“Jefferson proposed to me to make the draught”

I said, “l will not.” “You should do it.” “Oh! no.” “Why will you not? You ought do it.” “I will not.” “Why?” “Reasons enough.” “What can be your reasons?” “Reason first–You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second–I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular. You are much otherwise. Reason third–You can write ten times better than I can.” “WelI,” said Jefferson, “if you are decided, I will do as well as I can.” “Very well. When you have drawn it up, we will have a meeting.”- John Adams, Letter to Timothy Pickering, August 6, 1822

So I’ve decided how I’m going to do this “PostAWeek” thing…every Friday, regardless of how many other posts I’ve written that week, I’m picking a prompt from the last week on Daily Post blog and writing about it. Because I like prompts (Power of the Pen, what up). I’m cutting it close this week, but here we go…

If you had a time machine that only let you spend one hour in a different time, what date would you go to?

I like history. I often dream of living in other times, especially on my visits to those “living” museums…Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Sauder’s Village. I was obsessed with the American Girls and Little House on the Prairie when I was growing up. And oddly enough, the 1904 World’s Fair. Explain THAT one. And then there’s the romance of different time periods that pop culture presents to us, things I’m always attracted to. Mad Men sometimes makes me want to live in the 60’s (okay…so only if I can do it with Jon Hamm. To be more specific, a hybrid of Jon and Don). Gone With the Wind does the same for the South during and after the Civil War (if Rhett is there…damn, I’m seeing a trend). Little Women does the same with the North during the Civil War (Laurie…okay, so there is a trend. It’s hot guys. Next I’m going to pick the regency period=Knigtley and Darcy) This makes this prompt hard for me. Especially the time limit.

I think a part of me is still fascinated by going to go hang out at the 1904 World’s Fair. Try the first waffle cone. I’m not sure why that’s the only thing I can remember about the fair right now.

But then I remember one more popular culture hit…John Adams. I had studied the time period in and out of school before. Visited Philadelphia and Williamsburg. I’ve been to D.C. and seen the documents…this last trip even included a visit to the Library of Congress and a draft copy of the Declaration. I happened to be watching John Adams in the car on the trip. And there was the episode where they were writing the Declaration, and arguing about word choices. And then that draft copy at the Library of Congress had those actual edits in it. As someone who likes dorky things like that, I was fascinated.

I’m not particularly political, but I think I’d like to go spend an hour during the drafting of that particular document. It’s this huge historical moment where these amazing men creating this document, a country, a government. But there’s this realness to it as well- someone, whether it be Jefferson arguing with himself or Adams or Franklin or someone else was disagreeing with a word choice. Just like writers do today. Just like I do today. They’re great men and it’s a great document that did this great thing, and it started just like every other written document. These men were real and this document started just like every other written thing ever. It was carefully prodded and shaped  into being what it is now.

And as a giant dork, that’s really cool to me.

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1 Comment

Filed under PostAWeek

One response to ““Jefferson proposed to me to make the draught”

  1. I wish some of these men were alive today. 8)

    Good luck on your Post a Week goal for the year.

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