Putting our current economic malaise in perspective: from Thomas Jefferson’s time….

Twilight at Monticello by Alan Pell Crawford | Book reviews |

From “Twilight at Monticello” by Alan Pell Crawford

page 160

“…But decisions made (1818) many miles from the farm fields of Albemarle County gave the planters new cause for worry. Widely suspected of mismanaging its money, the Second Bank of the United States announced it could no longer honor the notes of its branches, which led t the economic panic that would soon grip the country. Banks up and down the eastern seaboard went under, businesses closed, and unemployment soared, especially in  the new textile mills of the North. Below the Potomac, land prices collapsed, and landed gentry like the Randolphs suddenly faced new hardships.

Jefferson alone professed confidence, although he felt more vulnerable to forces beyond his control than he ever had before. With characteristic sangfroid, he reminded John Adams the following year that economic difficulties are but temporary occurrences “which like waves in a storm will pass under the ship””.

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