À mes lecteurs français, la commémoration de la mort du Général François –Athanase Charette de la Contrie

Le samedi 26 mars 2011 à Nantes, le Souvenir Vendéen donne rendez-vous à 15 h place Viarme pour la commémoration de la mort du Général François –Athanase Charette de la Contrie, fusillé à Nantes le 29 mars1796, place des Agriculteurs. Après un dépôt de dépôt de gerbe de fleurs sur le calvaire, Thérèse Rouchette évoquera des faits historiques à la mémoire de Charrette.

A 16 h à l’ église Saint Clément, l'abbé Philippe Jou...achin, vicaire de la paroisse, célébrera un messe selon la forme extraordinaire en hommage aux victimes de la révolution française.

L'historienne Thérèse Rouchette a écrit une bibliographie« Le mystère Charette », dans la collection les Indispensables édité par le Centre vendéen de recherches historiques (CVRH), dirigé par Alain Gérard.

L’auteur du livre « Le dernier des régicides : Antoine-Claire Thibaudeau (1765-1854) » et « La folle équipée de la duchesse de Berry » s'est penchée sur la vie de cet homme aux multiples visages, ce héros des guerres de Vendée : François- Athanase Charette de la Contrie. Il est issu de ta branche cadette et pauvre de la famille Charette très connue à Nantes pour avoir donné sept maires. François- Athanase s'engage dans la marine et combat pendant la guerre d'Amérique. A 24 ans il ob­tient le grade de capitaine de vaisseau. Pour certain de ces camarades de la Marine, c’est un insignifiant et un indolent. Pour Napoléon, il frise le génie. Puis il est devenu un héros de légende adulé. Thérèse Rouchette s'interroge et nous livre ce qu’elle a perçu dans le mystère Charrette. Un héros avec ses contradictions, un homme indépendant, libre. Peut-être le dernier féodal. Jusqu'au bout, maître de son destin même une fois arrêté, Charette demande à commander le peloton d'exécution. Il meurt à Nantes à l'âge de 33 ans.

Vive Le Roy!

Vérité pour la Vendée!

Jehanne la Pucelle, new art.

From the Catholic Illustrator's guild with gracious permission by the artist Daniel Mitsui.

Tu, Jehanne, de bonne heure née,
Benoist soit cil qui te créa!
Pucelle de Dieu ordonnée,
En qui le Saint Esprit réa
Sa grant grace, en qui ot et a
Toute largesse de hault don,
N'onc requeste ne te véa.
Qui te rendra assez guerdon?

Excerpt from The Ditié de Jehanne d'Arc, Chritine Pisan, 1429


Blessed be He who created you, Joan, who were born
at a propitious hour! Maiden sent from God, into whom
the Holy Spirit poured His great grace, in whom [Le.
the Holy Spirit] there was and is an abundance of noble
gifts, never did Providence refuse you any request.
Who can ever begin to repay you?

Signed giclée art prints are available for $80 plus packing and postage. These are printed on heavy rag paper, at actual size. The same print with hand-applied gold leaf costs $180.

Annunciation of Mary

Behold you shall conceive in your womb and shall bring forth a son

...And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary...

...And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be...

...And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for you have found grace with God. Behold you shall conceive in your womb and shall bring forth a son: and you shall call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end...

It is nine months to Christmas.


Oliver Wendell Holmes, a dark tale of a famous juror

Just as in the case of Roe vs Wade the Supreme Court of the United States only needs a majority to agree to rule on a law. One of the most unfair and cruel laws ruled upon were the Eugenics Laws favored by Margaret Sanger. It was a to preclude as well as to exclude those whom they felt wer unfit to live. These Eugenics Laws were carried to their fullest extent by the Nazis, but have thier grounding here in the United States. A dark chapter indeed which does not seem to be over yet.

“It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind...Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Buck v. Bell

Writing for the majority in the Supreme Court's affirmative decision of this landmark case, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. described Charlottesville native Carrie Buck as the “probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted” stating that “her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization.”

Current scholarship shows that Carrie Buck's sterilization relied on a false diagnosis premised on the now discredited science of eugenics. It is likely that Carrie's mother, Emma Buck, was committed to a state institution because she was considered sexually promiscuous, that the same diagnosis was made about Carrie when she became an unwed mother at the age of 17 due to being raped, and that her daughter Vivian was diagnosed as “not quite normal” at the age of six months largely in support of the legal effort to sterilize Carrie.

As soon as Virginia's Eugenical Sterilization Act was passed by the General Assembly in 1924, Virginia Colony officials selected 17 year old Carrie Buck of Charlottesville to test the law's legality. Carrie Buck's foster parents had committed her to the Virginia Colony shortly after she gave birth to an illegitimate child. The family's embarrassment may have been compounded by the fact that Carrie's pregnancy was the result of being raped by a relative of her foster parents. This point was never raised in the subsequent court proceedings. Carrie's mother, Emma Buck, had previously been committed to the asylum.

Officials at the Virginia Colony asserted that Carrie and her mother shared the hereditary traits of feeble mindedness and sexual promiscuity. With Emma and Carrie already institutionalized, if it could be demonstrated that Carrie's daughter, Vivian, was likely to grow up to be an “imbecile” like her mother and grandmother, the case for inheritance of such a quality would be assured. After pushing for passage of a sterilization law in Virginia that would legally sanction procedures already taking place privately at the Virginia Colony, Superintendent Albert Priddy wanted a challenge to the law that would definitively strengthen its validity.

When the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feeble minded, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, opened its doors in 1910, it was the largest asylum in the United States. It was originally intended to be a home for epileptics, the mentally retarded, and the severely disabled. In 1912, Virginia Colony Superintendent Albert Priddy, lobbied the Virginia General Assembly for funds to expand the Colony to provide residential space for those deemed “feebleminded.”

Such a determination was subjective at best, but as asserted by Priddy, was considered an hereditary quality meriting segregation from the rest of society in order to prevent proliferation. The authorizing legislation specifically directed the admission of “women of child-bearing age, from twelve to forty-five years of age” as the first patients.

Soon the Virginia Colony, also known as the Lynchburg Colony and The Colony, became a collecting place for poor, uneducated, white Virginians who were regarded as “unfit” by the state. Once in the Colony, the intelligence of the inmates was assessed. Some attended school at the Colony while others received basic skill training. Some received neither. As the population of the Colony grew, Priddy began to focus on a way to prevent patient reproduction that was more cost effective than long-term segregation from the general population. In 1914, he contributed to a report to the General Assembly entitled Mental Defectives in Virginia, proposing large-scale institutional sterilization for Virginia's feeble minded.

Prior to passage of Virginia's Eugenical Sterilization Act of 1924, sterilization procedures had been taking place at the Virginia Colony, and were justified as “for the relief of physical suffering.” After the law was passed by the General Assembly, immediate targets of sterilization were the allegedly feeble minded women who were committed to the Colony, but hired out in servile positions to work for “normal” families.

In the pseudo-science of the eugenics movement, Albert Priddy found a home for his own sense of moralism and a justification that it was his right and his duty to determine who should and should not be allowed to reproduce. Included in his list were “anti-social morons,” prostitutes, and “non-producing and shiftless persons, living on public and private charity.”

The right of the state to perform the sterilization procedure was first challenged and heard in the Circuit Court of Amherst County. This test case was due in large part to the combined efforts of three men. Albert Priddy was superintendent of the Virginia Colony. Aubrey E. Strode was the man who drafted Virginia's sterilization law. Irving P. Whitehead was the attorney whose weak defense of Carrie Buck almost assured that the law would stand. Whitehead had served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Colony and Strode had previously acted as legal counsel to the Board. All three men knew one another politically, professionally, and personally for many years prior to the Buck litigation.

Aubrey E. Strode presented more than a dozen witnesses including four “expert” witnesses in the field of eugenics to prove Carrie's “feeble mindedness.” Carrie's court-appointed attorney, Irving P. Whitehead, called no witnesses to challenge the charges made about Carrie's mental health or to question the science behind the eugencial theory espoused by the so-called expert witnesses despite evidence and opportunities to do so. The Amherst County Circuit Court affirmed the validity of the sterilization law as expected, and the case was primed to go before the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals before proceeding to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mrs. Alice Dobbs, the foster mother of Carrie Buck's daughter Vivian, holds Vivian while flashing a coin past the baby's face, in a test to assess her intelligence. The infant, perhaps distracted by the camera, didn't follow the coin with her eyes and thus was declared an imbecile. A.H. Estabrook, the person who initiated this test of the infant's intelligence and the photographer, took this picture the day before the Buck v. Bell trial in Virginia.

Harry H. Laughlin did not appear at Carrie Buck's initial trial, but instead sent a written deposition containing sworn testimony. Although he had never met any members of the Buck family, he confidently reasserted Priddy's statements that the family were members of “the shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of anti-social whites of the South.” He focused on Emma Buck's syphilis as evidence of her moral degeneracy and stated that Carrie was an illegitimate baby. One of Carrie's teachers was brought in to testify that she sent flirtatious notes to schoolboys, a fact which was used to support the idea that she had inherited sexual precociousness from her promiscuous mother. Carrie's baby, Vivian, was examined by a nurse who stated that “there is a look about it that is not quite normal.” Arthur Estabrook, a trained field worker from the ERO, testified as an expert witness about assessments he made of Emma, Carrie, and Vivian, determining that at the age of six months, Vivian was “below the average,” and likely as well to be feeble minded.

Albert Priddy died before appeals were heard in the case. Dr. J.H. Bell became superintendent of the Virginia Colony and his name replaced Priddy's as party to the suit in the appeals process.

In November of 1925, the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the Amherst County Circuit Court. A petition for certiorari was filed, briefs were submitted and on May 2, 1927, the United States Supreme Court upheld Virginia's eugenical sterilization law by a vote of 8 to 1 [274 U.S. 200 (1927)].

In his opinion, Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. relied on an earlier case, [Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1904)], which upheld a Massachusetts law requiring school children to be vaccinated against smallpox in support of the Court's decision. The assertions of the expert witnesses at Carrie Buck's original trial laid the groundwork for Chief Justice Holmes' resounding statement, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

On October 19, 1927, Carrie Buck was the first person in Virginia sterilized under the new law.

The test for imbecility in babies?

Mrs. Alice Dobbs, the foster mother of Carrie Buck's daughter Vivian, holds Vivian while flashing a coin past the baby's face, in a test to assess her intelligence. The infant, perhaps distracted by the camera, didn't follow the coin with her eyes and thus was declared an imbecile. A.H. Estabrook, the person who initiated this test of the infant's intelligence and the photographer, took this picture the day before the Buck v. Bell trial in Virginia.


Source: University of Virgina Health System

March 24, 1829: The Emancipation of Catholics

From Supremacy and Survival: The English Reformation...

Whereas by various Acts of Parliament, certain Restraints and Disabilities are imposed on the Roman Catholic subjects of His Majesty, to which other subjects of His Majesty are not liable: and whereas it is expedient that such restraints and disabilities shall be from henceforth discontinued: and whereas by various Acts certain Oaths and certain Declarations, commonly called the Declaration against Transubstantiation, and the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, as practised in the Church of Rome, are or may be required to be taken, made and subscribed by the subjects of His Majesty, as qualifications for sitting and voting in Parliament, and for the enjoyment of certain offices, franchises, and civil rights; Be it Enacted by The King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, that from and after the commencement of this Act, all such parts of the said Acts as require the said Declarations, or either of them, to be made or subscribed by any of His Majesty’s Subjects as a qualification for sitting and voting in Parliament, or for the exercise or enjoyment of any office, franchise, or civil right, be and the same are (save as hereinafter provided and excepted) hereby Repealed. More...



Siege of Vienna Diorama

This is a diorama of the Siege of Vienna, located in Katzelsdorf, south of Vienna. I have included two photos (below) from the blog History in 1/72. Before you look at the pictures I want you to know this, the figures are all hand painted, they are flat and 2 dimensional.

As a little kid, I saved up my 1.25 and mom sent off for them. In about a month and a half of running home to see if they came in the mail*, they came and I was... agast. They were flat! I had hopes of integrating them into my collection of fighting men but they were as unfit for my style of toy soldier war fighting as a classified -4F duck in a -1A swan squadron.

If I had only known...

I came across this article in the Wars of Louis Quatorze about the Siege of Vienna which directed me to this magnificent display...
(Above) The defenders, Austrian troops.
(Above) The Moslem siege lines.

And what about the soldiers? They were American Revolution figures, I don't exactly remember what happened to them. My mother kept an immaculate house, so they were probably tossed out when she cleaned the house, which she did every day. I swear you could eat off the floor, (likely because there were never any of my soldiers on it.) If I left something laying on the floor it disappeared, mysteriously.

Since 1963 the soldiers have increased in value to the point that there is no point in trying to find them. The last quote I saw was about 150.00.


* A view of my life during this period can bee seen here... This film is really about me, I had the same reaction (and he looked like me too!)


Avalon, New Foundland

...(Score: 84) Imagine Iowa stripped of its farms, or Texas after the oil runs dry. That approaches the cataclysm experienced on the Canadian island of Newfoundland in 1992, when large-scale cod fishing was banned.

The epicenter was Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, which dangles from the island’s southeastern corner by a slender 35-mile-long isthmus. The peninsula is home to one of the oldest English cities in North America—the provincial capital of St. John’s—and a winding coastline dotted with picturesque and accessible fishing villages that look out on the Atlantic Ocean and its Grand Banks. Once one of the world’s most bountiful fishing grounds, these nutrient-rich underwater plateaus powered the economy of the Avalon Peninsula, drawing people to this rugged land to fish big. But severe overfishing in the 1980s decimated the cod population, and it hasn’t recuperated. Many think it never will...more...

By Jay Walljasper
From the November-December 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler

Good news is they have found oil... Since they have no Obama they are drilling.


A picture from across a cove from my brother-in-laws fishing cottage in Renews, Newfoundland. Icebergs in the backyard. Is that a dolphin the the water there?