Political Career

 


Being President

Dear Mr. Jefferson:
 
We are studying about Presidents in my class and I'm your 
biggest fan.  What was the hardest part about writing the 
Declaration of Independence? What kind of pets do you have?  
How does it feel like to be a president?
 
Jakob



Dear Master Jakob,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I am pleased to hear
that you are an admirer of mine. I believe that the most 
difficult part of writing the Declaration of Independence
was listening to the delegates of the Second Continental
Congress debate its merits. 

	We have a number of animals at Monticello, but most of
them are farm creatures. I do however have a pet mocking 
bird named Dick. Do you have any pets?

	You ask what it felt like to be president. I have often
said that no man will ever bring out of the presidency the
reputation which carries him into it. The second office of
the government is honorable and easy, the first is but a
splendid misery.

	I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
	  	 	  Th.Jefferson




The Electoral College

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

	 I know that another student inquired about the electoral college, 
but my question is in  reference to another aspect of this establishment.  
I have studied your political views, especially how you opposed your 
fellow Cabinet member during the presidency of George Washington, 
Alexander Hamilton.  The parties you established, yours being the
Democratic-Republican and Mr. Hamilton's being the Federalist are the basis
of today's two most prominent political parties: The Democratic and
Republican, respectively.  Well, I have read that your beliefs about our
country at the time of Mr. Washington's presidency were that we should
become a country of farmers, as opposed to Mr. Hamilton's view that we
should be manufacturers.  It is said that this was your belief as a direct
result of the fact that, though you were wealthy and privileged, you worked
in the interest of the common people.  And hence, my question.  Isn't the
Electoral College an example of the wealthy, elite aristocrats of the
country "running the show"?  It seems to me that this goes directly against
your confidence in the common people.  It may or may not surprise you to
know that this establishment still functions today.  There has been
speculation that perhaps we as a country would do away with it, but the
process of amending the Constitution is much too lengthy for our poor
overworked politicians.  
        
	I would also like to inquire about your many careers/interests.  I have
contemplated pursuing a career in many of the fields you have worked in,
and being it so that within a half-year's time I shall move on the the last
form of public education, high school, I would like to know which you
perhaps thought to be most thrilling.  I have wanted to work in science,
perhaps in the medical field, as a doctor of opthamology, as an animal
doctor, or in research, or as a scientist in botany.  Also, I have
considered the arts that you set aside as hobbies, I would like to be a
pianist, or in culinary arts (I have read you enjoyed cooking).  My most
recent interest is in politics, and I feel you are my inspiration for that.
I understand you felt politics were unfullfilling and disliked being
involved, but nevertheless, you were good at it.  So I was wondering what
you would recommend, what you most enjoyed.  I think I would make a good
politician, as I am interested in helping our country work, and in
representing the common person, because I happen to be one of those, and
can relate to and appreciate then.  If I may quote our nation's sixteenth
president, Abraham Lincoln (by today's terms, quite a great man) "God must
love the common people, because He made so many of them.

Thank you for your help.

Your biggest admirer,
Erin


Dear Mistress Erin,

	You ask a most complicated question when you ask about the electoral 
college and the rights of the common man. I have ever considered the 
constitutional mode of election ultimately by the Legislature, voting by 
States, as the most dangerous blot in our Constitution, and one which 
some unlucky chance will some day hit, and give us a pope and anti-pope. 
The electoral college represents the ultimate form of representational
government, for who are not the electors, but ones chosen by the common 
man. In reality it falls to the proper education of the common man to 
choose his representatives well. If a nation expects to be ignorant and 
free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never 
will be.

	As for your future profession, it suprises me that a young woman 
would consider any profession but that of motherhood.

	  I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
	  	   		Th.Jefferson




Foreign Policy

Dear President Jefferson,

I am working on a social studies project about your presidency.
One of the areas that I am now working on is your foreign policy during
both of your terms in office.

Could you share with me what some of the important international 
Events that occurred during your presidency and how you handles them?

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Yours truly,

Joe
Sandown, NH



Dear Master Joe,

	Thank you for your recent letter. You ask a most complicated 
question when you ask about Amberica foreign policy. One of the
most pressing issues of my presidency was the situation with the
Barbary States. Their pirates were attacking and robbing ships
in the Mediterranean Sea. As President, I was very much in favor
of reducing our naval power and of remaining neutral in entangling
international events, but I felt it was our duty to send our naval
ships to protect the interest of our cargo ships. It is my hope
that barbarism will in time disappear from the earth.

	Another pressing issue of my presidency was the impressment of
American citizens by the British navy. This was an intorable act
and I sought to stop it with an embargo of all commerce with Britian. 

	I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                            Th.Jefferson



The Impact of Jefferson's Presidency

Dear Mr. Thomas Jefferson,

    I have recently been learning of your ruling period.  I have found out,
most likely, only a select few of the accomplishments you made while in the
presidency, before and after.  I have heard many great leadership qualities
about you and I had a few questions of my own.

    First of all, what made you want to become President (or any type of
ruler) Did you honestly set goals to get out and make a difference in your
world, or was it something that you just had a desire to do.  A lot of
people don't really take the time to think their plans through.  Do you
think you did so?

    Secondly, do you think that you made a good impact on the world during
your presidency?

    Thank you very much for your time and efforts in helping our country
become what it is today.


	   		Sincerely,
			Molly 


Dear Mistress Molly,

	Thank you for your recent letter. Since we live in a democracy, 
I have never thought of my presidency as a ruling period. Thank you 
for giving me a good laugh.

	It was my duty to serve as President, even though my greatest 
desire was to stay at Monticello with my family, my farm and my 
books. My hopes in statesmanship were that I could make a difference,
in Virginia, and in our federal government.

	As for making a good impact on the world during my presidency,
I believe that during my term of office Europe and the rest of 
the world began to see the United States as a country united and
capable of governing itself. You must remember that our young
democracy is still quite new and it is not a proven success as of
yet, even though we are well on our way to a stable form of
government that I hope many other countries will emulate.

	I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                             Th.Jefferson




Why Was Jefferson a Democratic Republican?

Dear President Jefferson,

        Greetings Mr. Jefferson.  We are citizens of the 13th state, 
New Jersey.  We are 5th graders attending an elementary school.  Our 
names are Stephanie & Amanda.  We are learning about your life in school.  
So we would like to ask you some questions.  We were wondering if you 
were close friends with President Washington or any other presidents?  
When Mr. Washington was elected to be the 1st president did you think 
that you could once have that honor? We were also wondering why you ran 
for a second term?  Why did you become a Democratic - Republican?  Do 
you think you were a great president?  We do!

		  	  	Your interested friends,
				Stephanie & Amanda



Dear Mistresses Stephanie and Amanda,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I have much respect for Mr. 
Wahsington. He possessed the love, the vereration, and confidence 
of all. I am also well aquainted with Mr. Adams; we did not always 
get on well in our politics, but have been good friends in our 
correspondences of late. Mr. Madison and Mr. Monroe are also among 
some of my closer friends, as well as being close neighbors to my 
home at Monticello.

	As for my asperations of being president; neither the splendor, 
not the power, nor the difficulties, nor the fame or defamation, 
as may happen, attached to the First Magistracy, have any attractions
for me. I served for two terms because my country needed me and asked 
me to run for office.

	The federalists wished for everything which would approach our
new government to a monarchy, the republicans to preserve it 
essentially republican. This was the true origin of the division, 
and remains still the essential principle of differences between 
the two parties.

	I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                            Th.Jefferson




The President's House

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

     We loved reading about your life and have a few questions for you.
	 
     How did you come up with the idea of the Declaration of 
Independence?  Was it hard to write the first draft?  How long did it 
take you to write it?  What do you think is the most important reason 
you were picked to write the Declaration of Independence?

     What was the best thing about being President of the United States?  
How did you like living at the White House?

     		Your futuristic friends,
     		Drew, Sasha, Allen, Geoffrey, Adam, Adnan, 
		Gage, Ashley, Tobias, and Joe
                Wayne, PA (near Valley Forge)


Dear Mistresses Sasha and Ashley, and Masters Drew, Allen, Geoffrey,
Adam, Adnan, Gage, Tobias and Joe,

	I am pleased that you have been studying the Declaration of 
Independence. I believe that I was chosen to pen the document 
because of my skills in writing and also because I came from 
Virginia. I labored for about a fortnight in the writing of the 
document. The writing came relatively easily for me and I relied
on the knowledge and ideas gathered from my previous readings of 
the great philosophers.

	A committee served as editors of my work. They made a number 
of suggestions, some of which I agreed with them upon and some I 
did not. The edited document was then presented to the Congress
as a whole and was then picked apart as if by vultures. I was not
pleased by this process and was greatly distress to see a number
of changes made to the document. Most significantly I disagreed
with my clause on slavery being omitted. All this was done in the
name of compromise.

	I have often been known to have said that the second office
of the land is honorable and easy, the first is but a splendid
misery.  I did not live in any building called the White House
while I was President. I did however live in the executive mansion
or President's house as it was often known. Do you now call it
the White House? The President's house was drafty and unfinished
while I lived there. I did have delight in being able to make the
addition of designing the porticos to the building and this gave
me great joy.

	I see from your letter that you are from the land around
Valley Forge. Have you perchance met my good friends General 
Washington and Lt. Monroe?

	I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                     Th.Jefferson




Why Did Jefferson Run for a Second Term

Dear President Jefferson,

        Greetings Mr. Jefferson.  We are citizens of the 13th state, 
New Jersey.  We are 5th graders attending an elementary school.  Our 
names are Stephanie & Amanda.  We are learning about your life in school.  
So we would like to ask you some questions.  We were wondering if you 
were close friends with President Washington or any other presidents?  
When Mr. Washington was elected to be the 1st president did you think 
that you could once have that honor? We were also wondering why you ran 
for a second term?  Why did you become a Democratic - Republican?  Do 
you think you were a great president?  We do!

		  	  	   	 	   Your interested friends,
						   Stephanie & Amanda



Dear Mistresses Stephanie and Amanda,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I have much respect for Mr. 
Wahsington. He possessed the love, the vereration, and confidence 
of all. I am also well aquainted with Mr. Adams; we did not always 
get on well in our politics, but have been good friends in our 
correspondences of late. Mr. Madison and Mr. Monroe are also among 
some of my closer friends, as well as being close neighbors to my 
home at Monticello.

	As for my asperations of being president; neither the splendor, 
not the power, nor the difficulties, nor the fame or defamation, 
as may happen, attached to the First Magistracy, have any attractions
for me. I served for two terms because my country needed me and asked 
me to run for office.

	The federalists wished for everything which would approach our
new government to a monarchy, the republicans to preserve it 
essentially republican. This was the true origin of the division, 
and remains still the essential principle of differences between 
the two parties.

	I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                            Th.Jefferson




Egalitarianism and Universal Suffrage

Dear Sir,
     I have been reading a lot about your term in office and have 
been pounding on a question that has been deemed worthy of your answer.
In our textbook, "America:A narrative History" by George Brown Tindall 
and David E. Shi, chapter nine, there is a paragraph on your belief in 
"ignoring the rules of protocol" and in which you call "the rule of 
pele mele".  My question is, if you observed this act of disregarding 
chivalry in order to declare that "When brought together in society, 
all are perfectly equal" why did you not do anything for the women's 
movement if you believed in this statement?  There is nothing in this 
chapter about you doing this or even leaning towards allowing women 
the right to vote?

     Your response would be greatly appreciated and will be held in 
a high regard.  I am looking forward upon hearing of your reply.
 
Sincerely,
Dawn 


Dear Mistress Dawn,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I am not familiar with your text
book, so can not comment upon what the author meant by his words. If I 
might hazard a guess as to the author's meaning of my "ignoring the 
rules of protocol," I might suggest that I have always thought that some 
of the American statesmen of my day wish to see our new country adopt 
the social rules and mores of England with its adherence to royal 
practices. Many would wish that our President be called your holiness or 
your lordship. I prefer to see the President as a citizen of the United 
States who is equal to all other citizens and who is called simply Mister. 
I think that the Presidents House should be accessible to all people, for 
is it not the people's house? While I was President, I was often criticized 
by my opponents for serving my dinner guests at round tables so that no 
one was in a position of power at the head of the table; we are all equal,
do you not agree? I must correct you however, in that I have never 
disregarded the practice of chivalry. 

	I am confused by your question of why I have done nothing for the 
"women's movement." I am not familiar with this term, for I assume that 
you refer to more than simply the movement of women from one location 
to another. The women I know are perfectly happy in their lot and do
not desire the vote. As with putting women into office, women voting 
is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I. 

   I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                               Th.Jefferson







Vice Presidents

Dear President Jefferson,

	 I hope my questions are not too difficult to answer. 
My first question is what are your grandparents names. 
My second question is after Burr killed Hamilton were you 
happy with your second Vice President? What were your
hobbies? My hobby is poetry.

	 Please write back.

	 			  Your eager pupil, 

				  Michelle 
				  Grade 6
 

Dear Mistress Michelle,

	Thank you for your recent letter. Your questions were indeed not 
too difficult to answer. My grandparents on my mother's side were 
named Captain Isham Randolph and Jane Rogers Randolph. My father's 
parents were named Thomas and Mary Field Jefferson.

	As for your second question, I can tell you that I was much 
more pleased with Mr. George Clinton, my second Vice President, 
than I was with his predecessor. I did not however support him 
for President after I retired. Instead I supported my long time 
friend Mr. Madison.

	I have many hobbies and interests. I greatly enjoy music 
(it is the passion of my soul), gardening, designing buildings, 
reading, and spending time with my grandchildren. I am pleased 
that you are an admirer of poetry. Have you perchance read
anything by my favorite poet Ossian. His pieces have been and 
will, I think, during my life continue to be to me the sources 
of daily and exalted pleasures. I am not ashamed to own that 
I think this rude bard of the North the greatest poet that 
has ever existed.

	 I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
	   	  	   		 Th.Jefferson



Why Did Jefferson Run for President

Dear Mr. Jefferson,
	 I have studied you and have not found what made you enter the
political world. I have also wondered what made you want to run 
for president?

			  Thank you
			  James


Dear Master James,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I entered the political world 
as you refer to it because it was my duty. Due to my station in 
life it was expected of me. I agreed to run for the presidency 
because I was asked to do so by my fellow citizens. Indeed, I value 
highly the part my fellow-citizens gave me in their vote, as an 
evidence of their esteem. I had neither claims nor wishes on the 
subject of running for the presidency, though I know it will be 
difficult to obtain belief of this. When I retired from the office 
of Secretary of State, it was in the firmest contemplation of 
never more returning to Philadelphia.

	  I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                          Th.Jefferson





Women's Equality

Dear Sir,
     I have been reading a lot about your term in office and have 
been pounding on a question that has been deemed worthy of your answer.
In our textbook, "America:A narrative History" by George Brown Tindall 
and David E. Shi, chapter nine, there is a paragraph on your belief in 
"ignoring the rules of protocol" and in which you call "the rule of 
pele mele".  My question is, if you observed this act of disregarding 
chivalry in order to declare that "When brought together in society, 
all are perfectly equal" why did you not do anything for the women's 
movement if you believed in this statement?  There is nothing in this 
chapter about you doing this or even leaning towards allowing women 
the right to vote?

     Your response would be greatly appreciated and will be held in 
a high regard.  I am looking forward upon hearing of your reply.
 
Sincerely,
Dawn 


Dear Mistress Dawn,

	Thank you for your recent letter. I am not familiar with your text
book, so can not comment upon what the author meant by his words. If I 
might hazard a guess as to the author's meaning of my "ignoring the 
rules of protocol," I might suggest that I have always thought that some 
of the American statesmen of my day wish to see our new country adopt 
the social rules and mores of England with its adherence to royal 
practices. Many would wish that our President be called your holiness or 
your lordship. I prefer to see the President as a citizen of the United 
States who is equal to all other citizens and who is called simply Mister. 
I think that the Presidents House should be accessible to all people, for 
is it not the people's house? While I was President, I was often criticized 
by my opponents for serving my dinner guests at round tables so that no 
one was in a position of power at the head of the table; we are all equal,
do you not agree? I must correct you however, in that I have never 
disregarded the practice of chivalry. 

	I am confused by your question of why I have done nothing for the 
"women's movement." I am not familiar with this term, for I assume that 
you refer to more than simply the movement of women from one location 
to another. The women I know are perfectly happy in their lot and do
not desire the vote. As with putting women into office, women voting 
is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I. 

   I am with great esteem, Your most obedt. humble servt,
                               Th.Jefferson


 

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