Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee
|Monticello May. 8. 25.|
this was the object of the Declaration of Independance. not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject; [in?] terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independant stand we [were?] compelled to take. neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.