Surprisingly, the Man Who Transformed America Has Not Been Canceled By Today’s Woke Historians

This morning, I stumbled upon a Medium article by Sean Kernan titled “Historians Ranked The Worst President in US History (Trump Didn’t Win).” And I wanted to skip past it given the ridiculousness of anyone accepting the accuracy of President Trump’s ratings that politicians, celebrities, and the media had tainted with propaganda, gaslighting, and bias. I also knew the article would be about my fellow Pennsylvanian President James Buchanan, Jr. But, I read it anyway. At least four of my son’s cousins are on the list. He is related to Franklin Pierce through my ex and the Bushes through both of us.

George H. W. Bush and I descend from Thomas Stackhouse and Grace Heaton. He is their son Robert’s descendant, and I descend from their daughter Alice. My ex is a Pierce descendant in the usual way. There were three brothers. One is the ancestor of Michael, another is the ancestor of Franklin, and the third is the ancestor of Mrs. Barbara Bush. Maybe I will go through my files and edit this to show you those lines later.

My son is also related to the President pictured below through me.

A picture of James K. Polk and a picture of me.

I am a Brevard descendant. Brevard College and Brevard, Transylvania County, North Carolina, were named after Ephraim Brevard. His uncle and aunt-in-law Robert and Sarah (Craig) Brevard were my sixth great-grandmother Elizabeth Brevard’s parents.

Ephraim was the son of John and Jane (McWhorter) Brevard and grandson of John and Katherine (McKnitt) Brevard. He is presumed to be the author of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Many of the other alleged signers of that document were also related to me by blood or marriage. And the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence may even predate and be what influenced the wording Thomas Jefferson used in the Declaration of Independence.

And Brevard County, Florida, was named after Ephraim’s nephew Theodorus W. Brevard, Sr. Theodorus was the son of Alexander and Rebecca (Davidson) Brevard. He settled in Tallahassee in 1847 and became Florida’s chief fiscal officer (comptroller) four years later. His first term in office ran from April 3, 1851, to November 27, 1854, and his second ran from January 24, 1855, to December 14, 1860.

Elizabeth Brevard married James Polk Reese. James worked as a commissioner and tax collector in North Carolina and a magistrate and trustee in Tennessee. He was the son of David Tasker Reese and Susan Ruth Polk (David also signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence). Susan was the daughter of Robert Bruce Polk, the second great-granduncle of President James Knox Polk.

James ranked at number 18, and in case you did not know, those historians mentioned in Sean’s article rank our presidents according to the list shown below. I believe these findings were based on each historian’s bias rather than each President’s job performance. And, I believe this bias goes well beyond the recency bias mentioned by Sean. You may disagree (because that is your prerogative). But if you do, please remember, I am not the person responsible for your feelings toward the President living rent-free in your head. But I digress. Check out my last link and see if you agree with the rankings of the Presidents from your lifetime.

  1. Public persuasion
  2. Crisis leadership
  3. Economic management
  4. Moral authority
  5. International relations
  6. Administrative skills
  7. Relations with congress
  8. Vision/setting an agenda
  9. Persued equal justice for all
  10. Performance within the context of times



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Michelle Rostykus

Michelle Rostykus

Mother, sister, aunt, great-aunt, cousin, friend; love being a chamberlain and courtier to my six-year-old Brindled American Shorthair and living in the country