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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

American Dialogue: The Founders and Us

Joseph J. Ellis




"[Jefferson] revised the trinity of rights proposed by John Locke. Instead of 'life, liberty, and property', Jefferson wrote 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'...By dropping property altogether, Jefferson deftly deprived slave owners of being able to claim that owing slaves was a natural right protected by law. On this score, there can be little doubt that he knew what he was doing." - Joseph J. Ellis, American Dialogue: The Founders and Us (2018OCT16)