All Posts By

James C. Schaap

Essay

St. Boniface among the Frisians

Some heartfelt sympathy is in order for St. Boniface. After all, he lost his head to the Frisians when he decided to go back to their neighborhood to de-paganize them after once, years before, throwing in the towel on a…
Essay

Buffalo Soldiers in the Trenches

By the time American troops got to Europe in 1917, African-Americans had an established, but not celebrated history in military service of our country. In 1862, under the direction of Thomas Wentworth Higgenson, the sworn abolitionist and literary heartthrob of…
Essay

Voices in Lancaster County

"Sunday, October 15, we went to church. The wind was then blowing wildly, but this became worse further along in the day. When we got out of church, we saw smoke in the distance, because the prairie was on fire."…
Essay

The Blizzard of 1888

A January thaw is what all of us look forward to out here, a breath of warmth that reopens our hope that someday soon April will return. Two cold-of-winter days, then maybe three of forty degrees. No wind. Heaven comes…
Essay

Immigration

I snapped this shot at the Somalia exhibit at St. Paul's Minnesota History Center. I wanted a picture of the plow, that wooden contraption in the far corner, a venerable, ox-drawn ancestor of, well, this 21-bottom plow pulled along by…
Essay

Piata’

The story goes that Michelangelo used to come by St. Peter's Basilica at night to stand there before his sculpture, not because he was so proud of what he'd done but because he'd grown to love this woman, this Mary,…
Essay

What was and wasn’t said

Apparently, millions of evangelicals believe the Christian faith is greatly imperiled in America, more than it has ever, ever been. I don't share their fears, but if, this weekend, they still believe that's true, then they didn't witness the funeral…
Essay

She made me an offer

1981. Maybe 82. Right there somewhere before word processing shoved typewriters out the window and into obsolescence. Back then, I had a Sherman tank that printed beautifully but took up half an office desk and wasn't getting any younger. Got…
Essay

A story we need to hear

  A Mormon monument stands out there in the middle of nowhere. You have to hunt to find it, search hard simply to get up close. It's been at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers for 110 years,…
Essay

Delight and Decadence

  The monument to the doge Giovanni Pesaro, in this church, is a curiosity in the way of mortuary adornment. It is eighty feet high and is fronted like some fantastic pagan temple. Against it stand four colossal Nubians, as…