Doug Smith: Adams & Jefferson in “The Argument”

12 Jan

doug-for-fsp

Doug Smith: Author, historian, patriot and Free State Patriot’s lead contributor

1.12.17

adams

The Argument:

Mr. Adams, listen to this. I think this will make a good start.

(Jefferson reads)

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 Whiskey, Houses, and Doctors,

(Adams interrupts)

Mr. Jefferson, Really? Are you mad? Now just what do you suppose will happen to the whiskey distillers if we make their drams a Right? Who is going to pay them for their whiskey? How much is every man entitled to? If the Government takes their whiskey and gives it out, their customers won’t buy from them anymore, and they will protest when it is taken. They will regard it as indentured servitude, indeed as chattel slavery! They won’t abide it. Not in Massachusetts! I tell you if we leave that part in we will find ourselves with another rebellion, a Whiskey Rebellion. We can’t promise to give everyone someone else’s stuff.

Jefferson “So, no whiskey, Mr. Adams?”

I think not, Jefferson. Better take that out.

Quill pen scratches. Very well, then Adams. Now then …hold these…created…ah..here we are: “Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Houses, Doctors, and…)

Oh, my dear Jefferson. Housing? We are going to promise everyone a House? Whose  house? Who will build them? Or pay for them?

Well, Adams, John Hancock has plenty of wealth. I suppose he could.

Jefferson, for God’s sake how far do you suppose his silver will go to build a house for every family in the colonies? And what makes you suppose he will give up his money to pay for a house for me? He will say, Adams, you have a trade. Go out and earn it, then buy your own house! And he’d be right, too. No, no, no, my dear Jefferson, it will just never work.

Sigh. Well alright then, but we have to offer something.  Mutters.  Quill pen scratches. Very well, then Adams: “Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are   Doctors, and…”

Jefferson, Jefferson, Jefferson. How do you plan to do that?  Are you going to train up some Virginia slaves to practice medicine? Because by Thunder, if they are a RIGHT then how do they charge for their services? Don’t you see man, if we make one man’s goods or services the Right of another; we must of necessity make one the Master and one the Slave? How many will agree to go to war with England and…

Glares at Adams. Elaborately scratches out Doctor. Alright then, John. Just what Rights do we suppose a man is granted by the Almighty, which we WILL fight for?

Well, now Tom, since you ask. You know there were scores of bodies on the green at Lexington last April. I think there are none who would gainsay us pledging that each man has the right to his own life and that King George’s Lobsters have no right take it from them.

Hmm. Alright Adams. So, Life? Come to that, Life is not worth so much if we can be told to come and go, pay and work, at the whim of the Sovereign. After all, if it is to be war, then let it be war, but for our Liberties.

That is good, Jefferson. Life and Liberty. Of course, we want to be able to pursue commerce as each man is able and as he desires. Smiles, then they can buy a hogshead of whiskey, to take to their house. And pay for the Doctor Warren to give them a tonic for the whiskey.

Very well then , Adams, I suppose each man will want to make his living in his own way, and live as he please. That, John, is what I call a happy life.

There! You have it Jefferson. Each man wants to find happiness in his own way, and our Creator will make him free to pursue it as he will. Of course, General Washington will have to enforce the will of the Almighty. He may, in his wisdom, endow us with these rights, but the King will not give it willingly. We must purchase these rights dearly.

Jefferson, thoughtful, scratches at the bottom of the page. Alright, John. What of this?

“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. __That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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