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Thomas Jefferson - A Character Sketch
The Mould-Board of Least Resistance
by Ellis, Edward S. (A.M.)


Mr. A. J. Stansbury says: "I heard John Randolph (who hated Jefferson) once describe, in his own biting, caustic manner, the delight expressed by him in a new model for the mould-board of a plough.

"It was called 'the mould-board of least resistance;' and the inventor had gone into a very profound mathematical demonstration, to prove that it deserved its name.

"Jefferson listened and was convinced; and deeming it a great discovery, recommended it, with zeal, to all his agricultural friends.

"The Virginia planters, accordingly (who thought every thing of their great man as a natural philosopher), agreed, many of them, to take this new 'mould-board of least resistance.'

"It was accordingly cast,and forwarded to their farms; when lo! on trial, no ordinary team could draw it through the soil."

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