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  1. #1 A letter from Thomas Jefferson to all of us. 
    Senior Ape Articulate_Ape's Avatar
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    It was written to politely decline an invitation to speak at the Washington DC 4th of July celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence which he penned. While it was addressed proper to Mr. Weightman, only a fool could not see that it was addressed to us all. Most have never read it. They should.

    (Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Roger C. Weightman)

    Monticello, June 24, 1826

    Respected Sir-

    The kind invitation I receive from you, on the part of the citizens of the city of Washington, to be present with them at their celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of American Independence, as one of the surviving signers of an instrument pregnant with our own, and the fate of the world, is most flattering to myself, and heightened by the honorable accompaniment proposed for the comfort of such a journey. It adds sensibly to the sufferings of sickness, to be deprived by it of a personal participation in the rejoicings of that day. But acquiescence is a duty, under circumstances not placed among those we are permitted to control. I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there congratulations personally with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies, who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword; and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact, that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we made. May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. 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.

    I will ask permission here to express the pleasure with which I should have met my ancient neighbors of the city of Washington and its vicinities, with whom I passed so many years of a pleasing social intercourse; an intercourse which so much relieved the anxieties of the public cares, and left impressions so deeply engraved in my affections, as never to be forgotten. With my regret that ill health forbids me the gratification of an acceptance, be pleased to receive for yourself, and those for whom you write, the assurance of my highest respect and friendly attachments.

    Th. Jefferson
    "The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
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  2. #2  
    Grouchy Old Broad Kay's Avatar
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    Brings a tear to my eye to think of Mr. Jefferson writing this as a frail old man looking back on a country only 50 years old knowing he helped found it. And on what must have been some righteous memories of his younger days when so much was at stake. Monticello is an awesome place to visit. Having stood there in his home, I can just picture him sitting at his desk as an old man penning this letter.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Ape Articulate_Ape's Avatar
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    May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.
    When we get this part down we will truly be free.
    "The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
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  4. #4  
    CU Royalty JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Articulate_Ape View Post
    When we get this part down we will truly be free.
    What part?
    Be Not Afraid.
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