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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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823. BILL OF RIGHTS, Security in.—
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823. BILL OF RIGHTS, Security in.—

A general concurrence of opinion seems to
authorize us to say the Constitution has some
defects. I am one of those who think it a defect
that the important rights, not placed in
security by the frame of the Constitution itself,
were not explicitly secured by a supplementary
declaration. There are rights which
it is useless to surrender to the government,
and which governments have yet always
been found to invade. These are the
rights of thinking, and publishing our
thoughts by speaking or writing; the right of
free commerce; the right of personal freedom.
There are instruments for administering
the government so particularly trustworthy,
that we should never leave the legis
lature at liberty to change them. The new
Constitution has secured these in the Executive
and Legislative departments: but not in
the Judiciary. It should have established
trials by the people themselves, that is to say,
by jury. There are instruments so dangerous
to the rights of the nation, and which place
them so totally at the mercy of their governors,
that those governors, whether legislative
or executive, should be restrained from
keeping such instruments on foot, but in well
defined cases. Such an instrument is a
standing army. We are now allowed to say
such a declaration of rights, as a supplement
to the Constitution where that is silent, is
wanting, to secure us in these points. The
general voice has legitimated this objection.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 12. Ford ed., v, 89.
(P. March. 1789)