University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

collapse sectionA. 
490. ARMS, Device for the American States.—
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

490. ARMS, Device for the American States.—

A proper device (instead of arms)
for the American states united would be the
Father presenting the bundle of rods to his
sons. The motto “Insuperabiles si Inseparabiles
an answer given in part to the H. of
Lds & Comm. 4. Inst. 35. He cites 4. H. 6.
ru. 12. parl. rolls, which I suppose was the time
it happd. [28]
Ford ed., i, 420.


This is a note written in Jefferson's copy of the
Virginia Almanack for—1774. All his other entries in
this volume are contemporary with the date of the almanac,
and if, as all the internal evidence indicates,
this was also written at that time, it is not merely interesting
as a proposed emblem, but even more so as
the earliest reference to the “American States.” In a
letter of John Adams (Familiar Letters, 211), Aug. 4,
1776, on the subject of the national arms, is the following:
“Mr. Jefferson proposed the children of Israel
in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar
of fire by night; and on the other side, Hengist and
Horsa, the Saxon chiefs from whom we claim the
honor of being descended, and whose political principles
and forms of government we have assumed.”—Note in Ford's ed.