Professional historians lament that we, as Americans, are fast losing our historical literacy. This lack of historical acumen has contributed to political acrimony, an unhealthy division among the nation’s citizenry, and often dysfunctional public discourse. This cannot continue if our republic hopes to remain healthy and vibrant.

We are raising a generation of young Americans who are by-and-large historically illiterate…We’ve got to teach history and nurture history and encourage history because it’s an antidote to the hubris of the present…

David McCullough
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author and “American’s Greatest Historian”

Sadly, we are reminded daily that our founding principles embedded in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are foreign to many Americans. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, unalienable rights endowed by our Creator and fundamental principles of republicanism, are today instead mere words, re-defined as needed to support the narrative of the day. In word, we are told that all men are created equal, but then shown, in deed, that some men are somehow more equal than others.

In the mid-19th Century, Americans of all political persuasions thankfully understood republican principles and brought them to life. Disaffected citizens in towns large and small across the northern tier of states met to rally around those principles, forming the Republican Party as its political standard bearer ultimately saving a fledgling nation for generations to come. The most famous of these meetings, led by Alvan Bovay, occurred on March 20th, 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin.

We went into the little meeting held in a school house Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats.  We came out of it Republicans and we were the first Republicans in the Union.

Alvan E. Bovay
Founder of the United States Republican Party

It is time that supporters of our founding principles once again rally together to reinvigorate and celebrate our republican foundations. Like much of our nation’s history, unabridged republican history is neglected and frequently misrepresented. Our great nation has a rich political record unique to the world and republicanism is an integral part of it. It is a rousing story but only disparately recorded. The National Republican History Museum and Archives will remedy this with a comprehensive, inspirational, educational, and Constitutionally-based historical experience.

The museum and archives will be built in Ripon, Wisconsin, the best preserved of the many places where the republican movement was birthed over 160 years ago. Unlike other political movements that emanated from the seat of national government, the republican genesis was truly grass roots. Returning to those roots in Ripon, while also recognizing all of those places with similar stories, makes logical sense.

The museum is a private, professional historical endeavor. The museum and archives will follow the National Archives presidential library and museum model: a museum that captures our nation’s republican principles using interactive exhibits, documents, artifacts, photographs, and videos and a library that houses the movement’s collective recorded history to support research and other scholarly activities.