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Jefferson Made Slip In Declaration (Not)

From a history ignorant Associated Press:

(Click images to enlarge)

Thomas Jefferson made slip in Declaration

July 3, 2010

WASHINGTON — Library of Congress officials say Thomas Jefferson made a Freudian slip while penning a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence.

In an early draft of the document Jefferson referred to the American population as "subjects," replacing that term with the word "citizens," which he then used frequently throughout the final draft.

The document is normally kept under lock and key in one of the Library’s vaults. On Friday morning, the first time officials revealed the wording glitch, it traveled under police escort for a demonstration of the high-tech imaging. It was the first time in 15 years that the document was unveiled outside of its oxygen-free safe.

A copy of the rough draft of the Declaration can be viewed online at http://www.myLOC.gov. The Library released news of the struck word for the first time on Friday.

Fenalla France, a research chemist at the Library, said her lab made the discovery last year by using hyperspectral imaging, using a high resolution digital camera that compiles a series of images to highlight layers of a document. Some of those invisible layers — like erased text and even fingerprints — pop into view on a computer screen.

In switching from "subjects" to "citizens," France said it appears Jefferson used his hand to wipe the word out while the ink was still wet. A distinct brown smudge is apparent on the paper, although the word "subjects" is not legible without the help of the digital technology.

"This has been a very exciting development," France said, calling the findings "spine-tingling."

Historic, handwritten documents reveal clues about the past that word processors cannot illuminate, said James Billington, librarian of Congress.

"It shows the progress of his mind. This was a decisive moment," Billington said. "We recovered a magic moment that was otherwise lost to history."

This is a lot of hyperventilating over what amounts to very little. The sentence in question is part of the document’s list of complaints against King George from the people in the colonies who were indeed the king’s subjects.

It would have been just as technically correct to use the term ‘subject’ as ‘citizen.’ There was certainly nothing particularly “Freudian” about it.

Still, it gives us an opportunity to wish all of our readers a happy Independence Day! May there still be many more to come!

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 4th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Jefferson Made Slip In Declaration (Not)”

  1. proreason says:

    Happy birthday America !! Let it not be the last.

    Your experiment is truly unique, resplendent. Never has a country been so free and never have the benefits of that freedom inspired the envy of so many.

    Your history is one of two long struggles. Are we at the end of the second? Is this the twilight of the experiment?

    The first began in 1607 and lasted 313 years. When the English came to North America they came for two reasons…commerce and freedom, and the second quickly surpassed the first. By 1776 the drive for freedom was so dominant that a handful of colonies declared their freedom and defeated the greatest military in the world.

    But the Revolutionary War was just one step in the arc of freedom. It wasn’t until 1787 that the Constitution was adopted, another important step. The next was even more dramatic and far bloodier. We are the only people to fight a Civil War to free enslaved people. Yes, that war was for freedom too. Who now appreciates the courage, sacrifice and blood shed to make that happen? Few.

    But that was still not the end of the long struggle, because it was not until 1920 that women gained the vote. And that was the end of the 313 year journey to acquire freedom. Not until then was the United States complete in spirit as well as name. The great experiment was poised for the next challenge.

    It had started as soon as the country was formed. Rule by non-elites was something that hadn’t been allowed, ever. We shouldn’t have expected it to go unchallenged and it did not. Oh for about 100 years the challenge was below the surface as the forces of freedom swept through western civilization. But freedom was nowhere else as fully formed as it was in America, and the forces of totalitarianism maintained toeholds virtually everywhere else; as demonstrated in the imperialism of the 1800’s. But the biggest event for the forces of totalitarianism was even more subdued. “Das Kapital” was published in 1867. Ninety years after the American Revolution, the people who live life craving to control others finally had their political manifesto – Marxism. The seductive antidote to freedom: the rational for taking by force the creations of others for oneself: the perversion of equality into serfdom; the intellectual club for any power-mad wannabe aristocrat, be it the ancient aristocrats seething with anger about their loss of power, new psychopaths bent on conquest, or technocrats convinced of their own brilliance and right to rule.

    The second long struggle is the one to beat back the re-emergence of the totalitarians.

    And the first phase of that struggle was brutal beyond anything ever seen by mankind. First the old aristocrats played their weak hand in WWI, with deadly consequences, and the end of their reign forever. Next the new psychopaths climbed over the bodies of the fallen princes in an attempt to create a world of naked aggression and power. They were the greatest criminals in history, of different stripes than the aristocrats, but beaten back in the even bloodier WWII. Ironically, one of those madmen allied himself with the west and was instrumental in the defeat of the first round of psychopaths. Yet he may have been the worst of the lot.

    No sooner was WWII over than the next phase began, with the psychopathic Josef Stalin basing his insane pathologies on, of course, Marx’s work. That phase lasted until 1989 when communism finally fell in the USSR, and it was bloody as well. Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan I, Cambodia, and dozens of other bloody conflicts marked the violent phase of the re-emergence of totalitarianism. And perhaps we are only in a lull between storms. Red China, Mao’s heirs, still lurks.

    But the fall of the Berlin wall hardly ended the struggle. Freedom defeated the old aristocracies in 1919, the new madmen in 1945, the communist psychopaths in 1989, but the struggle continues. Because by 1989, the dominance of American military power was complete and confrontational wars are no longer the preferred strategy of the totalitarians.

    They had been preparing for the eventuality for decades. The new war of the totalitarians is subversion, and we are in the midst of it today in 2010. The battles have been waged in education – they won; in the news media – they won; in the entertainment media – they won. In religion – they are winning. In the environmental movement – they nearly won and may yet. In politics – they won a stunning victory in 2008, installing their puppet as president of the United States.

    And now we are engaged in the two greatest battles in our history. YOU are on the front lines of these battles……the battle for free markets, and the battle to limit government’s power over your life.

    You can see it every day and in every way. In an amazing twist, the forces of totalitarianism have captured the government of the United States with our very own little psychopath. Examine every action, every declaration, every program. Each and every one is either an attack on economic freedom or a naked extension of government power.

    Their subversion is complete, but the battles continue on, because our brilliant founders invested the ultimate power in you, not in an aristocracy, not in a government, not in a coalition, not in allies….in you.

    Even their most brilliant framework for governance and freedom has been subverted, but the spirit they instilled in the American people has not. The spirit of the people who crossed an ocean to reach a place fraught with unknown dangers is still alive. The courage of the people who populated a continent with horses, plows and grit is still intact. The morality of the people who sacrificed hundreds of thousands of men to reject slavery lives in you. The ingenuity of people who threw off the Great Depression and the disguised socialism of Roosevelt to defeat the great madmen of the 1930’s has not disappeared. The determination of the people who stood strong for 40 years against the Communist aggressors is in the blood of your children. The wisdom of the people who recognized that Islamic fascism is just the latest face of the totalitarians is your wisdom.

    Happy birthday America. May it not be your last.

    November 2 is Yorktown, Gettysburg, D-day and the Berlin airlift. That day is your call to arms.

    Vote against the madmen or you will submit to them.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.” – Declaration of Independence addressing King George.

    Of course Georgie was literally doing it. Obamy’s got a different set of political and economic tools.

    But still, it is an eye-opening reminder to see that our adolescent Kinglette has such frighteningly more in common with the list of tyrannical usurpations of a colonial-era dictator than the stated values and principles of our revolution.

    Our founders didn’t just know how to throw together a nice sounding ideological case for liberty. They were living through and witnessing its exact polar opposite. They understood what happened to ‘civilized humanity’ when there wasn’t a force defending freedom.

    • proreason says:

      King George had about 1% of the influence on the Colonies as the Moron has on your life.

    • tranquil.night says:

      You’re right, and the consequences for losing our way now are dire for the entire world. He still faces the same critical problem that ol’ Georgie did though: too many Americans still are quite comfortable with their guns and have no qualms using them to chase out botom-feeding Statists.

      This one is good:

      “He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.”

      Well we’ve already seen the Dems change the rules to their favor, then reverse the change when it favors their opponents. They’ve protected voter intimidation, tied up results in the courts, and straight up organize fraudulent votes. The court jester Sen. Stuart Smalley stole his seat.

      But none of that will compare to what we’re likely to see in November.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    Happy B-day America but be ever vigilant………
    ……..Big Brother “is” watching!!

    “……now it’s a monster and will not obey”
    Steppenwolf 1969

  4. JohnMG says:

    …..”We recovered a magic moment that was otherwise lost to history……..”

    Is this another of the AP’s wet dreams? I seem to remember a few documents that had been doctored by “technology” to support a deliberate lie about GWB. If memory serves, it cost a ‘respected journalist’ his job.

    But I guess this is supposed to show that Jefferson was really the Saul Alinski of his time. The democrats claim him as one of “their own”, although Jefferson would have the current crop of criminals hanged at sun-up tomorrow if left to his own devices

    • tranquil.night says:

      …..”We recovered a magic moment that was otherwise lost to history……..”

      From the sounds of it, I was briefly wondering if their technology had uncovered some hidden map leading to our national treasure. I think that’s the AP’s real wet dream, but this indeed works too, for the Jeffersonian liberal revisionist narrative you attribute John.

      So once again to all you self-involved sophists: the magic isn’t beneath the words. It’s in what realizing this wisdom has enabled otherwise ordinary people to do over the past 234 years.

      These fools – always trying to read between the lines desperate to find some hidden truth. Meanwhile, everyday the Truth slaps them in the face a thousand different ways from Sunday and they’re completely tone-deaf or apathetic. But you just can’t reason with the proudly insane.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Next we’ll be reading that the founding fathers were muslims.

    • canary says:

      Rusty Obama has already implied that when he said Jefferson had a Koran
      in his library. Obama left out a thousand books on Christianity, and the Jefferson had the Koran to try and understand the muslim monsters pirates taking our trade ships.

      Has anyone read the horrible things Obama wrote about the constitution?

  5. proreason says:

    “”This has been a very exciting development,” France said, calling the findings “spine-tingling.”

    Keep this from Chris Matthews.

    We haven’t yet been inflicted with an orgasm live on Cable news (assuming of course that Keith uberdumpkoff is inspired by something other than under-the-desk sexual ecstacy).

  6. canary says:

    How wonderful Thomas Jefferson must have felt writing citizens instead of subjects. To no longer be subject to a tyranny.

    At church today they showed quotes by our Founding Fathers to show the Constitution and the United States of America was founded under the belief of God and Christianity. Then scriptures were taken from such as the book of John, to show that our fore fathers believed we must be of one mind, one spirit, one nation under God. Even a bible scripture is etched on the Liberty Bell.

    In trying to google, it seems I came up with Thomas Jefferson was an atheist. But, this link, has many quotes to include some by Thomas Jefferson that he believed in God.

    Finally, I came to this link of many quotes that show our fore-fathers did
    create the United States of America and The Constitution united with one Spirit, one mind, & one heart. The Spirit of America can not be conquered.
    Don’t tread on us.


    Thomas Jefferson made it clear he despised intolerant, overbearing religions such as Islam that practices torture, murder, & blowing up people.

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