Cleon Skousen: The Life of Thomas Jefferson – Lecture Highlights

Notes on a lecture in the “Favorite Speeches” series found here:

Note on Samuel Adams – he decided to give his life to the betterment of mankind and knew that he would not be wealthy. He considered politics a Divine Science when administered correctly.

Thomas Jefferson’s father was a very large man and very strong he was primarily self-educated and was an avid reader

His mother had ten children in 15 years

He started college as an advanced student at age 16

He was a natural instinctive student to expend 15 hours a day sometimes studying

He also like to dances and theater and hunting and guns contest switch often one

It was said that no matter how entertaining the company was when it came time for studying he would always tear himself away

Cleon says when it’s time to write you go down to your office even if there’s good company
He calls his study the salt mine

Jefferson said many of his colleagues became useless human beings but he was able to not be useless because he had three great tutors who brought him into math science law and high society.

He was very good at the violin

He thought of his three mentors those role models you thought of what they would think when he was tempted to do something bad that his peers around him were doing

He proposed to a woman he was deeply in love with at age 19 she rejected him and you didn’t get the courage to propose again to someone until age 28

He knew many languages and physics agriculture mathematics philosophy chemistry anatomy zoology botany religion politics History literature and rhetoric. George Withe what are the three great tutors would give him a book and say this is a great book why don’t you read it I’ll check in with you to see what you think in two days. Jefferson says these were thrilling days of learning.

Efficiently operated thousands of acres multiple plantations

He was stirred by a debate speech of Patrick Henry
He’s planning on a quiet homestead life but after this speech he knew his life would be in public service

Jefferson pass the bar exam at a young age and gave profound dissertations on ancient and modern law such as the judges had never heard from such a young law student.
You knew more than his judges and teachers and much of that from his self study.

It was an immediate success as a lawyer and when asked why he always won his case has he said because I always choose the right side.
You talk to both parties and decide for himself which was right and only defend the one that was right he wouldn’t defend the person with the most money is only deciding factor was which one was right.

He was elected to the House of burgesses at age 25 this was the state legislature
Is disgusted with how they made things too complicated more complicated than they had to be he said he wants any bill that he writes to be so simple that his servants who can read but understand

One of his houses burnt down

Who built the house on a mountain top the first in America to do so
It was his lifelong hobby remodeling and building it and a lot of special gadgets hidden closet etcetera in it
He put his bedroom between two rooms so that if anyone snuck up on him through on he could escape through the other

He would ride a horse multiple days enjoying the scenery

Him and his newly-married wife moved into a small unfinished house

Explains the Boston tea party that it was a solemn affair

Jefferson instigated the Continental conference after the Kings heavy persecution after the Boston tea party. They decided to pay King George for the tea and explain to him that they just want to be represented when taxed. King George refused to read the letter and threw it in the fire and this made even the pacifists upset in the colonies.

He did not give long speeches he said most people give too long of speeches and all he has to say he can say in a few minutes
Washington Jefferson and Franklin hardly ever speak more than 10 minutes I was in those minutes they said more then the long debates

When his mother died he had several weeks of intense migraine headaches

He said he loved the British aisles and wanted to remain part of them but if they are going to continue to treat them badly he would sink the whole island

Hear Otis turn paper to take George the colonies would not publish it collectively so it was just published in his name and he became the next Patrick Henry, a fiery voice

They wanted the US seal to be of Moses leading Israel by fire

Thomas Jefferson got rid of the law in Virginia that you have to give your entire estate to your first born son no matter how unfit he may be and the law that you have to give it all to that one person not splitting it

Thomas Jefferson prophesied that after they won their freedom the United States wouldn’t be able to handle it and that each state would turn against each other which is exactly what happened

There was a large army coming to capture the legislature of Virginia and especially Thomas Jefferson someone rode through the night on his horse to warn them getting last rated by all the tree branches etc his face was very bloody when he arrived he carried the scars from that to his grave He warned them and Jefferson escaped by about 3 minutes

His wife had six children over 10 years and died after the last one was born
After her death he stayed in his room for 3 weeks and wouldn’t talk to anyone They had to bring him food when he did come out later he wouldn’t talk to anyone and he would just go walk or ride his horse

Over a nine year. He lost his mother and four of his children and his wife.
A bold and aggressive sense of mission came over him and he began writing like never before etc.

He told the franchise they started their revolution that they were not ready for self government that they needed to get little victories and learn to read etc Only 10% of French could read

Slaves in the household of Thomas Jefferson were like his family he traded them like family when he was gone for a long period of time they wept and laughed for joy to see him back home

He called them his servants and one of them stole a bunch of expensive nails they made in his nail factory and when Jefferson found out he brought that servant to him that a long talk and Jefferson told him to do it no more and he did not with him and the servant said he got religion from that meeting

There was no whipping of any of his slaves

While secretary of state he established a policy of neutrality of not getting involved in other nations
Those who followed him did not maintain that

Jefferson gave us our matto in God we trust

He gave us the dollar dime etc system rather than the pounds shillings etc

Jefferson and Hamilton didn’t get along. Jefferson had five employees for his government department Hamilton had 70. Jefferson was not interested in the United States getting entangled with foreign affairs Hamilton was all about that. Hamilton set up a United States Bank Jefferson said you don’t have authority to do that and you’re setting up an avalanche of paper money which will make the bankers rich and it is pure evil. When Hamilton was unsuccessful at passing this he was able to get it passed under the guise that it would leave 20 years later when the emergency passed and the debts were paid but not so. Later Hamilton said he’d made a very serious mistake and that the government should have been who issued the money based on gold, not a bank.

Jefferson was very trim

He woke up at dawn or earlier

He never used tobacco he never swore he never played cards

He never ate much meat
He said the amount of meat he gave his servants for a week would have lasted him 6 months he ate a lot of fruits and vegetables

He was very generous to the poor who came to ask him for money

He had many books and sometimes had 20 of them down on the floor at a time

He was always singing whenever he was outdoors

In his inaugural address as President Jefferson said we’re going to reduce taxes or just the number of people in public office reduce the army eliminate extra taxes

Calendar was upset about not being chosen for an office by Jefferson and so you made public false vicious slander about Jefferson. The claim that Jefferson had several children by one of his servants is absolutely fake.

He didn’t answer when people slandered him he just hope people had enough sense to figure it out. The people knew they were trash they knew the character of Jefferson and they elected him regardless.

Fawn Brodie made it back talking about false rumors about Jefferson that have been proven false a long time ago. Note she also did the same thing with Joseph Smith.

Pirates demanded tribute from people and the United States had paid them going Jefferson. In he said no way and he sent warships and never paid pirates tribute.

He was responsible for the Louisiana purchase

When Jefferson was done being president he refused to take honorary chairs honorary carriage rides and to get attention he left Washington and never came back

He raised his grandchildren of his children that died. He danced with them.

Jefferson wrote on about every imaginable subject

While he was governor he ordered the people to participate in days of fasting and prayer for God to help the people in the revolution. He was not a theist as you hear in today’s classrooms.
He was very critical of some of the mainstream churches as they emphasized ritual and false doctrines.

Latin German Greek and French all lined up teachings of Jesus he put them together in one book it was called Jefferson’s Bible.

The book The Real Thomas Jefferson has much more. It could be studied once a year.

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