To Rein In An Imperial Presidency, We Need The Jefferson Allegiance

Image for post
Image for post

Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were political enemies, but they found a common ground: the need to stop a president who runs amok and isn’t impeached.

Image for post
Image for post

They came up with The Jefferson Allegiance. A secret document signed by a majority of Congress and then hidden away with the location only available by using the Jefferson Cipher.

Over the course of history the threat of unveiling the document has stopped several Presidents. My blogs over the next few days will show these events.

Often fiction precedes fact. Several of my books have dealt with the Presidency. The Jefferson Allegiance and The Kennedy Endeavor, of course. But there is also The Line, about a military coup unfolding in the vein of Seven Days in May. Then there is Nightstalkers: Book of Truths where the plot revolves around a serum getting loose in the White House where it forces people to tell the truth. That one was very prescient.

Here are some of the facts from The Jefferson Allegiance:

If a book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But for God’s sake, let us freely hear both sides if we choose.” Thomas Jefferson. 1814.

In May of 1783, the Society of the Cincinnati was founded. A leading member was Alexander Hamilton, and the first President of the Society was George Washington, before he was President of the United States. The Society of the Cincinnati is the oldest, continuous military society in North America. Its current headquarters is at the Anderson House in downtown Washington, DC. Besides the Society of the Cincinnati, Hamilton founded the Federalist Party, the first political party.

“Can a democratic assembly . . . be supposed steadily to pursue the public good? Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy. Their turbulent and changing disposition requires checks.” Alexander Hamilton. 1787.

Thomas Jefferson was not allowed membership in the Society of the Cincinnati.

“Your people, sir, are a great beast.” Alexander Hamilton. 1792.

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson, well known for his strong opposition to a standing army, established the United State Military Academy, the oldest Military Academy in the Americas. In 1819, he founded the University of Virginia, the first college in the United States to separate religion from education.

In 1745, the American Philosophical Society (APS), the oldest learned society in North America was founded. Thomas Jefferson was a member for 47 years and its President for 17 years. He subsequently established the adjunct United States Military Philosophical Society (MPS) at West Point with the Academy Superintendent as its first leader. The APS has its current headquarters in Philosophical Hall on Liberty Square in Philadelphia. The MPS appears to have disappeared.

“I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom.” Thomas Jefferson. 1816.

Besides the APS and MPS, Jefferson founded the Anti-Federalist Party.

“The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, not a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the Grace of God.” Thomas Jefferson. 1826.

The Jefferson Allegiance

Tomorrow? 27 July 1803, when Jefferson and Hamilton agree to write the Allegiance and why.

Originally published at bobmayer.com on July 17, 2018.

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to www.bobmayer.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store