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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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7780. SELF-GOVERNMENT, Local.—
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7780. SELF-GOVERNMENT, Local.—

My bill for the more general diffusion of
learning had for a further object to impart to
these wards those portions of self-government
for which they are best qualified, by
confiding to them the care of their poor, their
roads, police, elections, the nomination of jurors,
administration of justice in small cases,
elementary exercises of militia; in short, to
have made them little republics, with a warden
at the head of each, for all those concerns
which, being under their eye, they would
better manage than the larger republics of
the county or State. A general call of ward
meetings by their wardens on the same day
through the State, would at any time produce
the genuine sense of the people on any required
point, and would enable the State to
act in mass, as [the New England] people
have so often done, and with so much effect
by their town meetings.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 225. Ford ed., ix, 427.
(M. 1813)
See Wards.