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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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6962. PRINCIPLES, Jefferson's in 1799.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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6962. PRINCIPLES, Jefferson's in 1799.—

In confutation of * * * all future
calumnies, by way of anticipation, I shall
make to you a profession of my political
faith: in confidence that you will consider
every future imputation on me of a contrary
complexion as bearing on its front the mark
of falsity and calumny. I do then, with sincere
zeal, wish an inviolable preservation of
our Federal Constitution, according to the
true sense in which it was adopted by the
States: that in which it was advocated by its
friends, and not that which its enemies apprehended,
who therefore became its enemies;
and I am opposed to the monarchizing
its features by the forms of its administration,
with a view to conciliate a first transition
to a President and Senate for life, and
from that to an hereditary tenure of these
offices, and thus to worm out the elective
principle. I am for preserving to the States
the powers not yielded by them to the Union,
and to the Legislature of the Union its constitutional
share in the division of powers;
and I am not for transferring all the powers
of the States to the General Government, and
all those of that Government to the Executive
branch. I am for a government rigorously
frugal and simple, applying all the
possible savings of the public revenue to the
discharge of the national debt; and not for
a multiplication of officers and salaries merely
to make partizans, and for increasing, by
every device, the public debt, on the principle
of its being a public blessing. I am for
relying for internal defence on our militia
solely, till actual invasion, and for such a
naval force only as may protect our coasts
and harbors from such depredations as we
have experienced; and not for a standing
army in time of peace, which may overawe
the public sentiment; nor for a navy, which,
by its own expenses and the eternal wars in
which it will implicate us, will grind us with
public burdens and sink us under them. I
am for free commerce with all nations; political
connection with none; and little or
no diplomatic establishment. And I am not
for linking ourselves by new treaties with
the quarrels of Europe; entering that field of
slaughter to preserve their balance, or joining
in the confederacy of kings to war against
the principles of liberty. I am for freedom
of religion, and against all manœuvres to
bring about a legal ascendency of one sect
over another; for freedom of the press, and
against all violations of the Constitution to
silence by force and not by reason the complaints
or criticisms, just or unjust, of our
citizens against the conduct of their agents.
And I am for encouraging the progress of
science in all its branches; and not for raising
a hue and cry against the sacred name
of philosophy; for awing the human mind
by stories of raw-head and bloody bones to a
distrust of its own vision, and to repose implicitly
on that of others; to go backwards instead
of forwards to look for improvement;
to believe that government, religion, morality,
and every other science were in the highest
perfection in the ages of the darkest ignorance,
and that nothing can ever be devised
more perfect than what was established by
our forefathers. To these I will add, that
I was a sincere well-wisher to the success of
the French Revolution, and still wish it May
end in the establishment of a free and well-ordered
republic; but I have not been insensible
under the atrocious depredations they
have committed on our commerce. The first
object of my heart is my country. In that
is embarked my family, my fortune, and my
own existence. I have not one farthing of
interest, nor one fibre of attachment out of it,
nor a single motive of preference of any one
nation to another, but in proportion as they
are more or less friendly to us. * * * These are my principles. They are unquestionably
the principles of the great body of
our fellow-citizens, and I know there is not
one of them which is not yours also. In truth,
we never differed but on one ground, the
Funding System; and as, from the moment
of its being adopted by the constituted authorities,
I became religiously principled in
the sacred discharge of it to the uttermost
farthing, we are united now even on that
single ground of difference. [401]
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 267. Ford ed., vii, 327.
(Pa., Jan. 1799)

See Administration; also
Inaugural Addresses, in


Jefferson differed from the time-serving politician,
because he staked his individual success upon
the success of what he deemed intrinsically right
principles. He differed even from the statesman who
acts conscientiously upon every measure, inasmuch
as, beyond devising specific measures, he set forth
a broad faith or religion in statesmanship, making
special measures only single blocks in the wide
pavement of his road.—Morse's Life of Jefferson.