Tag Archives: Happiness

THIS is the life!

I am constantly in my garden or farm, as exclusively employed out of doors as I was within doors when at Washington, and I find myself infinitely happier in my new mode of life.
To Etienne Lemaire, April 25, 1809

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
A radical change of scenery can do a leader great good!
Lemaire managed the President’s House during both Jefferson administrations and had since moved to Philadelphia. In this letter, he asked his former butler to secure several cooking ingredients not available nearer to Monticello. His grandson, Jefferson Randolph, was in Philadelphia and would pay for the items. He sent on several other tidbits of common interest and concluded with the sentiment above.

Over the previous 35 years, Jefferson’s time at Monticello was overshadowed by the great events of war, independence, diplomacy and governance. His hands-on involvement with those events was now behind him. He could dig in the dirt and putter around his farms to his heart’s content. He was much happier now, “infinitely” so.

“This is a key thought – you are a serious student of Thomas Jefferson, not just an imitator –
and it quickly became evident that… [we were] listening to Thomas Jefferson,
not Patrick Lee portraying Thomas Jefferson.”

Deputy Executive Director, Missouri Rural Water Association
Your audience will suspend disbelief
and know they are hearing from Mr. Jefferson himself.

Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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Can happiness exist without morality?

I believe firmly with you in the connection between virtue & happiness: that the latter can never exist [without the former] …: and that virtuous habits are produced by exercising the mind in and contemplating good moral writings. the publication of these [Blair’s writings] cannot therefore but be publicly useful …
To Mason Locke Weems, June 12, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Moral leaders know virtue must precede happiness.
Weems (1759-18250), a Maryland Episcopal priest, wrote to Jefferson about publishing the sermons of a deceased Scottish theologian named Blair. Perhaps Weems, whose letter has not been found, asked Jefferson to endorse his work.

Jefferson agreed with Weems, that virtue and happiness were closely related: There can be no true happiness without virtue. A virtuous life. resulting in a happy one, was built by absorbing “good moral writings.” Blair’s sermons were that kind of writing

Thus, Jefferson commended Weem’s effort. In keeping with his neutral policy, however, Jefferson said the only support he could give would be to buy a copy of the finished work.

”By all accounts, your appearance as Thomas Jefferson was a bit hit.”
President, Missouri Council on New and Expanding Business
Mr. Jefferson’s comments will be a hit with your audience, too.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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What’s a government to do?

… The only orthodox object of the institution of government is to secure the greatest degree of happiness possible to the general mass of those associated under it … unless the mass retains sufficient control over those intrusted with the powers of government, these will be perverted to their own oppression and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust.
To F. A. Van der Kemp, March 22, 1812
From Koch & Peden’s Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, P. 566

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Liberating leaders keep government focused on its highest purpose.
Van der Kemp was a Dutch immigrant, intellectual and friend. He and Jefferson were corresponding about the Constitution. Jefferson reiterated a common theme: Government’s only proper role is the happiness of its people. (Remember “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness …“ from 1776?)

To maintain such a limited and focused government, the citizens must continue to exercise active control over it. Failure to do so will result in:
– Government’s powers being used against them
– Those in government using their positions to perpetuate wealth and power
in themselves, their families and their descendants.

“Our members have given Mr. Lee standing ovations,
an honor awarded very few presenters.”
Assistant Executive Director, Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors

Ready for your audience to be inspired, encouraged and challenged?
Invite Thomas Jefferson to speak! Call 573-657-2739

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