The Wisdom of Jefferson & His Contempt For Stonewall Jackson

Thomas Jefferson Statue at Monticello

I have let it be know many times here at RJsCorner that Thomas Jefferson is one of my main heroes in life. He, and Will Rogers, are who I chose many years ago to how to cope in the best of times and in the worst of times.

Jefferson had a love of words from a very early age. When it came to the written word he was probably the most prolific of all the founding fathers. He was also recognized, even by himself, to be no better than an average speaker. He seldom spoke extemporaneously. In his time in the Continental Congress, he seldom spoke more than a few words. But when given the time to dream, write, edit and then edit some more he was a master of eloquence. It is a fact that even Lincoln used Jefferson’s writing as a pillar for his own.

I have been looking over his words as found in the book “The Quotable Jefferson” as I seem to do on a regular basis and ran across his thoughts about Andy Jackson. Before I get to them I want to re-iterate my contempt for our 17th President. I simply cannot fathom how the Democratic Party can celebrate him as their founder. I admit that I haven’t read a full-length biography but I have read many things about him and have visited his estate the Heritage and read most of the info there. I know from that that he was a threat to our young democracy due to his rash and boastful bravado.

I also know that a picture of Jackson is now hung in the Oval Office as it’s current occupant thinks himself able to compete with Jackson’s legacy.

Before this gets too long I have to give you the quote from Jefferson on his thoughts of Jackson as recorded in 1824, two years before his death and five years before Jackson occupied the Presidency:

I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson, President. He is one of the most unfit men, I know of for such a place. He has had very little respect for laws or Constitutions, -& is in fact an able military chief. His passions are terrible. When I was president of the Senate, he was a Senator; & he could never speak for the rashness of his feelings. I have seen him attempt it repeatably, & as often chock with rage. His passions are no doubt cooler now; -he has been tried much since I knew him- but he is a dangerous man.

I don’t doubt that Jefferson rolls over in his grave every time his name is mentioned Jackson.

Future GOP Celebrations of the Trump Presidency??

2018-01-28_10-29-33.pngWill a day come in the future that the GOP will actually celebrate the years of the Trump presidency? That seems to be an extremely unlikely scenario but I can see how it could happen.  The reason I say that is because the Democrats celebrate what they call one of their party’s best presidents when I think he was anything but that.  To me, this person was a racist, egotistical, loudmouth do-nothing who was driven primarily by ego. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

I suspect my more nuanced readers know I am talking about Andy Jackson. In local politics around the country, there are annual events called “Jefferson/Jackson Day Dinners” to celebrate their roots. They proudly get together to celebrate their heroes! Yes, Thomas Jefferson who is one of my primary heroes was a great man and a serious thinker but Jackson was anything but that. Here are some snippets about him from my friends at Wikipedia:

  • His presidency marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the “spoils system” in American politics.
  • Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, [Trail of Tears] which relocated most members of the Native American tribes in the South to Indian Territory. The relocation process dispossessed the Indians and resulted in widespread death and sickness.
  • Congress, led by Clay, tried to reauthorize the Second Bank of the United States; Jackson regarded the Bank as a corrupt institution and vetoed the renewal of its charter. After a lengthy struggle, Jackson and his allies thoroughly dismantled the Bank [and as a result] reckless speculation in land and railroads eventually caused the Panic of 1837.
  • 2018-01-28_10-22-19.pngJackson’s quick temper was notorious. ..  his opponents were terrified of his temper: “Observers likened him to a volcano, and only the most intrepid or recklessly curious cared to see it erupt. …His close associates all had stories of his blood-curdling oaths, his summoning of the Almighty to loose His wrath upon some miscreant, typically followed by his own vow to hang the villain or blow him to perdition. Given his record—in duels, brawls, mutiny trials, and summary hearings—listeners had to take his vows seriously.
  • His unrepentant ownership of slaves marked him as one to be censured rather than praised.” Further, “By the turn of the present [21st] century, it was scarcely an exaggeration to say that the one thing American schoolchildren learned about Jackson was that he was the author of the Trail of Tears.”

2018-01-28_10-24-59.pngGiven my 500 word limit on posts, I can only give you a short look at the person, but even this is enough to show that Jackson was a man with a huge ego and a short temper who really had zero respect for others different from him.

In my opinion, he did more to damage the country than almost any president.  Kind of sounds familiar doesn’t it? My Native-American roots will be celebrating when he is finally removed from the $20 bill and replaced by anyone else.  But I think it would be serendipitously fitting for a Native-American to take his place.