Thursday, January 12, 2012

The more things change... the more they remain the same...

January 12, 2012
Colorado USA

If I were to be called upon to draw a picture of the times and of the men from what I have seen, heard, and in part know, I should in one word say that idleness, dissipation, and extravagance seem to have laid fast hold of most of them; that speculation, peculation, and an insatiable thirst for riches seem to have got the better of every other consideration and almost of every order of men; that party disputes and personal quarrels are the great business of the day; whilst the momentous concerns of an empire, a great and accumulating debt, ruined finances, depreciated money and want of credit, which in its consequences, is want of every thing, are but secondary considerations and postponed from day to day, from week to week, as if our affairs wore the most promising aspect.

Source: George Washington, letter to Colonel Benjamin Harrison, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, December 30, 1779; "Loyalists of America and Their Times: From 1620 to 1816," Egerton Ryerson, DD, LL.D. (Toronto: 1880) Vol. II, Chap. XXVIII, p. 29