The Baxter Project, Inc.
Realizing an American Dream
James Phinney Baxter, visionary, historian, poet, politician and philanthropist, 6-time mayor of Portland, Maine, bequeathed a significant sum to the City of Boston upon his death in 1921, with the specific intent to honor the lives, deeds, principles and ideals of the founders of New England. His son Percival, twice governor of Maine, subsequently augmented that fund upon his death in 1969.
James Phinney Baxter’s intent with his bequest, as articulated in his will and in the monograph “A New England Pantheon” was: To build a New England Pantheon, a Temple of Honor commemorating the lives and deeds of the founders of New England, and to educate future generations in the principles and achievements of the pioneers whose ideals were the seed of free government.
James Phinney Baxter was a visionary. He saw something, something he wanted others to see, to understand and be inspired by. His dream could not be realized until this moment because it was not time. It has taken four generations, and a full swing of the pendulum of human dreams and fears to learn enough to bring his vision to fruition – to bring forth a balanced story that can free our nation to become “the exemplar of Liberty, Justice and Brotherhood among the nations of the world” that James Phinney Baxter and the Founders of America knew it could become.
“The ideals [of the early pioneers to New England] have given to the nation many of its noblest characteristics, which must be cherished and preserved if it is to lead as the exemplar of Liberty, Justice and Brotherhood among the nations of the world. We have reached a period when without …cooperation… our high hopes for the future welfare of this country may fail of fruition.” A New England Pantheon 1917
There is a story waiting to be told. It is a story that begins in Cambridge, England in the 1500’s and culminates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1700’s. It is a story that weaves a tapestry of truth using threads from the heart of humanity – bringing together English settlers and Native Americans to form a new nation based upon inspired concepts embodying universal truths that are humanity’s birthright. It is a story of commonalities, inspiration and vision that is America’s origin story, seen from a perspective that can inspire all who hear it.
A team has assembled to bring the vision of James Phinney Baxter to bear on the evolution of the American mind today, at a time when America is at a crossroads on her path to actualizing her founding freedom documents.
This team is in a unique position to bring forth a body of work that will accomplish Mr. Baxter’s vision as no one else could. Andrew C. Bailey, British-born South African anthropologist, scientist and visionary has teamed up with Connie Baxter Marlow, futurist and social philosopher and great, great granddaughter of James Phinney Baxter, and Connie’s daughter Alison Baxter Marlow, explorer of cultures and ideas.
There is profound misinformation, mis-education and misunderstanding concerning the origin story of our nation: the genesis of the Separatist movement, the first 50 years of the Plymouth Colony and the exceptional relationship with the Pokanoket/Wampanoag Indians. This misunderstanding has led to guilt, anger, shame and division and, perhaps, a consequent inability of America to realize its true potential.
An accurate and balanced understanding of the historical events, principles and circumstances which gave rise to the United States will inspire people of all races and backgrounds to open their hearts and bridge gulfs of differences so that we may actualize in our daily lives the great human potential envisioned by our founders and articulated in the freedom documents of our nation: The Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg address.
The programs of The Baxter Project will encourage peaceful dialogue over polarizing opinion, and through creative inquiry will promote an understanding of the founding principles of equal and just laws serving the common good and ethical self-determination as core values of governance.
James Phinney Baxter had serious concerns regarding the lack of information regarding our early history. He foresaw the situation which exists today: misinformation and misconception stemming from the lack of access to authentic historical information. This combined with the “glorify the underdog” mentality that prevails today has led our nation to a challenging crossroads.
James Phinney Baxter was a great advocate of education and scholarly endeavor. His goals, and the goals of our country’s founders, can be realized through education and access to accurate information. That knowledge will lead the way to true peace and freedom.
As James Phinney Baxter did, so do we have trust in humanity, trust in the future of America, an understanding of a higher power, and trust in the world to come. There has been a secret purpose to history. That purpose is ultimately to bring the love in the human heart to bear on the human condition and to enhance the rest of Creation with its beauty.
The 55-year relationship between the Mayflower Pilgrims and the Massasoit, Ousa Mequin, was an extraordinary exception to the human condition THEN, that can inspire us NOW to move forward to peace on earth, every human’s birthright.
The Baxter Project programs speak to a broad audience. The universal concepts addressed in the founding of America and her freedom documents make these projects appeal to a broad and diverse population: immigrants new and old, American citizens, teachers, researchers, descendents of early new Englanders, American Indians, all who are seeking accurate information and a forum to be heard as well as educational institutions: schools, colleges, home schools, libraries, seminars and workshops, and the general world-wide population.
The relationship between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims is our first experience with harmonious multicultural relations as a nation. It laid the foundation for the pluralistic culture we have become. We are now challenged to honor, protect and nourish the personal and religious freedoms that are the hallmarks of our democracy. This initial relationship has often been obscured and sometimes obliterated from our history. However our history books have downplayed or ignored this initial cultural interaction, it had a profound effect on the evolution of the American Mind and the American Spirit.
People from all corners of the globe have come to these shores enticed by the truths found in our freedom documents. The mission of The Baxter Project is to inspire each citizen to live these truths in every day life and thereby take this nation on the high road to freedom of the human spirit.
The Baxter Project, Inc. is a Massachusetts non-profit corporation, a program of the International Humanities Center, a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.