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.