Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds. As long, therefore, as they can find employment in this line, I would not convert them into mariners, artisans, or anything else–Thomas Jefferson
Why “Jefferson’s Daughters”?
First: Thomas Jefferson idealized the independent small farmer; distrusted cities, “banking establishments” and financiers; favored states’ rights, and believed in a strictly limited federal government. A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, political leader, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, musician, inventor, and founder of the University of Virginia. As President, he was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase and for dispatching Lewis and Clark to explore the huge new territory. He was also a man of contradictions, who while fiercely advocating that national debt be eliminated was himself deeply in debt; who wrote extensively on the issue of freedom yet kept slaves most of his adult life; who felt women were fitted only to be wives and mothers yet insured that his daughters had excellent educations. In other words, Thomas Jefferson was a very human person with human weaknesses, the product of his times who none the less was able to be a successful, competent and creative individual and to whom the nation owes much. In choosing “Jefferson’s Daughters” as the name of our website, we pay tribute to many of Jefferson’s tenets as well as his life-long search for competence in a wide variety of fields.
Second: We have for much of our lifetimes lived, worked and raised our families in the area known as “The State of Jefferson”—the far north of California and most of southern Oregon. Since 1941 there has been continuing discussion of the formation of this area into a new state which would reflect the rural character and independent nature of the population. See this link for further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Jefferson