The Corner

The Testimony Will Stand

The Maryland farmhouse in which Whittaker Chambers wrote Witness has burned down. A few hours ago, I received this e-mail from Mauricio Tamargo, president of the Freedom and Historic Preservation Foundation, which is dedicated to protecting the Chambers farm:

I wanted to let you know that John Chambers called me yesterday to tell me some bad news.   He said the Medfield farmhouse had a bad fire.  I myself have not seen it or pictures of it so I do not know how bad it is but I am sure it is not good.   I do not know if John will be able to restore the house.  I know he will want to, as he continues to try to preserve the farm just as his father had it when he lived there.

 

In case you may not remember, Medfield is the house at Pipe Creek Farm where John’s father, Whittaker Chambers, sat when he wrote his famous autobiography, “Witness”.  That book, plus Whittaker’s other writings resulted in President Ronald Reagan and the National Park Service designating his entire farm a National Historic Landmark, including the famous pumpkin patch.  This Foundation was started three years ago to help John preserve the Landmark farm.

 

This non-profit will continue to do anything we can and provide all the support we can to John in this effort.  As long as I am reaching out to all of you wonderful supporters with this bad news of the fire, let me remind you we need your help again this year.  I do not know if we will be able to help with the Medfield house but we have many other projects on the farm this year just as we did last year. 

When Chambers died, Arthur Koestler famously wrote in NR: “The witness is gone. The testimony will stand.” Perhaps we should say the same for this house. We still have Witness, the great book written under its roof.

About two-and-a-half years ago, I visited the house for a story in NR. You may read it here.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

Most Popular

U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More