February 2 1816: Byron Separation!


On February 2 1816, Annabella’s father  Sir Ralph Noel writes to Byron to demand a separation.


MY LORD,—— However painful it may be to me, I find myself compelled by every feeling as a parent, and principle as a man, to address your Lordship on a subject which I hardly suppose will be any surprise to you. Very recently, circumstances have come to my knowledge, which convince me, that with your opinions it cannot tend to your happiness to continue to live with Lady Byron, and I am yet more forcibly convinced that after her dismissal from your house, and the treatment she experienced whilst in it, those on whose protection she has the strongest natural claims could not feel themselves justified in permitting her return thither. Continue reading

February 2 1816: Enlightened Statecraft


On February 2 1816, John Adams writes to Thomas Jefferson. Adams is particularly insightful in showing the similarity between Enlightenment views about “human perfectibility” and an apocalyptic and Christian evangelical millennialism. He writes:

We must come to the Principles of Jesus. But, when will all Men and all Nations do as they would be done by? Forgive all Injuries and love their Enemies as themselves? I leave those profound Phylosophers whose Sagacity perceives the Perfectibility of Humane Nature, and those illuminated Theologians who expect the Apocalyptic Reign, to enjoy their transporting hopes; provided always that they will not engage Us in Crusades and French Revolutions, nor burn Us for doubting. My Spirit of Prophecy reaches no father than, New England Guesses. Continue reading