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Hideous hermaphroditical character (Spurious Quotation)

Quotation: [John Adams has a] "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Comments: These words were not written by Thomas Jefferson, but by James Callender, a partisan newspaper editor.  The quote appears in a pamphlet Callender published in 1800-1801, The Prospect Before Us.

Men of Virginia!  pause and ponder upon those instructive cyphers, and these incontestible facts.  Ye will then judge for yourselves on the point of an American navy.  Ye will judge without regard to the prattle of a president, the prattle of that strange compound of ignorance and ferocity, of deceit and weakness; without regard to that hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."1

- Anna Berkes, 6/17/16

Further Sources

  • 1. James Callender, The Prospect Before Us (Richmond, Virginia: Printed for the author and sold by M. Jones, S. Pleasants, Jun., and J. Lyon, 1800-1801), v. 2 pt. 2, p. 57.

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