Thursday, November 02, 2006

Looks like it just might happen after all....

"Of the projects for appointing a Dictator there are said to have been two. I know nothing of either but by hearsay. The first was in Williamsburg in December, 1776. The Assembly had the month before appointed Mr. Wythe, Mr. Pendleton, George Mason, Thomas L. Lee, and myself, to revise the whole body of laws, and adapt them to our new form of government. I left the House early in December to prepare to join the Committee at Fredericksburg, the place of our first meeting. What passed, therefore, in the House in December, I know not, and have not the journals of that session to look into. The second proposition was in June, 1781, at the Staunton session of the legislature. No trace of this last motion is entered on the journals of that date, which I have examined. This is a further proof that the silence of the journals is no evidence against the fact of an abortive motion. Among the names of the members found on the journal of the Staunton session, are John Taylor of Caroline, General Andrew Moore, and General Edward Stevens of Culpeper, now living. It would be well to ask information from each of them, that their errors of memory, or of feeling, may be corrected by collation....."
"...It is truly unfortunate that those engaged in public affairs so rarely make notes of transactions passing within their knowledge. Hence history becomes fable instead of fact. The great outlines may be true, but the incidents and coloring are according to the faith or fancy of the writer. Had Judge Marshall taken half your pains in sifting and scrutinizing facts, he would not have given to the world, as true history, a false copy of a record under his eye. Burke again has copied him, and being a second writer on the spot, doubles the credit of the copy. When writers are so indifferent as to the correctness of facts, the verification of which lies at their elbow, by what measure shall we estimate their relation of things distant, or of those given tous through the obliquities of their own vision? Our records, it is true, in the case under contemplation, were destroyed by the malice and Vandalism of the British military, perhaps of their government, under whose orders they committed so much useless mischief. But printed copies remained, as your examination has proved. Those which were apocryphal, then, ought not to have been hazarded without examination. Should you be able to ascertain the genuineness of the sixth and seventh resolutions, I would ask a line of information, to rectify or to confirm my own impressions respecting them. Ever affectionately yours."
- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Wirt, August 14, 1814
The first paragraph was quite disturbing, even alarming one might say. The second paragraph offers us some enlightenment, however. Have the feeling that some of the records that were destroyed, have much to do with the truth concerning our Rights.

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