Author Archives: Bennett Minton

Pilgrimage to Montgomery

In Charlottesville, I happened by a bright blue plaque on what was until recently Jackson Park, named for Stonewall Jackson. Also until recently, the park featured an equestrian statue of Jackson, installed 100 years ago, after Paul Goodloe McIntire deeded … Continue reading

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Lexington vignette

The campuses of Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute abut each other. W&L looks like a classical college: Roman Revival architecture, painted red brick, white columns. Stately. The main road through W&L runs north past the Colonnade, its … Continue reading

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Eastward Ho—to Independence

The second half of my Oregon Trail journey, west to east, began at Riverton, Wyoming, on the Mississippi side of the Continental Divide, where the Rendezvous of 1838 took place. The Rendezvous was an annual convention in the wilderness for … Continue reading

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At South Pass on the Oregon Trail

I had imagined this day as the climax of my Oregon Trail-in-reverse, the one on which I would cross the Continental Divide at South Pass, the 20-mile-wide flat in the Wyoming Rockies that trapper Robert Stuart “discovered” in 1812 and … Continue reading

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The Oregon Trail, updated

As a history student and native of the South, I’ve spent most of my life immersed in our Peculiar region, the soil in which the blood of Black and White was mixed. The foundation of American capitalism was slavery, and … Continue reading

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Lobbyists parachute into Portland to protect federal tax break

Text of my letter published in the August 30 Tax Notes Federal, a policy journal that covers Congress. (I was a congressional correspondent and later news editor in the 1990s.) Portland, Oregon, is a continent away from the backroom deals … Continue reading

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After watering our parched gardens, we offered an accounting

Dear Tax Fairness Oregon Supporters: We have been remiss in our correspondence with you. As our steering committee spent the legislative session plowing through bills and testifying on 41 of them (some more than once), we didn’t set aside time … Continue reading

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Penance for a former influence peddler

The national news is depressing, with one party—and its Supreme Court majority—determined to prevent voters it doesn’t like (and doesn’t want) from participating in democracy. So I bang my head against the wall (on Zoom) in Salem, my state capital, … Continue reading

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Advice to a (small ‘d’) democrat

A friend asks for facts about Joe Biden, without mentioning Donald Trump, to help her decide. Not comprehensive, but this is what I wrote her after spending 15 minutes on the question (and a few more refining for this post): … Continue reading

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The lies our textbooks told us

A link to The Washington Post version of my post on the Virginia government’s effort to rewrite history. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/slavery-history-virginia-textbook/2020/07/31/d8571eda-d1f0-11ea-8c55-61e7fa5e82ab_story.html. Published in the Sunday opinion section on August 2, it drew more than 1900 comments. My sampling suggests people were inspired … Continue reading

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