President John F. Kennedy's remark at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners of the western hemisphere, April 29, 1962: " I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
Thomas Jefferson - July 4th
Historians find major character flaws in Jefferson.Besides raping a young slave girl who was his wife's half sister, he incurred massive personal debt. It affected US foreign policy. Foreign countries were smong his many creditors. VA held a special lottery to rescue him
He was sent to France as acolonial rep. Benjamin Franlin and John Adams were also sent. Adams could not stsnd Franklin but became very close friends with Jefferson despite hating slavers. The Adamses could not comprehend how such a wonderful man could own slaves. They became very bitter enemies. As they aged and lived longer than other Founders, they started to write to each other.Each man cared passionately what the other thought. Both died the same year on the 4th of July.Both asked about the other on their deathbeds.i
-- Band on the Run regarding historians' assessments of Jefferson's character flaws:
Every single person, including the brilliant who have come and gone, have character flaws. Life has grey areas and historical accounts cannot possibly include everyone's perspective, unfortunately. As for raping his slave girl, how do we know there was force? I get the slavery thing, but I'm still not sure if Jefferson's women slaves felt it part of their duties to service their masters sexually. There may have been some slave owners with this sort of entitlement, and, understandably, "force" is the name of the game. Maybe Jefferson didn't feel it right to cross yet another boundary against humanity/women by, quote/unquote, forcing them into sex too. I am not arguing that these sexual encounters and/or rape are "okay" on any level. On its face, raping a slave girl (let alone owning slaves) is wrong on so many levels: age of the girl, power disparity, et cetera. We know that this girl was around 15 or 16. I mean, we have age of consent laws in the US that are 16! As for power disparity, love affairs happen all the time in close working environments, but you can't say a worker always feel "forced" into sex with his/her boss for fear of losing their job due to power disparity.
Anecodotal evidence is simply in my own personal experience. I fell in love with my husband at 15. We have just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. I knew exactly what I wanted and needed in life, love, family, job, et cetera. I knew myself pretty damn well at a very young age and have not deviated much. Have I grown and matured? Yes, of course, life does that to you, but I essentially hold the same values and desires. So here I am at 15 in love with my future husband, who is older than me, I might add, and I end up with pretty much (99.9%) all the power in our relationship -- so I suppose there is a power disparity there, just not from whom you'd usually consider the one to be in the lesser position (the young inexperienced girl)...although, I am white and he is a person of color, and I pretty much tell him what to do and, most of the time, he does it, so maybe we need to be discussing me needing to emancipate my poor husband! lol I'm trying to add some humor, not make light of slavery - hope no one takes me too seriously here.
Maybe I'll leave the the "massive personal debt acquired affecting foriegn policy" for another post -- too tired to tackle that at the moment. Going to bed now.
I would like to amend my previous post:
"It's interesting that Jefferson personified truth as a woman. No doubt the GB perceives her to be a real bitch!"
And yet she, that is Truth personified, is a lady to those that embrace her and treat her with the respect and dignity that she deserves.