Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thomas Jefferson's Thoughts on Independence Day, 1826

Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, at the very hour that marked the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the momentous document he had largely authored and penned with his own hand, the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson had been invited to join with other surviving signers to celebrate this event in Washington City. Too ill to travel, on June 24, eleven days before his death, he wrote to the mayor of Washington City to regretfully decline the invitation. Here is an excerpt from that letter:
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.
Jefferson's words still offer support to people desiring liberty around the globe.

I think especially today of the unnamed U.S. soldier believed captured by insurgents in Afghanistan, the liberated people of Iraq, the people suffering under tyranny in Iran, and the proud people of Honduras peacefully defending their constitution.

For excellent posts, informed comments, and helpful links on Honduras' lawful actions to divest themselves of a president who sought dictatorship, visit Critical Narrative and Legal Insurrection.


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