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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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847. BLAND (Richard), Character of.—
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847. BLAND (Richard), Character of.—

Colonel Richard Bland was the most learned
and logical man of those who took prominent
lead in public affairs, profound in constitutional
lore, a most ungraceful speaker (as were
Peyton Randolph and Robinson, in a remarkable
degree.) He wrote the first pamphlet on
the nature of the connection with Great Britain
which had any pretension to accuracy of
view on that subject, but it was a singular one.
He would set out on sound principles, pursue
them logically till he found them leading to the
precipice which he had to leap, start back
alarmed, then resume his ground, go over it in
another direction, be led again by the correctness
of his reasoning to the same place, and
again back out, and try other processes to
reconcile right and wrong, but finally left his
reader and himself bewildered between the
steady index of the compass in their hand, and
the phantasm to which it seemed to point. Still
there was more sound matter in his pamphlet
than in the celebrated “Farmer's Letters,”


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which were really but an ignis fatuus, misleading
us from true principles.—
To William Wirt. Washington ed. vi, 485. Ford ed., ix, 474.
(M. 1815)