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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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5797. NECESSITY, Law of.—
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5797. NECESSITY, Law of.—

A strict
observance of the written law is * * * one of the high duties of a good citizen, but
it is not the highest. The laws of necessity,
of self-preservation, of saving our country
when in danger, are of higher obligation.
To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence
to written law, would be to lose the
law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all
those who are enjoying them with us; thus
absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.—
To J. B. Colvin. Washington ed. v, 542. Ford ed., ix, 279.
(M. 1810)