With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Thomas Jefferson Wrote What? Carson’s Constitutional Misstep

Be honest: Do you know who wrote the U.S. Constitution?

It’s a bit of a trick question, because there isn’t a sole author. That fact appeared to be lost on Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson when he said during a recent interview that Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, “tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control people’s natural tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.”

Carson wrote about the Constitution in his book A More Perfect Union, a volume centered around the idea of “reclaim[ing] our constitutional liberties” in the post-Obamacare, post–legalization of gay marriage world. In the book, he acknowledges a historical fact: Jefferson did not even attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787, during which more than 50 delegates from the states gathered to revise the Articles of Confederation and ultimately framed the nation’s founding document. Speaking to C-SPAN, Carson either forgot his own words, misspoke or betrayed some level of confusion about the nation’s early history. (A More Perfect Union was written “with” Candy Carson, his wife, who has co-authored several of his books.)

Read entire article at Newsweek