An Inspired Work
Helen Thomas Robson
Photograph - Fine Art Photography
“An Inspired Work, Thomas Jefferson”
1776 was a very difficult year for the Americans. It was a particularly difficult year for Thomas Jefferson. Within months of the death of his daughter, his beloved mother passed away, and his wife became extremely ill. His concern over the fate of his country and the state of Virginia gave him severe migraine headaches that would last for weeks at a time. But Thomas Jefferson was not a man easily deterred—no matter the adversity, he pressed forward in his determination to see America’s liberation from British rule.
These were the conditions of Jefferson’s life when he came to be the author of the Declaration of Independence. For 17 days he wrestled with the task of laying on paper the fundamental “Ancient Principles,” the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Jefferson felt the weight of this profound responsibility, and in the face of much personal distress, he forged ahead.
In moments of self-doubt, Jefferson, an accomplished violinist, would often turn to the instrument to calm his mind and clear his thoughts.
As he would play, anxiety would fade and inspiration would again flood into his mind, enabling his pen to drip with inspiration upon the page.
Once completed, Jefferson communicated the document first to John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, requesting their wisdom because, he said, “They were the two members of whose judgments and amendments I wished most to have the benefit. . . . Their alterations were two or three only.”
October 7th, 2012
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