Happy birthday, Mr. Jefferson!
At the University of Virginia (U.Va.), today is called “Founder’s Day.”
At the same time that I temper my admiration for him with the knowledge that he kept people in bondage, bought and sold them, and abided their maltreatment, I also want to remember that Mr. Jefferson was among the principal architects—if not the lead author—of many socio-cultural, governmental, and philosophical constructs that I hold dear:
- Writing “A Bill For establishing religious freedom,” Bill number 82 of 1779, adopted in 1785 by the Virginia General Assembly and now commonly referred to as the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
- Drafting the Declaration of Independence.
- Founding of U.Va.
- Commissioning the Corps of Volunteers for North West Discovery, led by M. Lewis and W. Clark.
- Designing U.Va., Monticello, and many other buildings, as well as special features in them.
The list could continue….And I very much appreciate these contributions to the commonweal. So, it’s a b’day worthy of celebration.