• Morgan Fagg

Absolutely Resolute, Deeds not words

I love the image of the Resolute desk and the colourful history it has had but I can't understand how underutilized it has been in recent years. This desk which is just an ornate object with lots of history attached to it could become a really powerful place when you combine it with a service like Zoom.

Not exactly resolute is he?

Maybe the president needs a more secure line than the service I use for teaching English but it is an incredible image and for years we have seen images of presidents on the phone or with their feet on the desk at the end of a hard day.


President T**** has made a mockery of the United States and turned Air Force One into a $330,000,000 golf cart, and I expect Drive-thrus in Washinton have been packed with long lines of limos buying cold burgers to give to athletes.


Ok, I have seen an image of T**** speaking to astronaunts from the Resolute desk but he probably wanted to hold a rally in space until he was told that there was only two of astronauts on the call.


I've never understood how his rallies have been legal as they seem to be a tax funded campaign where he lies to thousands of poor people who want to shout catchphrases at him. These superspreader events have been disgusting for so many reasons but the power at his tiny finger tips has been ignored.


HISTORICAL: JFK died on this day in 1962

If I was president, I can imagine I could do so much with a phone, a coffee and my feet up on that desk and the table itself is unimportant but it is just one of the symbols of the presidency. There have been several desks used in the past such as the Wilson Desk found in the Vice President's office but the Resolute desk is just a piece of fancy furniture, rich in history.


The Resolute desk has a proud yet surprising history and the name and timbers come from the HMS Resolute which was a ship that I believe was used to search for the lost Franklin Expedition. The infamous Franklin Expedition involved the terrible fate of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.


The desk was given to President Hayes in 1880 from Queen Victoria but the ships it was sent to look for wouldn't be discovered until the Obama years. The Terror was laid down in 1812 and discovered in 2016, the Erebus in 2014.


This beautiful desk comes from the timbers of HMS Resolute which was lost in the ice and found by Americans who I believe salvaged it and then gifted it to Queen Victoria in 1856.


HMS Resolute was later broken up and made into four desks, two for the Queen and one for the President of the United States. I know that is only three that I've mentioned but do you really care about the smaller lady's desk presented to Henry Grinnell's widow?


DEEDS NOT WORDS


HMS Gannet. Picture by Nilfanion

FRIENDSHIP & LEADERSHIP


They say the pen is mightier than the sword and I can imagine that anything signed at the Resolute desk or by the president is made with some resolution, the word resolute comes from the Latin word resolūtus meaning to resolve, and the generous donation of giving the HMS Resolute back to the British apparently helped ease tension in a conflict that was then brewing over a territory dispute.


The Resolute desk has an orange stain on it that cannot be clensed or quickly forgotten, no matter how much bleach you use on it. One of the first things T**** did as president was to Tippex out Obama's signature from the Paris Climate Agreement.


Sorry, Americans use Witeout and not Tippex to whitewash history.


T**** tried to white-out Obama's legacy, and in my opinion, diluted the power of a president's signature. In 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown famously gave Barrack Obama a penholder made from wood from the HMS Gannet which was a Anti-slavery ship.


That ship survives to this day and bares the words "Deeds not words" above the helm and I would love to see this ship some day as I believe my great grandfather served onboard it as a sailor.


Our history is all intertwined, no matter how you cross the Atlantic, and whoever occupies this desk, and answers the 3 a.m. call, I expect the buck to stop there where penmanship and leadership is practiced with the same resolution that my great grandfather sailed under, "Deeds not words."


A plate on the front of the desk presented to President Hayes bears the following inscription:


H.M.S. RESOLUTE forming part of the expedition sent in search of Sir John Franklin In 1852, was abandoned in latitude 74° 41' N longitude 101° 22' W on May 15, 1854. She was discovered and extricated in September 1855 in latitude 67 degrees N by Captain Buddington of the United States Whaler "GEORGE HENRY." The ship was purchased, fitted out and sent to England as a gift to HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA by the PRESIDENT AND PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES as a token of goodwill & friendship. This table was made from her timbers when she was broken up, and is presented by the QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES as a memorial of the courtesy and loving kindness which dictated the offer of the gift of the RESOLUTE.






The one time President Obama was completely outclassed


The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, on his first visit to President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. in March 2009, gave the new American President a gift of a pen holder made from the wood of Gannet, reflecting her interestingly unique role in Victoriananti-slavery efforts. This personal gift was reciprocated with a collection of 25 DVDs of classic American "Hollywood" feature films. (Taken directly from Wikipedia)


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© 2018 by Morgan Fagg.