Surgeon, merchant, vintner, and writer Filippo Mazzei influenced American business, politics, and philosophy. Befriending Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Mazzei was a strong liaison for others in Europe. Mazzei was Jefferson’s inspiration for the most famous line in the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal.”
Clearly, Mazzei had a gift of language and often used his words to share his ideas about religious freedom. Mazzei encouraged other Italians still living overseas to join him in a country rich with opportunity and promise. Often, when returning from Italy, he booked passages on ships for people who desired to travel to America and employed them on his estate–just to ensure a better, more fruitful life for everyone. During those travels, Mazzei found himself at the center of many fights for freedom.
He was truly a friend to freedom around the world.