Celebrate the Seventh Amendment on 7/20
Whatever great means, it includes the idea of something worth passing on.
George Hammer, my maternal great-grandfather, was born American from German immigrants.
George’s mother was born in Massbach, Bavaria, Germany and immigrated to the United States and Illinois’ Jo Daviess County with her family as a teenager in 1865.
George’s father came here as a five-year old from Zeitfeld Province, Germany (which is hard to find on a map) in the early 1850s as part of an immigrant family of five; they stayed with fellow Mennonites in New York for three years before homesteading in Jo Daviess County.
The land both families homesteaded was available because of the end of “Indian” hostilities in Illinois after the Black Hawk War. I’ve published a pamphlet that excerpts an Illinois history book (1878) with some details on how that war started and ended: see Fire-Water Ignites Black Hawk War of 1832 (and other things).
George wrote a few letters to a German woman in Canada named Ida Schiekoff; Ida was born in Arnhausen, Germany (in 1945 the village became Lipie, Poland) and immigrated to Canada as an 18 year-old in 1891. The two met by reading the same German newspaper and became pen pals. George then went to meet Ida and her family in Canada a couple of times; they soon got engaged, married, and moved to the family farm in Illinois. They lived a simple farm life, nothing fancier than good shelter and plenty of food, as there wasn’t any extra coin. Money showed up later, in the next generation, when their son and my grandfather, Willis (the child in the picture without a jacket), told me they started making money off the farm by selling surplus milk.
Maybe right there is a glimpse of the constitutional right within the Seventh Amendment and why it is there; it isn’t written for the rich in coin, or they would have used it: it’s there for the poor. It’s also constitutionally connected to the thirty Thousand, as the usurpation has organized the judiciary and our American sense of justice; the time to review (and amend) the Seventh Amendment, thus bringing to life its constitutional social justice bearing, is when We the People are represented according to numbers (say in 2021 or ‘22).
The same commentator that noted Arendt’s Constitutio Libertatis and honoring of the founders, also pointed out that she only thought the founders were a partial success; that is because, according to the commentator, the founders didn’t create space for We the People to participate. I don’t agree and think the evidence, our Constitution, shows otherwise; the thirty Thousand, the Enumeration, and the Seventh Amendment do provide ways for citizens to participate in their government at a “local” federal level via small districts augmented every ten years. It’s the usurpers fault, not the founders, who are keeping We the People from our constitutional greatness: us too, the people, as we haven’t shown vigilance until now.
Great means that something is worthy of being passed on, of giving to others as a legacy. The former Germans Hannah Arendt and Ida Schiekoff, and the children of German immigrants, like George Hammer, left us an American legacy. American immigrants are greater than the usurpers, and the usurpation of our right to representation, according to numbers, keeps us from our constitutional legacy … and that ain’t great America.
*Next Up: 17 September, US Constitution Day 2019, and Johnny Reb and Gus Yank Revisit Mount Horeb.
Posted by Bryan W. Brickner