Tag Archives: Founding Fathers

Back in the homeschool classroom: Thomas Jefferson’s quote

Monticello 5

                           Monticello. Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

By Lynn R. Mitchell

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
– Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton, April 22, 1800

During the years I served as newsletter editor for Parent Educators of Augusta County Homes, I would often use quotes, and one of my favorite was the one above by Virginia Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.

While these days it means more for political reasons, during my days in homeschool leadership it pertained more to our religious differences. Among those who had made the decision to educate their children at home were a wide range of religious beliefs. If we concentrated on those, we would devolve into disagreements about how the group should run and narrow our focus from the group’s purpose.

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The Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceIN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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July 4, 2014 … Staunton and Virginia helped create American independence

American flags against a cloudy Shenandoah Valley sky.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s the anniversary of America’s independence and in Staunton, as in other small towns across America, our patriotism is displayed with fireworks and red, white, and blue bunting and American flags and a parade through Gypsy Hill Park as we fire up the grills and celebrate with family and friends.

At Staunton’s Frontier Culture Museum, admission is free as costumed interpreters go about the business of an old fashioned Independence Day. Meanwhile, the traditional Naturalization Ceremony will be held at nearby Monticello where visitors again visit for free.

Most importantly, the 4th of July provides an opportunity to reflect and be thankful for those who gave us the freedom we enjoy.

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