Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Art of Power

I just finished Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power by Jon Meacham.  I have read other books about Jefferson and I have read other books by Meacham.  This one was interesting in that it addressed the political side of Jefferson and his ability to use political means to exert the power he needed to execute what he thought was best for the new nation that he had helped birth and create.  The reader also hears his voice as Meacham used many of Jefferson's written words to tell his story.

He was against a strong federal government and yet he used his power to finalize the Louisiana Purchase.  He hated direct confrontation but could get what he wanted with a cold shoulder and seeming apathy.  He won friends and admirers with his personal conversation and thoughtful letters.  He knew that slavery was an evil which threatened a new nation based on democracy for he wrote, "all men are created equal."  However, he lacked the moral courage to change his personal lifestyle by freeing his slaves during his lifetime as did some fellow Virginians.  The enormous debts he left behind at death necessitated that most of his slaves be sold on into further slavery.

As a nation, we owe much to Jefferson including what became our Manifest Destiny, a country spanning ocean to ocean.  He worked hard to hold a tenuous 13 Colonies together as 13 States.  He suffered migraines as he attempted to handle the stresses and strains of being the Third President of the United States of America.  He was a Renaissance man whose talents and interests were many.  I find him fascinating and I would love to visit Monticello again as well as see his retreat Poplar Forest which is 90 miles southwest of Monticello and currently being restored.

We found him in front of Scheels last weekend.  Raymond was pretty impressed as he currently is with the presidents of the United States.  He likes leaders.

I do feel that Mr. Jefferson wouldn't mind where Henry chose to pose.  He doted on his grandchildren.

Mr. Lincoln sits on the other side of the entrance.  He, too, loved children and he, too, used his political skills to hold together a nation.

New soccer balls courtesy of Grandpa Glen, also a fan of children, especially his grandchildren.

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