The Corner

So You think the Kerryfest is nasty

I was just reading John Marshall’s long footnote to a late edition of his biography of George Washington, in which he discusses the letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote his Italian friend Philip Mazzei in which he appeared to call Washington a “Samson in the field,” who had been “shorn by the harlot” of England –that is, become a dupe of British policy. Except that Jefferson denied that’s what he meant. Except that Marshall insisted that’s exactly what he meant. Marshall kept banging away at this for thirty years.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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