thumbnail of The Jeffersonian heritage; Divided we stand
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
The National Association of educational broadcasters presents another in the series of transcribed programs on the Jeffersonian heritage. Divided We Stand starring Claude Raines as Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson in the spirit in which
it is born. The day I die I don't member that they weigh what I left and I was taught that they were wrong. Do we know why lie dead beneath the earth you standing living up on it and your earth is green and sweet. I know this and I know I know many many things but none more to show it to them that I love you or whoever you are you are my son. Whatever you call yourself you are my net and so stand beside me and do not go away. Binyam in the small while and listen if you will. But I have a thing
to tell you. It was early autumn in the year 1776. This is Jefferson made a harpsichord. I followed as best I could on the violin in Philadelphia a great band had been sounding at Lexington and Concord. The blood of three men stay in the ground and Williamsburg Virginia legislature awaited my arrival. And yet I tended not to challenge. For Mrs Jefferson was not well. And I was anxious for her. Please don't stop. We'll play it again play it better. Dr. Gail and I will be here in a few minutes. You mustn't be troubled because of me. I'm really quite well well enough to accompany you to Williamsburg. The music is tax just drink it is my best
medicine. Music again. Having you here at Mount a child I'm not so I'm away too much. You are quite right to reproach me. I could never reproach you then I reproached myself when I was alone in Philadelphia it was gratifying to know that I was sharing in the counsels of a new government. And yet. I found that I was unhappy. It required that I go away to discovered in myself the sources of myself. Can you tell me. I'm not sure that I can. I know now that it isn't fame I crave. It's to be here. That makes me happy I'm at peace here. This house my books this Virginia landscape going among my neighbors making small talk of ploughs and harrows see the hobbit. I puzzle myself why am I preparing to leave now to go to Williamsburg. Because you are needed at Williamsburg. I do not delude myself that I am indispensable to them. I cringe at the
prospect arising to speak before the legislature. I have no audience of my idea. I praise God for it. You praise God for inconsequential things. Oh no. Each morning in my life when I waken from the death of sleep I go to where little Patsy is sleeping and I say dear God together and strength is all we ask. MARTHA Yes my dear. Who are we to be blessed with so much happiness when our young world is in so much pain. That is why you must go to the Virginia legislator and of Dr. Gilmer allows it. I shall go with you now until he comes. Please let us play. Have face was pale. It seemed to me that a face of being pale has so many months. Plainly attacked us trying to play I'm playing the oh so
the music would have been his. For me as well. On an autumn day in the 1776 Martha Jefferson and I made a devotion to melody and to him who had created the universe and in doubt it with his design. And I was content. We continued so until Dr. Gilmore arrived and after Dr. Guillemot spoken with a he and I sat together in the God. Mrs Jefferson is not entirely well but then she is not seriously ill. You're quite short doctor of course not. That's what I like about you you are not a presumptuous man and I suppose other physicians you do not like my breed. I like you. What is it you will hold against my profession Oh it would bore you doctor. I prepare myself aboard and proceed so well. Firstly I have seen physicians adventure boldly into the unknown. Establishing some fanciful theory of attraction of chemical agency of depletion by bloodletting and repletion
by Mercury sometimes in spite of the Lancet of the medicine the patient even gets well. Quite true in the present state of medical knowledge it requires a hardy patient to survive his physician. Well sure what about your wife. I prescribe no bloodletting no potions pills or nostrums. Your lady is somewhat drawn in fatigue to be sure. But unless I am mistaken about her condition I dare say she is strong enough to bear your son. You know man. I am a Brian where are you going to hurt of course. She is resting. And happy to write to the legislature and asked to be excused. Your neighbors elected you to represent them in the legislature. I cast my own vote for you as a matter of fact I brought someone with me who was most anxious to inform you how he wishes his vote to be represented. McCormick your commissions are you not honest doctor. My good friend McCall making is not of Albemarle County. He comes to you and not to his own
elected representative. Why is that Mr McCormick in Philadelphia. You wrote a word for political liberty. Perhaps in Williamsburg you will write a word for a more fundamental liberty. Go on over in the valley. I'm a Justice of the peace and officer of the law sworn to uphold the law. That should not be so difficult. But each day I violate the law I am sworn to uphold. How so. The Virginia Statute of seven hundred five declares that one who does not attend worship in the established church may not hold public office. I take it you do not attend worship. Not in the established church I'm afraid my minister holds a similar grievance against me. But you were on a vestry men of the established church and I am a dissenter from it as many of us are in the valley. Mr. Jefferson we and our church is outside the law of Virginia. There are punishments prescribed for us who dare to dissent punishments and disabilities. We're tolerant in Virginia. When has the law been exercised
against you. Not once but that is not the point. The law is a Virginia statute. The law I am bound to uphold and which I am bound to violate you are not wrong Mr. McCormick the law is wrong. Therefore change it and I am torn in my conscience so my Mr McCall make what you say is good enough reason to send me at once to Williamsburg but there are private reasons to keep me here. They're not allowed to go. Probably right. Still there is Mr McCormick to be considerate. Yeah it's a sizable dilemma. Gentlemen it occurs to me that if we are made in some degree to serve others yet in a greater degree we are made to serve ourselves. Does Mrs. Jefferson have a lesser right than my neighbors may not and Mr. Jefferson. No man has a right to speak for more than his own conscience. Therefore I I do not speak for Mrs. Jefferson dad I Doctor Governor and Mrs. Jefferson and as I was there to attend the sessions of the Virginia legislature and
that she be permitted to go with you if you are given no choice. So it would seem. You see what you've done Mr. McCormick. You have prepared for me a riddle of choice in which I have no choice. In the years 1776 upon a riddle of choice Mrs Jefferson and I arrived when I was in the house of my good friend George with John a first wish was that we announce our presence in the manner she loved best. I no longer recall what it was that you play. But there was healing for her on the side. It was as if she knew that the time given to have the music of life. Was to be
scant. And therefore she was jealous for each moment each moment but its melody and its grace. It was a perishable fragile fading sound interrupted much too soon by those who had no choice but to interrupt. I am an unfortunate man Mr. Jefferson pursuing you as I do about a country so I believe you know Mrs. Campbell. Madam will you be so good as to inform Mr. jettison of the occasion for this visit. So I have been ravaged. Indeed madam in my conscience Mr. Jefferson like Mr. McCall Nick I am a dissenter against the established church of Virginia against me. I am a Presbyterian and this good lady considers herself a Baptist. Therefore by Virginia law Mr. Jefferson I am deemed capable of receiving any gift or legacy or have no VM is a scam or the law will not be used against you. How do I know that. Because the magistrates are kindly people.
Suppose that on your magistrates next month or next year. What if they are less guy. Exactly. Human kindness Mr. Jefferson is subject to change but the law is less so. It is a foolish law and a most pernicious one. That's the proper word pernicious. So I would tell you something of my own Creole do not Mr. McGowan make. Don't you want to hear it. These are private medicine principles of religion not a subject of accountability or need to God. I inquire after no man's faith. I would trouble no man with my own. No man has power to let another man prescribe his faith faith is not faith without believing I am a believing Baptist but I am taxed to support the minister of the Established Church. Mrs. Campbell I will try to do something about this. Thank you. But as there is Mr. Jefferson Do you know my curious
friend Andy Jamieson and prayed I do not. And as proper an atheistical gentleman as ever blasphemed God and Heaven defend him from heaven because Virginia law would burn him for heresy. Come now Mr. McCauley when did Virginia execute any man for heresy. Never let Massachusetts by law murdered innocent men and women for almost similar offenses. Now do not tell me that this happened in a crueler age because I could not hear you my ears and my eyes are filled with the words of the law as it stands the law which some day could murder me Jamison the law as a tyrant Mr. Jefferson. We ask you to change the law. Lol. Load whoever you are. Longingly to the park that was glory in the post yet Tony also. Would remind you of the
dark record of evil. And the autumn of 1776. I began to read the record of the law. It was a distracted reading but always before me was the face of Mrs Jefferson the sweet face which could not conceal her own pain. I sent for Dr. bright and is more happy than I like. She seems always to be fatigued. We have he's had to rise and it with his head to stay a bit. Mr. Jefferson your wife must rest as much as possible. You must keep from her the excitement of this place. I tried to do so Doctor is there some restorative you can prescribe bread a few drops of colored water some powders of companies and the appearance of doing something that will be good for her. It will sustain a hope. You see Mr. Jefferson with a little more than a pious fraud. She wants to bear this child and I count on it. The best medicine is that which is manufactured by our own desire for life.
Mrs. Jefferson is fortunate in having ization and her husband. I would be blind indeed if I did not see that your work here is of great moment to her great moment to all of us. You press me also Dr.. It comes from all sides. I am a member of the Established Church. The Lord taxes me to contribute my little sum toward its maintenance. I do not mind the contribution but I'm very much is that I am compelled to do what I would do without compulsion in the first place. Yes Doctor it is coercion that is the evil thing. There is some irony in all this against my inclination I am coerced to remain in Williamsburg in order to fight against coercion. Whatever your personal misgivings remain here Mr Jefferson. As for your wife I will do for her the best I can. I fight a sickness of the human body. You must fight a sickness of the human mind that Izzy's of the strangling of conscience. You must make this plain to the legislature and plainest of all our friends Mr.
Nicholas and Mr. Pendleton. They are the most affable and generous of men but they stand for strangulation. The ins. I am always happy to be with you Jefferson but but why Pendleton did I summon you so gently. Yes. I'm troubled. Mrs. Jefferson. Yes but something else. A bill to get into your religious liberty will be presented to the legislature within the next few days. A bill which will become an engine of acrimony between friends you and me and others of my neighbors. I'm not surprised there's been some talk of it now you know the ground I stand on. For the Church established by the state and maintained by public taxation. I do not budge from that ground. PENDLETON. The K out of every man's
soul belongs to himself. Pretty statement my dear Jefferson but shallow water of a man neglect the care of it so what if the same man neglect the care of his health. What if he allows his harvest to waste in the ground and his buildings to tumble when the magistrate make a law that he be not poor or sick. Now you speak of temporal things and I speak of God and God Himself will not save men against their will but I would try to do God's work so that one day men may be brought to life eternally by means of the author Dr. Church. Mr. McCormick declares that the Presbyterian Church is the only Orthodox Church and Mr. McCormick is in grave error there is only one orthodoxy now for every Baptist and Quaker every Roman Catholic and Jew is guilty of heresy. I am afraid so. Pendleton tell me this. What am I do you the dearest of friends made always be so. But I am also your mortal enemy. You do me some injustice Mr Nicholas and I would consent to the elimination of punishments
and imprisonments foetid leave just the same. Will you agree that a wall of separation be raised between church and state. No Jefferson on that we can never agree. He will continue to tax those who do not believe as you do. I must my sense of morality dictates the selfsame morality teaches you to love your neighbor to do good to all men. Even Mr McCormick who was a Presbyterian. Mrs Campbell a Baptist and one Andrew Jamieson who calls himself atheist I do not hate them but you refuse to let them alone. You will call your religion orthodox and or other religions heresy. And head to take though they be. You will place upon them the text of your orthodoxy but I will not punish them. But you will be compelled to Pendleton for they will not pay your taxes what will you do then and I suppose I should make them pay and if they refuse imprisonment However leniently you begin. This is how any compulsion must end. Imprisonment. My party is in the majority. Some day they may be in the
majority. Will you allow them to impose a tax for their denominations against you. I shall have to consider it. I refuse to consider it. And Philadelphia in July we established a nation upon principles of political liberty. Now in October in Williamsburg Virginia we must begin to establish principles of religious freedom. To save us from future dissension and destruction we must grant each human being the free right of conscience and tell the world that watches us. But in matters of opinion our philosophy is divided we stand united we fall because unity of opinion is uniformity because uniformity of conscience is question and coercion is the greatest of tyranny over the mind of man.
For. You. Do you suppose it is an easy thing to stand and debate against those who were loved. Do you suppose it is a simple thing to oppose your spit against the spit for those whom you cherish and that Virginia legislature have 1776. We were neighbors and friends.
Together we had come to man together. We had paid resistance to political Tenet and seen together how the children of our neighbors had marched away to make a pledge and a shown and taught us how their lives and now I was rising in this assembly of togetherness. To say that in something we not be together. Mr Jefferson has asked the floor Mr. James Madison as well. Mr. Chairman the chairman of the committee recognizes Mr. Thomas Jefferson of Albemarle County. Mr. Chairman I would you know to Mr. Madison without prejudice as to Madison has the floor. Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen both Mr. Jefferson and I are sensible of the fact that this committee has made a great concession to us here and here. You want agreed upon toleration of the dissenting religious minorities. Do you want more Mr. Madison. Hugh Grant only Ha Mr. Jefferson and I ask for all. And so
for in truth you will not get all the fire does not burn hot it burns own you admit and we thank you for it that the free exercise of public worship or dissenters should now be granted but to which you attach a most damaging qualification. Free exercise Yes but at the discretion of the established judge and what do you ask Mr. Madison. Free exercise without qualification. In short Mr. Jefferson and I assert the principle of no man's right to tolerate religious opinion since I would deny your right to tolerate me or my convictions. I yield now to Mr. Jefferson Mr. Jefferson the floor is yours gentlemen. Suppose the state should take into its head that there should be a uniformity of countenance. Men would be obliged to put an artificial bump or swelling here a patch there and show wearing a mask of hypocrisy. We should all look alike. But God has not made us to look
alike. How can that be the Church of Christ which excludes such persons from its communion as he were one day receive into the kingdom of him. My dear Jefferson there is only one path toward the Kingdom of Heaven I could not say. Mr. Pendleton I do not know but grandchild assumption. Suppose a man from the right path. It is his own misfortune. It is no injury to you nor you to punish him in the things of this life because you suppose he will be miserable in the life which is to come. You are one single established sovereign church is such a supposition and it goes in the face of the holy scriptures upon which it is founded. He that doubt it is damned if he eat because each It's not a faith but whatsoever is not of faith is sin. I ask an end of the religious compulsion which leads to hypocrisy. And you see Mr Jefferson What is your proposal to this body a
bill for religious freedom that we the general assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent all support any religious worship place or ministry whatsoever nor shall be restrained or listed all the. And in this body o goods on account of his religious opinions or beliefs but that all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain that opinions in matters of religion and that the same shall in no wise diminish or affect their civil capacities. Mr. Jefferson your bill will never pass this assembly. I have been taught patience Mr. Pendleton. There will be other assemblies in Virginia. They will pass it. Now if this assembly permits I would request to leave of absence that I may return to mount to China.
She can do a little yes Pendleton. I shouldn't have brought her. Perhaps I should not have come my SO and I am sorry I should pray for her. I would tell her Pendleton I know it will comfort. God bless you my friend. And so counting the blessing of Edmund Pendleton Martha Jefferson and I returned to mount each other. There is something in the human spirit at the never pet issues. That remains unbending in the presence of sickness and which refuses to acknowledge death and so for a brief moment. Upon A Virginia mountain. Jefferson played a harpsichord and I followed as best I could. And then. Upon a day of sunshine. And greening trees.
Our son was born. And 17 days later son died. There was little else to say now. The bill for religious freedom was passed in time by Virginia registered and made into the Bill of Rights of the American people. But Martha Jefferson did not live to see this triumph of her own free spirit on the 6th of September 1782 the diet the gentlest woman I have on you. They whip for me the day she died because I had no son. They were wrong to weep. For whoever you are. You are my son. Whatever you call yourself you are my name. I know this. I know many many things but none more surely than that I love you and for you and for no one else. I
left word that they inscribed upon my grave a legacy for you. The American University of Virginia.
The Jeffersonian heritage
Divided we stand
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-nc5scq32).
Episode Description
This program dramatizes Thomas Jefferon's role in the debate over the establishment of the separation of church and state in the United States.
Series Description
This series dramatizes the ideas of Thomas Jefferson, which are"the enduring possessions of all Americans and all free peoples," while being "authentic in historical spirit" and "imaginative in form."
Church and state.
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Actor: Rains, Claude, 1889-1967
Advisor: Malone, Dumas, 1892-1986
Composer: Schmidt, Karl
Conductor: Solinsky, Vladimir
Director: Papp, Frank, 1909-1996
Performer: Glazer, Tom
Producer: Papp, Frank, 1909-1996
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Subject: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826.
Writer: Wishengrad, Morton, 1913-1963
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-23-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:17
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The Jeffersonian heritage; Divided we stand,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 31, 2023,
MLA: “The Jeffersonian heritage; Divided we stand.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 31, 2023. <>.
APA: The Jeffersonian heritage; Divided we stand. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from