By McCormick, Thomas James
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Additional resources for A partial edition of "Les fais des Rommains"
Like Washington's suppressed text of the Farewell Address, they stated what no one wanted to hear. Not until the twentieth century was it possible to read de Crevecoeur's account of the bigotry and violence of the civil war of 1776. The suppressed letters express the reason why he, and tens of thousands of other 'aliens' (to use Washington's word) quit the so-called 'united' States of America. There were proportionally more emigres from American terrorism than from the Terror in France, and these emigres did not return.
Inevitably, therefore, Monticello involved Jefferson in a struggle between rejected origins in the past and the unknowable teleology of future interpretation. The struggle to establish meaning for the icon was, and is, indeterminable. But why Jefferson as the particular human agent in history for this iconographic study? He has been chosen because of his typological signification. Like La Fayette, he too is a romantic hero for the nation. He belongs to a pantheon of national 'fathers' - like Alfred in England, Arminius in Germany, or Pearse in Ireland.
This theory, thus, is paradoxically antitheory, if by 'theory' is meant an ideological and a priori totalisation which obliterates the uniqueness of the individual in presuppositions about class, gender, race or power. On these ideological matters no apologetics are offered, nor any special privilege asserted. I admit only to a deep (and growing) scepticism at any attempt at holistic explanation of history. The people, the land and cultural history are, in some measure, separated in the essays that follow.
A partial edition of "Les fais des Rommains" by McCormick, Thomas James