Daily Jefferson: June 21, 1808 Letter From Thomas Jefferson to James Pemberton About Relations With Native Americans

David Barton sometimes tells his audiences that Thomas Jefferson edited the Gospels in order to give just the words of Christ to the Indians for their instruction. However, there are many words of Jesus which Jefferson did not include in his work. Another fact that makes Barton's claims even more of a fantasy is that Jefferson believed learning English and reading the Bible was the last thing Indians should do to become civilized. In this letter to James Pemberton, Jefferson gives a summary of … [Read more...]

Daily Jefferson: Jefferson on Blackstone and British Common Law

According to David Barton, Thomas Jefferson thought Sir William Blackstone was foundational to legal practice. However, Jefferson felt a reliance on Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England  by American law students had led to what he called the "degeneracy of legal science." In fact, Jefferson told  Judge John Tyler in this June 17, 1812 letter that he preferred to rely on no British authorities for legal interpretations after the time of the Declaration of Independence. Following his re … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Thomas Jefferson

In honor of our third president, I can suggest a worthy gift given to anyone in his name. Written mostly to debunk David Barton's The Jefferson Lies, the book stands on its own as an examination of Jefferson's views on religion, the Bible, and slavery.Barton spent a lot of time at the Faith Baptist Church telling the audience that the founders all followed Blackstone's ideas that our government was based on the Bible. Thomas Jefferson wasn't impressed with that argument as … [Read more...]

Dear David Barton: Virginia Law Allowed Manumission of Slaves After 1782

In his pulled-from-publication book, The Jefferson Lies, David Barton took the position that Virginia law did not allow Thomas Jefferson to free his slaves. In our book on Jefferson, Getting Jefferson Right, Michael Coulter and I demonstrated that slave owners were allowed to manumit (free) slaves after Virginia lawmakers passed the 1782 Law on Manumission. However, Barton keeps spreading the misinformation.In February, Barton told Charis Bible College students George Mason was not allowed to … [Read more...]

More of the Story Behind the Demise of David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies

On his Wallbuilders show last Friday, David Barton belittled the number of Facebook followers Getting Jefferson Right has. I replied:At the end of the broadcast, the gang makes light of the number of Facebook likes the Getting Jefferson Right page has. How about another comparison with the now pulled from print The Jefferson Lies? How about comparing the number of favorable reviews from actual historians each book has?I know our book has several quality reviews posted on our book websi … [Read more...]

The Great Confrontation of 2012: David Barton and the Evangelical Historians

In August 2012, Thomas Nelson (now part of Harper Collins Christian) pulled David Barton's book The Jefferson Lies from publication. This rare move by Thomas Nelson took place in the midst of efforts by several people to confront Barton with his errors. While I cannot tell the whole story (in part because I don't know it and in part because the main players are not willing to discuss it completely), I can provide a little more insight into the situation. The door was opened to this by a footnote … [Read more...]

Conference on Faith and History: Taking It To The Streets: Engaging Bad History In Public

I just returned from the Conference on Faith and History which was held at Pepperdine University from September 24-28. On Saturday, I presented a paper as part of a panel titled, Professors, Prisoners, and the Polls: Engaging the Past in the Public Square. The session was chaired by Dwight Brautigam, Huntington University. Other papers given were: "In God We Trust": Teaching Faith In and Through the U.S. Capitol, by Fred Beuttler, Carroll University and former Deputy Historian for the U.S. House … [Read more...]

Two Years Ago David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies Was Pulled From The Shelves

Two years ago today, Tommy Kidd was on the case, reporting for World Magazine that Thomas Nelson ceased publication and distribution of David Barton's book The Jefferson Lies.Eventually Barton claimed that the book would be republished by Glenn Beck's Simon & Schuster imprint. However, currently there is no second edition.World featured an online debate of sorts involving my Getting Jefferson Right co-author Michael Coulter, The Masters College historian Gregg Frazer and me on one … [Read more...]


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