What if Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams Tweeted?

As I’ve alluded to previously, this is really just a sandbox for learning WordPress, but it’s also my way of keeping track of all the nifty things I find regarding the tiny club of 44 (really! just 44 men, if you don’t count the second Mrs. Wilson) who have led the United States. Someday, this blog won’t languish, but right now, professional endeavors persist. However, I couldn’t let this nifty venture go by without calling attention.

The National Archives has launched a beta site of Founders Online, and it’s a humdinger. At that link, you’ll find a searchable collection of almost 120,000 annotated and transcribed documents from our nations founding — actually, from the late Colonial period (1748) all the way to about twenty years past Madison’s presidency.

The collection including letters, speeches, diaries and more from the collected papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and family (which means Abigail and company, of course), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. You can search by author, recipient and era. I searched for John Adams’ letters to (then) Abigail Smith, and was charmed and amused by a letter which included the following:

I believe I could furnish a Cabinet of Letters upon these subjects which would be exceeded in Curiosity, by nothing, but by a sett describing the Characters, Diversions, Meals, Wit, Drollery, Jokes, Smutt, and Stories of the Guests at a Tavern in Plymouth where I lodge,1 when at that Court—which could be equalled by nothing excepting a minute History of Close stools and Chamber Potts, and of the Operation of Pills, Potions and Powders, in the Preparation for the small Pox.

Another little search found George Washington’s acceptance of Thomas Jefferson’s resignation as Secretary of State. The felicity of expression (as a 1776 John Adams might have described it) is impressive, and it puts social media hashtags and text-talk to shame.

Dear Sir

I yesterday received with sincere regret your resignation of the office of Secretary of State. Since it has been impossible to prevail upon you, to forego any longer the indulgence of your desire for private life; the event, however anxious I am to avert it, must be submitted to.

But I cannot suffer you to leave your Station, without assuring you, that the opinion, which I had formed, of your integrity and talents, and which dictated your original nomination, has been confirmed by the fullest experience; and that both have been eminently displayed in the discharge of your duties.

Let a conviction of my most earnest prayers for your happiness accompany you in your retirement; and while I accept with the warmest thanks your solicitude for my welfare, I beg you to believe, that I always am Dear Sir Your Sincere friend and Affecte. Hble Servant.

Go: Washington

Something tells me I’ll be noodling over this site for a while. Enjoy!

Published in: Uncategorized on September 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
%d bloggers like this: