Thomas Jefferson Then and Now, 1743-1943: A National Symposium

Thomas Jefferson Then and Now, 1743-1943: A National Symposium

Thomas Jefferson Then and Now, 1743-1943: A National Symposium

Thomas Jefferson Then and Now, 1743-1943: A National Symposium

Excerpt

MR. THOMAS JEFFERSON--and the Mister became a part of his title because he fought so hard against "Your Majesty" being used for the President--is one of the elements in America's Trinity, with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Jefferson profoundly affected the other two. Lincoln's political philosophy, in fact, was almost wholly Jeffersonian. He was the chief disciple of America's Apostle of Liberty.

This foreword and the writings of the distinguished men and women which follow are efforts to bring Jefferson home to the people who owe him so much.

But no matter how magic the words of others may be they are less than the words of the man himself. Through him we know him.

So I group here some of the phrases he spoke and acted on. They reveal his measure as nothing else can. He wrote in the immortal Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We . . . solemnly publish and declare that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states. . . . and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. . . ."

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