|portrait by Thomas Sully|
As a law nerd and political junkie, it's an easy choice for me: Thomas Jefferson.
While by modern standards his slave ownership is a tough pill for me to swallow, he was an incredible intellectual and leader who contributed vast energy and knowledge to the foundation of our American way of life. The United States is not perfect, but I still believe our Constitutional and Democracy are a big part of what draws people from around the world to look to us for inspiration and hope.
Jefferson's status as a Migraineur has been well established by his biographers and modern scientists. I think few Americans really understand how remarkable his accomplishments are in light of his having lived through multiple periods of Chronic Migraine.
When I reflect back on how it became increasingly impossible for me to continue my work drafting legislation, I'm in awe of his ability to keep pressing forward. This man wrote the Declaration of Independence, for goodness sake. One of the most famous pieces of legal code in the history of the world.
Other things I admire about Thomas Jefferson, in no particular order:
- Jefferson and many others risked their lives and the lives of everyone they cared about to fight for our independence from a non-representive government.
- Despite having inherited slaves from his father and father-in-law, Jefferson is considered to have been a compassionate owner for the time.
- His personal library formed the foundation of what we now know as the Library of Congress.
- He founded the University of Virginia. His desire to create a public university that could rise to a level of national prominence has left a lasting legacy through the many public colleges and universities that provide eager learners with affordable educations today. I'm a big believer in public universities, proudly holding degrees from two myself.
- His presidency marks the first peaceful transfer of power from one party to another in American history. It's remarkable to me to be able to live in the kind of country where we can disagree passionately, yet still transfer power peacefully.
1. Thomas Jefferson, A Brief Biography - http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/brief-biography-thomas-jefferson
2. Founding of the University - http://www.virginia.edu/uvatours/shorthistory/
3. Famous Migraineurs: Thomas Jefferson - http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/c/202/64293/migraineurs-thomas
Content by Diana E. Lee.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.