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The man best qualified to become our country’s greatest historian, certainly the man with the most complete access to primary sources in the Revolutionary cause, was Charles Thomson. An authentic classical scholar, a discreet Protestant steeped in Medici learning, Thomson was known as “Perpetual Secretary of the Continental Congress.” He inscribed minutes of every Congressional session from 1774 until ratification of the Constitution in 1789. With William Barton, a Freemason, he designed the Great Seal of the United States of America: the choice of its Virgilian mottoes is credited exclusively to Thomson.
Among his contemporaries, Charles Thomson’s name was synonymous with Truth. So accurate were his minutes of Pennsylvania’s negotiations with the Delaware Indians that the Delawares called him Wegh-wu-law-mo-end, “the man who talks the truth.” When he would take his daily reports of congressional proceedings to the streets, eager mobs would cry “Here comes Charles Thomson! Here comes the Truth!”
Once the Constitution was ratified, Charles Thomson retired to Harriton, his country home in Bryn Mawr. He destroyed his personal papers relative to the creation of the new republic. An article by Kenneth Boling in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1976) says that Thomson actually wrote a lengthy history of the Revolution, which he also destroyed. Thomson biographer J. Edwin Hendricks of Wake Forest suggests a fate other than destruction, alluding to “persistent rumors that the Thomson papers are in the Pennsylvania Masonic records.” (Professor Hendricks assured me personally that numerous inquiries have failed to reflect Thomson’s membership in Pennsylvania Masonry.)
Whether Thomson destroyed his history or surrendered it to the crypt of secrecy, it is clear that he knew there were certain elements in the formation of American government that must, must be ignored. “If the truth were known,” he told friends darkly, “many careers would be tarnished and the leadership of the nation would be weakened.”
And so Charles Thomson occupied the remaining forty years of his life translating the Septuagint, the Greek-language Bible, into English. Still, he was frequently requested to write the definitive insider’s history of the Revolution. Dr. Benjamin Rush overheard Thomson’s reply to one such request and recorded it in his diary:
“No,” said he, “I ought not, for I should contradict all the histories of the great events of the Revolution, and shew by my account of men, motives and measures, that we are wholly indebted to the agency of Providence [Jesuit Vatican Empire] for its successful issue. Let the world admire the supposed wisdom and valor of our great men. Perhaps they may adopt the qualities that have been ascribed to them, and thus good may be done. I shall not undeceive future generations.”— Rulers of Evil: Useful Knowledge About Governing Bodies by F. Tupper Saussy, 1999