Founders Corner

Comprehensive online library of major works, essays, letters, speeches, quotes from America's Founding Fathers; also key documents; and histories contemporary to the Founding Era, along with works, speeches, etc., from thinkers and statesmen who influenced the Founders or were influenced by them.

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... considering the general tendency to multiply offices and dependancies, & to increase expence to the ultimate term of burthen which the citizen can bear, it behoves us to avail ourselves of every occasion which presents itself for taking off the surcharge ; that it never may...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I am anxious to hear from you, lest you should have suffered in the same way now as on a former similar occasion. should any thing of that kind take place ... I know nobody to whom I would so soon apply as mrs Suddarth. a little...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... this morning arrived the quarter you were so kind as to send me of the Mammoth-veal . tho’ so far advanced as to be condemned for the table, yet it retained all the beauty of it’s appearance, it’s fatness & enormous size. a repetition of such...
FOUNDERS CORNER, EDMUND BURKE November 1789 In a letter writte to Frenchman François Depont in November of 1789, 4 months after the outbreak of the French Revolution, British Statesman and defender of the American Revolution, Edmund Burke, draws a distinction between the individualist (or unfettered) theory of liberty versus social liberty...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have safely received the copy of your history of the American revolution ... it is a happy circumstance for our country that it’s fortunes interest the eloquent writers of your country and through them find their way to the notice of the world ... inasmuch as...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have recieved ... application the purchase of a site for a Roman Catholic church ... I have referred the paper to them , recommending to them all the favor which the object of the purchase would urge, the advantages of every kind which...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I consider ... the making a good gravel road from the New bridge on Rock creek along the Pensylva & Jersey avenues to the Eastern branch as the most important objects for ensuring the destinies of the city which can be undertaken ... 4000. D. for 4...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP The term of payment for the two last pipes of wine being now at hand I have desired mr John Barnes of Georgetown to remit you in the first week of the month now about to enter seven hundred dollars ... if you have now remaining on...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I am an enemy to all these douceurs , tributes & humiliations. what the laws impose on us let us execute faithfully; but nothing more ... Congress a full statement of every expence which our transactions with the Barbary powers has occasioned, & of what we...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP Whereas the Honourable the General Congress, impressed with a grateful sense of the goodness of Almighty God ... hath thought proper ... to recommend to the several states that Thursday the 9th of December next be appointed a day of publick and solemn thanksgiving and prayer ... I...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have known mr Page from the time we were boys & classmates together, & love him as a brother. but I have always known him the worst judge of man existing. he has fallen a sacrifice to the ease with which he gives his confidence to...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP have we a right to give passages generally to private individuals whenever a public vessel is passing from one place to another? ... these are my hasty thoughts on the subject. be so good as to weigh & correct them, & do in it what you think...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... inoculated two persons with the matter of the 24th. & 4. with that of the 26th. the latter has no effect, but the two former shew inflammation & matter. one of them complains of pain under the arm pit, & yesterday was a little feverish...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP .... let it be known that a fact is authentic, & what is it’s exact character, & then we may act on real & not hypothetical ground. the real facts arising will occupy all our time. if we spend any in hypothetical discussions, we shall want time...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have to ... congratulate you on the prospect you have of obtaining a compleat skeleton of the great incognitum , and zeal enough to devote himself to the recovery of these great animal monuments ... whenever your skeleton is mounted, I will certainly pay it...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP papers will make a noise about it . but we see they are determined to blame every thing ... & therefore consider their clamours … consequently not to be regarded. Source: To Benjamin Hitchborn, July 29, 1801 Patrick Lee’s Explanation Realistic leaders know some will always stand in opposition. Jefferson wrote...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... those who will be satisfied with a government of energy enough to protect persons & property sacredly, will not, I trust, be disappointed: while no effort will be spared to prevent unnecessary burthens to the labouring man. Source: To William Bingham, July 29, 1801 Patrick Lee’s Explanation Self-limiting leaders free...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP Being about to embark for Europe, (induced to change the Scenes which Surround me, from a recent melancholy Event having rendered them peculiarly distressing) ... Source: William Bingham to Thomas Jefferson, July 25, 1801 I had before felt a sincere concern for the circumstance which has made you wish...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP I have now known you seventeen years ... I have found you ever attentive to the interests & the rights of your own country & fellow citizens in the first place, but just and accomodating to the rights and the convenience those with whom you had to...
THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP ... the greatest good we can do our country is to heal it’s party divisions & make them one people. I do not speak of their leaders who are incurables, but of the honest & well-intentioned body of the people. I consider the pure federalist as...