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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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3525. GOVERNMENT, Moral principles.—[continued].
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3525. GOVERNMENT, Moral principles.—[continued].

When we come to the
moral principles on which the government is
to be administered, we come to what is proper
for all conditions of society. I meet you
there in all the benevolence and rectitude of
your native character; and I love myself always
most where I concur most with you.
Liberty, truth, probity, honor, are declared to
be the four cardinal principles of your Society.
I believe with you that morality, compassion,
generosity, are innate elements of the
human constitution; that there exists a right
independent of force; that a right to property
is founded in our natural wants, in the means
with which we are endowed to satisfy these
wants, and the right to what we acquire by
those means without violating the similar
rights of other sensible beings; that no one
has a right to obstruct another, exercising his
faculties innocently for the relief of sensibilities
made a part of his nature; that justice
is the fundamental law of society; that the
majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty
of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting
on the law of the strongest breaks up the
foundations of society; that action by the
citizens in person, in affairs within their reach
and competence, and in all others by representatives,
chosen immediately, and removable
by themselves, constitutes the essence of a
republic; that all governments are more or
less republican in proportion as this principle
enters more or less into their composition;
and that a government by representation is
capable of extension over a greater surface
of country than one of any other form. These
are the essentials in which you and I agree;
however in our zeal for their maintenance,
we may be perplexed and divaricate, as to the
structure of society most likely to secure them.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 591. Ford ed., x, 24.