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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
collapse sectionC. 
1679. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[further continued] .
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 
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

1679. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[further continued] .

What I disapproved from
the first moment was the want of a bill of
rights, to guard liberty against the Legislative
as well as the Executive branches of the
government; that is to say, to secure freedom
in religion, freedom of the press, freedom
from monopolies, freedom from unlawful imprisonment,
freedom from a permanent military,
and a trial by jury, in all cases de
terminable by the laws of the land. I disapproved,
also, the perpetual re-eligibility of
the President. To these points of disapprobation
I adhere. My first wish was that the
nine first conventions might accept the Constitution,
as the means of securing to us the
great mass of good it contained; and that the
four last might reject it, as the means of obtaining
amendments. But I was corrected in
this wish the moment I saw the much better
plan of Massachusetts, and which had never
occurred to me. With respect to the declaration
of rights. I suppose the majority of
the United States are of my opinion; for, I
apprehend, all the anti-federalists, and a
very respectable proportion of the federalists,
think that such a declaration should now be
annexed. The enlightened part of Europe
have given us the greatest credit for inventing
this instrument of security for the rights
of the people, and have not been a little surprised
to see us so soon give it up. With
respect to the re-eligibility of the President,
I find myself differing from the majority of
my countrymen; for I think there are but
three States out of the eleven which have
desired an alteration of this. And, indeed,
since the thing is established, I would wish
it not to be altered during the life of our
great leader, whose executive talents are
superior to those I believe, of any man in
the world, and who, alone, by the authority
of his name, and the confidence reposed in
his perfect integrity, is fully qualified to put
the new government so under way, as to
secure it against the efforts of opposition.
But, having derived from our error all the
good there was in it, I hope we shall correct
it, the moment we can no longer have the
same name at the helm. * * * These, my
opinions, I wrote within a few hours after
I had read the Constitution, to one or two
friends in America.—
To F. Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 586. Ford ed., v, 76.
(P. March. 1789)