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.

Thomas Jefferson, American Hero

I want to kick off this re-formatted “Seeking Wisdom” category here on RJsCorner with Thomas Jefferson.  He is one of my primary sources of wisdom. He was an idealistic rebel of his times. Even by his compatriots, he was considered a writer for the ages.  He was a young man when he was drafted to write the Declaration of Independence. Some believed him to be just too much of an idealist and too inexperienced to write it, but looking back that is exactly the type of person needed for the job then and maybe even more so now. 

He was a theoretical philosopher when many of his time didn’t really understand what that meant. Here is a little more about him from one of my favorite sources of his quotes:

Jefferson’s skill as a writer has accentuated many of his accomplishments. Partly because of his preference for style over a rigid adherence to rules of grammar, he was perhaps the most eloquent of all American writers…

Abraham Lincoln heavily drew upon Jefferson. The words, phrases, and philosophy of the Declaration of Independence have inspired those seeking equality for minorities and women, and most recently for oppressed Europeans seeking to shake off their Communist shackles.

From the introduction to the book: The Quotable Jefferson collected and edited by Jhon P. Kaminski 2006

When I am seeking wisdom, Thomas Jefferson is one of my primary sources.