Sep

20

 Worst of all was a trip to the Jefferson Memorial which is riddled with apologies for the ideas behind the Declaration, appeals to the adolescent nature of Jeffersons' longing for the Arcadian days when the Saxons lived harmoniously in the forests with representative government, and the naivete of his ideas that out of of their own bounteousness and munificence, the original Americans came here without any assistance from the English and thus no revolution was required to reclaim what was rightfully theirs and ours from the beginnings.

In a Zacharian your own man thing, Ellis, the chief contemporary biographer of Jefferson, and the only such book for sale in their book shop,  joins the Jefferson as racist, slave master, father of the black Illinois Jeffersons from the Hemmings union camp, a view memorialized in all the written material around the exhibit that would make Jefferson small.

And indeed all of Washington today it would seem is designed to show the need for redistribution and the great unworthy gulf between the rich and the poor, and that is why the Great Mall outside the White House is unfit for civilized occupation as it is completely taken over with bums and the homeless —the idea being to show you the great gulf, ( especially when the homeless are not using their cell phones and blue-tooths as they were on my visit).

Charles Pennington comments:

Another approach to Jefferson is that he is an "enigma", as in the liner notes to Ken Burns' documentary:

"Revered as the author of the Declaration of Independence, the most sacred document in American history, yet condemned as a lifelong owner of slaves, Thomas Jefferson remains the enigma that is America."

He wasn't much of an enigma. He wrote and advocated eloquently and at length for the cause of limited government, but that needs to be whitewashed. 

J.T Holley adds:

I was walking the streets of Charlottesville some years ago with my children and came across Nock's Jefferson in hardback. Paying only a buck for it and it being in great condition I felt like I had a precious gift in my possession. It proved that and more.

There are to many things to list about Jefferson that I've learned through studying the Enlightenment, hours of History credits, and reading Notes and a couple of biographies, but here are a few:

1) He technically didn't own his slaves. They were purchased through levering mortgages or notes. He couldn't free his slaves if he wanted to.

2) It is amazing how such a public figure made himself such an "anonymous man" in all aspects of his life that he could.

3) Upon the death of his wife he burned all of their shared writings.

4) When addressing his daughters on choice of dresses to wear he said "Wear what all the other girls are wearing, if you want to be different then do so with your thoughts and mind". I'd like to find the source for this paraphrased quote if anyone knows, it's just stuck with me over these years.


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