Sunday, July 4, 2010

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Thomas Jefferson went through many rewrites and critiques on his Declaration of Independence. Writers - take heart. Even brilliance has its critics. But today, July 4th, we celebrate his words and the many iterations of the United States of America. We are still dreamers and "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
I enjoyed reading some quotes printed in the WSJ (6/26/10 p.W2) by our Founding Fathers.
Alexander Hamilton on Thomas Jefferson, "He is not scrupulous about the means of success, nor very mindful of truth, and ... he is a contemptible hypocrite."
John Adams on Alexander Hamilton, "The bastard brat of a Scotch pedlar."
Hamilton on Adams,"The man is more mad than I ever thought him, and I shall soon be led to say as wicked as he is mad."
Ben Franklin on John Adams,"He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his senses."
Adams on Franklin," His whole life has been one continuous insult to good manners and to decency."
Thank goodness for those men and so many others through the years - for freedom of speech and opinion, for being hot and cranky in Philadelphia, and for cranking out the backbone writings of American history.
Happy 234th Independence Day!
(Note - Statue of Liberty picture taken by me late August 2001. We returned home from a NY trip on 9/1/01)

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