CREDENTIALS OF THE EDITOR OF THESE WEBPAGES
> I am writing to ask what your credentials are. I discoverd your web page > thru the UUA web page of famous UUrs. There is currently a discussion on a > local message board about our Founding Fathers and religion. I quoted some > of the stuff I found on your page, as well as showing it as a reference. A > response to my post made me wonder, are you a professor? a hobbiest > historian, or what? > > I have enjoyed reading your web page. Keep up the good work. There is a rather detailed description of my past experience and other personal information at: http://www.geocities/eyler_coates/jeffpers.htm I am presently "retired" and was formerly a librarian, having served as head librarian at what is now Shenandoah University, and also as a supervisor (section head) at the Library of Congress. I am curious as to what the response was to your posting that made you raise questions. I just today received a rather vile and vulgar response from a Mr. O______, and your inquiry leads me to believe that perhaps you were subjected to his common indecency also. I might add that such responses to my webpages are extremely unusual.
> Thank you for your reply. > > The following paragraph is what made me ask your credentials. > > "I find it interesting that "not even some members of his own family knew of > the existence of it," as it was finally published by Congress as an official > document. That would seem to make it pretty public! I wonder where Coates got > his information. It would be pretty hard to publish a document that no one > knew about. Perhaps he meant that only some people knew about it? His family > may not have been involved or have cared about his ministry to the Indians?" > > The Readers' Forum at www.ljworld.com is where this discussion is taking > place. It is under the thread "salvation succinctly explained" sub thread > "real history." I am not familiar with Mr. O______, tho we have quite a few > rude people that frequent this bbs. > > Thanks again for your response, and I did enjoy and learn a lot from your > page. It so happens that I got my information from the Introduction to the book, "The Jefferson Bible," published by Clarkson N. Potter. That introduction informs us that Jefferson actually prepared TWO versions of what we call The Jefferson Bible. The first was made while he was president in the winter of 1804-05, and contains on the title page the notation, "Being an abridgment of the New Testament for the use of the Indians..." But as the introduction points out, "this intention of serving the Indians was never fulfilled." Moreover, this first version "has long since disappeared except for a few sheets which, with the title page, were sold in New York in 1934." In other words, the first version was NEVER published, nor was it actually distributed to the Indians, and it is now lost except for a few pages. The second version was completed by Jefferson much later, and was used by him for his own personal readings. The introduction of the above named book states, "A family tradition which appears to be well founded reports that none of Jefferson's grandchildren were aware of the existence of either the first or the second forms of his compilation from the Gospels until after his death, and that they then only learned of them from a letter he had addressed to a friend. Since his relations with his grandchildren were close and affectionate, this illustrates Jefferson's reticence in matters of religion even with his own family." The fact is, The Jefferson Bible was first published in 1902, for distribution to members of Congress, not to the Indians. I'm sure all would agree that it is very easy to publish a book in 1902 that few may have known about in the first quarter of the 19th century. I would be interested to know where the person criticizing my webpage got HIS information. Not that I would want to refer to it, but rather that I might be sure to avoid such a source of ignorance and confusion.
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