- Historic Sites
William Merrick Bristoll
After Ins escape from Charleston, William Merrick Bristol! resumed his teaching career, first in Illinois, then in Milwaukee. In 1863 he enlisted in the ijth Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery, rising to the rank of first lieutenant by the end of the war. Most of his time in the Army was spent as an ordnance officer in New Orleans. Following the Civil War he attended Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts and then took on a succession of teaching jobs; he was a professor of Latin at Ripon College in Wisconsin, Atlanta University in Georgia, and Yankton College in South Dakota. He retired from teaching in 1886 to work as an accountant in a real-estate and brokerage firm in Minneapolis. Mrs. Hauenstein, who knew him there when she was a child, recalls that he had blue eyes and a clipped beard and looked distinguished—"like Santa Claus, only neater.” Bristoll, she remembers, began each day with a reading from the Bible, then played a hymn on the organ. Before leaving for work he would recite the Lord’s Prayer with his wife. Bristoll died in Minneapolis at the age of seventy in 1910.
Why do we need a national nonprofit membership society for American history?
“Save America’s Treasures” has been totally eliminated—the largest Federal program supporting preservation of such treasures as the original Star Spangled Banner and George Washington’s tent.
65% of Americans don’t know what happened at the Constitutional Convention, according to a recent survey by Newsweek.
The “Teaching American History” grants—the largest Federal program supporting history education—have been completely eliminated.
Visits to the Top 20 Civil War battlefields have dropped in half from 1970 to 2009 according to official National Park Service statistics.
40% of Americans can’t identify whom we fought in World War II, according to a recent survey by Newsweek.
A quarter of Americans believe Congress shares power over U.S. foreign policy with the United Nations, according to a recent Annenberg survey.
“There is little that is more important for an American citizen to know than the history and traditions of his country,” John F. Kennedy wrote in American Heritage.
The “We the People Program,” which touched some 30 million students and 90,000 teachers over 25 years, has been completely eliminated.
Two-thirds of Americans could not correctly name Yorktown as the last major military action of the American Revolution, according to a recent national Gallup survey.
The National Heritage Areas and Scenic Byways program, the only major Federal program encouraging visits to historic places, has been completely eliminated in Congressional committee.