Thomas Jefferson: Worst Secretary of State?

Thomas Jefferson deserves many accolades, particularly for his role as the primary author of the soaring rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence. But his character was deeply flawed, and his tenure as the nation’s first secretary of state was marked by a toxic mix of deceit and zealotry, while his treatment of the president who trusted him was beyond reprehensible.

Stephen Knott, most recently of Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America, postulates Thomas Jefferson was the worst Secretary of State America ever had. I don’t know if I would go that far, but Knott certainly makes the case by enumerating Jefferson’s failings (treasonous perhaps in some cases).


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