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. 
expand sectionC. 
collapse sectionD. 
2120. DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Semi-centennial of.—
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]

2120. DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Semi-centennial of.—

kind invitation I received from you, on the
part of the citizens of the city of Washington,
to be present with them at their celebration
on the fiftieth anniversary of American Independence,
as one of the surviving signers
of an instrument pregnant with our own and
the fate of the world, is most flattering to
myself, and heightened by the honorable accompaniment
proposed for the comfort of
such a journey. It adds sensibly to the sufferings
of sickness, to be deprived by it of a
personal participation in the rejoicings of
that day. But acquiescence is a duty, under
circumstances not placed among those we are
permitted to control. I should, indeed, with
peculiar delight, have met and exchanged
there congratulations personally with the
small band, the remnant of that host of worthies,
who joined with us on that day, in the
bold and doubtful election we were to make
for our country, between submission or the
sword; and to have enjoyed with them the
consolatory fact, that our fellow-citizens,
after half a century of experience and prosperity,
continue to approve the choice we
made. May it be to the world, what I believe
it will be (to some parts sooner, to
others later, but finally to all), the signal of
arousing men to burst the chains under which
monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded
them to bind themselves, and to assume
the blessings and security of self-government.
That form which we have substituted,
restores the free right to the unbounded
exercise of reason and freedom of opinion.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights
of man. The general spread of the light of
science has already laid open to every view
the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind
has not been born with saddles on their backs,
nor a favored few, booted and spurred, ready
to ride them legitimately, by the grace of
God. These are grounds of hope for others.
For ourselves, let the annual return of this
day forever refresh our recollections of these
rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.
I will ask permission here to express the
pleasure with which I should have met my
ancient neighbors of the city of Washington
and its vicinity, with whom I passed so many
years of a pleasing social intercourse; an intercourse
which so much relieved the anxieties
of the public cares, and left impressions
so deeply engraved in my affections, as never
to be forgotten. With my regret that ill
health forbids me the gratification of an acceptance,
be pleased to receive for yourself,
and those for whom you write, the assurance
of my highest respect and friendly
attachments. [133]
To Roger C. Weightman. Washington ed. vii, 450. Ford ed., x, 390.
(M. June 24, 1826)


This was the last letter written by Jefferson. He
died on the following Fourth of July.—Editor.