Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams

one of our fan-colouring biographers , who paints small men as very great, enquired of me lately, with real affection too, whether he might consider as authentic, the change in my religion much spoken of in some circles. now this supposed that they knew what had been my religion before, taking for it the word of their priests, whom I certainly never made the confidants of my creed. my answer was ‘say nothing of my religion. it is known to my god and myself alone. it’s evidence before the world is to be sought in my life. if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.’

RC (MHi: Adams Papers). PoC (DLC).
Thomas Jefferson
John Adams
Date Range
January 11, 1817
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
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