McKean of Pennsylvania swore
Where Hamilton looked at the world through a dark filter and had a better sense of human limitations, Jefferson viewed the world through a rose-colored prism and had a better sense of human potentialities. Both Hamilton and Jefferson believed in democracy, but Hamilton tended to be more suspicious of the governed and Jefferson of the governors. A strange blend of dreamy idealist and manipulative politician, Jefferson was a virtuoso of the sunny phrases and hopeful themes that became staples of American politics.
As in the American south, an exaggerated sense of romantic honor may have been an unconscious way for slaveholders to flaunt their moral superiority, purge pent-up guilt, and cloak the brutish nature of their trade.
Hamilton always expressed himself frankly, no matter what the consequences.
Rockefeller equated silence with strength: Weak men had loose tongues and blabbed to reporters, while prudent businessmen kept their own counsel.
What a world of scarred emotion and secret grief Alexander Hamilton bore with him on the boat to Boston. He took his unhappy boyhood, tucked it away in a mental closet, and never opened the door again.
Like other founders and thinkers of the Enlightenment, he was disturbed by religious fanaticism and tended to associate organized religion with superstition. While a member of Washington’s military family, he wrote that “there never was any mischief but had a priest or a woman at the bottom.
Of all the founders, Hamilton probably had the gravest doubts about the wisdom of the masses and wanted elected leaders who would guide them. This was the great paradox of his career: his optimistic view of America’s potential coexisted with an essentially pessimistic view of human nature. His faith in Americans never quite matched his faith in America itself. It
Washington departed the planet as admirably as he had inhabited it. He had long hated slavery, even though he had profited from it. Now, in his will, he stipulated that his slaves should be emancipated after Martha’s death, and he set aside funds for slaves who would be either too young or too old to care for themselves. Of the nine American presidents who owned slaves-a list that includes his fellow Virginians Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe-only Washington set free all of his slaves. Washington
From the First Philippic of Demosthenes, he plucked a passage that summed up his conception of a leader as someone who would not pander to popular whims. “As a general marches at the head of his troops,