Tag Archives: Oppression

We do not want those immigrants, but we cannot refuse them!

I lament the misfortunes of the persons who have been driven from Cuba to seek Asylum with you. this it is impossible to refuse them, or to withold any relief they can need. we should be monsters to shut the door against such sufferers. true, it is not a population we can desire, at that place, because it retards the desired epoch of it’s becoming entirely American in spirit. no people on earth retain their national adherence longer or more warmly than the French. but such considerations are not to prevent us from taking up human beings from a wreck at sea. gratitude will doubtless secure their fidelity to the country which has recieved them into it’s bosom.
To William C.C. Claiborne, September 10, 1809

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Humane leaders recognize the need to help the helpless.
Claiborne, territorial governor of New Orleans, reported the arrival of about 1,000 poverty-stricken French immigrants, whom Spain had banished from their homes in Cuba.

Jefferson didn’t regard the French as desirable subjects, because they above all other immigrants clung to their native culture. It would take them much longer to assimilate and become “entirely American in spirit.” Regardless, they could not be allowed to perish on the open sea. Only “monsters” would refuse them refuge and relief.

He hoped they would be grateful for the kindness shown and become loyal to their new land.

“I would like to thank you for your wonderfully entertaining speech …”
President, Missouri City Clerks and Finance Officers Association
Mr. Jefferson will entertain your audience … wonderfully!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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Is an activist government the solution? Or the problem?

I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
To James Madison, December 20, 1787

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Lovers of liberty are suspicious of an activist government.
Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines energetic:  “1: marked by energy: STRENUOUS  2: operating with vigor or effect  3: of or relating to energy.” Those were qualities Jefferson admired in an individual and his private pursuits. He feared them in a government.
Jefferson had received in France a copy of the new U.S. Constitution and shared his thoughts with Madison. Jefferson told his good friend what he liked about the Constitution, and where he found it lacking.
His major concerns were no bill of rights and a President who could be re-elected forever. He knew the nature of government was always to reach beyond its limits. The result was always a loss of individual liberty. In support of his distrust, he cited Roman emperors, Polish kings, popes during the Catholic Church’s ascendency, and the deys (rulers) of North African states.
Keeping the national authority Constitutionally-limited to minimal and clearly defined powers  was the citizens’ best possible protection against an “energetic government.”
Many well-known Jefferson quotes come from this long letter.

“… your presentation brought to life not only the spirit of Thomas Jefferson,
but also the sense of commitment to discovery and exploration …
Executive Director, Association of Partners for Public Lands

Mr. Jefferson will inspire your audience to “discovery and exploration”!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739

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Why can’t they be happy?

Indeed, it is difficult to conceive how so good a people [the French], with so good a King, so well-disposed rulers in general, so genial a climate, so fertile a soil, should be rendered so ineffectual for producing human happiness by one single curse, — that of a bad form of government. But it is a fact, in spite of the mildness of their governors, the people are ground to powder by the vices of the form of government. Of twenty millions of people supposed to be in France, I am of opinion there are nineteen millions more wretched, more accursed in every circumstance of human existence than the most conspicuously wretched individual of the whole United States.
To Mrs. Trist, August 18, 1785

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Honest leaders know oppressive government destroys happiness.
As a new minister to their country, Jefferson’s love affair with most-things-French had begun. He praised the people, the King, and the governors. He acknowledged a mild climate and fertile soil.

Yet none of that could make its people happy. Why? Because its system of government, based on heredity, privilege and wealth…so non-republican…ground its citizens “to powder.” He estimated that 95% of French citizens, 19 million out of 20, lived lives that were worse off than the most destitute person in America.

In the paragraph preceding this excerpt, Jefferson observed the lack of marital faithfulness among the French. “The domestic bonds here are absolutely done away…” He speculated that sexual promiscuity served as a temporary diversion from “the hardness of their government.”

“Chris, you are a genius for including Thomas Jefferson in your opening presentation.
They called me a genius – thank you.”
Owner, Lanit Consulting

Want people to call you a genius? Invite Thomas Jefferson to speak!
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

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