This week many of us are reliving the tragedy of 9/11, watching documentaries on TV, reading articles in newspapers and sharing with others what we remember of that day. Our way of life was threatened, is still in jeapardy as our soldiers continue to defend us and our beliefs in freedom.
Freedom! Our forefathers cherished that word. They were not perfect by any means, but they held a belief that life could be better if governments got out of the way and let folks run their own lives. Love of country and respect for fellow man was a priority. Freedom of religion too. They needed to put into words what they held true. They needed a writer.
The writer chosen was an energetic man; by age nine he had studied Latin, Greek and French. By fourteen he added other languages and classical literature. At sixteen he entered the College of William and Mary. By nineteen, he studied law for five years and opened his own practice at twenty-three. When he was twenty-five he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. He wrote extensively and by thirty-one was well known for his views of the "Summary View of the Rights of British America." By the time he was thirty-two he became a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress. When he was thirty-three he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson wrote down the ideals of the young nation. Those words he committed to paper have been tested many times during wars and disputes with other nations. If the British had won over the Continental Army, Thomas Jefferson most likely would have hanged for treason.
Jefferson used his writing skills throughout his entire life. He served in Congress, became an American minister to France and negotiated treaties with other European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams. When he was forty-six, he served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington. He became an active head of the Republican Party and at fifty-seven became our third president.
One would think after two terms of presidency, he would slow up a bit. But Jefferson had other goals as well. When he was sixty-six he sold his extensive library of books to the government which spiraled into what is known today as the Library of Congress. He then founded the University of Virginia. He campaigned for its charter, secured its location, designed its buildings, planned the curriculum and served as first head master.
Jefferson is also known for his many quotes. One of my favorites is: "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
Thomas Jefferson died on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826.
Til next time ~