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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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3172. FRANCE, Republican Government.—[further continued] .
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3172. FRANCE, Republican Government.—[further continued] .

You express a wish in
your letter to be generally advised as to the
tenor of your conduct, in consequence of the
late revolution in France, the questions relative
to which, you observe, incidentally present
themselves to you. It is impossible to
foresee the particular circumstances which
may require you to decide and act on that
question. But, principles being understood,
their application will be less embarrassing.
We certainly cannot deny to other nations
that principle whereon our government is
founded, that every nation has a right to
govern itself internally under what form it
pleases, and to change these forms at its own
will; and, externally, to transact business
with other nations through whatever organ it
chooses, whether that be a King, Convention,
Assembly, Committee, President, or whatever
it be. The only thing essential is the will of
the nation. Taking this as your polar star,
you can hardly err.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 500.
(Pa., Dec. 1792)