"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

On the Importance of Historical Accuracy

Short but poignant post today as we'd like to take an opportunity to share a behind-the-scenes clip discovered by our staff from what appears to be the History Channel. In the clip, executives discuss an upcoming broadcast on one of the deciding battles during the Civil War. 

While the history itself is very much in line with most of the rumor the Lost and Founders team has heard about Lee's infamous 1864 march, it is clear from the footage that the executives have somewhat "exaggerated" the truth of what really happened during the battle. The ensuing discussion is humorous, but as true historians we feel it necessary to chastise this "history channel" for attempting to circumvent the truth for the sake of better ratings. 

This is exactly the practice that we are trying to overcome here at Lost and Founders - changing history to suit the needs of the present. Take our word for it- history is fascinating and relevant enough on its own. So to these would-be historians, we salute you and your passion for the past, but next time - just the facts please.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

John Witherspoon: The First Food Network Star

Everyone knows the name John Witherspoon for his claim to fame as an early ancestor of actress Reese Witherspoon. He is also slightly less known for the fact that he was the only college president to sign the Declaration of Independence. Still fewer know Witherspoon for his true passion: cooking.

A man of considerable size and considerably refined taste, John Witherspoon was widely acknowledged as the best chef in the Continental Congress. This claim is evidenced by his peerless entries in the Congressional Chili Cook-Off during 1774-1779 sessions in which he took home blue ribbons in categories for taste, hottness, and mutton to bean ratio.

Witherspoon periodically invited guests into his home to watch him cook before sharing a meal. The audience would sit around his table while Witherspoon raced around his kitchen preparing dishes with masterful precision. It was in fact during these events that he popularized the catch phrase "Another one bites the dust!" which contrary to popular belief was actually a reference to the large puff of flour that shot up when he threw a cut of meat into a mixture to prepare it for breading. 

In no uncertain terms, John Witherspoon invented the cooking show in 1758. The current stars of the Food Network, which has become one of the most widely viewed television networks in recent years have none other than a founding father to thank for their success. In honor of Chef Witherspoon, we include below one of his original recipes, to be shared in the company of friends and paired with a thick English Ale and a side of tackback:

Mulligan Stew (1766)
  1. Gather 1/2 cup each of diced onions, carrots, celery, and turnip;
  2. Quarter 4 potatoes, using a knife if one is available;
  3. Add the above to 1/8 lb salt pork, set aside.
  4. Cut 2 pounds venison, lamb, beef, or whatever creature is most available into small pieces and cook 1 hour in 1 pint of water with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ tsp. Pepper. Do not use pepper from Rhode Island.
  5. Add the salt pork and vegetable mixture and cook all together for one hour
  6. Dumplings to taste may be added last 12 minutes.
  7. Serve hot and garnish with rosemary.

"In my judgment it is not only ripe for the belly, but in danger of becoming rotten for the want of it."
John Witherspoon, debate over the readiness of a broccoli casserole, July, 1776

Friday, March 25, 2011

The War of 1805 - Day 5: Thomas Jefferson

This week we have delved deeper into the unspoken history of the 1805 Zombie war than most historians ever attempt. We hope that these last few posts have shed some light on what really happened during this most controversial period in history. From the prophetic wisdom of Da Vinci to the misguided betrayal of John Trumbull to our national mistreatment of the Salem witches that ultimately sealed our fate, we have hopefully succeeded in shedding light on some concrete moments throughout this difficult era where history could easily have taken a different turn.

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. The real take-away here is an plea that we as a nation stop casually ignoring these less popular parts of the American story in order to ensure that we never face another horror like the winter of 1805. Indeed, with our advances in technology the threat of a robot apocalypse often seems to loom just over the horizon, making it more imperative than ever that we learn from our mistakes, lest we wake up one day to find our mechanical servants have been driven over the edge.

Despite the dangers we face, we as always feel it is just as important to celebrate our triumphs as it is to somberly highlight our failures. Thus, we will wrap up this week on a high note with a rare excerpt from a speech by Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and slayer of no less than 47 zombies during the battle at  Darrow Hill that marked the end of the war and the undead scourge. Always the consummate teacher, Jefferson instructed the militias on the proper use of firearms when battling zombies mere hours before the battle began. The speech was previously thought unrecorded until we discovered the journal of what we believe to have been a college student who jotted down notes from Mr. Jefferson's lecture before fighting alongside the legend himself. Rather than reprint the full journal, which was mainly filled with doodles of women's breasts and a few crude limericks, we include for your pleasure the most complete excerpt:

"A strong body makes the mind strong and is our best defense against the undead. As to the species of zombies, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind and true death to our resilient adversary. Zombies fought with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. That shit will get you killed. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks and let us finish this dark work with all due haste. Lock and load bitches."

Thomas Jefferson, December 24th 1805

Jefferson's passion is truly stirring and can certainly be attributed to the zeal of the brave men and women that won back our young country on that snowy Christmas morning in 1805.

That's it for zombie week here at Lost and Founders. Have a great weekend and stay vigilant!

- Foggy

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The War of 1805 - Day 4: John Trumbull

It is in this article that we discover some of the initial lead into the War of 1805. While we're still not sure what lead to Z Day happening, we are sure that there were some instigators. Much like Martin Luther and the posting of his 95 Theses we have found another man who was trying to make a statement.

This, of course, was famous revolutionary artist John Trumbull. A very respected artist in his day Trumbull had 4 of his paintings purchased by Congress to be hung in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. These four paintings were:

Declaration of Independence - also the back of the $2 bill
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
Surrender of General Burgoyne
Washington Resigning his Commission

While many people would be ecstatic to have so many pieces put in the nation's capitol, Trumbull felt snubbed as they had passed on his other paintings of the revolution:

Death of General Warren at Bunker Hill
Death of General Montgomery at Quebec
Capture of Hessians at the Battle of Trenton
Death of General Mercer at Battle of Princeton

Congress said that they only 'had' enough money for 4 paintings, but Trumbull wasn't buying it. Trumbull knew the truth. Congress was afraid of death. They were afraid of anything that could have a hint of morbidity. They hadn't purchased his paintings because of the topic that was involved. Enraged by his snubbing and the perception that Congress believed his topics to be ghastly, ghoulish and grim Trumbull went on to dedicate his time to other tasks.

"The greatest motive I had or have for engaging in my pursuit of painting Zombies has been my wish to commemorate those who believe my paintings to be ghastly, ghoulish or grim. If they think the great events of our country's Revolution already happened, then they are sorely mistaken as these morbid paintings will inspire new life that will bring far greater destruction."
-John Trumbull in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1803

This letter is actually quite terrifying. It goes past the point of prediction, it goes to the point of saying that Trumbull is attempting to inspire a Zombie Revolution. That being said, its no surprise that the following portraits, created by Trumbull, served as a type of rogue grassroots campaigning for the Zombie War. These portraits were often found nailed to tavern doors, more often than not they were covered with fresh blood to serve as a warning of the incoming Zombie tide. It was quite common that the entire town was packed and prepared to leave by the time that the painfully slow moving zombies even made it to town. Perhaps Trumbull's greatest artistic triumph served as his historical downfall. It was these posters that served as a warning system and helped the nation overcome perhaps our biggest threat to liberty in our young history. Below we have included the only portraits that have been recovered:

'Give 'em the axe' became a term popularized in the War of 1805. Zombie supporters were urging for GW's to be given the axe necessary to cut down the sapling cherry tree of the new nation.

This portrait has probably been the discussion of the most historical debate. While many scholars argue that it is Thomas Jefferson as seen through the dashing features and receding hairline we are unsure if it is actually TJ, Alexander Hamilton or James Madison. I suppose only the dead would know.

This 'I Want You' Benjamin Franklin poster was not only Zombie propaganda, but also served as inspiration to the Uncle Sam 'I Want You' advertisements that we have seen much later in our history

The War of 1805 - Day 3: Leonardo Da Vinci

Day 3 of our chronicling of the Zombie War of 1805 actually takes us back in time to the early 1500's. Shortly after finishing his painting of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci said the following:

"In 300 years, every kingdom divided by zombies will fall, as does every mind divided between many studies confounds and eats the brains of itself." -Leonardo da Vinci, 1505

The Founders were quite aware of this quote and thus hyper vigilant about defeating the zombie forces that were trying to destroy the young nation. This quote served as a prediction as to what would come if they were unsuccessful at taking names and kicking ass.

Unfortunately da Vinci made another 'prediction' about the future when he said that:

'Art is never finished, only abandoned.'

While a seemingly harmless statement about art it had major historical ramifications for the Zombie War of 1805. In the early 1800's the Mona Lisa as we know it looked drastically different. da Vinci's initial Mona Lisa was actually a line drawing, as he so deftly noted it was never finished. He abandoned the work and it wasn't until 1805 that we saw the work pop up in a drastically different form. A direct result of the Zombie War of 1805 was the Mona Lisa as we know it. Below we have attempted to construct a timeline of the Mona Lisa.

'Original' Mona Lisa as completed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1505

'Abandoned' Mona Lisa when it was found at the beginning of the Zombie War of 1805

'Recommissioned' Mona Lisa as it was changed following the War

'Predicted' Mona Lisa if the humans would have fallen in the Lego Wars

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The War of 1805 - Day 2: Patrick Henry

We continue our week-long exploration into The War of 1805, dubbed "The Zombie War" by popular history, with an emotionally gripping quote by Patrick Henry. It cannot be argued that the winter of 1805 marked one of the darkest hours of our fledgling nation, and yet it also gave rise to some of the more triumphant moments in history. 

Henry's words below are a perfect example - the passage is taken from a speech given before the Carolina militia, made famous of course for their courageous efforts during the battle at Fort Bellmut that arguably halted the spread of undead in the southern colonies. Here we see Henry at his most sincere: a practical man capable of giving proper weight to both the mundane concerns of dwindling rations and the sheer test of human resolve given form by an enemy that literally kept coming back for more.

"If we wish to be free of the undead horde, if we mean to preserve inviolate the canned goods for which we have been so long storing in the cannon shelter below the estate, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the last of the dead walking our streets has been put back under the ground and the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight!"
- Patrick Henry, December 1805.

The glorious object in the final sentence was of course a double entendre: referring figuratively to stopping the undead and winning the war, and literally to the grimoire of John Crowley which held the information that ultimately allowed Gen. Washington's army to do just that. Truly it was this remarkable commitment to life and liberty from our founders that kept them from giving up even when all seemed lost. Powerful stuff indeed, and as usual a timeless lesson. 

This series will continue tomorrow, along with our hope as always here at Lost and Founders that our readers take time to really ponder the lessons taught by the great patriots so that in the case of historical periods like the Zombie War of 1805, history is not doomed to repeat itself.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The War of 1805 - Day 1: George Washington

Today we begin a week-long series of posts dedicated to one of the most popularly unpopular periods in America's history: The Zombie War of 1805. The history buffs out there will agree that the documentation from this area is so rife with inconsistency that many modern history books tend to unfairly ignore it entirely.

For those readers who are late to the party, a brief history lesson:

The Salem Witch Trials of the late 1600's resulted in an amount of social and spiritual unrest throughout the colonies that have seldom been matched since. Men and women, most of whom were completely innocent of any crime and merely victims of a terrified populace, were systematically put on trial and publicly killed in a variety of disturbing methods that do not need to be rehashed for the purposes of this account. 

To make matters worse, the actual witches and warlocks that were discovered during this dark time rarely went down without a fight. In retrospect it can safely be said that the decision to begin humiliating and murdering people known to traffic in the black art of demonology was certainly not the brightest idea that came out of the colonial era. Death hexes, or "Gotchas" as they were eventually coined by way of witches commonly shouting "Gotcha!" after muttering a hex with their dying breath, became widespread during the ongoing years of tribulation.

The true horror behind these "gotchas" was not discovered until almost 200 years later. During the hot summer months of 1805, the number of reported attacks in and around cemeteries was nearly triple that of years past. Survivors were few even then but this was not unusual. Likewise, sightings of foul smelling assailants in tattered clothes or none at all were written off by magistrates due to the particularly hot summer evenings that year. As the death toll rose however, so did suspicions, and by September the reason was clear: the dead had risen to walk among us. Due to the scientific and technological limitations of the day, it was never learned exactly how Z Day occurred, nor how the curse continued to spread as zombies viciously attacked and fed on unprepared communities across the eastern seaboard.

The next few months almost spelled a disastrous end for the young nation. As stated previously, accurate accounts of the period are few and far between, but what little we have managed to uncover is nothing short of spectacular. If you have never had the opportunity to study this bit of history, you will see over the next few days that the brave men and women responsible for founding our great nation were also responsible for defending it from a threat that largely contributed to the downfall of both the Romans and the Mayans. So buckle your history belts and join us all this week as we embark on a journey to uncover the history behind the history and pay tribute to some of the greatest triumphs of all-time. 


"The dead are not reason; they are not eloquence. They are force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Let's crack some skulls."  

- George Washington, December 17, 1805

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lonely Island finds inspiration in Founder

Andy Samberg was definitely not the first man to utter the phrase “I’m on a boat, mother f&*$#@%, don’t you ever forget”. Nor was T-Pain the first to f@#$ a mermaid while travelling the “big, blue watery road”. Today we attribute these words to the 3-man band known as The Lonely Island, but do we really believe that three comedians and an auto-tuned rapper came up with these poetic expressions about life at sea:  When’s the last time you even heard about someone who traveled by boat - a boat that didn’t come with all-you-can-eat popcorn shrimp and complimentary spa treatment? Exactly.

We’re here to tell you that the Lost secrets of sea life have finally been Found - in a diary dating back to 1492, when America’s
first Father sailed the ocean blue. Christopher Columbus may not be lumped in the traditional group of Founding Fathers, but his journey to America paved the way for a whole pack of Broseidons: Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and the rest of the Founding Father gang. Columbus’s poem, “I’m on a Boat”, actually provided crucial guidance for the Puritan ships that sailed to America in the following century. Here’s a brief but poignant excerpt:

“Oh shit, get your towels ready
It's about to go down  
Everybody in the place hit the fucking deck
But stay on your motherfucking toes

We running this, let's go”

Without this advice, who knows how many people would’ve actually made it safely ‘cross the Atlantic to Amurrica? Columbus, here's to you for discovering the best country in the world while sporting flippie-floppies.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Point Counterpoint: Sam 'Ladykiller' Adams vs. Babe-raham Lincoln

Following our last post about the truth of Sam Adams and the motivations behind his brewing we have been flooded with comments. The main concern behind all the comments has been whether or not it is appropriate of us to uncover the truth of their intentions and behaviors. If we haven't made it fully clear, we at Lost and Founders are here for historical accuracy, we are here to set the record straight and make sure that people know the full story of our Founding Fathers and Mothers. As a follow up to our last post we did some further research on another great American President, Abraham Lincoln, and found some surprising information when it comes to his thoughts about being a 'Ladykiller'

"Any man anywhere, being inclined and having manly urges, has the right to 'rise up', and shake off the existing undistinguished lady, and find a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world"
-Abraham Lincoln in a letter to Frederick Douglass, August of 1863

Strangely it is this quote that served as the inspiration for the first line in Jay-Z's song Big Pimpin

You know I thug 'em, fuck 'em, love 'em, leave 'em Cause I don't fuckin' need 'em' 

He is clearly singing about that 'most sacred right' the right to shake off undistinguished ladies. We're not trying to be judge and jury on the character of historical figures, we are simply trying to lay out the facts. The historical truth.  In our search to clarify the Lincoln quote we also found the following portrait done the fateful day that Lincoln went to Ford's Theater. 

This brings us to the Point Counterpoint of this article. Who is the bigger pimp? Babe-raham Lincoln. Samuel 'LadyKiller' Adams, the obvious John Han'donhis'cock, or someone else. Please vote in our poll and comment on who you think it is.

As always...Liberty.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Samuel Adams - Brewer, Patriot, Ladykiller

Samuel Adams has traditionally been one of the more commonly quoted founders, made popular largely as a result of his likeness and name being used as a trademark for a rather delicious if slightly over-hopped malt beverage. But what of the man himself? It is generally assumed correctly that the real Sam Adams was in fact a well-respected brewmaster of his day, but few know the truth behind his own motives.

Brewing beer was popular in the colonial era for numerous reasons - the two most prevalent being that water was not generally very clean and was often unsafe to drink on its own, and second that there was a lot of pretty rough stuff going on and people really needed to relax. One of the most fascinating inconsistencies of current history books is that to this day we don't widely recognize Sam Adams as being one of the first brewers to approach the craft for a third reason (also easily the most popular reason for drinking today) - getting laid. 

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of American college girls than the whole force of the common enemy. While the ladies are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their bodies to the first external or internal invader. Oh shit I just got a great idea."

Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

The quote above, taken from a letter sent by Adams to his good friend James Warren, was an extremely exciting find for Lost and Founders as we believe this was the exact moment in history that Sam Adams decided to become a brewer. As we see today, his decision has impacted our society a thousand times over - proof as usual of the incredible relevance that the founders' teachings still possess in the modern era. 

Bottoms up!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Abigail Adams Founding of Colonialpolitan/Cosmopolitan Magazine.

"Remember ladies, be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands, but put yourself in his hands instead. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could, it is up to us to distract them from the realities of life."
-Abigail Adams, Cosmo's "237 Ways to Please Your Founding Father", 1769

Today, Helen Gurley Brown is praised as the founder of the ever-so-scandalous Cosmopolitan magazine. Though Brown spear-headed the project of taking Cosmo to the masses, she was hardly the first woman in history to push the boundaries of female sexuality with a written publication. If you want to know the real origins of today's most popular woman's magazine, you'll have to look much further back in history than the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s - that was nothing compared to 1764, the year Abigail and John started the Addam'sAdam's Family… 

Abby and John were essentially the hot, young power couple of the Founding Father crew. They had it all: a charming lot of youngsters (including John Quincy, 6th President of the United States), a beautiful home in the 'burbs, well-paying jobs, and to top it all off, a fairytale marriage that made Martha Jefferson green with envy ("Tom never looks at me the way [John] looks at Abby", from Second to Sally, an autobiography). And what was the secret to such a perfect relationship? Well, Cosmo has been telling us for years and will keep telling us as long as we continue to impulsively grab that $3.95 issue in the check-out line.  That's right, ladies, you've been reading the words of Abigail Adams all this time. Don't let the editors of Cosmo tell you that some trendy love doctor came up with "82 New Ways To Spice Up Your Love Life " or the "Which Sex In The City Character Are You?" Quiz. Rather, those are the wise words of Abigail Adams, passed down through the centuries. And who wrote the "Advice from Guys" column? You guessed it: John Adams himself, with the help of GDubs, TJ, J.Mad, and Monbroeski, of course.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Adams was well ahead of her times when she started Colonialpolitan.  She knew the conservatism of her day would not allow for such a magazine to be mass produced. Thus, she drafted one issue of the magazine that she shared with her fellow Founding Mothers. On her death bed, she charged her eldest daughter "Nabby" with passing down her tried and true relationship secrets to the next generation. Little did she know that her secrets would be reworded and retitled thousands of times over to create every issue of Cosmopolitan.

Madison Sheen, the Original Badboy

As we always say here at Lost and Founders - history repeats itself. Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few weeks has surely been subject to a plethora of media coverage on one Carlos Irwin Estevez, more commonly known by his stage name Charlie Sheen. The star has always received a lot of attention for his tendency to throw dangerously awesome parties and subject himself and the producers of his show to general malaise for the sake of a good time.

What his critics don't realize is that Mr. Sheen was not by any stretch the first rockstar party animal. In truth, he is likely taking a lot of his queues from one (or several) of our founding fathers. These gentlemen quite simply knew how to have a good time, and yet never let it get in the way of doing their job of running a country.

Take for example the following quote from Mr. James Madison, established in a previous post as a staunch advocate of colonial nightlife. Here we see a further glimpse into his wild side:

"A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States, though a few bottles of spirits will turn both into a true political party. See what I did there?"

James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
Further evidence can be found in a transcript taken from a toga party thrown to celebrate the writing of the Federalist Papers in which our third President proclaimed, just before falling off of a table top,

"A popular Government, without popular people, popular information, or the means of acquiring it by popular consent, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Or, perhaps neither. I am actually quite drunk right now. Please stop writing this down."

James Madison, Toga Party, 1789

As you can see, there ain't no party like a colonial party. Thankfully for Mr. Madison, TMZ was not founded until 1845. The takeaway here is that even with such hardcore lifestyles, our founders were able to accomplish amazing things when left to their own devices. Perhaps it's best to focus on the positives rather than the negatives in such a case. Food for thought.