Benjamin Franklin remains one of the most known of the United States’ Founding Fathers. But, before he became a key figure in the American Revolution and Revolutionary War, he spent much of his time in London, United Kingdom. And not too many years ago it came to light that there were human remains in the house where he lived - from around the time he lived there. Casey Titus explains.

A portrait of Benjamin Franklin from 1767. Portrait by David Martin.

A portrait of Benjamin Franklin from 1767. Portrait by David Martin.

From 1757 to 1775, Benjamin Franklin often resided in an elegant, four-story house at 36 Craven Street in London, United Kingdom. Fast forward 228 years later to 1998 when construction on the historic home began as part of a remodeling project to transform the building into a museum to honor Franklin’s legacy.

Approximately a month into the remodeling, Jim Field, a construction worker was working in the basement of the Franklin home when he came across a gruesome discovery – a thighbone sticking out from the dirt floor. A coroner was called in and confirmed that the bone was in fact, human. The police were also called and further investigation uncovered 1,200 pieces of human bone along with a turtle and other animals. In total, there were ten bodies. Six of those bodies were children. Forensic investigation dated the bodies to be more than 200 years old, roughly the time renowned Founding Father Benjamin Franklin resided in this London home.

As a renowned revolutionary against one of the world’s greatest empires and a powerful freemason – the Grand Master of Masons of Pennsylvania - dark secrets can easily be attributed to the face of
the United States’ $100 bill.

Further forensic investigation of the human remains revealed that some of the bones had been sawed into – they had scalpel marks, while skulls had been drilled into. However, the bones with these clean-cut marks also disclosed no signs of healing. Therefore, the dismemberment of the bodies had occurred after death.

 

Just who did it?

The key piece of evidence of who committed the dismemberment was the mercury in the turtle bones. All of the human and animal remains were linked not to Benjamin Franklin, but a close friend of his by the name of William Hewson. Hewson was an anatomist and the father of hematology. One of his most renowned experiments included injecting a deceased turtle with mercury while recording the element’s travel through the lymphatic system. As a result, Hewson was the first to recognize that animals and humans share a similar lymphatic system.

At the time, conducting autopsies on anyone other than an executed criminal was illegal due to religious fears that a body not fully intact would fail to journey into the next chapter after death. The attempts of anatomists and scientists like Hewson to perform this kind of medical practice had to be performed in secret, and they often resorted to buying deceased bodies from body snatchers and grave robbers.

Benjamin Franklin himself was a scientist and interested in human anatomy. As a result, researchers and an organization called the Friends of Benjamin Franklin found some evidence that Franklin allowed his friend Hewson to conduct secret and illegal autopsies in his London home’s basement. Bodies could be smuggled from graveyards. Then, rather than sneaking the bodies out and disposing of the bodies elsewhere, they buried them in the house to avoid the risk of getting caught and prosecuted for dissection and grave robbing.

 

Franklin & Hewson – What came next?

There is no evidence to suggest that Franklin was involved in the dissections himself though. In 1774, one year before the United States’ most recognized Founding Father left England and returned to the colonies, Hewson’s passionate pursuit of scientific inquiry would cost him his life, accidentally slicing himself while dissecting a corpse and dying of an infection.

Benjamin Franklin was instrumental in the independence and creation of one of the world’s first modern republics, with the help of his inventive writings. He was also a polymath curious about the world around him would go to many lengths for the sake of knowledge, even harboring illegal anatomical experiments in his basement.

 

What do you think of the article? Did Franklin allow these experiments in his home while in London?

In William Bodkin’s fifth post on the presidents of the USA, he reveals a fascinating tale on the Forgotten Founder, James Monroe (in office from 1817 to 1825). And the real reason why he was not unanimously re-elected to the presidency.

William's previous pieces have been on George Washington (link here), John Adams (link here), Thomas Jefferson (link here), and James Madison (link here). 

James Monroe as painted by William James Hubbard in the 1830s.

James Monroe as painted by William James Hubbard in the 1830s.

James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, was the last American Founder to become President and a hero of the Revolutionary War.  At the Battle of Trenton, Monroe, then a Lieutenant, and Captain William Washington, a cousin of George Washington, stormed a Hessian gun battery to prevent what would have been the certain slaughter of advancing American troops.  Captain Washington, Lieutenant Monroe and their men seized the Hessians’ guns as they attempted to reload.  For their efforts, Captain Washington’s hands were badly wounded, and Monroe was struck in the shoulder by a musket ball, which severed an artery.  Monroe’s life was saved by a local patriot doctor who clamped the artery to stop the bleeding.[1]  Monroe’s heroism was such that it is said that in the famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, capturing the moment when George Washington led the Continental Army into New Jersey prior to the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe stands next to George Washington, holding the American flag.[2]

Following the revolution, Monroe embarked on a long career in service of the new nation.  He studied law with Thomas Jefferson, and then served as a United States Senator from Virginia, Ambassador to France, Governor of Virginia, Ambassador to England, Secretary of State and Secretary of War during James Madison’s administration, and was then twice elected President.

Despite this heroic and distinguished career, Monroe seems overlooked as a Founder, eclipsed by the long shadows of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison, his presidential predecessors who created the new nation with their considerable intellects and political skills.  Perhaps this is because Monroe was not considered their equal.  William Plumer, a US Senator from New Hampshire, who went on to serve as Governor of that state, described Monroe as “honest”, but “a man of plain common sense, practical, but not scientific.”[3]

James Monroe is generally remembered for two things: the Monroe Doctrine, which sought to block Europe from further colonizing the Americas; and the fact that he was almost unanimously elected to his second term.  History tells us that Monroe was denied a unanimous second term for the noblest of reasons.  One defiant elector in the Electoral College voted for John Quincy Adams because he believed that George Washington should be the only unanimously elected President of the United States.[4]

Except that is not true, and the real reason is a lot more interesting.  The truth involves William Plumer, who did not think much of Monroe, Daniel Tompkins, a Vice-President frequently too drunk to preside over the Senate, and the greatest orator in American history, Daniel Webster.

 

Unpacking the real story

Following the War of 1812, post American Revolution political tensions eased into the “Era of Good Feelings.”  The Federalist Party had collapsed following the revelation that during the war, they were plotting to secede from the union,[5] essentially leaving no other national party to challenge the Democratic-Republicans of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe.  The country, though, was not united behind Monroe, he just had no organized opposition.  Monroe faced plenty of criticism, including from Thomas Jefferson, who opposed his former law student’s extravagant deficit spending and expansion of the federal government.[6]  But with the Federalist Party unable to put up a national candidate for president, there was no way to protest Monroe’s policies.  At least, not until a plan was hatched by Daniel Webster to protest Monroe by voting against the re-election of Daniel Tompkins to the Vice-Presidency.

Tompkins was widely regarded as a failed Vice-President.  A former Governor of New York, Tompkins was far more interested in his state, even running again for Governor in 1820, just prior to being re-elected Vice-President.  Tompkins was also a chronic alcoholic.[7]  His alcoholism, though, was allegedly tied to a valiant cause.  As New York’s Governor, Tompkins personally financed the participation of the state’s militias in the War of 1812 when the New York State Legislature voted against providing the funding.  After the war, however, the state refused to reimburse him, causing him financial ruin.[8]

Despite the noble roots of Tompkins’ problems, Webster resolved to vote against him.  Webster settled on a plan to gather votes for John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams and then James Monroe’s Secretary of State.  This plan was complicated, however, by the fact that Webster was a presidential elector from the state of Massachusetts.  The head of that Electoral College delegation was John Adams.  Webster, perhaps wisely, chose not to broach the subject with the former president.  Instead, Webster sent an emissary to William Plumer, then mostly retired from political life, but who was serving as the head of New Hampshire’s Electoral College delegation, to enlist him in the plan.[9]

 

The vote against

Plumer embraced the idea.  He sent a letter to his son, William Plumer, Jr., New Hampshire’s Congressman, asking him to approach John Quincy Adams with the idea.  When the younger Plumer did, however, Adams was appalled.  Adams noted that any vote for him, in any capacity, would be “peculiarly embarrassing”, especially if it came from Massachusetts.  Adams made clear to Plumer he wished Monroe and Tompkins be re-elected unanimously, and that, in any event, there should not be a single vote given to him.  Adams told Plumer that a vote for him would damage his prospects for winning the presidency in 1824.[10]

Plumer sent word to his father immediately, but it did not reach the elder Plumer before he left for Concord, New Hampshire, to cast his electoral vote.  It is not clear where Plumer resolved to vote for John Quincy Adams not for Vice-President, but for President, and to do so as a protest against Monroe himself.[11]  But he did.  In a speech to his fellow electors, the elder Plumer announced his intention to vote for John Quincy Adams for president.  In his remarks, Plumer stated that Monroe had conducted himself improperly as president, echoing Jefferson’s complaints concerning the vast increase of the public debt during the Monroe administration.[12]

How does George Washington fit into this?  It is really not known.  Newspaper accounts of the time accurately recorded Plumer’s dissent.[13]  The first references to Plumer’s vote preserving Washington’s status emerged in the 1870s, when historians assessing the Founding Era noted the parallels between its beginnings, with the unanimous acclamation of George Washington as the indispensable man to the Republic, and its end, with its unanimous acceptance of James Monroe as the man no one opposed.  The theory was first floated around then and it took on a life of its own.[14]  In the absence of clear evidence of how this American legend began, perhaps it was just one of history’s quirks that James Monroe, who nearly sacrificed his life in service to George Washington’s army, was destined to sacrifice part of his historic reputation in service of creating the myth of George Washington, Father of the United States.

 

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[1] For the full story, see David Hackett Fisher’s “Washington’s Crossing” (Pivotal Moments in American History), Oxford University Press (2004).

[2] http://www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/history/whatswrong.html

[3] William Plumer, Memorandum of Proceedings in the United State Senate, March 16, 1806.

[4] See, Boller, Paul F., Jr. Presidential Campaigns from George Washington to George W. Bush, Oxford University Press (2004), p. 31-32.

[5] See, connecticuthistory.org/the-hartford-convention-today-in-history/

[6] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, December 26, 1820.

[7] Letter of William Plumer, Jr. to William Plumer, his father, on February 1, 1822, describing Tompkins as
“so grossly intemperate as to be totally unfit for business.”

[8] http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/VP_Daniel_Tompkins.htm

[9] Turner, Lynn W. “The Electoral Vote Against Monroe in 1820—An American Legend”  The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 42(2), (1955), pp. 250-273

[10] Turner, p. 257

[11] Turner, p. 258

[12] Turner, p. 259

[13] Turner, p. 261.

[14] Turner p. 269-270.


This is William Bodkin’s fourth post for History is Now.  The first three touched on aspects of the lives of George Washington (link here), John Adams (link here), and Thomas Jefferson (link here). Today William discusses the fourth president of the United States, James Madison (president from 1809-1817). Madison was to have a great influence on another Founding Father – or Founding Brother – Thomas Jefferson.

 

I have always been fascinated by the personal relationships among the American Founders.  As I mentioned in last month’s post on Thomas Jefferson, their friendships, rivalries, alliances and disagreements still shape the country’s political discourse, with Jefferson having the most lasting influence.  However, when reading all of Jefferson’s writings, this influence and reach can come as a surprise, as it often seems that posterity was neither his intent nor his goal. 

James Madison by John Vanderlyn, 1816.

James Madison by John Vanderlyn, 1816.

Jefferson was, of all the Founders, perhaps the truest revolutionary in spirit.  He expressed it unhesitatingly in his writings and letters when commenting on the events at the time.  One of Jefferson’s more famous expressions of his revolutionary fervor came not in the Declaration of Independence, but in a letter reflecting on Shays’ Rebellion in 1787.  Daniel Shays was a former captain in the Continental Army who took charge of a group of farmers in central and western Massachusetts protesting the Massachusetts’ government’s failure to take steps to alleviate the farmers’ debt burden, which often cost the farmers’ their property and landed them in prison.[1]  In response to a query about the rebellion, Jefferson stated “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.”[2]{cke_protected_1}  Jefferson noted that the United States had been independent eleven years, with only one such rebellion.  He wrote “What county before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?  What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?”  It was in this letter he also observed that the “tree of liberty” must be “refreshed by the blood of patriots and tyrants.”[3]

How then, was this literally bloody-minded revolutionary transformed into the guiding philosophical spirit of a nation?  The answer is simple: James Madison.  Madison spent a good portion of his political career serving as a check and balance on Jefferson’s revolutionary spirit.

Madison, the fourth President of the United States, is rightfully celebrated for many of his personal accomplishments, including being the ‘Father of the Constitution’.  He was, if not the document’s primary draftsman, (it is generally agreed that that distinction belongs to New York’s Gouverneur Morris)[4] the driving force behind the “Spirit of 1787”, with its realization that the decentralized government of the Articles of Confederation had failed.  A new, stronger central government was needed if the United States of America was to survive.  This idea, however, seemed incongruous with the revolution that had just passed.  The Spirit of 1776 had at its core an inherent distrust of removed, centralized governments that were unresponsive to the needs of the populace.[5]  The resolution of this tension between the Spirits of 1776 and 1787 can be found in Jefferson’s and Madison’s friendship.  As the sixth President, John Quincy Adams, noted, “the mutual influence of these two mighty minds upon each other” was “a phenomenon.”  Future historians, thought Adams, would, upon examining the Jefferson-Madison relationship, “discover the solution of much of our national history not otherwise easily accountable.”[6]

Take, for example, Jefferson’s most famous pronouncement on the nature of law, expressed to Madison in a letter from 1789, where he questioned “whether one generation of man had the right to bind another” with its laws.  Jefferson believed that the earth belonged only to the living.  “By law of nature, one generation is to another as independent as one nation is to another.”[7]  Jefferson expressed this idea at a delicate time.  George Washington had just taken office as the new Republic’s first president.  Congress was sitting for the first time.  Questions abounded concerning whether the new nation could last.  Surely the word of Thomas Jefferson that the work being done could or should be undone in a mere twenty years would undermine the new government’s legitimacy.

 

Setting Jefferson straight

Madison took care to set Jefferson straight.  When he responded to Jefferson, he first hailed the “idea” as a “great one,” that offered “interesting reflections” to legislators.  That said, Madison remarked that he was skeptical of this “great idea” in practice.  Madison wrote that a government “so often revised” could never retain its best features, even if they were the most “rational” ideas of government in an “enlightened age.”  The result, Madison stated, would be anarchy. “All the rights depending on positive laws,” such as to property would be “absolutely defunct.”  The most “violent struggles” would ensue between those interested in maintaining the status quo and those interested in bringing about the new.  All this being said, Madison thought the idea should at least be mentioned in the “proceedings of the United States,” since it might help to prevent legislators “from imposing unjust or unnecessary burdens on their successors.” [8]

Madison’s argument carried the day.  Jefferson never mentioned this idea to him again, and certainly never attempted to seriously advance the idea during his presidency.  As we know now, the great self-governance experiment envisioned by Madison has indeed carried on, allowing Jefferson, over time and history, to be honored as one of its great architects.  The idea that earth belonged only to the living, though, remained a philosophical theme to which Jefferson would return in his writings.  Indeed, it is perhaps “the single statement in the vast literature by and about Jefferson that provides a clear and deep look into his thinking about the way the world ought to work.”[9]

The relationship between Jefferson and Madison suffered not at all for this fundamental disagreement about the nature of law.  Madison went on to serve as Jefferson’s Secretary of State and then succeed him to the presidency.  Jefferson, always appreciative of Madison’s counsel, wrote toward the end of his life that “the friendship which has subsisted between us, now half a century, and the harmony of our political principles and pursuits, have been sources of constant happiness to me.”  Jefferson also recognized Madison’s frequent advocacy on his behalf, writing in the same letter that it was a “great solace” to him that Madison was “engaged in vindicating to posterity the course we have pursued.”  Jefferson acknowledged to Madison that “you have been a pillar of support through life,” and asked his old friend to “take care of me when dead, and be assured that I shall leave with you my last affections.”[10]

The often warm personal relationships between the Founding Fathers cannot be understated.  Amongst their peers, they were Founding Brothers.  It was these bonds of genuine affection that permitted, despite their conflicts, John Adams’ dying words to be of Thomas Jefferson, and despite the dueling interests of the Spirit of 1776 and the Spirit of 1787 for Jefferson to ask Madison to take care of him when dead.  The founders inspire many things in the American experience.  The nation’s political discourse continues their arguments today.  What often seems to be missing, however, is perhaps the Founders’ most important idea - that friendship can transcend partisan differences when it comes to advancing the interests of the nation.

 

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A brief note from the author:

The good people who run this website have graciously agreed to let me contribute columns on one of my favorite topics, the presidents of the United States.  My plan is to focus, roughly once a month, on less appreciated aspects of their lives, hopefully some things that most people don’t think about when considering the presidents.  This task is far easier with the Founding Fathers; often their time as president was their least important contribution to the United States.  I anticipate some challenges with the presidents to come.  For example, other than Hawkeye in M*A*S*H being named for him, I am unsure what Franklin Pierce’s contribution to the nation was, prominent or otherwise.  In any event, I will try my best to continue delivering what I think are interesting columns about the presidents, and hope the readers agree.


[1] For a fuller discussion, see www.ushistory.org, Chapter 15 “Drafting the Constitution,” (a) Shays’ Rebellion.

[2] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to William S. Smith, Nov. 13, 1787.

[3] Id.

[4] See, e.g., “Miracle at Philadelphia” by Catherine Drinker Bowen (1966).

[5] See e.g., Ellis, Joseph, “Founding Brothers,” Preface, “The Generation.”

[6] “The Jubilee of the Constitution,” A Discourse Delivered at the Request of the New York Historical Society in the City of New York, on Tuesday the 30th of April 1839; being the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Inauguration of George Washington as President of the United States, on Thursday the 30th of April 1789 (Samuel Colman, VIII Astor House 1839).

[7] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, September 6, 1789

[8] Letter of James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, February 4, 1790.

[9] Joseph Ellis, “American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson,” 132-133 (Knopf, 1996).

[10] Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, February 17, 1826

Posted
AuthorGeorge Levrier-Jones

Thomas Jefferson is today known as one of America’s greater presidents. So much so that both Democrats and Republicans claim him as their own. But he also undertook another remarkable feat – he re-wrote the Gospels to make them less miraculous. William Bodkin explains.

 

Few people in American history have been picked over as much as Thomas Jefferson. Of the Founding Fathers, he is considered second only to George Washington, and of the presidents, only Abraham Lincoln may have had more written about him. This is all with good reason. Jefferson, alongside John Adams, formed the original American frenemies; together they forged the creative relationship that gave birth to the United States. Their influence, and conflicts, remain to this day. The United States runs for political office in the language of Jefferson, that of personal freedom and self-determination, but governs in the language of Adams, that of a technocratic elite managing a strong central government.

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson. Circa 1791.

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson. Circa 1791.

In my last post, I considered John Adams’ Declaration of Independence, the May 15, 1776 resolution he believed to be the real Declaration, consigning Jefferson’s to a mere ceremonial afterthought.[1] Adams, eyes firmly locked on posterity, seemed to compete for immortality with Jefferson. However, despite recent efforts to rehabilitate the image of the second president, Adams, who knew he had made himself obnoxious to his colleagues[2], has largely lost this battle.

Jefferson, by contrast, is beloved as the genius Founding Father whom everyone claims as their own.  The Democrats revere him for founding their party, one of the oldest in the world. The Republicans, and the tea party movement in particular, love to quote his language of personal freedom and revolution, like invoking his statement that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”[3] All agree that his “ceremonial afterthought” should be celebrated for all time.

And yet, though he has won history’s affections, there’s an excellent chance Jefferson would be irritated by being worshiped or followed today.  After all, Jefferson had “sworn eternal hostility” against “any form of tyranny over the mind of man,”[4] believing that one generation of humanity could not bind another with its ideas, or even its laws. Jefferson said that it was “self-evident” that “the earth belongs to the living.”[5] Indeed, were he alive today, he would probably encourage us to discard things such as the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers much in the same way he discarded the work of the Evangelists who wrote the Christian Gospels.

 

REWRITING THE GOSPELS

Jefferson was not known for his devotion to religion. Abigail Adams wrote, after Jefferson had defeated her husband John Adams for the presidency, that the young nation had “chosen as our chief Magistrate a man who makes no pretensions to the belief of an all wise and supreme Governor of the World.” Mrs. Adams did not think Jefferson was an atheist. Rather, Jefferson believed religion to only be as “useful as it may be made a political Engine” and that its rituals were a mere charade. Mrs. Adams concluded that Jefferson was “not a believer in the Christian system.”[6]

Jefferson, who always professed a high regard for the teachings of Jesus, found the Gospels to be “defective as a whole,” with Jesus’ teachings “mutilated, misstated, and often unintelligible.”[7] Jefferson seemed most offended by the accounts of miracles. The Gospels could be improved, he concluded, by removing the magical thinking - that is, anything that could not be explained by human reason.

Following his presidency, Jefferson reconciled with John Adams once Adams had recovered from the bitter sting of presidential defeat. Jefferson confided in his old friend about the project he had undertaken to rewrite the Gospels. Jefferson wrote to Adams that “by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book,” he was able to separate out “the matter which is evidently his (Jesus’),” which Jefferson found to be “as distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.”[8] Adams responded favorably to Jefferson’s project, commenting “if I had eyes and nerves I would go through both Testaments and mark all that I understand.”[9]

Jefferson, though, was not finished. He believed the effort he described to Adams was “too hastily done”.  It had been “the work of one or two evenings only, while I lived in Washington.”[10] Think, for a moment, how astounding that is. Jefferson’s first effort at reworking the Gospels came while he “lived in Washington,” meaning while he was president. So for fun, after steering the American ship of state, he rewrote the Gospels.

 

A NEW WAY OF THINKING

While working on his second Gospel revision, Jefferson described his complete disdain for the Evangelists. He found their work to be underpinned by “a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.” Yet he still believed that “intermixed with these” were “sublime ideas of the Supreme Being”, “aphorisms and precepts of the purest morality and benevolence,” that had been “sanctioned by a life of humility, innocence and simplicity of manners, neglect of riches, absence of worldly ambition and honors.” All had been expressed, by Jesus, “with an eloquence and persuasiveness which have not been surpassed.” Jefferson could not accept that Jesus’ purest teachings were the “inventions of the groveling authors who relate them.” Those teachings were “far beyond the powers of their feeble minds.” Yes, the Evangelists had shown that there was a character named Jesus, but his “splendid conceptions” could not be considered “interpolations from their hands.” To Jefferson, the task was clear once more. He would “undertake to winnow this grain from its chaff.”  It would not “require a moment's consideration”, as the difference “is obvious to the eye and to the understanding.”[11]

At the end of this process, Jefferson, in his seventy-sixth year, had completed his Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, extracted from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French & English, an account of the life of Jesus, bereft of any mention of the miraculous. No wedding feast at Cana, no resurrection of Lazarus, and ending with the disciples laying Jesus in the tomb, rolling a great stone to the door, and then departing.

Jefferson’s rewriting of the Gospels is a perfect distillation of his belief that each generation could take and shape the meaning of the Gospels, or really, anything, for their own purposes. Jefferson took these beliefs to his gravestone. Prior to his death, he chose to list there, of all his accomplishments, his three great contributions to the freedom of thought: “Author of the Declaration of American Independence and the Virginia Statutes on Religious Freedom; Father of the University of Virginia.” Jefferson hoped, perhaps, to inspire successive generations not to follow his words, but rather, to live by his example, and cast off the intellectual bonds of the past in order to create a new way of thinking.

 

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[1] See, Ellis, Joseph, Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence, Chapter 1 , “Prudence Dictates.” (Knopf 2013).

[2] Id.

[3] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Novmeber 13, 1787.

[4] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800.

[5] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, September 6, 1789

[6] Letter of Abigail Adams to Mary Cranch (her sister) dated February 7, 1801.

[7] Jefferson, Thomas. “Syllabus of an estimate of the merit of the Doctrines of Jesus, compared with those of others.” College of William and Mary, Digital Archive (https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/15130).

[8]Letter of Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, October 13, 1813.

[9] Letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, November 14, 1813.

[10] Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Rev. F.A. van der Kemp, May 25, 1816.

[11] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to William Short, August 4, 1820.

Posted
AuthorGeorge Levrier-Jones