|John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence|
David Schorn’s July Fourth tribute to the Founding Fathers turned into yet another blunder. According to his bio, Schorn spent three decades teaching history and government to unsuspecting children. Now he’s prepared to unleash his total ignorance on Ward 10.
Schorn’s Fake Fact #1: The idea that John Adams was stepping on Thomas Jefferson’s toes is not a real thing that happened, nor was it intended as symbolism by the painter. It’s just a really old painting, exposed to the elements, and subjected to primitive methods of restoration that have altered its appearance.
Schorn’s Fake Fact #2: While there is an actual myth that someone in the painting is stomping on toes, David Schorn can’t even be faithful to made up history. Schorn says that it’s Adams stepping on Jefferson. But the more typical, and completely made up story people tell about this painting is that Jefferson paid the painter to depict Jefferson stepping on Adams, in order to show that he “dominated” him.
Schorn’s Fake Fact #3: Schorn says the aggressive toe mashing happened during the “long pose,” as if Jefferson and Adams were standing there together in silence, unable to move, battling each other with their feet. The truth is the work on this painting started 10 years after the event it depicts, and the subjects were painted individually, either from “life or life portraits.”
Schorn’s Fake Fact #4: Schorn says John Adams was the “key writer” of the Declaration of Independence. This is not true. I’m not a historian, but I googled it to verify my own hazy notions. By all accounts Jefferson was the primary author. I can’t even find a mythical basis for saying Adams was the real author.
Remember: David Schorn was a history teacher! Now he’s running for City Council and wants you to believe low rental vacancy rates are made up and we don’t actually need more housing. And also his Facebook banner still says “indorsed” by the Police Federation.