The following study is an attempt to provide a balanced account of Jeffersons remarkable legacy, celebrating the praiseworthy where possible and condemning the profane when necessary. Such an even-handed approach is essential to an understanding of Jefferson, as well as to a proper picture of what the United States has been, and of what it has become. Nevertheless, in forming value judgments about the past and its inhabitants, whether in positive or negative terms, the makers of history are wise to remember that while they retain the capital advantage of looking backward, their subjects, just as they themselves, forever were, are, and will be handicapped by the blinding light of an ever-encroaching future.Although Christopher Columbus is popularly considered to be the foremost pioneer of
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