Thomas Jefferson HTML version
express his thoughts in excellent Italian, Spanish and French, and both were masters of
Jefferson was an excellent violinist, a skilled mathematician and a profound scholar. Add
to all these his spotless integrity and honor, his statesmanship, and his well curbed but
aggressive patriotism, and he embodied within himself all the attributes of an ideal
president of the United States.
In the colonial times, Virginia was the South and Massachusetts the North. The other
colonies were only appendages. The New York Dutchman dozed over his beer and pipe,
and when the other New England settlements saw the Narragansetts bearing down upon
them with upraised tomahawks, they ran for cover and yelled to Massachusetts to save
Clayborne fired popguns at Lord Baltimore, and the Catholic and Protestant Marylanders
enacted Toleration Acts, and then chased one another over the border, with some of the
fugitives running all the way to the Carolinas, where the settlers were perspiring over
their efforts in installing new governors and thrusting them out again, in the hope that a
half-fledged statesman would turn up sometime or other in the shuffle.
What a roystering set those Cavaliers were! Fond of horse racing, cock fighting,
gambling and drinking, the soul of hospitality, quick to take offense, and quicker to
forgive,—duellists as brave as Spartans, chivalric, proud of honor, their province, their
blood and their families, they envied only one being in the world and that was he who
could establish his claim to the possession of a strain from the veins of the dusky
daughter of Powhatan —Pocahontas.
Could such people succeed as pioneers of the wilderness?
Into the snowy wastes of New England plunged the Pilgrims to blaze a path for
civilization in the New World. They were perfect pioneers down to the minutest detail.
Sturdy, grimly resolute, painfully honest, industrious, patient, moral and seeing God's
hand in every affliction, they smothered their groans while writhing in the pangs of
starvation and gasped in husky whispers: “He doeth all things well; praise to his name!"
Such people could not fail in their work.
And yet of the first ten presidents, New England furnished only the two Adamses, while
Virginia gave to the nation, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and then tapered
off with Tyler.
In the War for the Union, the ten most prominent leaders were Grant, Sherman, Sheridan,
Thomas, Farragut, Porter, Lee, Stonewall Jackson, J. E. Johnston and Longstreet. Of
these, four were the products of Virginia, while none came from New England, nor did
she produce a real, military leader throughout the civil war, though she poured out
treasure like water and sent as brave soldiers to the field as ever kept step to the drum