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

It is difficult to recapture the intensity of excitement felt by Americans in 1776 over the prospect of forming new republican governments. It is a work, said Thomas Jefferson, of the most interesting nature and such as every individual would wish to have his voice in. Even the business of the Continental Congress was stifled because so many delegates — including Jefferson — left for home to take part in the paramount activity of erecting the new state governments. Constitutions, remarked Francis Lightfoot Lee, employ every pen. ... Nothing — not the creation of [the] confederacy, not the Continental Congress, not the war, not the French alliance — in the years surrounding the Declaration of Independence engaged the interests of Americans more that the framing of these governments.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)