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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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With respect to
our rights, and the acts of the British government
contravening those rights, there was but
one opinion on this side of the water. All
American whigs thought alike on these subjects.
When forced, therefore, to resort to
arms for redress, an appeal to the tribunal
of the world was deemed proper for our justification.
This was the object of the Declaration
of Independence. Not to find out
new principles, or new arguments, never before
thought of, not merely to say things
which had never been said before; but to
place before mankind the common sense of
the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to
command their assent, and to justify ourselves
in the independent stand we were compelled
to take. Neither aiming at originality
of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from
any particular and previous writing, it was
intended to be an expression of the American
mind, and to give to that expression the
proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.
All its authority rests, then, on the
harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether
expressed in conversation, in letters, printed
essays, or in the elementary books of public
right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney,
To Henry Lee. Washington ed. vii, 407. Ford ed., x, 343.
(M. 1825)