Pieces of eight

Taken in by America
An outsider's look at America and the American

"The people can never wilfully betray their own interests; but they may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people." ['Publius']

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
[George Washington]

The "shameful prostitution of his talents. … The quibbles and chicanery made use of are characteristic of the man." [Robert Troup, 1792, on Aaron Burr]

"France will be quiet this year … "
[Thomas Jefferson, March 15th, 1789]

"They’ll free your niggers." [Patrick Henry, June 25th, 1788 urging delegates to the Virginia Convention not to ratify the United States' Constitution] 

Within two or three years, France will have "a tolerably free constitution [without it] … having cost them a drop of blood." [Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, November 1788]

"I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries as long as they are chiefly agricultural." [Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787]

When “the people have chosen a representative, it is his duty to meet others from the different parts of the Union, and consult, and agree with them on such acts as are for the general benefit of the whole community. If they were to be guided by instructions, there would be no use in deliberation.” (Roger Sherman, Connecticut delegate to the Constitutional Convention, 1787)

"The inhabitants of warmer climates are more dissolute in their manners, and less industrious, than in colder countries. A degree of severity is, therefore, necessary with one which would cramp the spirit of the other." (John Winthrop, Massachusetts)

"We see plainly that men who come from New England are different from us." (Joseph Taylor, North Carolina)

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