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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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1080. CALUMNY, Religion and.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1080. CALUMNY, Religion and.—

the moment that a portion of my fellow citizens
looked towards me with a view to one of
their highest offices, the flood-gates of calumny
have been opened upon me; not where I am
personally known, and where their slanders
would be instantly judged and suppressed
from the general sense of their falsehood; but
in the remote parts of the Union, where the
means of detection are not at hand, and the
trouble in an enquiry is greater than would
suit the hearers to undertake. I know that
I might have filled the courts of the United
States with actions for these slanders, and
have ruined, perhaps, many persons who are
not innocent. But this would be no equivalent
to the loss of character. I leave them,
therefore, to the reproof of their own consciences.
If these do not condemn them, there
will yet come a day when the false witness will
meet a Judge who has not slept over his slanders.
If the Rev. Cotton Mather Smith, of
Shena, believed this as firmly as I do, he
would surely never have affirmed that “I had
obtained my property by fraud and robbery;
that in one instance, I had defrauded and
robbed a widow and fatherless children of
an estate and to which I was executor, of ten
thousand pounds sterling by keeping the property
and paying then in money at the nominal
rate, when it was worth no more than forty
for one; and that all this could be proved.”
Every title of it is fable; there not having
existed a single circumstance of my life to
which any part of it can hang. I never was
executor but in two instances, both of which
having taken place about the beginning of
the Revolution, which withdrew me immediately
from all private pursuits, I never meddled
in either executorship. In one of the
cases only, were there a widow and children.
She was my sister. She retained and managed
the estate in her own hands, and no part of it
was ever in mine. In the other, I was a copartner
and only received on a division the
equal portion allotted to me. To neither of
these executorships, therefore, could Mr.
Smith refer. Again, my property is all patrimonial,
except about seven or eight hundred
pounds worth of lands, purchased by myself
and paid for not, to widows and orphans, but
to the very gentleman from whom I purchased.
If Mr. Smith, therefore, thinks the
precepts of the gospel intended for those who
preach them as well for others, he will doubtless
some day feel the duties of repentance,
and of acknowledgment in such forms
as to correct the wrong he has done. Perhaps
he will have to wait till the passions of
the moment have passed away. All this is
left to his own conscience.—
To Uriah McGregory. Washington ed. iv, 333.
(M. Aug. 1800)