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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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8009. SOCIETIES (Secret), Government and.—
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8009. SOCIETIES (Secret), Government and.—

As revolutionary instruments
(when nothing but revolution will cure the evils
of the State) they [secret societies] are necessary
and indispensable, and the right to use
them is inalienable by the people; but to admit
them as ordinary and habitual instruments as
a part of the machinery of the Constitution,
would be to change that machinery by introducing
moving powers foreign to it, and to an
extent depending solely on local views, and,
therefore, incalculable. [460]
To William Duane. Ford ed., viii, 256.
(M. 1803)

See Democratic Societies.


A political committee of Philadelphia had sent
a communication to Jefferson on the subject of removals
from office.—Editor.