Would it be an unlicensed trespass of the imagination to conceive, that on the night preceding the day of which you now commemorate the fiftieth anniversary—on the night preceding that thirtieth of April, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, when from the balcony of your city-hall, the chancellor of the state of New York, administered to George Washington the solemn oath, faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States, and to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States—that in the visions of the night, the guardian angel of the Father of our country had appeared before him, in the venerated form of his mother, and, to cheer and encourage him in the performance of the momentous and solemn duties that he was about to assume, had delivered to him a suit of celestial armor—a helmet, consisting of the principles of piety, of justice, of honor, of benevolence with which from his earliest infancy he had hitherto walked through life, in the presence of all his brethren—a spear, studded with the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence—a sword, the same with which he had led the armies of his country through the war of freedom, to the summit of the triumphal arch of independence—a corslet and cuishes of long experience and habitual intercourse in peace and war with the world of mankind, his contemporaries of the human race, in all their stages of civilization—and last of all, the Constitution of the United States, a SHIELD embossed by heavenly hands, with the future history of his country? –from “The Jubilee of the Constitution: A Discourse,” delivered in New York on April 30, 1839
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We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.
The featured image is a detail from the fresco in the U.S. Capitol, “The Apotheosis of Washington,” and is in the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.