James Wilson: Foundations of a Founder

Hey, remember this guy?

You do? Really?

Well, nobody else does. Sure, he’s the guy we have to thank for the most important parts of the Constitution, but nobody tells you that in school. Sure, he was one of the major forces inventing the “American Mind” that this comic is presently building up to, but unless you’re a history geek or a reader of this comic, you’ve probably never heard his name. Let’s fix that.

As I may have mentioned, I’m back in school getting yet another degree, so I can join my wife in Academia. For one of my classes, we were supposed to write a little 10-page historiography of the biographies written about a notable person. I chose this guy. But it turned out there are only a couple of biographies out there, and they both kinda suck. That’s not enough for a historiography, even one that’s only a few pages long. So my professor suggested that I instead write a brief biography myself. She said she’d be okay with it going over ten pages.

As I drove around, poking through archives here and there (and finally visiting Independence Hall for the first time in my life), I noticed something weird. The stuff he did in America may be completey forgotten by history, which is a sin and a shame, but at least it’s fairly well-documented. But he was already an adult when he emigrated here from Scotland. What’s the story of all those formative years? Those are the years that shaped the man who would shape American government. And nobody knew diddly-squat about that period of his life. And the minuscule bits that historians thought they knew weren’t even correct.

So if you’re interested, here’s the paper I turned in today. It’s a bit over ten pages, because I wound up writing those missing first chapters of his life. I did a lot of research, and discovered some surprising new facts. And I hope it helps us understand who this fellow was, and why.

I knew early on that I really wanted to share it with you all once it was turned in. And as always, your comments and criticisms are incredibly welcome. ESPECIALLY criticisms! 

Hope you like it!

(And now we can return to this Yahweh fella. It’s starting to look like he’s going places.)