With special thanks to Constituting America and Heritage College, we will be taking part in their project:The U.S. Constitution: A Reader. It is a 90 day challenge to learn and dive deeper into understanding the Constitution.
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Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to Roger Weightman
Who is Roger Weightman?
Roger was born in 1787 and died in 1876. He was a politician and business man; starting in the printing business, he later maintained a number of shops. During the time he spent as Mayor of Washington D.C. from 1824 to 1827, he became head of the 1825 committee for the inauguration of John Q. Adams.
Weightman was always at the center of Washington’s social activity. Some of Rogers accomplishments during his busy social life included finding time to:
- Be curator of the Columbia Institute
- Founding member of the Washington National Monument Society
- Librarian of the U.S. Patent Office
- General in the Union Army during the Civil War
How did Jefferson know Weightman?
Thomas Jefferson continued to write all the remainder of his life. And, important to a writer would be one who would operate a printing press. Who better than to pick the one at the center of the social scene than Roger Weightman. Both men were very respected at the time.
The Letter to Roger Weightman
Roger wrote to Jefferson inviting him to the fifty year anniversary of America declaring its Independence. When Jefferson received the invitation, he was ill and just days before his death. So, this letter was the last piece of correspondence from Thomas. Although it was among his final words before his death on July 4, 1826, this letter is the culmination of Jefferson’s work.
Short and sweet, his words speak volumes about how he felt about America and what it stood for, and what others should see her as.
Here are a few select words that sum it all up:
“. . . and to have enjoyed with them the 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.
“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.”
For one to have looked back on his life and career, Thomas Jefferson certainly had pride in his impact for the cause of America.
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