FFQF: Honesty from Poisonous Weeds

Favorite Founding Father's Quote Day


He hates Franklin, he hates Jay, he hates the French, he hates the English. To whom will he adhere? His vanity is a lineament in his character which had entirely escaped me. His want of taste I had observed. Notwithstanding all this he has a sound head on substantial points, and I think he has integrity. I am glad therefore that he is of the commission and expect he will be useful in it. His dislike of all parties, and all men, by balancing his prejudices, may give the same fair play to his reason as would a general benevolence of temper. At any rate honesty may be extracted even from poisonous weeds. 

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison [of John Adams], Baltimore, February 14, 1783

From The Founders on the Founders (2008), edited by John Kaminski


2 thoughts on “FFQF: Honesty from Poisonous Weeds

  1. Brilliant! It is wonderful to read such intimate writings between other Founders — about other Founders. For me, your quote today really shows the humor, vanity, and humaneness of Jefferson.

    Furthermore, your quote also brings great attention to the kind of frustrations felt by John Adams — a man who we all know spent more time away from his wife and in foreign lands than just about any of the others. Brraavvoooooo!


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