Thursday, June 22, 2006

That Tom, he sure had some wisdom....

"It awakens the people from the slumber over public proceedings in which they are involved. It obliges every member to consult his district on the simple question of war or peace: it shews the people on which side of the house are the friends of their peace as well as their rights, & brings back those friends to the next session supported by the whole American people. I do not know however whether this last measure will be proposed. The late maneuvres have added another proof to the inefficiency of constitutional barriers."
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- Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, March 21, 1798
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"The gift of provisions was but an act of that friendship to them, when in the same distress, which had induced us to give five times as much to the less friendly nation of the Creeks. But we have given arms to them. We believe it is the practice of every white nation to give arms to the neighboring Indians. The agents of Spain have done it abundantly, and, we suppose, not out of their own pockets, and this for purposes of avowed hostility on us; and they have been liberal in promises of further supplies. We have given a few arms to a very friendly tribe, not to make war on Spain, but to defend themselves from the atrocities of a vastly more numerous and powerful people, and one which, by a series of unprovoked and even unrepelled attacks on us, is obliging us to look toward war as the only means left of curbing their insolence."
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- Thomas Jefferson to William Carmichael and William Short, June 30, 1793
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"The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us. We ought, for so dear a state to sacrifice every attachment and every enmity. Leave the President free to choose his own coadjutors, to pursue his own measures, and support him and them, even if we think we are wiser than they, honester than they are, or possessing more enlarged information of the state of things. If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, every one pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check. I repeat again, that we ought not to schismatize on either men or measures. Principles alone can justify that. If we find our government in all its branches rushing headlong, like our predecessors, into the arms of monarchy, if we find them violating our dearest rights, the trial by jury, the freedom of the press, the freedom of opinion, civil or religious, or opening on our peace of mind or personal safety the sluices of terrorism, if we see them raising standing armies, when the absence of all other danger points to these as the sole objects on which they are to be employed, then indeed let us withdraw and call the nation to its tents. But while our functionaries are wise, and honest, and vigilant, let us move compactly under their guidance, and we have nothing to fear. Things may here and there go a little wrong. It is not in their power to prevent it. But all will be right in the end, though not perhaps by the shortest means."
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- Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, March 28, 1811
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Personal safety, you say Tom? Hmmmmm......

2 comments:

Strehlem said...

Hang tough, Dave...

I don't always comment, but I always read your blog. Its just possible you are a little too cerebral for general consumption, but I love your use of the historical record.

Never miss your mullings over at KABA...

Molon Labe!

E. David Quammen said...

Thanks bud.

I've thought about the 'too cerebral' aspect. But, I don't know how to be anything other than what I am.

Trying to locate the absolute evidence of the truth about our right to keep and bear. And it can be readily discerned in many of the founders writings. (But, try to get the courts to see it!)

Take it easy and have a good one!