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Showing 22 results

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 27 May 1788 [Quote]

there are two amendments only which I am anxious for. 1. a bill of rights, which it is so much the interest of all to have ... the 2d amendment which appears to me essential is the restoring the principle of necessary rotation, particularly to the Senate & Presidency: but most of all to the...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 26 Nov. 1798 [Quote]

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of it’s constitution; I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Armstrong, 2 May 1808 [Quote]

this measure, attempted at a former session, was pressed at the last, and might I think have been carried by a small majority. but considering that great innovations should not be forced on a slender majority, and seeing that the general opinion is sensibly rallying to it, it was thought better...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John B. Colvin, 20 Sept. 1810 [Quote]

The question you propose, Whether circumstances do not sometimes occur which make it a duty in officers of high trust to assume authorities beyond the law, is easy of solution in principle, but sometimes embarrasing in practice. a strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 12 July 1816 [Quote]

I am not among those who fear the people. they and not the rich, are our dependance for continued freedom. and to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt ... if we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 12 July 1816 [Quote]

Some men look at Constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, & deem them, like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. they ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well: I belonged to it,...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 6 Sept. 1819 [Quote]

each of the three departments has equally the right to decide for itself what is it’s duty under the constitution, without any regard to what the others may have decided for themselves under a similar question.But you intimate a wish that my opinion should be known on this subject. no, dear Sir....

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 12 June 1823 [Quote]

on every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, & instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was past.

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824 [Quote]

the Creator has made the earth for the living, not the dead. rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things, the dead are not even things. not to mere matter, unendowed with will. the dead are not even things. the particles of matter which composed their bodies, make part now of the...