Extract from Thomas Jefferson’s Fair Copy of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

What the government is, if it be not a tyranny, which the men of our choice have conferred on our President, and the President of our choice has assented to, & accepted over the friendly strangers, to whom the mild spirit of our country, & it’s laws had pledged hospitality & protection: that the men of our choice have more respected the bare suspicions of the President, than the solid rights of innocence, the claims of justification, the sacred force of truth, & the forms and substance of law & justice: in questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.

MS (DLC). Published in PTJ, 30:543–9.
Date Range
October 4, 1798
Quote Category