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Category Archives: National Prosperity

We need divine help, too.

… I shall need too the favour of that being in whose hands we are: who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land; and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries & comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, & our riper years with his wisdom & power: & to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, & prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, & shall secure to you the peace, friendship, & approbation of all nations.
Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders know man’s help is not enough.
I excerpted several of the opening paragraphs of this major address and skipped ones that followed. The omitted ones dealt with native Americans and the challenges of their assimilation, the abuses printed by some newspapers, a reiteration of the limited, essential purposes of American government, and a plea for forgiveness for errors in his judgment.

This is the conclusion to Jefferson’s address, a plea for divine help. Jefferson rarely refers to that source as God and never as Jesus, yet he recognized and petitioned “that being” who had:
– Led us to a land blessed with abundant resources
– Protected us in “our infancy”
– Gave us wisdom and power as we matured
Jefferson asked his fellow citizens to join him in “supplications” (earnest or humble requests) for wisdom for America’s leaders, that their actions would result in “your good” at home, and peace, friendship and approval abroad.

“Thank you for a very excellent presentation.”
Executive Director, Associated General Contractors of Missouri
Mr. Jefferson will bring an excellent presentation to your audience.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
2 Comments Posted in National Prosperity, Religion Tagged , , , , , , , |

Who will stare at us from the other side?

I know that the acquisition of Louisiana has been disapproved by some, from a candid apprehension that the enlargement of our territory would endanger it’s union. but who can limit the extent to which the federative principle may operate effectively? the larger our association, the less will it be shaken by local passions. and in any view, is it not better that the opposite bank of the Missisipi should be settled by our own brethren & children than by strangers of another family? with which should we be most likely to live in harmony and friendly intercourse?
Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Confident leaders embrace expansion.
Jefferson acknowledged that some feared the purchase of Louisiana would destabilize the country. He thought just the opposite, that a larger union was a protection against strong local disagreements. He also thought the republican (small r) principles that guided 15 states could guide 20 or 30 or 100 states.

Regardless of one’s opinion on the size of the union, who would be better neighbors on the west side of the Mississippi River? Would they prefer French, Spanish, English or Russian neighbors, for all four countries had interests beyond the Mississippi? Or would they rather have fellow citizens, Americans, as their neighbors?

“Mr. Patrick Lee did a wonderful job portraying Thomas Jefferson …”
Executive Director, Missouri Independent Bankers Association
Mr. Jefferson awaits your invitation.
Call 573-657-2739
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More freedom or more taxes for American labor?

with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
1st Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Empowering leaders encourage citizens’ industry and protect their labor.
In recognition of Labor Day, 2015, celebrated yesterday:
Acknowledging Providential blessing on America, what more was needed? “A wise and frugal government” whose intrusion was minimal, limited to restraining people from hurting one another. Beyond that, people should be left to their own “industry and improvement.” Government “shall not take” (read: tax) the fruit of their labor.

The government’s footprint during the Washington and Adam’s administrations had extended beyond what Jefferson thought proper. So had the taxation necessary to pay for it. He sought an elimination of internal taxes and reported that accomplished in his second inaugural address four years later.

How was government to support its limited functions? By duties (taxes) on imported goods. Only those with significant disposable income could afford luxuries from Europe. That put the tax burden on the well-to-do, leaving ordinary Americans exempt from the tax collector.

“Thank you very much for a most engaging and informative presentation.”
Program Manager, Council of State Governments – West, meeting in Vancouver, WA
Mr. Jefferson is eager to engage your audience.
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Who exactly is in charge here? Part 9 (OR What characterizes a healthy society?)

[This is the 9th interchange in Jefferson’s internal dialog between his head and his heart, anguishing over Maria Cosway’s departure.]

Head. True, you & I know this, but your friends do not know it.

Heart. But they are sensible people who think for themselves. They will ask of impartial foreigners who have been among us whether they saw or heard on the spot any instances of anarchy … [instead, they will learn we are] opening rivers, digging navigable canals, making roads, building public schools, establishing academies, erecting busts & statues to our great men, protecting religious freedom, abolishing sanguinary [bloodthirsty] punishments, reforming & improving our laws in general, they will judge I say for themselves … [and recognize] a people at their ease, whether this is not better evidence of our true state than a London newspaper, hired to lie …
To Maria Cosway, October 12, 1786

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
These characteristics give citizens hope.
Jefferson’s Head said reports about anarchy in America, printed in London newspapers and copied throughout Europe would repel foreigners, including the Cosways.

Jefferson’s Heart dismissed it all as lies.
Head accepts that but claims the Cosways won’t know the truth.
Heart says they will ask others who’ve been to America. This is the report they will receive from impartial observers, that the people of America are:
1. Improving their infrastructure for travel and commerce
2. Educating their citizens
3. Honoring their leaders
4. Protecting religious freedom
5. Abolishing horrendous laws and reforming laws in general.
The result of this activity is a better life for all, the only antidote necessary for lies spread about America.

Mr. Jefferson will inspire your audience to focus on what’s truly important.
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What do laborers need on Labor Day?

…  with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities [happiness].
Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Laborers need a hands-off government.
Jefferson saw the election of 1800 as the second American revolution. The voters rejected an activist national government and the taxes necessary to support it. They also rejected a fondness toward England and any possibility of a constitutional monarchy.

Jefferson’s inaugural address outlined the major principles which would guide his administration. He tried to bridge the gap between the political parties with this, “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists,”

Jefferson proposed a government which was wise, frugal, and intervened only to keep people from harming one another. Beyond that, government should let its citizens self-regulate for their own “industry and improvement.” Free to prosper in this way, government should not tax away what Americans labored to produce.

There were a number of taxes in 1801. Four years later, in his Second Inaugural Address, Jefferson would boast about the elimination of that burden when he asked “…what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States?”

“The Missouri School Boards Association recommended Patrick Lee
in the persona of Thomas Jefferson [for our Leadership Conference].
There could not have been a better choice.”

Illinois School Boards Association
Jefferson will honor the labor of your audience.
Invite him to speak.Call 573-657-2739
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Would you be ruled by reason … or the rod?

A just and solid republican government maintained here, will be a standing monument & example … that a free government is of all others the most energetic … compared with those of the leaders on the other side [of the ocean], who have discountenanced all advances in science as dangerous innovations, have endeavored to render philosophy and republicanism terms of reproach, to persuade us that man cannot be governed but by the rod, &c.
To John Dickinson, March 6, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Republican leaders govern by restraint, not by the rod.
Two days into his Presidency, Jefferson contrasted the nation’s new government, turned from Federalist to republican, to those of European nations. Hallmarks of republicanism were a self-governed, free and equal people.

His use of the word “energetic” could be interpreted two ways:
– A government “operating with vigor or effect,” Websters 7th New Collegiate, because it understood and stayed within its limited Constitutional role
– Describing a citizenry unburdened by a meddlesome government.
Regardless, it did not mean as activist national government.

What characterized European governments?
– They rejected “all advances in science as dangerous innovations.”
– They discredited the notion of equality for all.
– Man could only be governed by force, rather than reason.

“… our sincere appreciation to you for your exceptional presentation…”
Missouri Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
Mr. Jefferson will bring an exceptional presentation to your audience!
Invite him to speak. Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739
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What characterizes a happy society?

The path we have to pursue is so quiet that we have nothing scarcely to propose to our Legislature. A noiseless course, not meddling with the affairs of others, unattractive of notice, is a mark that society is going on in happiness.
To Thomas Cooper, November 29, 1802

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders know happy people make a happy society!
The last post, June 16, 2014, dealt with creating happy people. This excerpt from the same letter extends that thought to creating a happy society. How? With a national government that is not:
– Making any noise,
– Meddling in other’s affairs but ending to its own business
– Drawing attention to itself.

The government was now fulfilling its Constitutionally-limited role, leaving the states and their citizens alone, to tend to their own concerns. A year and a half into his Presidency, Jefferson said everything was going along so smoothly that they had hardly any recommendations for Congress about changes needed in the laws.
All of that could only be “a mark that society is going on in happiness.”

“From all the comments,
your appearance as Thomas Jefferson was a big hit.”
President, Missouri Council for New and Expanding Industry
Thomas Jefferson will be a hit with your audience, too!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Government's proper role, National Prosperity

Would you say “No!” to the President?

No circumstances, my dear Sir, will ever more tempt me to engage in any thing public.  I thought myself perfectly fixed in this determination when I left Philadelphia, but every day and hour since has added to its inflexibility.
To Edmund Randolph, September 7, 1794
(Eighth letter down)

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Sometimes, leaders have to say no, regardless who’s asking.
Jefferson resigned as President Washington’s Secretary of State at the end of 1793. Randolph had been Attorney General but took over at State after Jefferson’s departure. Ten days earlier, Randolph had written to Jefferson at the request of President Washington.
America’s ambassadors to Spain had been unable to secure that nation’s guarantee of unrestricted shipping down the Mississippi River. Kentucky was up in arms. All of her exports had to go down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and beyond. She feared an economic stranglehold. Randolph mentioned Kentucky going to war with Spain or separating from the Union as two possibilities of the stalemate.
President Washington asked Jefferson to go to Spain as a special envoy to resolve the conflict. Jefferson said no. He acknowledged the confidence the President had in him. Disappointing him was the only thing that made Jefferson reluctant to decline. Still, that didn’t change his answer.
Despite his protest that “no circumstances” would ever draw him back to public life, less than two years later he would stand as the head of the anti-federalist movement, challenging Vice-President Adams for the top job.
Nine years later, President Jefferson would finally resolve this threat to America’s west (which ended at the Mississippi River) by purchasing Louisiana from France. The Mississippi would become completely an American river.

“I highly recommend Patrick Lee for his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson.”
Executive Director, Township Officials of Illinois

Mr. Jefferson comes well-recommended!
Invite him to address your audience! Call 573-657-2739

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There IS something new under the sun!

… what an effort, my dear Sir, of bigotry in Politics & Religion have we gone through … [now] science & honesty are replaced on their high ground …… the storm is now subsiding & the horison becoming serene, it is pleasant to consider … we can no longer say there is nothing new under the sun. for this whole chapter in the history of man is new. the great extent of our republic is new. it’s sparse habitation is new. the mighty wave of public opinion which has rolled over it is new.
To Joseph Priestly, March 21, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Transformational leaders welcome the new!
Priestly, 10 years older than Jefferson, was an English theologian and scientist who immigrated to America in 1794. He was an intellectual, an experimenter, a rationalist, and a prolific writer. Priestly’s thoughts on “true” Christianity, moral rather than divine, influenced Jefferson’s thoughts on religion.
The two men were practically soul-mates. Here, Jefferson wrote just after his inauguration as President and America’s sea-change in the election of 1800. The bigots had been routed, said he, and a bright new future dawned for the nearly new nation. Priestly was one of few men with whom Jefferson could correspond in such a frank manner.
[Note: Letters taken from the National Archives, like this one, preserve Jefferson’s spelling, punctuation, capitalization or lack of it. Other sources often “correct” those things.]

“You did a remarkable job of interpreting Jefferson’s character
and transplanting him, his thoughts, and ideas into the 21st century.”

MFA Petroleum Company

Mr. Jefferson has 19th century wisdom that’s relevant for your 21st century audience!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739

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What would create “a paradise of the whole earth”?

I am glad you took the delightful tour which you describe in your letter. it is almost exactly that which mr Madison and myself pursued in May and June 1791 … but, from Saratoga till we got back to Northampton, was then mostly desert. now it is what 34. years of free and good government have made it. it shews how soon the labor of men would make a paradise of the whole earth, were it not for misgovernment, & a diversion of all his energies from their proper object, the happiness of man, to the selfish interests of kings, nobles and priests.
To Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge, August 27, 1825

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Free enterprise leaders know government doesn’t know best.
In the last year of his life, now 82, Jefferson wrote to his granddaughter who had married three months before and moved to Boston. She had written him about a trip she took up the Hudson River in New York, which mirrored one he’d taken with James Madison long before. She must have described the great development and prosperity she saw in the region north of Albany.

Jefferson described it as “mostly desert” when he saw it. To what did he attribute the vast change in just 34 years? A “free and good government” devoted to its only “proper object, the happiness of man.” That would be the American government, leaving its people as free as possible to pursue their own interests.

A similar approach in other lands “would make a paradise of the whole earth” in similar short order, except for their “misgovernment.” It diverted men’s energies to serve “the selfish interests” of a privileged few … monarchies, hereditary societies and church-state alliances.

“If your group is looking to be entertained, but also want an inspirational message …
you will not be disappointed.”
Assistant Executive Director, Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors

Mr. Jefferson awaits to inspire … and entertain! … your audience.
Schedule his presentation with Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739.

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