‘Raleigh’ Category


Basic – The Constitution

Posted from the capital city of Little Rock, Arkansas by Linda Lou Burton – For $19.95 you can order a facsimile of the Constitution of the United States as it was originally written, way back in 1787. Not kidding – the folks at the National Archives have gone to the trouble of printing all four pages in a 23 x 28 size, on paper that is crinkled and aged in appearance. Go to their store at if you want to see it as it was handwritten, and signed. If you have trouble reading the flourishing script, get yourself a copy of the transcribed version. Or go digital. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript

The point is – if you live, and work, and play, and sleep, and eat, in the United States, it’s vital that you understand just what that means with regard to your responsibilities, and your privileges. So start by reading the Constitution.

The United States Constitution consists of a Preamble and seven Articles, addressing the idea of a country of united states (there were 13 at the time), and providing directions for how it would work; a “recipe” for a new country. It was created and presented in September 1787 by 55 men representing the states of:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

Note: Rhode Island declined to send delegates.

The Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.

Article I – Legislative

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Sections 2-10 describe the scope and limits of these powers, and specify the who, what, and when for election of a person to legislative office.

Article II -Executive

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Sections 2 and 3 outline the duties, responsibilities, and powers of an elected president and Section 4 addresses the removal of an elected president.

Section 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III – Judicial

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Sections 2 and 3 further outline the duties, responsibilities, and powers of the United States judiciary.

Article IV – States and Citizens

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

Sections 3 and 4 outline the admission of new states, and the protections for each state.

Article V – Amendments

Provisions made for amendments to the Constitution as deemed necessary and appropriate.

Article VI – Debts and Oaths

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article VII – Ratification

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

What Happened Next

Only 39 men actually signed the Constitution, which illustrates just how hard a task it was to get agreement on this “never done before” undertaking. It was crafted by men representing very different interests and views, who cared enough to come together and, after three hot summer months of thrashing out ideas, move forward in compromise. The delegates ranged in age from Jonathan Dayton, aged 26, to Benjamin Franklin, aged 81, who was so infirm that he had to be carried to sessions. Five states – Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut – ratified the Constitution quickly; followed by Maryland and South Carolina; the ninth state to ratify was New Hampshire. It was agreed that the Constitution would go into effect March 4, 1789. Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island were the last four states to complete the ratification process, by May of 1790.

Today the United States Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world. It consists of 4,543 words. Check out that original, the beginnings of the framework of the United States.

Give it a read. It’s a basic.

A BONUS – The National Archives not only offers you the opportunity to see that document and all those signatures, beginning with George Washington’s, but allows you to add your digital signature!  https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/join-the-signers

Footnote: Jacob Shallus was the “engrosser” who penned the document on four sheets of parchment made from treated animal skin (the conservator at the Archives says it was either calf, goat, or sheep skin). He used a goose quill with ink made of iron filings in oak gall. It started out black, but has aged to a brown color. Jacob, who was 37 at the time, was paid $30 for his work; he was Assistant Clerk to the Pennsylvania Assembly at the time, so likely was chosen for the job due to the Convention’s desire for speedy drafting; he was there and available to do the job. His name appears nowhere on the document.

Upcoming posts: Amendments, Growth, Changes

Tomorrow: The Oaths


Wherever You Go

07 all by car

My Southeast Family in Tampa.
Jason, Linda, Jeffrey, Kaitlyn, Mike, Brenda
plus Justin from the U of Florida, bottom right.

 Linda Burton posting from Raleigh, North Carolina – “Wherever you go, there you are.” That pithy quote came from Col Potter on an episode of MASH as the gang dealt with the intricacies of living in Korea in the middle of a war. You’re still you, he was saying, whatever your circumstances and surroundings may be. And the way you deal with life travels with you, wherever you go. I’ve given that theory a run for its money during this last year as the Journey Across America has taken me to twenty-five capital cities to live and to learn – yes, believe it or not, the Journey is now 50% complete! It’s been a whup-ass grand experience so far, exploring this country called the United States; discovering what holds us together and spotting those things that sometimes keep us apart. The good thing I’ve found is that we have more in common than we don’t, no matter the variety of choices we make from 07 Justin carstate to state. If our roots go back to Europe or Africa or Asia or either of the Americas, we, in time, adapt to what we find, wherever we may go. But along the way we put our spin on things; hey, that’s the spice of life, and I’m finding that the USA is one big spicy meatball; tasty, and so appealing to the senses, the spirit, and the mind! As I finish up my last day in Raleigh, I’ll bring you up to date. And pass along  “thumbs up” from my Southeast family. » read more


Sunday in the Park with George

03 sunday parkLinda Burton posting from Raleigh, North Carolina – Stephen Sondheim (b 1930) is an accomplished American composer best known for his contributions to musical theater. In 1984 he and James Lapine put together a Broadway production called Sunday in the Park with George. It opened to mixed reviews, but in the end, wound up winning a Pulitzer Prize for drama, two Tony Awards for design, the 1991 Olivier Award for Best Musical, and the 2007 Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production. The play was inspired by a painting called A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, done by George Seurat (1859-1891), a French Post-Impressionist painter. It took George two years to complete this 10-foot-wide piece that shows members of different social classes participating in various 03 george 5park activities on a Sunday afternoon; he devised an innovative technique for it called “pointillism,” using tiny juxtaposed dots of color, rather than physically blending the colors on canvas. Very different in its day, and as you might guess, the painting “opened to mixed reviews;” today however it is recognized as a work that altered the direction of modern art. So what does this have to do with Raleigh, North Carolina? I’m about to tell you the story of Antonio Canova (1757-1822), an Italian sculptor, and the controversial statue he did of George Washington (1732-1799) that sits in the rotunda of the North Carolina capitol today. It wasn’t meant to be controversial, of course, and what you see today isn’t what Canova did in 1820; but, well, I’d better start from the beginning to explain. » read more


If I Were A Squirrel

01 flag jpgLinda Burton posting from Raleigh, North Carolina – If I were a squirrel, I’d move to Raleigh to raise my family, and live out my retirement days. Raleigh, you see, is rich with oak trees, so much so that its nickname is the “City of Oaks.” Oak trees are everywhere you look; white oaks are native trees; red oaks too, happy in the Piedmont clime and soil; they graced the land when settlers came; they shade the parks and line the streets today. The Seal of Raleigh has an oak tree center spot; the same thing on the city flag. Oakwood is the city’s oldest neighborhood; oak trees have witnessed history, and known their share of fame, such as the Henry Clay Oak, which stood near North Street and Blount; he wrote the Raleigh Letter while sitting underneath in 1844 (he argued 01 henry clay oakagainst the annexation of Texas and later lost the presidential nomination to James K Polk; he commented then “I would rather be right than president.”). In 2007 the City Council put restrictions and guidelines in place to protect the city’s trees, recognizing that “Raleigh is blessed with a diverse and abundant cover of trees and vegetation and…such cover is of general aesthetic value to the City and…the ecological diversity and richness of the City makes it a desirable place for residents, owners, and visitors alike….” Valuable assets for residents, owners, visitors, and squirrels, I say. » read more


From Axe To Acts

27 raleigh cape queenLinda Burton posting from Raleigh, North Carolina – I don’t know about you, but I have always associated Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) with chivalry. He’s the guy who threw down his cape so Queen Elizabeth wouldn’t have to step in a puddle, or so I’d heard. Since I’m in the city that was named for him, I’ve been reading up on the English gentleman, and asking questions of Raleigh residents. But it’s been like those Jimmy Kimmel street interviews; I didn’t find a soul who was aware that poor Walter fell out of favor with the royals and was (ouch) beheaded. As was the custom in those days of yore, his embalmed head was delivered to his wife. His body was buried in London in the chancel of St Margaret’s, abutting Westminster; you can visit his tomb today. So was he a chivalrous fellow? Probably so; his resume is an exciting read – aristocrat, courtier, poet, writer, adventurer, explorer, spy. We know he went to Oriel College in Oxford; we know he fought for England in Ireland, helping to put down the Desmond Rebellions. He was a dashing figure 01 city skyline broadof 29 when he (supposedly) assisted the Queen with a sweep of his cape; he was granted 40,000 acres of land in Munster not too long after that; he sat in Parliament; he was a favorite in the Queen’s court. Did he ever come to North America? He did not. So what did he do to get himself beheaded, and why was Raleigh, North Carolina named for him some 174 years after his death? » read more


A Feather In My Cap

24 Eleanor and Ed and MapLinda Burton posting from Raleigh, North Carolina – Faithful followers, we have reached the Journey’s halfway point! Raleigh, North Carolina is the 25th stop; I’m on the east coast now and see license plates from Virginia as the “out-of-states” in the parking lot. And Connecticut. I was feeling downright jubilant over my accomplishment as I unloaded the car yesterday. Eleanor and Ed were just arriving too; they asked what in the world was a “Journey Across America;” I explained and invited them to point out their home state. “I’ll be in Connecticut in November,” I promised, as I traced the route between now and then on the Scion’s back-window map. “Meanwhile, I’m living in Raleigh now!” Raleigh, North Carolina, my 25th capital city – what do I know so far? Statistically I know that Raleigh is the 11th largest capital city, with a population of 403,892 (US 2010 Census), close in size to Atlanta and Sacramento, and the second-largest city in the state. I know that it’s located in the rolling Piedmont hills about halfway between the Atlantic coast and the Blue Ridge Mountains. And I 25 raleigh mapknow that it’s a point in the “Research Triangle” – partnered up with Durham and Chapel Hill it offers unparalleled educational and employment opportunities. Yes, Duke and UNC and NC State have major research facilities, resulting in a well-educated workforce in a compressed area; Raleigh ranks 3rd in the country in percentage of capital city residents holding Bachelor’s Degrees, at 47.3%. This, of course, is a real-time factor for attracting business, which in turn (if done right) affects quality of life. » read more