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  1. #1
    Member Chinookman's Avatar
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    Not Yours to Give...a story on Davy Crockett

    While replying to a few posts I reread this one article and thought how appropriate it is for our time....Lord willing maybe one day I will find the right time to send a copy to Ted Cruz...he got my vote and seems to be earning a sound reputation....

    I think he may appreciate the history of what made this nation great years ago.....
    Davy Crocket and Farmer Bunce: "Not yours to give"
    Not Yours To Give

    Davy Crockett on The Role Of Government

    from: The Life of Colonel David Crockett
    compiled by: Edward S. Elis (1884)


    Money with [Congressmen] is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.

    Introductory note by Peter Kershaw: Davy Crockett served four terms in the U.S. Congress from 1827-1835. In 1835 he joined the Whig Party and ran a failed attempt for the Presidency. Immediately thereafter he departed his native Tennessee for Texas to secure the independence of the "Texicans." He lost his life at the battle of the Alamo and forever secured his legendary status in history as "king of the wild frontier." The following story was recounted to Edward Elis by an unnamed Congressman who had served with Colonel Crockett in the U.S. House of Representatives.
    ...Crockett was then the lion of Washington. I was a great admirer of his character, and, having several friends who were intimate with him, I found no difficulty in making his acquaintance. I was fascinated with him, and he seemed to take a fancy to me. I was one day in the lobby of the House of Representatives when a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. It seemed to be that everybody favored it. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose. Everybody expected, of course, that he was going to make a speech in support of the bill. He commenced:

    "Mr. Speaker -- I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House; but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into argument to prove that Congress has no power under the Constitution to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. "Mr. Speaker, I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks." He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as no doubt it would, but for that speech, it received but a few votes and was lost. Like many others, I desired the passage of the bill, and felt outraged at its defeat. I determined that I would persuade my friend Crockett to move for a reconsideration the next day.

    Previous engagements preventing me from seeing Crockett that night, I went early to his room the next morning and found him franking letters, a large pile of which lay upon his table.

    I broke in upon him rather abruptly, by asking him what the devil had possessed him to make that speech and defeat that bill yesterday. Without turning his head or looking up from his work, he replied: "I will answer your question. But thereby hangs a tale, and one of considerable length, to which you will have to listen."

    I listened, and this is the tale which I heard:

    "Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into the hack and drove over as fast as we could. When we got there, I went to work, and I never worked as hard in my life as I did there for several hours. But, in spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them, and everybody else seemed to feel the same way. "The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. I said everybody felt as I did. That was not quite so; for, though they perhaps sympathized as deeply with the sufferers as I did, there were a few of the members who did not think we had the right to indulge our sympathy or excite our charity at the expense of anybody but ourselves. They opposed the bill, and upon its passage demanded the yeas and nays. The yeas and nays were recorded, and my name appeared on the journals in favor of the bill.

    "The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up, and I thought it was best to let the boys know that I had not forgot them, and that going to Congress had not made me too proud to go to see them. "So I put a couple of shirts and a few twists of tobacco into my saddlebags, and put out. I had been out about a week and had found things going very smoothly, when, riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly, and was about turning his horse for another furrow when I said to him: 'Don't be in such a hurry my friend; I want to have a little talk with you, and get better acquainted.' He replied: "'I am very busy, and have but little time to talk, but if it does not take too long, I will listen to what you have to say.' "I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those fortunate beings called candidates, and . . . .' "' Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.' "This was a sockdolager .... I begged him to tell me what was the matter. "'Well, Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. ... But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.

    'will have to follow the link for the rest of it....

  2. #2
    Member Texan-in-Training's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this.
    I suspect that Senator Cruz knows this story by heart. It was used in the U.S. Constitution class I took (and try to pay forward, by reteaching). I think this story is used all the time to debunk the liberals twisting of "promote the general Welfare" into people hanging onto the government tit their whole lives... Julia's cradle to grave...
    Anyhow, spending the taxpayer's money is a serious trust, it's not to create a dependent culture.
    SOAPBOX "off"

  3. #3
    Member Chinookman's Avatar
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    Once we get our house built and moved in it will be good to take some Hillsdale courses on the Constituion. ....

  4. #4
    Member Texan-in-Training's Avatar
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    Hillsdale is great. Possibly one of the most important thing they are teaching is that the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are inseparable and must be studied together to understand the Founder's Dream.
    Other local classes are out there. Here's one in Bryan/College Station, It's already started, but there's good info at the link.
    The Constitution in 10 Lessons

  5. #5
    Member Chinookman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-in-Training View Post
    Hillsdale is great. Possibly one of the most important thing they are teaching is that the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are inseparable and must be studied together to understand the Founder's Dream.
    Other local classes are out there. Here's one in Bryan/College Station, It's already started, but there's good info at the link.
    The Constitution in 10 Lessons
    that's awesome thanks how ironic we just brought our yorkie back from knee surgery......@ the vet college. ....best in the nation we learned......I will follow the link and save it........ big thmbs up......

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