Skip to comments.Jefferson changed 'subjects' to 'citizens' in Declaration of Independence
Posted on 07/03/2010 8:39:18 AM PDT by An Old Man
That's what Thomas Jefferson first wrote in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence to describe the people of the 13 colonies.
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But in a moment when history took a sharp turn, Jefferson sought quite methodically to expunge the word, to wipe it out of existence and write over it. Many words were crossed out and replaced in the draft, but only one was obliterated.
Over the smudge, Jefferson then wrote the word "citizens."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Read the artilce and decider for yourself which word you prefer.
Idiom of the time. Words had more meaning back then.
I’m good with “citizen”.
The word citizens meant those who had given their allegiance to this particular fight for self rule. He was actually speaking for a lot of folks who hadn't seen the light yet.
I wouldn't get to caught up in this "obliterated" thing. Jefferson has a pretty crappy hand if I remember correctly.
And then there's his copy machine...
Of course, this is all IMHO.
“Jefferson changed ‘subjects’ to ‘citizens’ in Declaration of Independence”
He was thinking about King George...and Barack Obama.
Be prepared for Jefferson haters. I had one.
You beat me to it. I was going to say Obama wants to change it back again.
It wasn't a slip...it was to become the future definition in our constitution. Betcha Madison caught it....
I think it is simply the difference between those that are ruled and those that are self-governing.
Don’t forget, Obama believes citizenship is a matter of faith now. If he deems you not to have enough faith, you might not be a citizen anymore.
Edumund Burke in his "Speech on Conciliation," reminded the British Parliament of the oppressive nature of taxation to people who valued liberty:
"Liberty inheres in some sensible object; and every nation has formed to itself some favorite point, which by way of eminence becomes the criterion of their happiness. It happened, you know, Sir, that the great contests [Footnote: 24] for freedom in this country were from the earliest times chiefly upon the question of taxing. Most of the contests in the ancient commonwealths turned primarily on the right of election of magistrates; or on the balance among the several orders of the state. The question of money was not with them so immediate. But in England it was otherwise. On this point of taxes the ablest pens, and most eloquent tongues, have been exercised; the greatest spirits have acted and suffered. In order to give the fullest satisfaction concerning the importance of this point, it was not only necessary for those who in argument defended the excellence of the English Constitution to insist on this privilege of granting money as a dry point of fact, and to prove that the right had been acknowledged in ancient parchments and blind usages to reside in a certain body called a House of Commons. They went much farther; they attempted to prove, and they succeeded, that in theory it ought to be so, from the particular nature of a House of Commons as an immediate representative of the people, whether the old records had delivered this oracle or not. They took infinite pains to inculcate, as a fundamental principle, that in all monarchies the people must in effect themselves, mediately or immediately, possess the power of granting their own money, or no shadow of liberty can subsist. The Colonies draw from you, as with their life-blood, these ideas and principles. Their love of liberty, as with you, fixed and attached on this specific point of taxing. Liberty might be safe, or might be endangered, in twenty other particulars, without their being much pleased or alarmed. Here they felt its pulse; and as they found that beat, they thought themselves sick or sound."
In America, the word "citizen" held special meaning. The philosophy of its Declaration of Independence and Constitution made the citizen, under the "Governor of the Universe," (Madison) sovereign over its representatives in government--not "subjects" thereof. Thus, the strict constitutional limitations on the power to tax and spend "the People's" money.
Sadly, King George's philosophy has reared its ugly head in America today, as the Founders' Constitution and restraints on government are being denied in an attempt to make Americans "subjects" of an out-of-control political elite.
I am sure the MSM will find some way to defame Jefferson (one of the Old Dead White guys) for this. Surely there is some scandal here. Or something racist maybe.
He did it intentionally and it definitely was not a slip.
It’s true that when it came down to voting, Jefferson excluded black males and, as for women, they weren’t even a blip on the horizon and nobody had even considered including them.
As for black slaves...the Spanish returned to St Augustine, Florida in 1784 after a brief period of British rule after the French and Indian war. The Spanish policy had been to permit runaway slaves who made it to Spanish Florida to be freed, and they also refused to return slaves to the English colonies in Georgia and South Carolina (for which reason St. Augustine was attacked several times by those colonies). And it was Jefferson himself who refused to permit the Spanish to continue with this policy.
Jefferson did what was within his intellectual and moral capacity to do: he set the groundwork for the way an American citizen would relate to the national government.
Obviously, the definition of citizen (in the sense of voting citizen) could be extended, and now blacks and women are full voting citizens. But the fact that Jefferson wasn’t thinking in these terms does not devalue his basic idea.
That is one of the best points I’ve seen yet. It would never have occurred to me, but Of Course the narcissist-in-chief was referring to faith in him; now that you’ve pointed it out, it’s a given.
On a related note, me when I heard that drivel about citizenship being a matter of faith, all I could think of was that Obama knows there is some question about his legitimacy. As some have speculated, maybe he never renounced his Indonesian citizenship. And/or maybe he applied to Columbia as a foreign national. In any case, you don’t have to buy into everything Freud taught to see Obama’s comments as applicable first and foremost to himself.
And folks have been changing the subject ever since that time.
Faith in what? Faith that he can fool and trick people, that’s what.
James H. Hutson, head of the librarys manuscripts collection, stated, "It will be of considerable interest in assessing the credibility of the Danbury Baptist letter as a tool of constitutional interpretation to know, as we now do, that it was written as a partisan counterpunch, aimed by Jefferson below the belt of enemies who were tormenting him more than a decade after the First Amendment was composed."
Jeffersons letter and the FBIs restoration work are among the items in an exhibit at the Library of Congress called, "Religion and the Founding of the American Republic." The exhibit also notes that Jefferson began to attend worship services held at the House of Representatives two days after writing the letter, and that he permitted regular worship services to be held there, a practice that continued until after the Civil War, with preachers from every Protestant denomination appearing there. The Library of Congress exhibit records that
As early as January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson, Vice President Aaron Burr, and a "crowded audience."...In attending church services on public property, Jefferson and Madison consciously and deliberately were offering symbolic support to religion as a prop for republican government. 
David Barton, Founder and President of WallBuilders, states that Jefferson voted that the Capitol building would also serve as a church building, praised the use of a local courthouse as a meeting place for Christian services, urged local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes, set aside government lands for the sole use of religious groups, assured a Christian religious school that it would receive the patronage of the government, proposed that the Great Seal of the United States depict a story from the Bible and include the word God in its motto, and agreed to provide money for a church building and support of clergy. And that like support of religion by the federal government militates against the extreme separatist position. http://www.conservapedia.com/Separation_of_church_and_state#Interpretations