Jefferson: Yeah, But Still a…Politician

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In response to my thoughts yesterday on the uplifting message of ‘respect for political adversaries’ embedded in a recently auctioned letter between then President Thomas Jefferson and founding father John Dickinson, I got a couple of interesting responses that I’ll share here. First an aside though, a quick note on John Dickinson, the namesake of Dickinson College chartered in 1783 by Dr. Benjamin Rush. Rush convinced then Governor (then called President) of Pennsylvania John Dickinson to lend his support and…

A Founding Father’s Lesson: The Monarchist as Common Enemy

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This weekend, a friend of mine spent a few tens of thousands of dollars buying a piece of American history at the Potomack Auction House in Alexandria, Virginia. He had been tipped off by Emily Heil’s recent Washington Post article that a letter written by then President Thomas Jefferson to another founding father, John Dickinson, was for sale. As Heil points out, the letter expresses Jefferson’s view of seeing political competitors, essentially, as rival sides of a single coin.  He…