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Showing 12 results

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Madame de Tessé, 20 Mar. 1787 [Quote]

would you believe Madam, that in [this 18th. centur]y, in France, und[er the reign of Louis XVI, they] are [at this mo]ment pulling down the circular wall of this superb remain [to pave a ro]ad? and that too from a hill which is itself an entire mass of stone just as fit, & more accessible. a...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Levi Lincoln, 30 Aug. 1803 [Quote]

disapproving myself of transferring the honors and veneration for the great birthday of our republic, to any individual, or of dividing them with individuals, I have declined letting my own birthday be known, & have engaged my family not to communicate it. this has been the uniform answer to...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 11 June 1807 [Quote]

To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted so as to be most useful, I should answer ‘by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only.’ yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers ... nothing can now be believed which is seen in a...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 10 Aug. 1815 [Quote]

On the subject of the history of the American revolution, you ask who shall write it? who can write it? and who ever will be able to write it? nobody; except merely it’s external facts. all it’s councils, designs and discussions, having been conducted by Congress with closed doors, and no member,...

Extract from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 9 Aug. 1816 [Quote]

May We be “a Barrier against the Returns of Ignorance and Barbarism”! “What a Colossus Shall We Be”! But will it not be of Brass Iron and Clay? Your Taste is judicious in likeing better the dreams of the Future, than the History of the Past. Upon this Principle I prophecy that you and I Shall...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 8 Sept. 1817 [Quote]

I have lately recieved a pamphlet of extreme interest from France. it is De Pradt’s historical recital of the first return of Louis XVIII to Paris. it is precious for the minutiae of the proceedings which it details, and for their authenticity, as from an eye witness. being but a pamphlet, I...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Greenleaf, 5 July 1819 [Quote]

presents his compliments to mr Greenleaf and his thanks for the pamphlet on grammar which came to hand yesterday. the torpor of age and drudgery of letterwriting give him little time to read, and little power of profiting by the advances & improvements in every branch of science. he rejoices...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Destutt de Tracy, 26 Dec. 1820 [Quote]

our right may be doubted of mortgaging posterity for the expenses of a war in which they will have a right to say their interests were not concerned. it is incumbent on every generation to pay it’s own debts as it goes. a principle which, if acted on, would save one half the wars of the world.

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Robert Walsh, 5 April 1823 [Quote]

do not think a biography should be written, or at least not published, during the life of the person the subject of it. it is impossible that the writer’s delicacy should permit him to speak as freely of the faults or errors of a living, as of a dead character. there is still however a better...