The Amazing Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson Rembrandt Peale 1800

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson
Rembrandt Peale 1800

I found this most agreeable as Jefferson’s holds a place of reference on my family tree.
Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was a spokesman for democracy, and embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual with worldwide influence. In opposition to Alexander Hamilton’s Federalism, Jefferson and his close friend, James Madison, organized the Democratic-Republican Party, and later resigned from Washington’s cabinet. Elected Vice President in 1796, Jefferson opposed Adams, and with Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts.

A leader in the Enlightenment, Jefferson was a polymath in the arts, sciences, and politics. Considered an important architect in the classical tradition, he designed his home Monticello and other notable buildings. Jefferson was keenly interested in science, invention, architecture, religion, and philosophy; he was an active member and eventual president of the American Philosophical Society. He was conversant in French, Greek, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, and studied other languages and linguistics, interests which led him to found the University of Virginia after his presidency. Although not a notable orator, Jefferson was a skilled writer and corresponded with many influential people in America and Europe throughout his adult life. After Martha Jefferson, his wife of eleven years, died in 1782, Jefferson kept his promise to her that he would never remarry. Their marriage had produced six children, of whom two survived to adulthood.

So, let’s be more specific as to Jefferson’s accomplishments. This is amazing. There are two parts. Be sure to read the 2nd part.

Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor.
At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.
At 23, started his own law practice.
At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
At 31, wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of  British America” and retired from his law practice.
At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
At 33, took three years to revise Virginia’s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia, succeeding Patrick Henry.
At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France, and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.
At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.
At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions, and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.
At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation’s size.
At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
At 65, retired to Monticello.
At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia, and served as its first president.
At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, along with John Adams

Thomas Jefferson studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff. A voice from the past to lead us in the future:

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement:
“This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who  are willing to work and give to those who would not..” — Thomas Jefferson

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” — Thomas Jefferson

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results  from too much government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas  Jefferson

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” — Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

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About reginajeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and contemporary novels.
This entry was posted in America, Do You Remember?, history, presidents and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Amazing Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson

  1. Gerri Bowen says:

    He has been my favorite past president for decades. 🙂

  2. I understood that he and President John Adams were on very good terms for most of their lives and corresponded almost ’til the time they died, on the exact same day, whether it’s true or an urban myth I don’t know but I’ve always believed that President Adams last words were ” Jefferson lives” where in actual fact President Jefferson had died just a few minutes/hours before Presdient Adams.

    No doubt he was one of the greatest minds that the US produced, he was one out of the box; although some of his views now must be acknowledged as to be faulty, might I say completely erroneous? I think that quite a lot of his statements were made on the assumption that everybody had the same intelligence as he had, which had it been so, then it all may have worked, This has caused a great deal of the troubles that are afflicting the US today.

    His idea regarding guns seems to indicate that he was in favour of them for the people to rise up against a bad government; are there good governments 😦 that’s gone awry, Perhaps instead of advocating guns he should have advocated a full and free education for all. He obviously thought that the majority had his level on intelligence and would make their way in the world without help. And he never thought of the consequences or the possibilty of emancipation he believed in the status quo.

    Too I believe he advocated slavery, indeed he was a slave owner and found nothing wrong with that, (President Adams I believe had different views) indeed I believe he thought there was nothing wrong with mating with them and sired a number of offspring. If that was so would they have been free or slaves?

    Unlike Gerri my favourite amongst the US presidents is President John Adams, undervalued and under appreciated.

    Somewhat of a letterwriter too; I understand over 5000 letters still in existence between he and his wife Abigai, written when they were apart whilst he was doing his duty. A greater devotion than President Jeffersons never remarrying, and who’s bed did not stay empty, there is no record of any infidelity in the Adams family that I am aware of.

    Well these are just the views of a detached outsider for what they are worth,
    🙄

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