President's Comments on the Constitution


by George W. Bush
President of the United States of America

The following are excepts from a former Citizenship Day and Constitution Week Proclamation.

Today, we marvel at the wisdom of the Framers who toiled through a long summer of learned and contentious debates.

Their work produced a document that upholds high ideals, while answering the most practical questions of governance. The charter they crafted — with its separate branches of Government, enumerated powers, checks and balances, and later the specific protections provided by our Bill of Rights — guides our Nation and inspires others around the world.


Twin Foundations

As the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began working on what would become the United States Constitution, they grasped that a great democracy must be built on the twin foundations of:

•   National consent to a Federal Government

•   Respect for individual rights.


Balance of Powers

In creating our Nation's Constitutional framework, the Convention's delegates recognized the dangers inherent in concentrating too much power in one person, branch, or institution.

They wisely crafted a Government that balanced the functions and authority of a Federal system among three separate but equal branches:

•   The Executive

•   The Legislative

•   The Judicial.

As a further check on central power, the Framers granted citizens the right to vote, giving them the power to express their political preferences peacefully and thereby to effect change in the Government.

The Convention delegates ratified the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and submitted it to the States for approval.


Bill of Rights

After much deliberation and discussion at the State level, the following two concerns emerged from among those who feared the Constitution's proposed centralization of Federal power:

•   The threat of tyranny

•   The loss of local control.

To address these fears, our Founders amended the Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights.

These ten amendments provided a series of clear limits on Federal power and a litany of protective rights to citizens.

Today, our Nation celebrates the longest-lived written Constitution in world history.




End of Summer Sale at Doorposts.
Use discount code 070910 for 10% off all orders.


Doorposts: Bible-Based, Parent-Designed, Family-Tested
Products To Help You Apply Scripture in Your Home

Find practical resources that will help you train your children to love and obey God and His Word, as well as prepare them for life as responsible adults.
     Books, charts, and other resources include biblical discipline, character training, Scripture memorizing, and more.
Toll Free: (888) 433-4749   www.Doorposts.net.


•  Order for Oct. 31: A Night of Reformation.



2. Studying Our Constitution

The Constitution of the United States is the foundation of our American Government. As the supreme law of the land, no law may be passed that contradicts its principles, and no person or government in the nation is exempt from following it.

•   Read, study and discuss the Constitution.

•   Read the Constitution along with explanations.

•   See Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Students.


The First Amendment

The First Amendment to the Constitution does not include the phrase "separation of church and state." Nowhere does it suggest that Christianity cannot be heard in the public square.

In fact, the first act of the United States Congress was to authorize the printing of 20,000 Bibles for the Indians. Read more.


Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution

The subject of constitutional interpretation is a valid and practical concern today that will reach into many areas of our lives for years to come.

Two competing viewpoints have emerged:

1.  To follow the original intent of the Constitution.

2.  To allow judges to interpret the Constitution as they will.

•   Read "A Tale of Two Constitutions" by David Barton as well as a variety of articles from Wall Builders on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.

•   Read "What Can We Do About Judicial Activism?"


Free Online Lessons

The Center for Civic Education offers free lessons for Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

These are beautifully produced pdf files with illustrated stories, questions, worksheets, activities, and teacher's guides. You may download and print them. Audio guides are also available.

•   Kindergarten - study of authority. (30 pages)

•   Level 1-2 - study of authority. (34 pages)

•   Level 3-4 - Preamble to the Constitution. (10 pages)

•   Level 5-6 - Preamble to the Constitution. (12 pages)

•   Level 7-8 - the federal system of government. (12 pages)

•   Level 9-10 - the Constitution as a framework for the government. (14 pages)

•   Level 11-12 - involves students in critical thinking exercises involving fundamental principles of the Constitution. (17 pages)




Give Your Children
an Excellent Art Education
with How Great Thou Art

Choose from 14 curriculums that teach students of all ages the fundamentals of drawing, painting, color theory, and art appreciation. Written by Christian artist and art instructor Barry Stebbing.
    See quality supplies, art gallery, sample lessons, and class schedules at www.HowGreatThouArt.com.




3. Studying Our Government

The Teaching Home Newsletters #66-68 (which you can read online or print for personal use) addressed the topic of teaching your children about governments in general and the United States government in particular.

This series offers much practical information, Internet links for further study, and application for Christians. It would make an excellent study for Constitution Week.

Following is an outline of what each issue contains.


Newsletter #66: Introduction to Government
1. What and How To Teach
2. The Biblical Basis of Government
3. Forms of Government

Newsletter #67: United States Government
1. We are a Republic, not a Democracy
2. The Constitution
3. The Three Branches of Government; Checks and Balances
4. Distribution of Government Powers
5. How a Bill Becomes a Law
6. Our Heritage of Freedom; Our Christian Heritage

Newsletter #68: Our Responsibilities in Government
1. The Spiritual Aspect of Political Action
2. Political Action
3. Guidelines for Any Lobbying Effort



AVKO (Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic, and Oral)
Offers a Multi-Sensory Approach
to Language Arts through Phonics
and Word Families.

 •    Individualized Keyboarding teaches reading and spelling skills as your child masters the keyboard.
 •    Let's Write Right teaches reading/spelling as the alphabet is learned.
 •    Sequential Spelling builds self-esteem.
 •    To Teach a Dyslexic is the readable and enjoyable autobiography of Don McCabe, a dyslexic who has become a widely recognized expert on dyslexia and head of AVKO.
     To try it before you buy it, or for information on dyslexia, visit our website. Complimentary samples and downloads. www.spelling.org / 1-866-285-612



4. Biblical Principles: Basis for America's Laws

Excerpted and reprinted by permission from an article by Charles and Cindy Meek, Faith Facts.

Christians believe that the Bible offers ultimate, objective, and absolute truth. There was a general consensus on this point in America from the earliest settlers until only very recently.

Thus it was natural for the early Americans to turn to the Bible for guidance as to how to make civil law. This was the standard for law beginning with the Mayflower Compact all the way through the constitutions of all 50 states.


State Constitutions

For example, the first state constitution was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639). Read this document.

The framers of this document desired that every aspect of it be based on the Bible. This document was a model for other constitutions including the U.S. Constitution which followed it. (See other Preambles to State Constitutions.)


Rule of Law

Another aspect of our system of government is that it is based on the Rule of Law. This concept is a direct descendant of Hebrew law and the Ten Commandments.

Together with the concept of inalienable rights from God, these concepts helped ensure a way of life that respected the dignity of every individual.


The True Nature of Man

Another important aspect of America's constitution is that it has as its basis the distinctly Christian idea that man is basically sinful. Every one of our founding fathers understood this truth. The result was that the founders built into the Constitution an elaborate system of checks and balances.

This is evident in the horizontal plane of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. It is also evident in the vertical plane of federalism - states' powers versus federal powers.

See a chart of the influence of Biblical thought on America's legal system with Bible references.



5. Resources

Constitution Day Package

•   "A More Perfect Union," DVD, depicting the Federal Convention of 1787 ( See a preview online).

•   Beautiful reproductions of the U.S. Constitution and the painting depicting the Convention

•   30 student booklets including the founding documents plus quotes;

•   A miniature version of the 24-image Freedom Gallery.

$49.95 (reg. $140) 1-877-917-1787. Roots of Freedom


Civics Education Courses

From Home School Legal Defense Association. Includes: Founding Fathers, Introduction to Constitutional Law, The Federalist Papers, Declaration of Independence, and more.


The Federalist Papers Online

One of the most important works on political theory ever written.


America's Godly Heritage

Video clearly sets forth the beliefs of many of the famous Founding Fathers concerning the proper role of Christian principles in education, in government, and in the public affairs of the nation.


A Nation Adrift

"A Chronicle of America's Providential Heritage" DVD is the true story of how God's sovereign hand guided the founders of America.


Enlightened Democracy

by Tara Ross. Understand the Constitution and the basic tenets that undergird America's republican democracy. Free Study Guide. Colonial Press


Naturalization Self Test

Could your children (or you) pass the test to become a citizen? Test your knowledge of United States History and the structure of our government on this easy-to-use online question and answer interactive site.





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