Community Standards

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes by chamblee54 on September 21, 2021

A facebook friend posted a meme. It had a drawing of James Madison, and a quote. “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”

The quote is generally said to be from a letter written in 1803. However, no one seems to know who the letter was sent to, or the context of the quote. A website, Positive Atheism’s Big List of James Madison Quotations, notes: “A diligent search for the source of this quotation is underway among Madison scholars and our correspondent, James Haught. No source has, at this time, been found; thus, we have deleted it from the regular section of our Madison page and moved it here (November 26, 2004). Until such time as this quotation can be verified as genuine, we strongly recommend discontinuing the use of this quip. … “

PG is fond of debunking quotes, but did not think to investigate this one. What he did do was remember a photograph of Dolley Madison, the wife of Mr. Madison. PG posted a link to the picture, along with a comment about Mrs. Madison being the first White House resident to be photographed. John Quincy Adams was the first President to be photographed.

This should not be controversial. Pedantic maybe, but not fighting words. Facebook had another opinion. “Your comment goes against our Community Standards on spam. No one else can see your comment. We have these standards to prevent things like false advertising, fraud and security breaches. Repeatedly violating our Community Standards can cause further account restrictions.”
The photograph of Mrs. Madison was taken by Matthew Brady in 1848. Mrs. Madison died in 1849. There were three First Ladies before her. Martha Washington died in 1802. Abigail Adams died in 1818. Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, daughter of Thomas Jefferson, died in 1836. There are no photographs of Sally Hemings.

“Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre invented the daguerreotype process in France. The invention was announced to the public on August 19, 1839 at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris.” Dolley Madison is the earliest First Lady to have lived after the invention of photography. Apparently, facebook does not want you to know this.

Pictures today are from the Library of Congress. Marion Post Wolcott took these pictures in June, 1940. “Home demonstration club meeting has games and refreshments after discussion. La Delta Project, ” Thomastown, Louisiana.


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