} Henry Dearborn was the secretary of War. Both Levi Lincoln
} and James Madison held the post of secretary of State. Levi
} Lincoln served also for a time as Attorney General, as did
} John Breckinridge and Caesar Rodney. Samuel Dexter and Albert
} Gallatin were secretaries of the Treasury. I could go on but
} I won't, since at that time there were only four such offices
} in total.
} All these facts would likely be lost in the mists of time had
} not Peter Carr, nephew to Thomas Jefferson, written his perky
} best-seller of 1810, Uncle Tom's Cabinet, in which he revealed
} that lovely first lady Sally Hemings convinced these secretaries
} to write up an early draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, and
} then go make coffee for her and the President. Since the IBM
} Selectric typewriter was not invented until 1961, nor Mister
} Coffee until a decade later, it is unclear how these secretaries
} filled their time most other days, and there can be no surprise
} that they died mainly of boredom rather than from consumption,
} syphilis, bloodletting, or theater assassination, as most of
} their contemporaries were wont to do.
} Other tidbits gleaned from this novel are that Jefferson never
} named an Assistant Associate Undersecretary for Veterans Affairs,
} for reasons that may have made sense at the time but seem quaint
} today in light of the crucial nature of the post, and he had no
} secretary of the Air Force, probably due to some asinine Senate
} filibuster in retaliation for Jefferson bombing the Hindenberg
} at Pearl Harbor his first week in office.
} Finally, let it never be forgotten that Benjamin Franklin was
} the only President of the United States never to be President
} of the United States. This has nothing to do with Thomas
} Jefferson or his nephew, but I was listening to a Firesign
} Theater album last night and this fact came to mind.
} You owe the Oracle a nomination for secretary of Peace.