Welcome — From There to Here

Portraits in Revolution started as an idea for a book when I vacationed in Boston. It was to contain portraits of secondary characters in the American Revolution. I soon realized the Web afforded opportunities for rich content and hyper-text that were not possible using "book" technology. However, traditional publishing would have been easy compared to the learning curve that led to this site.

I started in February 2009 with WordPress and Gallery. Experienced in creating other websites, I created a skeleton and a rough design. Within two months I realized that WordPress would not scale, especially since I was using it as a content management tool rather than as a blogging platform.

So I restarted with Drupal in April.

For the past seven months I have neglected design in favor creating structure, connecting constituent parts, and, always, ensuring that page-load times were acceptably fast. To date there are nearly 700 pages of images and incipient articles.

My current goal is to complete the structural/thematic first pass by February 2010 — one year from starting with the original WordPress version of the site. That means that each page will lead somewhere ... either to another page on PortRevolt or to another website like Wikipedia that already has good information.

The second year will be devoted to filling out content and implementing a complementary design.

JDN | 2-Dec-2009

Washington was imperfect. In strictly military terms, he does not merit comparisons that have sometimes been made between him and generals like Marlborough, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, or Robert E. Lee. Yet he remains a remarkable man, one of those Tolstoyan figures whose acts determine the course of history. James Thomas Flexner has called him the indispensable man. Nobody — not Nathanael Green or Henry Knox, and certainly not Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, or John Adams — united the military, political, and personal skills that made Washington unique ... without George Washington there could have been no victory in the Revolutionary War, no United States. As a soldier he was erratic but competent. As a man he was impulsive, vindictive, brave, hardworking, intelligent, and virtuous. And as a leader he was great. Those who mourned Washington’s passing in 1799 were right to regard him, for all his flaws, as the savior of his country.

Edward G. Lengel
General George Washington: A Military Life (2005)