A story first recorded in the 1940’s about slavery, as told by people who were slaves.
The Embargo Act of 1807 put New England ports at a standstill and its towns into a depression. The Ipswich Town Meeting petitioned the President to relieve “the people of this once prosperous country from their present embarrassed and distressed condition.” The town found Jefferson’s answer “Not Satisfactory.”
During the campaign of 1800, a Federalist newspaper article stated that with Jefferson as president: “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.” Yet Jefferson argued that given the choice between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government,” he wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.
An irony of the 2016 presidential election was that millions of people who felt abandoned by the government and left out in today’s economy, somehow chose as their president a wealthy narcissistic person. This brought me to reflect on the word “commonwealth,” defined as a state or collection of […]