3.11.1773: Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Dabney Carr, myself, & a few others met at The Raleigh Tavern to consult on forming committees of correspondence, with an eventual goal of forming a Continental Congress.
3.9.1791: “Tell me when you shall have peas &c up, when every thing comes to table, when you shall have the first chickens hatched, when every kind of tree blossoms, or puts forth leaves, when each kind of flower blooms.” —to my daughter Mary.
3.9.1791: “I hope our correspondence will now be more regular, that you will be no more lazy, and I no more in the growls on that account.”
3.5.1810: “Your letter, my dear friend, of the 18th Ult. comes like the refreshing dews of the evening on a thirsty soil.” —to John Langdon
3.5.1810: “take any race of animals, confine them in idleness & inaction whether in a stye, a stable, or a stateroom, pamper them with high diet, gratify all their sexual appetites, immerse them in sensualities, nourish their passions, let every thing bend before them, & banish whatever might lead them to think, & in a few generations they become all body & no mind: & this too by a law of nature, by that very law by which we are in the constant practice of changing the characters & propensities of the animals we raise for our own purposes. such is the regimen in raising kings, & in this way they had gone on for centuries. while in Europe, I often amused myself with contemplating the characters of the then reigning sovereigns of Europe. Louis the XVIth was a fool, of my own knolege, & in despite of the answers made for him at his trial.the king of Spain was a fool, & of Naples the same. they passed their lives in hunting, & dispatched two couriers a week, 1000.6 miles, to let each other know what game they had killed the preceding days. the king of Sardinia was a fool. all these were Bourbons. the Queen of Portugal, a Braganza, was an ideot by nature. & so was the king of Denmark. their sons, as regents, exercised the powers of government. the king of Prussia, successor to the great Frederic, was a mere hog in body as well as in mind. Gustavus of Sweden, & Joseph of Austria were really crazy, & George of England you know was in a straight waistcoat. there remained then none but old Catharine who had been too lately picked up to have lost her common sense. in this state Bonaparte found Europe; & it was this state of it’s rulers which lost it with scarce a struggle. these animals had become without mind & powerless: and so will every hereditary monarch be after a few generations. Alexander the grandson of Catherine, is as yet an exception. he is able to hold his own. but he is only of the 3d generation. his race is not yet worn out. and so endeth the book of kings, from all of whom the lord deliver us…” — To John Langdon
3.5.1810: “money, & not morality is the principle of commerce & commercial nations.” — To John Langdon
3.4.1801: “All too will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” —First Inaugural Address
3.4.1801: “And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance, as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.” —First Inaugural Address
3.4.1801: “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.” —First Inaugural Address
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My friends at Independence National Historical Park have created this ingenious apparatus to assist those who wish to visit the National Park here in Philadelphia, either in person or from a distance. I shall apply many of the functions ofthis contrivance during my visits to Independence Hall & its environs. I recommend it to all who wish to increase their understanding of the birthplace of our nation.
This morning’s debate (pictured here) with Alexander Hamilton, hosted by The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, began with challenging circumstances. The high school students composing our audience seemed engrossed by our clothing and manner of comporting ourselves, rather than by the prospect of engaging in Constitutional conversation with two founding fathers. This scenario is not uncommon when we address this age group. We have thus constructed a debate format which gradually encourages the students to participate in the discussion. This format invites them to ask questions or posit arguments in periodic increments of approximately 5 minutes each. These brief interactive segments are strictly focused on the subjects debated in the respective preceding debate components. After a few repetitions of this pattern, we end with a longer (generally 15 minutes) session of questions from the students, by which time they are always fully absorbed in Constitutional concerns. It is with much satisfaction that I report to you the complete success of our strategy today. As the hour glass poured the final grains of our time together, the students could barely contain their zeal for interrogating and challenging both Mr. Hamilton and me on such Gordian subjects as the 3/5 Clause, the rights of women & Africans in American society, and the meaning & application of “All men are created equal”. Our students represented with honorable intellect & civic passion their state of Georgia. This highly gratifying salon could not have occurred without the steadfast efforts of The American Historical Theatre.
Having stated the above sentiments, I do acknowledge the fact that the penetrating mind of the gentle reader may be occupied, to a benign degree, by the sartorial habits of my era. I have therefore included an additional portrait of Mr. Hamilton, who proudly garbed himself in a new suit today. Mr. Hamilton’s tailor was one Douglas Thomas of Philadelphia.
Alexander Hamilton is ably represented by Ian Rose
Join my historical coterie this evening at 6:30 in Philadelphia to hear our stories of courtship and connubial bliss.
A festive night of Valentines Day fun. Courting and dating and all things love through centuries Brought to you by the Young Friends of Independence National Historical Park in partnership with American Historical Theater
2.19.1795: ”Your clover seed put on the moistened cotton has not yet sprouted. Perhaps this is owing to the severity of the weather. This has indeed been very unusual, & I fear fatal to a great proportion of our wheat. The morning cold for these 10 days pas has been from 11. to 33. The afternoon from 25. to 37°.” — to Thomas Mann Randolph
Presidents John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt joined me on Monday at The National Constitution Center, where we commemorated Presidents’ Day with a town hall meeting, answering questions from both our moderator and the audience. Our moderator was one Chris May of Philadelphia’s CBS3 News. He skillfully bridged distances, both temporal and political, between the four of us.
2.14.1799: “in this state we fear that the ill designing may produce insurrection. nothing could be so fatal. anything like force would check the progress of the public opinion & rally them round the government. this is not the kind of opposition the American people will permit. but keep away all show of force and they will bear down the evil propensities of the government by the constitutional means of election & petition. if we can keep quiet therefore, the tide now turning will take a steady & proper direction.” — to Edmund Pendleton
Read the full letter beneath the page break: