Curtis Dahlgren
History "revision": Everything you always wanted to know about TJ
By Curtis Dahlgren
May 4, 2020

Editor's note: Reprinted from April 20, 2016

"Jefferson was a writing man with a mind that ranged over all human experience..... He cannot be filed neatly into a pattern of description.... He was a mobile man often giving the impression of inconsistency, but claiming the prerogative of inconsistency as part of the process of growth." – Kingdon ("Architects of the Republic")

THAT'S A LONG WAY OF SAYING: Emphasizing some of his more youthful words (he was only 33 when he wrote the Declaration) says nothing about letters he wrote in the 1820s – to John Adams for example – after losing his wife and a daughter and nearing the end of his long life. One biographer admitted, after a lifetime spent as a Jefferson scholar, that no one can understand TJ totally (especially today when we never got to meet him personally). Not only were his words taken out of context, but political enemies made up "facts" that made it into history books. That's like taking Trump's "lying Ted" comments and making them the gospel-truth history! For example, the offspring by Sally Hemings rumor was started for the 1800 election campaign. Guides at Monticello still spread that old gossip. DNA never actually nailed an individual – only someone from the Jefferson family.

  • Regarding sex-with-slaves, TJ was adamantly opposed to the mixing of the races and said so.

  • He spent part of his career working toward regulations on the treatment of slaves and for finding a feasible plan for the ending of slavery.

  • In the first place, he didn't import any slaves; he inherited land and the slaves came with the circumstances; his ancestors bought those slaves.

  • He "married into" more slaves (was he supposed to spurn the woman he loved because her family had also inherited slaves?).

  • It was against state laws to "FREE" slaves!

  • His teachers at William and Mary were anti-slavery.

  • He tested the waters of anti-slavery in the House of Burgesses.

  • In the Continental Congress he seconded a bill that would have banned slavery in future states in all of the western Territories – both north and south – and it failed by just one vote in 1784 (Washington banned the spread of slavery to the Northwest Territories)!

  • He was convinced that Virginia was destined to take the lead in the abolition of slavery (Virginia had a surplus of slaves).

  • Virginians in the highlands had no use for slavery, and TJ knew that slaves would be almost useless to farmers in the non-cotton and non-tobacco lands to the west (their own kids were the "hired help").

  • The Founding Fathers could foresee the mechanization of agriculture even in the 1700s.

  • As an attorney he represented mulattoes who sued for their freedom.

  • As for "separation of church and state," the ultimate myth, he signed bills that gave money for church-related Indian schools.

  • The myth that he "removed all the miracles from the Bible," that was simply a condensed outline of the gospel story, for the Native American children.

  • He often talked about miracles, America being one (he was not a Deist).

  • He attended church services in the Capitol building (they were also held in the Supreme Court building!), but he wasn't a "joiner" of one denomination.

  • The whole point of religious freedom is allowing for more than one.

  • In his rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson excoriated the King of England over the slave trade (it was "edited out").

"By substituting 'pursuit of happiness' for 'property,' thereby departing from the text of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, Jefferson deliberately, although only by implication, excluded property in slaves from the rights of man." – John C. Miller (chapter, "Slavery," in "Thomas Jefferson; a Reference Biography," editor Merrill D. Peterson; Scribner pub., 1986)

THAT BOOK was marked "Discarded" by a public library, and I bought it for a pittance, like many of my other most valuable books. The compilation of this one entailed an editorial staff of 14 people, plus 25 chapters, each written by a different specialist in American history. I can barely scratch the surface of the topics here, let alone the details. One final note on today's topic:

"In his draft, Jefferson accused the king of waging 'cruel war against human nature itself' by carrying enslaved Africans across the Atlantic and forcing them upon Americans who wanted nothing so much as to stop this 'execrable' commerce. Jefferson left little doubt that once Americans were free of the malign control of the 'Royal Brute,' they would abolish the slave trade and set about abolishing slavery itself . .

"But for the moment, he was wholly occupied in averting a different kind of slavery [under the thumb of the British throne]."

BTW, re Sally's kids, Miller said: "The almost-white children born to Sally Hemings were probably fathered by Peter Carr, Jefferson's wayward nephew who enjoyed free rein at Monticello, including the slave quarters."

Other people theorize that the culprit was his half-wit brother who lived just down the hill, but what brought this all up? For one thing, April 13th was Jefferson's birthday, which hardly anyone remembers.


In the words of Dizzy Dean, the liberals of late have "slud" so far to the left that they are about to disown Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Tom used to practically be the patron saint of the D-party back in the days of JFK, but political correctness has taken its toll. All the liberals can talk about now is the slavery, as if we had never heard of it!

Those of us seniors who were educated in the proverbial one-room country school have a far better understanding of the history of America than today's so-called college "seniors" have. If you doubt me, I dare you to read my book of quotations and comment, "Massey-Harris 101." You can also read my first book, "No More Bull; America, Please Phone Home" for free by going to my column archives, hit the End key, and read the first 30 columns from 2003-04. The best review I got was from my high school history teacher.

The bottom line is that the so-called Progressives like to talk about Jefferson and Friends, but they don't like it when you find out their actual words! It's like when pastors talk about Jesus but practically shield your eyes from HIS actual words. Seminaries aren't immune from political correctness, you know.

It's one thing if you think no belief system is more valid than any others; it's one thing if you think all the paths lead to heaven; it's one thing to think you are going to heaven; you're NOT, not immediately at least (both old and new testaments say you'll have to "wait"). It's one thing to not believe at all.

However, it's something else if you go into the opposite ditch and think you're in the "One and Only True Church" – "the smartest one percent of all believers, thank God" – with callous disregard for the actual "WORD."

Jesus is the King of 'Real Universe' and He said some surprising things. The Lord loves people, but He is enamored by none, someone said. For just one example, take the parable of the "talents." That word can be taken two different ways – and both apply. The man who inherited just one talent was either lazy, fearful, or both, and he buried his talent ($). When the Giver of the talent came to check on his "progress," HE wasn't happy, and gave the money to the people who knew how to use it (maybe even the "rich"). So God is not enamored of free-loading parasites, those who are "without excuse." He can turn water into wine or water into blood, as in "da Nile" (no pun intended).

Not trying to shove salvation down your throat. Just saying: IT'S YOUR CHOICE.

P.S. Speaking of books, don't forget "The Jefferson Lies" by David Barton. Paradoxically, more books have been written about Jefferson than he wrote (one). Some people with one-tenth of his I.Q. write dozens of books these days). I'm just saying (not all bad).

PPS: I just heard about a book titled "The Rapture Verdict" by Michael Snyder. Can't vouch for it, but in view of the recent earthquakes, it sounds "interesting." The review at Amazon says in part:

"You Are Never Going To Look At The Book Of Revelation The Same Way Again The worst times in all of human history are coming, and what Michael Snyder has uncovered in this book has dramatic implications for every man, woman and child on the entire planet. The Rapture Verdict is likely to become one of the most controversial Christian books in decades, and it addresses many of the hottest questions being debated today... -Will Christians have to go through all of the chaos described in the book of Revelation? -Is the judgment of God coming to America? -Are we on the verge of entering the Great Tribulation? -What is "the parousia," and how does that ancient Greek word completely shake up conventional theories about the rapture? -Does the rapture come before, after or somewhere in the middle of the Tribulation? -Why are millions of Christians in the western world going to become extremely angry with their pastors? -Do the [old testament] Biblical festivals provide us with a prophetic template for the events surrounding the second coming of Jesus Christ? . . ."

It's funny but many people paid little attention to the earthquakes, with the political junkies preoccupied with the 2016 horse race. And the social "justice" junkies are talking about nothing but co-ed washrooms and locker rooms. "Trans" genders may be one-in-a-thousand, but this could be the biggest Supreme Court issue since Board of Education v. Brown. You could call it the Great White Throne Judgment (no puns intended). Crappy bathrooms are common in Europe, but will never fly here – any more than the metric system did in the 80s.

By the way, the anal-retentive Lefties who used to say "Stay out my bedroom" are now saying "LET ME INTO YOUR BATHROOM"! It's funny but they are even calling for "BOYCOTTS."



© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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