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#1594212 - 08/09/07 Birth of a deer camp
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 31036
Loc: Minnesota
The wife & I acquired 50 acres of private wooded land in a fairly remote location early in the winter months of this year. 2 sides border state land that goes on for what seems like for ever.

We have prepared a building site & have started building our hunting cabin. 24 x 32 cabin with 3 bunk rooms, kitchen/dining area, small living room type area & an attached sauna room. Wood and or propane heat, propane range/oven, probably the lights too. No electricity, no running water. Thinking about putting a sand point in & a hand pump for water to wash up with.

It's accessible by truck but it's a slow trail a good 3/4 mile off the closest decent gravel road.

The most notable part of this new camp is a new member to our hunting group. My best friends son, 16 years of age. My best friend, also my cousin, lost his life recently in a plane crash. I invited his boy to take part in the building of this new camp & asked if he could come up & hunt with us as well.

He's taken to me, taken to the project & taken to the idea of calling it his hunting camp with the passion & enthusiasm that only a starry eyed young hunter could bring. It's a true blessing and a wonderful thing. The bond between us is strengthening and it is helping me deal with the loss as much or more than it could possibly be helping him. Me & his dad were only about 12 days apart in age & have been best friends since before we could talk. I suppose we are as people would often say "like brothers". Looked alike, talked & thought alike, I suppose that makes it easier for his boy & I to bond so well.

We're trying to keep things pretty rustic, we like the absence of electricity, the hand pumped well idea…. Wood stove… It's going to be quite the place, a foundation for many memories to come. I have 3 kids of my own, 1 girl & 2 boys, all are already or at least show promise of being hunters. My wife likes to hunt, I have brothers… I'm sure my dad will take part. It's the beginning of something good, the birth of what will be a sentimental memory factory.

I'm standing at the beginning looking forward, and I know well enough to absorb it all, soak it up & live in the moments, because they move so fast.

Well, there's the intro, lengthy, but there it is. Any shack/cabin tips and or considerations from those that are past my point & looking back are certainly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave
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#1594325 - 08/09/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
shaman Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 4632
Loc: Neave, KY
I'm with ya!

Started my similar project in 2001 right after 9/11. We didn't know if it was going to be the family hunting cabin or the family bunker at the time. It has turned around my life and the life of my family as well as having a big impact on many others. It's called "Der Bauernhof am Loch im Ende des Stumpfes" (The farm in Hole in the End of the Stump)

I'm documenting mine at http://www.blackholecoffeehouse.com. The sixth anniversary is almost upon us and with the new roof, all of our planned major projects are at an end. Of course, now the place is already starting to fall apart, so now we're into maintenance.

Write soon. Write often.

Tips? Here's one for you: look and see what I did with the rainwater coming off the roof-- beats a well or hauling it in.

Another Tip? If you haven't picked out a wood stove, look at Vogelzang's Deluxe Boxwood Stove. The True Value Hardware store got mine in for me. It's only about $100 bucks, but it keeps our 2 floors and three bedrooms nice and toasty. I scored a second one at a Lowe's for $80 and have it in the shed for when this one goes.

Last tip: Leave nothing behind of value and post an inventory of what is and is not in the building in prominent places. We're now 6 years without a serious break-in. I furnished mine with stuff pulled from my neighbor's trash, and I post a detailed inventory on the windows. Leave no alcohol, prescription drugs, valuables, or girly mags at the cabin. If the local kids ever break in and find something they consider valuable, there will be generations of 7th graders breaking into your place looking for the same thing. The only thing of value is the camp gun: $60 SKS that bolts to the wall when we leave. The one time someone broke in, they didn't touch the SKS-- ratty but functional.
_________________________
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer


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#1594382 - 08/09/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: shaman]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 31036
Loc: Minnesota
ahhh, you broke the silence. and you put some time into a reply.

thanks for that.

I was worried I went a little too deep with that topic.

Thanks, very good tips, I hear ya on all counts. We have a shack out in the woods that my dad & uncles put together quite a while back & we use some of the same stuff you mentioned right down to the rain barrel.
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#1594399 - 08/09/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
GregW Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 9807
Loc: Southern Arizona
Dave, sounds wonderful all the way around.

Hope it stays special for the both of you as I'm sure it will.
_________________________
-Greg

arizonabackcountryguideservice.com

desertswarmbees.com

Booking 2015 trophy coues deer hunts now!


If you want to be someone, just do it. There are very few things that will not be a success with proper planning, hard work, and stubbornness.

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#1594400 - 08/09/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
Sakoluvr Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 6923
Loc: Where the wild things are.
northern dave, your successful hunts will not be measured by the weight on your meat pole, but you already know that. Best wishes with your endeavor. A everlasting bond is on the horizon.
_________________________
Peace be still! Don't ever forget who is in the boat with us.

After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
Italian Proverb


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#1594401 - 08/09/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
SMACARAC3 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 84
congrats,your doing a realy great thing with the young man and by starting them young he will always take pride in the camp.May the big bucks always be in your sites.

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#1595045 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
oulufinn Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 02/03/01
Posts: 7810
Loc: Texas
Growing up in NW Wisconsin as part of a tightly knit hunting camp is one of my fondest memories. Heading up North to "The Hunting Shack" (Complete with "Haul yer own water" Sauna, too!) is still something I really look forward to.

I'm VERY fortunate to have found a great group of guys to share camp with here in Texas, as well. Almost all are members of the Campfire here and we're all looking forward to a great deer season of chasing bucks and shootin' the bull. This will be my third year seriously hunting in Texas and it is starting to share more of my hunting time with "Back Home" Wi!

It looks like you're starting a fine tradition and the chance to bond on that level, with your best friend's son and the rest of your family is priceless. It just doesn't get any better than that. Enjoy every minute of your time there, as well as the time you surely will spend thinking about it, even when you're away from it!
_________________________
"The Bigger the Government, the Smaller the Citizen" - Dennis Prager LINK


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#1595076 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
Pugs Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 12742
Loc: Maryland :(
 Originally Posted By: northern_dave

I was worried I went a little too deep with that topic.


By no means did you go too deep! Hunting season is about far more than hunting and I suspect the deer you kill will provide fodder for stories for years to come around the camp you build.

No real suggestions except take lots of photo's during the construction! You'll be glad you did.

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#1595085 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
frogman43 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/20/06
Posts: 4070
Loc: West Michigan
Just an afterthought, but have you considered a propane refrigerator for your cabin, or did I just miss it in your message.
Keith


Edited by frogman43 (08/10/07)
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#1595806 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: frogman43]
Stan V Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 10087
Loc: Texas
norhern dave.....awesome plan.
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All the time

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#1595822 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
JoeMama Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1464
Loc: Eaton Rapids, Mi
 Originally Posted By: northern_dave
The wife & I acquired 50 acres of private wooded land in a fairly remote location early in the winter months of this year. 2 sides border state land that goes on for what seems like for ever.
<snip>


If I were designing the stage....

Four or five tall deciduous trees on the south and west sides of the house to throw shade in the summer. Red oak, Burr oak or Sugar maple would probably do you just fine.

A deck off the south-east corner.

Spin the sucker 30 degrees so it is not built square-to-grid...that is, two walls running perfectly east-west and two walls running perfectly north-south.

Put some pictures of your cousin and other esteemed people in the entry-way. Not to be weird or to make it a "shrine", but to recognize that you share the friendship of these men, and that some lives are so big that they transcend the inconvenience of death. God gives us saints so we have a template; examples of well lived lives for us to imitate.

I second the idea of having a couple of beater guns. A well done billy-bobbed Mauser can be butt-ugly and an absolute joy to shoot. Your neffy is likely to to drag some buddies to hunting camp and you want set them up right.

Along those lines, it is pretty cool if you can have a make-shift shooting range off the deck. An archery target deer set out at 70 yards and a serious backstop is about right. A paper plate is the classic vital-zone target.

I figure that if a new guy can use the deck's railing and put 9-of-10 in the paper plate at 70 yards, he is probably good enough for hunting.

The beauty of using the archery target deer at 70 yards as the platform for the paper plate is that you are teaching the new guy to not shoot until the deer is in the sweet spot....far enough away that it probably cannot hear your heart pounding.....close enough that any coordinated joe-average with a reasonable fire-arm can hit the vitals.

-Joe (average) Mama
_________________________
I am a conservative with a lowercase "c".

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#1595902 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: frogman43]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 31036
Loc: Minnesota
 Originally Posted By: frogman43
Just an afterthought, but have you considered a propane refrigerator for your cabin, or did I just miss it in your message.
Keith


Funny you should ask Keith. At the shack I come to call my hunting camp for the past 13 years with my dad, uncles & cousins we just used coolers & left them out on the porch. That works fine, but I just happen to have a gas refrigerator at home inside an old flat nosed school bus that was converted to an RV in the 80's.

The bus is about shot mechanically but it has many items inside of it that are new or nearly new as in they just haven't been used ever. the conversion project was never quite finished so none of the stuff purchased & installed for the project was ever used. I'm finally finding a use for all of that stuff, including a 6500 watt RV generator that I removed from the bus & just hauled out there to the cabin spot last night for running tools for construction.

Yep, gas fridge, pretty "fancy" huh?

\:\)
_________________________
Something clever here.


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#1595912 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: JoeMama]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 31036
Loc: Minnesota
 Quote:
JoeMama--
Put some pictures of your cousin and other esteemed people in the entry-way. Not to be weird or to make it a "shrine", but to recognize that you share the friendship of these men, and that some lives are so big that they transcend the inconvenience of death. God gives us saints so we have a template; examples of well lived lives for us to imitate.


Wow, I like that, pictures yeah, for sure I've been thinking of how to do that the best way.. There will be pictures. But what you wrote here, "transcend the inconvenience of death...... saints... template.."

I like that. Did that just roll on out for you or were does that come from?

no matter, I like it.
Thank you for that.

And thank you all for the comments/suggestions.

We are heading out there tomorrow morning to sheet the floor. I have the framework built for the floor out there already. I decided to do an insulated floor. I'm putting down OSB sheeting over my floor joists, then a layer of 1" high density polystyrene insulation, then my 3/4" flooring over that. kind of a styrofoam sandwich. I'll run a 2x4 flat around the perim (ext wall bottom plate area) & retain the OSB & foam board within it's boundary, I will be flush with the top surface of the 2x4 rim by the time I lay the 3/4" plywood down so I'll take that right over the 2x4. This way I'll have my foam sandwich floor but my loaded walls will rest solid on lumber. Did I explain that right? bottom line, I'm doing a plywood/styrofoam sandwich floor but my walls wont rest on the sandwich because I don't want to "squish" the sandwiched floor.


Dave


Edited by northern_dave (08/10/07)
Edit Reason: had to add some stuff...
_________________________
Something clever here.


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#1596017 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
7mmaniac Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 852
Loc: Arkansas
I haven't heard mention of the most important of deeds. The "call of nature" is more than woods and critters. It's also fried 'taters and deer steak...from last night. Yep, the restroom requires special planning. Will it be indoors or out? It can turn into a real problem if not planned properly. We lost our 'camp' 3 years ago. After almost 30 years in the family. Our new camp is made up of campers. We've built an outhouse on skids, about 4'x4' with a full size door on front. You can change locations every year or two by dragging it 6 feet or so, fill in hole and dig a new one. Oh, and keep it down wind! Keep some lime handy. I didn't catch if you had running water or not, if so, a septic system will cure all your ills. But if you want the boys to fully appreciate the rugged life, an outhouse in 20 degree weather will get their attention.
Sounds like the beginning of a fine tradition, especially in a time when traditions are ridiculed and made light of. People take themselves way too serious these days. You have the perfect cure for this malaise. Losing a partner is tough indeed, especially one of that magnitude, but it sounds like your continuing in the direction that's best for all. You must continue to live for the living. I lost my brother in law last summer, also to a plane crash (crop duster) he was an indispensible part of our camp, a cornerstone, if you will. He is dearly missed, and last season was miserable at best, but we did manage to laugh and hunt, and even make good memories. He wasn't there...but he was with us. Life goes on and that's what you must teach the younger generation, loss is tragic but life must go on. I wish you and yours the best and find myself reinvigorated...to ensure that my kids fully understand what life's all about, without cellphones, Tv's, and video games.

Tim in AR
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Thank God for Mississippi!

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#1596031 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
stumpy Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 2489
Great idea and wonderful that the boy is willing and excited to be a part.
We recently built a "cabin" on our land. Painted, cement floor, two BR's with bunk beds, a large den, kictchen and an 8 foot covered porch back and front.
We cheated because we have electricity and water, but with wives and kids it certainly is nice. But it is a place I expect to make many memories in the next few years with family and friends.

My regular hunting camp has no electricity or water. We use coleman laterns and huge square plastic water bottles with faucets for washing hands and hair.

My only advice would be to building a good campfire area. We tend to spend most of our time in our "primitive" camp relaxing near the fire. Some fancy camps here in TX even have cemented "decks" around a huge pit, but ours is a just a stratigically placed pit with bricks to keep the mesquite coals in place.
And maybe an improved game hanging area with a boat winch lift type with cable and pulleys. My 7 year old daughter can raise her own deer with mine. I am getting too old to hoist them like we always did.
I like the photos idea for your camp. Would be cool to hang a rack your friend killed with a hunting photo below.

stumpy

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#1596062 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: 7mmaniac]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 31036
Loc: Minnesota
Damn, this here campfire is just full of fine people isn't it?

Ah yes, the outhouse, I was wondering if anyone would ask. Well now is a good a time as any to start sharing pictures huh? let's see if I can remember how to do this....

ours is a 4x4 also and sheeted with the same T-111 sort of siding our cabin will have. the handles are a forked elk antler tip from colorado, I split the base of the fork & put one on the outside & one on the inside. Just clear oil stained the ext with log oil, it's trimmed out with rough 1x4 oak boards we happen to have a pile of. Pictures are of the out house as it was built at home before we hauled it to the cabin spot, picture of the inside, and a picture of it in the back of a friends truck out at "the land" ready to be unloaded & set in what is a temp spot until we get the perm spot ready. That's me on the little blue tractor.



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Something clever here.


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#1596077 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: stumpy]
j_elky Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 1315
Loc: north central minnesota
Dave,

Sounds you have a solid plan for a great place to make many memories. My only suggestion would be to use metal roofing. We had asphalt shingles on our shack and during winters with heavy snow, someone had to go out and shovel off the roof. When it was time for a new roof, we went with metal and the snow just slides right off. Also, vent the outhouse. A piece of 4" pvc from the pit up thru the roof will make it more liveable.

I have many fond memories from our "Camp 83" near Effie, I'm sure you and your famlily will do the same with your camp.

Jeff

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#1596094 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: j_elky]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 31036
Loc: Minnesota
got the metal roof thing covered. good tip on the stink pipe, I keep forgetting to do that. better do it soon before... before it becomes an unpleasant job. \:\)
_________________________
Something clever here.


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#1596530 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
oulufinn Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 02/03/01
Posts: 7810
Loc: Texas
Yep, stink pipe is a key factor after about a week of heavy use... ESPECIALLY if it's a warm season!!
_________________________
"The Bigger the Government, the Smaller the Citizen" - Dennis Prager LINK


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#1596796 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
muygrande1 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 1437
I have a vivid memory of building our deer shack complete with out house down in the great brush country of S. Texas. Yes, we elected to do the work on the house in mid-August. Temperture by noon would be 100 and by mid afternoon 110's were common. Was almost tolerable until we began the hot tar on the roof. Now we are talking heat stroke big time although we did manage to stay hydrated enough to avoid damage. Looking back it was a lot of fun.

"House" was a one room with three bunk beds w/storage below and whereever we could attach shelving. One corner was dedicated to cooking although most of the real cooking was done outside over a pit or in electric skillets under the "awning". Our "room" was 14X14 and we did run electricity off a generator as one cannot live in this country without a/c. The "room" had two small windows that were intentionally small to keep the "local wets" from turning our shelter into a playroom in our absence. Windows were broken out in any event at least five times over the past years.

We used sunbottles to warm water for showers which worked extremely well in this part of Texas. Our water was probably hotter than most internal hot water units. Many fine times and many memories have come over the years and so many have been embellished that one would hardly recognize the real event anymore had they not lived it.

Yeppers, great times were had by all and so many dead brain cells who is counting or can. \:\) \:\)

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#1597131 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
JoeMama Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1464
Loc: Eaton Rapids, Mi
 Originally Posted By: northern_dave


Wow, I like that, pictures yeah, for sure I've been thinking of how to do that the best way.. There will be pictures. But what you wrote here, "transcend the inconvenience of death...... saints... template.."

I like that. Did that just roll on out for you or were does that come from?


The '..saints to imitate...' is from a commonly used form of the Roman Catholic liturgy (standard format for church worship).

The rest is context I whipped up to make it slide down smoothly.

Many people are uncomfortable with the word "saint". I am going to go a little off-topic to justify the word "saint".

Let's talk about Peter:
Jesus said to Simon Peter "...you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (hell) will not overcome it." Matt 16:17 Jesus said this knowing full well that Peter would deny him, fail him, three times in the very near future.

The key word is overcome. Peter fell down. Peter was a man's man....he kept getting back up. So if Jesus can found his church on material as flawed as Peter, then we should not be shy about calling men (and women) saints, even when we know they are flawed. The key, I think, is that they keep peeling themselves off the canvas and trying to do what is good, and noble and Godly.
*******************************
Regarding outhouses, you might research "mouldering privy" using Google. They like cool weather.

Just make sure the door opens away from the house.
*********************************
Deer camp movies:
Escanaba in da Moonlight is a very good movie. I would have liked it much better if they had cut the game warden singing sequence.
_________________________
I am a conservative with a lowercase "c".

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#1597241 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
tomk Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 4145
Loc: Michigan
Sorry to read about your cousin and good on ya for bringing in his son.

FWIW:
The family centric deer camps are the best thing a guy can do, and bringing in kids is the best thing to do to keep the camp going strong. Our Michigan camp got pretty stale when my compadre's sons stopped coming. When my son grew up a bit, I broke off and started fresh and try to get at least one of my kid's friends to come along--and encouraged my old camp compadres to do some recruiting.

Rustic is good, when camps get too civilized, they lose the feel of camp....a tent camp used to make me feel like I had been in another world for a week...or two \:\)

I've a good friend who hunted in his Dad's dilapidated camp all his life until his Dad died. He and his camp crew were all able builders, so they put up a beauty. He said things haven't been the same since...too close to being a home.

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#1597265 - 08/10/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
BrotherBart Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 21494
Loc: Registerd 2003 Tx
After I got out of the Navy,back in 93,I really started getting interested in hunting and fiddling with bolt guns...
We had our old family farm in Central Texas and I started my adult hunting journey....We were gonna build a shack of some sort but my Pop decided to buy an old caboose....It was a center coopla,yellow Santa Fe car with "I Follow the Leader" painted on both sides....
It was cool...It was also a ton of work to get that thing turned into a workable deer camp....I miss that place...
_________________________
I'm a big fan of the courtesy flush.

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#1598835 - 08/11/07 Re: Birth of a deer camp [Re: northern_dave]
prairie dog shooter Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 8345
Loc: Texas
Very nice out house. I like the over all "look". It would need more ventlation for our hot weather. Could easily add a urnial to keep the seat dry too.
_________________________
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke 1795

"Give me liberty or give me death"
Patrick Henry 1775

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