And now for something completely different..., Archival Follies

My New Favorite Jefferson Quote

In Which TJ Explains Why It’s Okay That He Changed His Mind

In this case, he’s explaining why he went from being dead set against protecting manufacturing in the U.S., to seeing protectionism as a positive good (hint: it has to do with Great Britain).

“For in so complicated a science as political economy, no one axiom can be laid down as wise and expedient for all times and circumstances. Inattention to this is what has called for this explanation to answer the cavils of the uncandid, who use my former opinion only as a stalking-horse to keep us in eternal vassalage to a foreign and unfriendly nation

~Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Austin, as quoted in Mathew Carey, Addresses of the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of National Industry(Philadelphia: Published by M. Carey and Son, 126, Chesnut Street, 1819), 161. Emphasis in Carey’s original.

Also? “cavils of the uncandid” is my new “stalking-horse of eternal vassalage” cover band.