What’s this musing about: Thomas Jefferson was a moody and terrible hypocrite.
I hate Thomas Jefferson.
Oh, you want to know why? I’d be happy to let you know. And now, I will employ one of my favorite things: a numbered list.
- His supporters talk about how madly he loved his wife. There is evidence to that. There is also evidence he raped his slave, Sally Hemings. Then he didn’t even emancipate her when he died. His daughter “kinda” did. Yes, I use “kinda” the way you say someone is “kinda” pregnant.
- He was a hypocrite, especially politically. Case in point: Jefferson always railed against Washington and Hamilton for being evil Federalists who wanted a strong central government. Then he became President and made the Louisiana Purchase which he technically had no right to do. Is that not enough to convince you? He originally wrote that slavery was evil and England was complicit in the Declaration of Independence. He freed almost none of his slaves upon his death.
- He was so whiny. Seriously, just look up any letter written by Jefferson and you will find a deeply insecure individual.
- He was terrible with money. When he died, he left an absolute mess for his relatives.
- He believed America should never industrialize and should stay an agrarian society. Yes, hindsight is 2020 (get it?), but c’mon.
- He sued anyone who annoyed him. Especially people who said he fathered a child with one of his slaves. That slave was Sally Hemings. And he did.
- His economic policy was a nightmare. Not only did he nearly destroy the economy with his embargo, it did not do a thing to stop the coming war of 1812.
- Even by the standards of the day, he was a pretty bad dad. He left his youngest in the care of others while he was Foreign Minister in France. No qualms there. When he decided to bring her over and she didn’t want to leave? They let her fall asleep on a ship she was playing on and then sailed away. Not terrifying at all. Abigail and John Adams welcomed her halfway to France. When Abigail told Jefferson he should really come get her as she was traumatized, he ignored her. He sent someone else. Why? Waiting on his (probable) married mistress.
- He fought with John Adams for years! (That’s a history joke. Everyone fought with John Adams at some point.)
- Even George Washington got sick of him.
Need more evidence?
Tom Chaffin, Revolutionary Brothers
Tags: American History, leadership, slavery, musings, Jefferson