How deep are your convictions?


I shall be perfectly happy if either of you are named, as I consider the substituting, in the place of Cushing, a firm unequivocating republican, whose principles are born with him, and not an occasional ingraftment … (italics added)

Source: To Gideon Granger, October 22, 1810

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

Solid leaders have solid convictions.
Granger wrote Jefferson about the death of Associate Supreme Court Justice William Cushing of Massachusetts, appointed by President Washington in 1789. Granger was interested in the job, as were several others he named and whose qualifications (or lack thereof) he listed. Jefferson replied that either Granger or his former Attorney General, Levi Lincoln, Sr., would be suitable replacements.

The nation’s judiciary had long been in the control of the Federalists, those who opposed his and now President Madison’s policies. Jefferson wanted a strong republican (small r) counterbalance. What kind of republican qualified?

Not a johnny-come-lately. Not a sometimes-republican. Not one who adopted those principles for political expediency. No, Jefferson wanted someone rock solid, firmly committed to the cause. He compared the commitment he sought to the values an adult would have, one whose views were established because he was born into a family of those same values.

Originally posted at

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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