What is “the highest good” for you?


Tranquillity is the summum bonum of a Septagenaire.

Source: To John Melish, January 13, 1813

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

Leaders place a high value on maintaining inner peace.

I tried but failed to find something Jefferson wrote 200 years ago today, as the year 1813 opened for him. This letter 13 days later to a Scottish immigrant map-maker was the closest I could come.

Much of this long letter dealt with differences between  the federalist and republican camps. Jefferson might express his views privately but only to trusted individuals who would respect his confidences. He had little stomach for contention as a public man and even less in his retirement.

At the end of this discourse on politics, he reminded Melish of his strong desire to stay out of the public eye. As a man in his 7th decade of life, tranquility … the absence of contention … was his “summum bonum,” the highest good.

Invite Thomas Jefferson to inspire your audience to their “highest good.”
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

His business address is ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com.