James Jackson did not sign the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. But his heroism in the War of Independence and his exemplary integrity and republican statesmanship in the first days of the U.S. government entitle him to rank with the great men of the founding generation.
Jackson is a fine example of what that generation and several subsequent generations of Americans regarded as republican virtue. Virtue in this connection did not refer to private morals. It referred to the type of character deemed necessary to preserve liberty, a thing of great value to the community and the individual. It had a masculine Roman cast, which is why we have capitol buildings and statues of George Washington in a toga.
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