|Thomas Jefferson was sent by the Congress of the U.S. Confederation to Europe. He departed in July 1784, arriving in Paris the next month. That is a long time, just sitting on a ship and staring out into the open ocean. The 18th century diet for men at sea included however 1 gallon of beer a day (about 3.8 liters, if you are a metric scientist), plus Jefferson also got 1 pound of sea biscuits per day. That’s 0.45 kg, if you know what that means. It means you drink 10.6 beers every day. You basically constantly drink and nibble on crackers all day long. As Jefferson was a nobleman, he didn’t do any work around the ship and had access to even more drinks and could put a lot more cheese on his crackers. However naval cooks who obtained vegetables and fruits were favorably viewed as enabling crews to “live high for some time.” Yes, high times indeed. The ‘Jefferson Airline’, was grounded to the ever changing surface of the ocean, but the spirits were high up in the air. So inspirited was Jefferson, that when he arrived in Paris he answered the French foreign minister Count de Vergennes’: "You replace Monsieur Franklin, I hear?" with these words: "I succeed. No man can replace him.” Respect and reverence for those that came before you are virtues that remain part of the American tradition. They are of course necessary because one day you will be succeeded. This is common sense in a democracy, as you always build on the work of your predecessors, but this doesn’t mean you have to trust them. In pre-Revolutionary France, Jefferson often found his mail opened by postmasters, so he invented his own enciphering device, the "Wheel Cipher." He wrote important communications in code for the rest of his career. In secret then, he consulted with Lafayette while the latter drafted the ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen’. This famously opens with: ‘Men are born and remain free and equal in rights’. Freedom and equality were intertwined. Freedom is what divides men. Max Stirner later put this as “Der Einzelne und sein Eigentum,” literally translated as “the individual and his property,” each is a different man. What unites men is their equal division, only men that are divided equally are truly united. Today this includes women and a man without property. It also means that everyone can enjoy beer and crackers while flying high in the skies with ‘Jefferson Airlines’.