Tag Archives: Health

Family & health come first, before leadership!

Having understood that you have been unwell, & that your family is still so, I have not asked your attendance here, lest these circumstances should stand in the way. Mr. Madison, Dearborne & Gallatin are here & mr Lincoln expected tomorrow … should your own health or that of your family not render it inconvenient we should be very happy to see you on Monday & to recieve your aid at a meeting which I propose for Tuesday next. but this is not meant to be pressed against considerations of health or of family distress.
To Robert Smith, September 30, 1803

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Thoughtful leaders are sensitive to the difficulties of their associates.
Smith (1757-1842) was Jefferson’s Secretary of the Navy. As a member of the Cabinet, his attendance was needed very soon. All the other cabinet members would arrive in Washington City the following day. In addition to other business to bring before Congress, they faced the critical issue of the constitutional amendment needed to authorize the purchase of Louisiana. Prompt action from a united front was critical.

Yet, both Smith and his family were ill. While the President greatly hoped for his Secretary’s attendance and help at the Cabinet meeting four days hence, he stressed that Smith’s health and family came first.

“Mr. Lee has the ability to successfully BE
the personage he is impersonating.”
Director of Entertainment, Delta Queen Steamboat Company
Patrick Lee will BECOME Thomas Jefferson for your audience.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Family matters, Health Tagged , , , , , , , , |

For those less fortunate than myself …

I pray you to recieve & apply the within sum of one hundred dollars to the use of those among you afflicted with the present sickness, who may be in need of it. I further request that no acknolegement may be made of it in the public papers, nor otherwise in any manner. I offer my best wishes for the reestablishment of the health of Alexandria, & to yourself my respectful salutations.
To Samuel Snowden, September 29, 1803

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Thoughtful leaders CAN keep their thoughtful acts private.
Jefferson always fled the coast, the area he called the tidewater, for Monticello in August and September to escape the deadly yellow fever. Its cause was unknown but was believed to result from bad air that circulated in low-lying areas that time of year. In 1793, a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia killed 5,000, more than 10% of the city’s population. It would be almost a century later, in 1900, before doctors determined that mosquitoes spread the deadly disease.

The President knew that not everyone could escape the tidewater and yellow fever. Thus, he made a $100 contribution to a newspaper publisher in tidewater-surrounded Alexandria, VA, for the relief of those ravaged by the disease, requesting his donation be kept anonymous.

“Patrick Lee was our first guest speaker and he set the bar very high
with his remarkable portrayal of Thomas Jefferson.”
Board of Directors, Sedalia Heritage Foundation
Mr. Jefferson will set the bar equally high at your conference.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Health, Leadership styles, Miscellaneous Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Ugly, expensive or inconvenient? Fugettaboutit!

The most approved plan of an [military] Hospital [in Boston is] of 4000. square feet area, two stories … the rooms for the sick to be well aired …
Th:J. proposes to mr Gallatin that some such advertisement as the above be published in Washington where there are many architects who will probably compete for the premium. in the erection of public buildings, taste, convenience & economy should all be respected.
To Albert Gallatin, June 21, 1802

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Public leaders should have strict standards for spending public money.
Congress had approved $15,000 for a hospital for ailing seamen in Massachusetts. President Jefferson wrote to his Secretary of the Treasury about soliciting architectural designs from architects in Washington and offered a $50 premium for the winning design.

Worth noting is his request that ” the rooms for the sick to be well aired.” He ascribed to a theory of healing that included fresh air as a necessary component, one not considered by most medical practioners of the day.

Jefferson noted three factors that “should all be respected” in the design of public buildings:
1. Taste – a strong and lasting visual appeal
2. Convenience – a design that facilitates the building’s intended use
3. Economy – remembering that public money was being spent

Gallatin did not issue the specifications as written by his boss. Neither did he solicit designs in Washington but only in Boston, where he said local residents would more appreciate a building designed by one of their own citizens.

“My franchisees thoroughly enjoyed your portrayal of Thomas Jefferson.
I especially was impressed how well you tied in our meeting topics into your speech.”
Franchise Owner, Mail Boxes, Etc.
Mr. Jefferson will tailor his remarks to complement the theme of your meeting.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Architecture, Health Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Enough of politics. Now, about me.

So much as to my country. now a word as to myself. I am retired to Monticello, where, in the bosom of my family, & surrounded by my books, I enjoy a repose to which I have been long a stranger. my mornings are devoted to correspondence. from breakfast to dinner I am in my shops, my garden, or on horseback among my farms; from dinner to dark I give to society & recreation with my neighbors & friends; & from candlelight to early bed-time I read. my health is perfect … as great as usually falls to the lot of near 67 years of age.
To Tadeusz Kosciuszko, February 26, 1810

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Retired leaders can enjoy the benefits that come from no longer leading.
In a long letter, Jefferson wrote frankly and at length on the nation’s strength and preparation for a likely war with England. Business taken care of, he wanted his old friend to know how he was personally.

He enjoyed great rest to be amid his family and books. He rose at dawn each day and wrote from then until breakfast at 9:30. After breakfast and until dinner at 3:30 (only 2 meals a day), he was outside, supervising his multiple agricultural endeavors. After dinner and until dark, he enjoyed the company of family, friends and neighbors. Once daylight was gone, he read by candlelight until an early bedtime.

He claimed his health was as good as any 67 year old man could enjoy and credited his retired and relaxed lifestyle for that result.

“This letter is to recommend a both talented and fascinating performer …
His professional abilities show that he’s done his homework – extensively!”
Runge Nature Center, Missouri Department of Conversation
Invite Thomas Jefferson to fascinate your audience.
Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Aging, Family matters, Personal preferences Tagged , , , , , , |

BEFORE you get sick …

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments & his thanks to Doctr Ricketson for his treatise on the means of preserving health & the pamphlets he has been so kind as to send him. he shall read the former especially with particular pleasure, having much more confidence in the means of preserving than of restoring health.
To Shadrach Ricketson, June 21, 1809

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Health conscious leaders value prevention ahead of treatment.
Ricketson (1768-1837) was a prominent New York Quaker and physician. In 1806, he published a book, “Means of Preserving Health and Preventing Diseases … This was not so much a book on how to treat and eliminate or reduce disease-related problems as much as it was a book on how to live a long and health[y] life.”

Below the book title on the cover were these words, “Founded principally on an attention to air and climate, drink, food, sleep, exercise, clothing, passions of the mind, and retentions and excretions … Designed not merely for physicians but for the information of others …” (Quoted sections are credited to this site.)

Empirical or evidence-based medicine had a strong appeal to Jefferson. It is what he practiced for himself, his family and his servants. While he engaged a trusted doctor when his larger mountain-top family was threatened, he had great faith in the human body’s recuperative powers if just left alone. Most doctors lacked any real understanding of the human body and were inclined toward experimentation. Jefferson thought doing nothing was better than doing something uninformed.

He was also a great supporter of what we would call “wellness,” with a focus on cleanliness, diet, exercise and rest. Ricketson’s work was right up his alley!

“…our delegates really enjoyed hearing from Mr. Jefferson.
It is amazing how the thoughts, words and events of over 200 years ago transcend time
and are as relevant today as they were then.”
Conference Coordinator, Iowa League of Cities
Thomas Jefferson’s 19th century wisdom is relevant for your 21st century audience.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Health, Protecting ourselves Tagged , , , , , , , , |

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.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Human nature, National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Now, THIS is the life! Part 1

I am retired to Monticello, where in the bosom of my family, and surrounded by my books, I enjoy a repose to which I have long been a stranger.  My mornings are devoted to correspondence. From breakfast to dinner, I am in my shops, my garden, or on horseback among my farms; from dinner to dark, I give to society and recreation with my neighbors and friends; and from candle light to early bed-time, I read. My health is perfect; and my strength considerably reinforced by the activity of the course I pursue; perhaps it is as great as usually falls to the lot of near sixty-seven years of age. I talk of ploughs and harrows, of seeding and harvesting, with my neighbors …
To Thaddeus Koscuisko, February 26, 1810

Koch & Peden’s Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, P. 352

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders who hold power lightly can retire easily to personal pursuits.
In his  April 5 post, Mr. Jefferson wrote of a favored post-retirement activity from this same letter. Here, he gives an overview of his life. He arose each day when he could read the hands on the clock at the foot of his bed. From then until breakfast, he answered the voluminous correspondence directed his way. He ate two meals a day, breakfast about 9 AM and dinner six hours later. Between meals he was outside in a variety of productive pursuits. The several daylight hours after dinner were devoted to others. His time from dark until an early bedtime was reserved for himself with his beloved books.
He enjoyed good health, which he attributed to this activity. His preferred conversation with neighbors was about agriculture.

“Patrick Lee is a professional …  both easy to work with from my end
and very effective portraying Thomas Jefferson …
Director, Living History Associates, LTD, Richmond Virginia
Let Thomas Jefferson inspire your audience.
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739 

Leave a comment Posted in Aging, Health, Personal preferences Tagged , , , |

Will you do this well at age 72?

I retain good health, am rather feeble to walk much, but ride with ease, passing two or three hours a day on horseback, and every three or four months taking in a carriage a journey of ninety miles to a distant possession, where I pass a good deal of my time. My eyes need the aid of glasses by night, and with small print in the day also; my hearing is not quite so sensible as it used to be; no tooth shaking yet, but shivering and shrinking in body from the cold we now experience, my thermometer having been as low as 12 degrees this morning.
To Charles Thomson, Jan. 9, 1816

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise choices (and good genes) help leaders live longer.
Jefferson lived a temperate life, full of exercise, vegetables, fruit, little meat, no tobacco, alcohol in moderation, and that only in weaker wines and beer. He exercised his mind a great deal. In a time when life expectancy was maybe 60, he’d surpassed that a dozen years when he wrote this and would live 11 more, to age 83.
He didn’t inherit good genes. His father died at age 49, his mother at 55. Eight of his nine siblings, seven younger than he, preceded him in death. The longest living of those nine, one who outlived him, was his sister Anna. She was born when Jefferson was 12 and died in her early 70s, two years after her brother.
His “distant possession” was Poplar Forest, his hide-away second home. You’ve read about Poplar Forest in these posts. Put those words in your “Search” window for a refresher.

Mr. Jefferson will encourage your audience to think well, eat well,
be active and make wise choices
Invite him to speak. Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

Leave a comment Posted in Aging, Health Tagged , , , , |

Thomas Jefferson on rain, cold & sickness

Is getting wet or cold harmful to you?
The weather should be little regarded. A person not sick will not be injured by getting wet. It is but taking a cold bath which never gives a cold to any one. Brute animals are the most healthy, and they are exposed to all weather and, of men, those are healthiest who are the most exposed. The recipe of these two descriptions of beings is simple diet, exercise and the open air, be its state what it will: and we may venture to say that this recipe will give health and vigor to every other description.
Thomas Jefferson to T. M. Randolph, Jr., 1786, 2832

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
I grew up hearing my mother say that wet, cold weather caused colds. Conversely, staying warm and dry promoted health. A half century later, we know there is little correlation between bad weather and sickness. Thomas Jefferson knew that 225 years ago!
As evidence, he cited the good health of both brute animals, exposed to all weather, and of men whose primary work was all outside.
Jefferson observed that a “simple diet, exercise and the open air” were best for strong men and beasts. From that, he speculated the same would benefit all classes of living beings.
As personal proof that cold water was not harmful, Jefferson bathed his feet in cold water every morning for 60 years! He cited that practice as responsible for the very few colds he had suffered in his lifetime.
Still, Jefferson had a strong, personal dislike for cold, damp weather.

Mr. Jefferson has much practical information for your audience.
Invite him to speak!

Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

1 Comment Posted in Health, Personal preferences Tagged , , , , |