University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
collapse sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]


8643. UMPIRE, Impartial.—

No man
having a natural right to be the judge between
himself and another, it is his natural
duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial
To F. W. Gilmer. Washington ed. vii, 3. Ford ed., x, 32.
(M. 1816)

8644. UNEARNED INCREMENT, Definition.—

If [the public lands are] sold in
lots at a fixed price, as first proposed, the best
lots will be sold first; as these become occupied,
it gives a value to the interjacent ones,
and raises them, though of inferior quality, to
the price of the first.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 347. Ford ed., iv, 53.
(P. 1785)

8645. UNGER (John Louis de), Courtesies to.—

The very small amusements which
it has been in my power to furnish, in order to
lighten some of your heavy hours, by no means
merited the acknowledgment you make. Their
impression must be ascribed to your extreme
sensibility rather than to their own weight.—
To Lieutenant de Unger. Washington ed. ii, 278. [496] Ford ed., ii, 373.
(R. 1780)


One of the Saratoga prisoners in Virginia.—Editor.

8646. UNGER (John Louis de), Invited to America.—

Should your fondness for philosophy
resume its merited ascendency, is it
impossible to hope that this unexplored country
may tempt your residence by holding out ma
terials wherewith to build a fame, founded on
the happiness and not the calamities of human
To Lieutenant de Unger. Washington ed. i, 278. Ford ed., ii, 374.
(R. 1780)

8647. UNIFORMITY, Mental.—

The varieties
in the structure and action of the human
mind, as in those of the body, are the
work of our Creator, against which it cannot
be a religious duty to erect the standard of
To James Fishback. Washington ed. v, 471.
(M. 1809)

8648. UNIFORMITY, Physical and moral.—

It is a singular anxiety which some
people have that we should all think alike.
Would the world be more beautiful were all
our faces alike? were our tempers, our talents,
our tastes, our forms, our wishes, aversions
and pursuits cast exactly in the same mould?
If no varieties existed in the animal, vegetable
or mineral creation, but all moved strictly
uniform, catholic and orthodox, what a world
of physical and moral monotony would it be.
These are the absurdities into which those run
who usurp the throne of God, and dictate to
Him what He should have done. May they
with all their metaphysical riddles appear before
that tribunal with as clean hands and
hearts as you and I shall. There, suspended
in the scales of eternal justice, faith and
works will show their worth by their weight.—
To Charles Thomson. Ford ed., x, 76.
(M. 1817)

8649. UNIFORMITY, Religious.—

uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent
men, women and children, since the introduction
of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured,
fined and imprisoned; yet we have not
advanced one inch towards uniformity.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 401. Ford ed., iii, 265.

8650. UNION (The Federal), Ancher of hope.—

I have been happy in believing * * * that whatever follies we may be led into as
to foreign nations, we shall never give up
our Union, the last anchor of our hope, and
that alone which is to prevent this heavenly
country from becoming an arena of gladiators.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 173. Ford ed., vii, 122.
(Pa., May. 1797)

8651. UNION (The Federal), Attempts to disrupt.—

Not less worthy of your indignation
have been the machinations of parricides
who have endeavored to bring into
danger the Union of these States, and to subvert,
for the purposes of inordinate ambition,
a government founded in the will of its citizens,
and directed to no object but their happiness.—
R. to A. North Carolina Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 125.

8652. UNION (The Federal), Attempts to disrupt.—[continued].

Surrounded by such difficulties
and dangers, it is really deplorable that any should be found among ourselves
vindicating the conduct of the aggressors; cooperating
with them in multiplying embarrassments
to their own country, and encouraging
disobedience to the laws provided for
its safety. But a spirit which should go
further, and countenance the advocates for a


Page 891
dissolution of the Union, and for setting in
hostile array one portion of our citizens
against another, would require to be viewed
under a more serious aspect. It would prove
indeed that it is high time for every friend
to his country, in a firm and decided manner,
to express his sentiments of the measures
which government has adopted to avert the
impending evils, unhesitatingly to pledge himself
for the support of the laws, liberties and
independence of his country; and with the
* * * republicans of Connecticut, to resolve
that, for the preservation of the Union,
the support and enforcement of the laws, and
for the resistance and repulsion of every
enemy, they will hold themselves in readiness
and put at stake, if necessary, their lives
and fortunes, on the pledge of their sacred
R. to A. Connecticut Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 169.

8653. UNION (The Federal), Attempts to disrupt.—[further continued].

The times do certainly
render it incumbent on all good citizens, attached
to the rights and honor of their country,
to bury in oblivion all internal differences,
and rally around the standard of their country
in opposition to the outrages of foreign
nations. All attempts to enfeeble and destroy
the exertions of the General Government, in
vindication of our national rights, or to
loosen the bands of union by alienating the
affections of the people, or opposing the authority
of the laws at so eventful a period,
merit the discountenance of all.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. viii, 153.

8654. UNION (The Federal), Benefits of.—

Union for specified national purposes, and particularly * * * [for] those specified
in * * * [the] * * * Federal compact
* * * [is] friendly to the peace, happiness
and prosperity of all the States.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 468. Ford ed., vii, 300.

8655. UNION (The Federal), Bond of.—

The sacred bond which unites these States
R. to A. Philadelphia Citizens. Washington ed. viii, 144.

8656. UNION (The Federal), Cement of the.—

The cement of this Union is in the
heart-blood of every American. I do not believe
there is on earth a government established
on so immovable a basis.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. vi, 425. Ford ed., ix, 509.
(M. 1815)

8657. UNION (The Federal), Cherish.—

[Our] Union cannot be too much cherished.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. viii, 114.

8658. UNION (The Federal), Cherish.—[continued].

Cherish every measure which may foster our brotherly Union and
perpetuate a constitution of government, destined
to be the primitive and precious model
of what is to change the condition of man
over the globe.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 344. Ford ed., x, 301.
(M. 1824)

8659. UNION (The Federal), Constitution and.—

We must take care that * * * no objection to the new form [Constitution] produces a schism in our Union. This would
be an incurable evil, because near friends falling
out, never reunite cordially; whereas, all
of us going together, we shall be sure to cure
the evils of our new Constitution before they
do great harm.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 356.
(P. 1788)

8660. UNION (The Federal), Constitutional encroachments and.—

When obvious
encroachments are made on the plain meaning
of the Constitution, the bond of Union ceases
to be the equal measure of justice to all its
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., v, 454.
(Pa., 1792)

8661. UNION (The Federal), Cultivate.—

Our lot has been cast by the favor of
heaven in a country and under circumstances
highly auspicious to our peace and prosperity,
and where no pretence can arise for the degrading
and oppressive establishments of Europe.
It is our happiness that honorable distinctions
flow only from public approbation;
and that finds no object in titled dignitaries
and pageants. Let us, then, endeavor carefully
to guard this happy state of things, by
keeping a watchful eye over the disaffection
of wealth and ambition to the republican principles
of our Constitution, and by sacrificing
all our local and personal interests to the cultivation
of the Union, and maintenance of the
authority of the laws.—
R. to A. Penna. Democratic-Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 163.

8662. UNION (The Federal), Dissolution of.—

I can scarcely contemplate a more
incalculable evil than the breaking of the
Union into two or more parts.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 363. Ford ed., vi, 4.

8663. UNION (The Federal), Dissolution of.—[continued].

I have been among the
most sanguine in believing that our Union
would be of long duration. I now doubt it
much, and see the event at no great distance,
and the direct consequence of this question;
[Missouri] not by the line which has been
so confidently counted on,—the laws of nature
control this,—but by the Potomac, Ohio
and Missouri, or, more probably, the Mississippi
upwards to our northern boundary. My
only comfort and confidence is, that I shall
not live to see this; and I envy not the present
generation the glory of throwing away the
fruits of their fathers' sacrifices of life and
fortune, and of rendering desperate the experiment
which was to decide ultimately
whether man is capable of self-government.
This treason against human hope will signalize
their epoch in future history as the
counterpart of the medal of their predecessors.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 158.
(M. 1820)

8664. UNION (The Federal), Dissolution of.—[further continued].

Were we to break to
pieces, it would damp the hopes and the efforts
of the good, and give triumph to those
of the bad through the whole enslaved world.
As members, therefore, of the universal society
of mankind, and standing in high and
responsible relation with them, it is our sacred
duty to suppress passion among ourselves,
and not to blast the confidence we have inspired


Page 892
of proof that a government of reason is better than one of force.—
To Richard Rush. Washington ed. vii, 183.
(M. 1820)

8665. UNION (The Federal), Europe and.—

Let us cling in mass to our country and
to one another, and bid defiance, as we can if
united, to the plundering combinations of the
old world.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vii, 20.
(M. 1816)

8666. UNION (The Federal), Expansion and.—

Our present federal limits are not
too large for good government, nor will the
increase of votes in Congress produce any ill
effect. On the contrary, it will drown the
little divisions at present existing there. Our
confederacy must be viewed as the nest, from
which all America, North and South, is to be
peopled. We should take care, too, not to
think it for the interest of that great Continent
to press too soon on the Spaniards.
Those countries cannot be in better hands. My
fear is, that they are too feeble to hold them
till our population can be sufficiently advanced
to gain it from them, piece by piece.
The navigation of the Mississippi we must
have. This is all we are as yet ready to receive.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. i, 578. Ford ed., iv, 188.
(P. Jan. 1786)

8667. UNION (The Federal), Family of States.—

I sincerely wish that the whole
Union may accommodate their interests to
each other, and play into their hands mutually
as members of the same family, that the
wealth and strength of any one part should
be viewed as the wealth and strength of the
To Hugh Williamson. Ford ed., vii, 201.
(Pa., Feb. 1798)

8668. UNION (The Federal), Foreign plots against.—

The request of a communication
of any information, which may have
been received at any time since the establishment
of the present [Federal] Government,
touching combinations with foreign nations
for dismembering the Union, or the corrupt
receipt of money by any officer of the United
States, from the agents of foreign governments,
can be complied with but in a partial
degree. It is well understood that, in the first
or second year of the presidency of General
Washington, information was given to him
relating to certain combinations with the
agents of a foreign government for the dismemberment
of the Union; which combinations
had taken place before the establishment
of the present Federal Government. This
information, however, is believed never to
have been deposited in any public office, or
left in that of the President's secretary, these
having been duly examined, but to have been
considered as personally confidential, and
therefore, retained among his private papers.
A communication from the Governor of Virginia
to General Washington, is found in the
office of the President's secretary, which,
though not strictly within the terms of the
request of the House of Representatives, is
communicated, inasmuch as it may throw
some light on the subjects of the correspond
ence of that time, between certain foreign
agents and citizens of the United States. In
the first or second year of the administration
of President Adams, Andrew Ellicott, then
employed in designating, in conjunction with
the Spanish authorities the boundaries between
the territories of the United States
and Spain, under the treaty with that nation,
communicated to the Executive of
the United States papers and information
respecting the subjects of the present inquiry,
which were deposited in the office of State.
Copies of these are now transmitted to the
House of Representatives, except of a single
letter and a reference from the said Andrew
Ellicott, which being expressly desired to be
kept secret, is, therefore, not communicated,
but its contents can be obtained from him in
a more legal form, and directions have been
given to summon him to appear as a witness
before the court of inquiry. [Wilkinson court
of inquiry.] A paper “on the commerce of
Louisiana”, bearing date of the 18th of April,
1798, is found in the office of State, supposed
to have been communicated by Mr. Daniel
Clark, of New Orleans, then a subject of
Spain, and now of the House of Representatives
of the United States, stating certain
commercial transactions of General Wilkinson,
in New Orleans; an extract from this is
now communicated, because it contains facts
which may have some bearing on the questions
relating to him. The destruction of the
War Office, by fire, in the close of 1800, involved
all information it contained at that
date. The papers already described, therefore,
constitute the whole information on the
subjects, deposited in the public offices, during
the preceding administrations, as far as has
yet been found; but it cannot be affirmed that
there may be no others, because the papers of
the office being filed, for the most part, alphabetically,
unless aided by the suggestion
of any particular name which may have given
such information, nothing short of a careful
examination of the papers in the offices generally,
could authorize such affirmation.
About a twelvemonth after I came to the administration
of the government, Mr. Clark
gave some verbal information to myself, as
well as to the Secretary of State, relating to
the same combination for the dismemberment
of the Union. He was listened to freely, and
he then delivered the letter of Governor Gagoso,
addressed to himself, of which a copy
is now communicated. After his return to
New Orleans, he forwarded to the Secretary
of State other papers, with a request, that,
after perusal, they should be burned. This,
however, was not done, and he was so informed
by the Secretary of State, and that
they would be held subject to his order.
These papers have not yet been found in the
office. A letter, therefore, has been addressed
to the former chief clerk, who may, perhaps,
give information respecting them. As far as
our memories enable us to say, they related
only to the combinations before spoken of,
and not at all to the corrupt receipt of money
by any officer of the United States; conse


Page 893
quently, they respected what was considered
as a dead matter, known to the preceding
administrations, and offering nothing new to
call for investigations, which those nearest the
dates of the transactions had not thought
proper to institute. In the course of the communications
made to me on the subject of the
conspiracy of Aaron Burr, I sometimes received
letters, some of them anonymous, some
under names true or false, expressing suspicions
and insinuations against General Wilkinson.
But only one of them and that
anonymous, specified any particular fact, and
that fact was one of those which had already
been communicated to a former administration.
No other information within the purview
of the request of the House is known to
have been received by any department of the
Government from the establishment of the
present Federal Government. That which has
recently been communicated to the House of
Representatives, and by them to me, is the
first direct testimony ever made known to
me, charging General Wilkinson with the corrupt
receipt of money; and the House of Representatives
may be assured that the duties
which this information devolves on me shall
be exercised with rigorous impartiality.
Should any want of power in the court to
compel the rendering of testimony, obstruct
that full and impartial inquiry, which alone
can establish guilt or innocence, and satisfy
justice, the legislative authority only will be
competent to the remedy. [497]
Special Message. Washington ed. viii, 90.
(Jan. 1808)


In a subsequent message Jefferson informed Congress
that the Clark letters had been found, and
transmitted some extracts from them. As to combinations
with foreign agents for the dismemberment
of the Union they contained nothing new, “nor
have we found any intimation of the corrupt receipt
of money by any officer of the United States from
any foreign nation”.—Editor.

8669. UNION (The Federal), Love for.—

Sincere love I shall forever strive to cultivate
with all our sister States.—
To the President of Congress. Ford ed., ii, 298.
(Wg. 1780)

8670. UNION (The Federal), Massachusetts federalists and.—

The design of
the leading federalists, then having direction
of the State [Massachusetts], to take advantage
of the first war with England to separate
the Northeast States from the Union has distressingly
impaired our future confidence in
them. In this, as in all other cases, we must
do them full justice, and make the fault all
their own, should the last hope of human liberty
be destined to receive its final stab from
To Dr. William Eustis. Ford ed., ix, 237.
(M. Oct. 1809)

8671. UNION (The Federal), Miseries of secession.—

What would you think of a
discourse on the benefit of the Union and
miseries which would follow a separation of
the States, to be exemplified in the eternal
and wasting wars of Europe, in the pillage
and profligacy to which these lead, and the
abject oppression and degradation to which
they reduce its inhabitants? Painted by your
vivid pencil, what could make deeper impres
sions, and what impressions could come more
home to our concerns, or kindle a livelier
sense of our present blessings?—
To Mr. Ogilvie. Washington ed. v, 605.
(M. 1811)

8672. UNION (The Federal), Nourish.—

Possessed of the blessing of self-government,
and of such a portion of civil liberty as no
other civilized nation enjoys, it now behooves
us to guard and preserve them by a continuance
of the sacrifices and exertions by which
they were acquired, and especially to nourish
that Union which is their sole guarantee.—
R. to A. New London Plymouth Society. Washington ed. viii, 166.

8673. UNION (The Federal), Pennsylvania, Virginia and.—

I wish and hope you
may consent to be added to our [Virginia] Assembly itself. There is no post where you
can render greater services, without going out
of your State. Let but this block stand firm
on its basis, and Pennsylvania do the same,
our Union will be perpetual, and our General
Government kept within the bounds and form
of the Constitution.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 162. Ford ed., vii, 110.
(M. Jan. 1797)

8674. UNION (The Federal), Rock of safety.—

A solid Union is the best rock of our
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. iii, 260.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

8675. UNION (The Federal), Rock of safety.—[continued].

To cherish the Federal
Union as the only rock of our safety, * * * [is one of] the landmarks by which we are to
guide ourselves in all our proceedings.—
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 21. Ford ed., viii, 187.
(Dec. 1802)

8676. UNION (The Federal), Safety in.

—It is a momentous truth, and happily of
universal impression on the public mind, that
our safety rests on the preservation of our
To the Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 397.
(W. May. 1801)

8677. UNION (The Federal), Safety in. [continued].

I trust the Union of
these States will ever be considered as the
palladium of their safety, their prosperity and
glory, and all attempts to sever it, will be
frowned on with reprobation and abhorrence.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. viii, 153.

8678. UNION (The Federal), Sectional ascendency.—

If on a temporary superiority
of one party, the other is to resort to a scission
of the Union, no federal government can
ever exist.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 246. Ford ed., vii, 264.
(Pa., 1798)

8679. UNION (The Federal), Self-government and.—

I regret that I am now to
die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of
themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire
self-government and happiness to their
country, is to be thrown away by the unwise
and unworthy passions of their sons, and that
my only consolation is to be, that I live not to
weep over it. If they would but dispassionately
weigh the blessings they will throw
away, against an abstract principle more
likely to be effected by union than by scission,


Page 894
they would pause before they would perpetrate
this act of suicide on themselves, and
of treason against the hopes of the world.—
To John Holmes. Washington ed. vii, 160. Ford ed., x, 158.
(M. 1820)

8680. UNION (The Federal), Sheet anchor.—

The sheet anchor of our peace at
home and safety abroad.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

8681. UNION (The Federal), Sheet anchor.—[continued].

To preserve the republican
form and principles of our Constitution,
and cleave to the salutary distribution of
powers which that has established, are the
two sheet anchors of our Union. If driven
from either, we shall be in danger of foundering.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 298. Ford ed., x, 232.
(M. 1823)

8682. UNION (The Federal), State rights and.—

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
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 327.
(Pa., 1799)

8683. UNION (The Federal), Strength.—

If there be any among us who would wish
to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican
form, let them stand undisturbed as
monuments of the safety with which error of
opinion may be tolerated where reason is left
free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some
honest men fear that a republican government
cannot be strong; that this Government is
not strong enough. But would the honest
patriot, in full tide of successful experiment,
abandon a Government which has so far kept
us free and firm, on the theoretic and visionary
fear that this Government, the world's
best hope, may by possibility want energy to
preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this,
on the contrary, the strongest government on
earth. I believe it is the only one where
every man, at the call of the laws, would fly
to the standard of the law, and would meet
invasions of the public order as his own personal
concern. Sometimes it is said that man
cannot be trusted with the government of
himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the
government of others? Or have we found
angels, in the forms of kings, to govern him?
Let history answer this question.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 2. Ford ed., viii, 3.

8684. UNION (The Federal), War and.—

If we engage in a war during our present
passions, and our present weakness in some
quarters, our Union runs the greatest risk of
not coming out of that war in the shape in
which it enters it.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 188. Ford ed., vii, 150.
(M. June. 1797)

8685. UNION (The Federal), Washington and.—

I can scarcely contemplate a more
incalculable evil than the breaking of the
Union into two or more parts. Yet when we
review the mass which opposed the original
coalescence, when we consider that it lay
chiefly in the Southern quarter, that the Legislature
have availed themselves of no occasion
of allaying it, but on the contrary whenever
the Northern and Southern prejudices
have come into conflict, the latter have been
sacrificed and the former soothed; that the
owers of the [public] debt are in the Southern
and the holders of it in the Northern division;
that the anti-federal champions are now
strengthened in argument by the fulfilment of
their predictions; that this has been brought
about by the monarchical federalists themselves,
who, having been for the new government
merely as a stepping stone to monarchy,
have themselves adopted the very constructions
of the Constitution, of which, when
advocating its acceptance before the tribunal
of the people, they declared it insusceptible;
that the republican federalists, who espoused
the same government for its intrinsic merits,
are disarmed of their weapons; that which
they denied as prophecy, having now become
true history, who can be sure that these things
may not proselyte the small number which
was wanting to place the majority on the
other side? And this is the event at which I
tremble, and to prevent which I consider your
[President Washington] continuing at the
head of affairs as of the last importance. The
confidence of the whole Union is centred in
you. Your being at the helm, will be more
than answer to every argument which can be
used to alarm and lead the people in any
quarter into violence and secession. North
and South will hang together, if they have
you to hang on; and, if the first correction of
a numerous representation [in Congress] should fail in its effect, your presence will
give time for trying others not inconsistent
with the Union and peace of the States.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 363. Ford ed., vi, 4.
(Pa., May. 1792)

8686. UNION (The Federal), Western interests and.—

Our true interest will be best
promoted by making all the just claims of our
fellow citizens, wherever situated, our own;
by urging and enforcing them with the
weight of our whole influence; and by exercising
in * * *, every * * * instance,
a just government in their concerns, and
making common cause even where our separate
interest would seem opposed to theirs.
No other conduct can attach us together;
and on this attachment depends our happiness.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 605. Ford ed., iv, 263.
(P. 1786)

8687. UNION (The Federal), Western interests and.—[continued].

This measure [dividing
the Western country into fewer and smaller
States] with the disposition to shut up the
Mississippi, gives me serious apprehensions of
the severance of the Eastern and Western
parts of our confederacy. It might have been
made the interest of the Western States to
remain united with us, by managing their interests
honestly, and for their own good. But,
the moment we sacrifice their interests to our
own, they will see it is better to govern themselves.
The moment they resolve to do this,
the point is settled. A forced connection is


Page 895
neither our interest, nor within our power.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 66. Ford ed., iv, 333.
(P. Dec. 1786)

8688. UNION (The Federal), Western interests and.—[further continued].

I fear, from an expression
in your letter, that the people of Kentucky
think of separating, not only from Virginia
(in which they are right), but also from the
Confederacy. I own, I should think this a
most calamitous event, and such an one as
every good citizen on both sides should set
himself against.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. i, 518. Ford ed., iv, 188.
(P. Jan. 1786)

8689. UNION (The Federal), Western interests and.—[further continued] .

Whether we remain in
one confederacy, or break into Atlantic and
Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very
important to the happiness of either part.
Those of the western confederacy will be as
much our children and descendants as those
of the eastern, and I feel myself as much
identified with that country, in future time,
as with this; and did I now foresee a separation
at some future day, yet I should feel the
duty and the desire to promote the western
interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all
the good for both portions of our future
family which should fall within my power.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 525. Ford ed., viii, 295.
(W. Jan. 1804)

See Centralization, Colonies, Confederation; Constitution,
Federal Government and United

8690. UNITED STATES, Assumption of title.—

We, therefore, the representatives
of the United States of America, in General
Congress assembled, do in the name,
and by the authority of the good people
of these States reject and renounce
all allegiance and subjection to the kings
of Great Britain and all others who May
hereafter claim by, through, or under them;
we utterly dissolve all political connection
which may heretofore have subsisted between
us and the people or parliament of
Great Britain: and finally we do assert and
declare these Colonies to be free and independent
States; and that as free and independent
States, they have full power to levy
war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish
commerce, and to do all other acts and
things which independent States may of right
do. And for the support of this declaration,
we mutually pledge to each other our lives,
our fortunes, and our sacred honor. [498]
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress changed the above so as to make it read
“We, therefore, the representatives of the United
States of America in General Congress assembled,
appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World
for the rectitude of our intentions, do in the name,
and by the authority of the good people of these
Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these
united Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States: that they are absolved
from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all
political connection between them and the state of
Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved:
and that as free and independent States, they
have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract
alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other
acts and things which INDEPENDENT States may of
right do. And for the support of this Declaration,
with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our
lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”—Editor.

8691. UNITED STATES, Benign influence.—

The station which we occupy among
the nations of the earth is honorable, but
awful. Trusted with the destinies of this
solitary republic of the world, the only monument
of human rights, and the sole depositary
of the sacred fire of freedom and self-government,
whence it is to be lighted up in
other regions of the earth, if other regions of
the earth shall ever become susceptible of its
benign influence. All mankind ought then,
with us, to rejoice in its prosperous, and
sympathize in its adverse fortunes, as involving
everything dear to man. And to what
sacrifices of interest, or convenience, ought
not these considerations to animate us? To
what compromises of opinion and inclination,
to maintain harmony and union among ourselves,
and to preserve from all danger this
hallowed ark of human hope and happiness.—
R. to A. Citizens of Washington. Washington ed. viii, 157.

8692. UNITED STATES, Continental influence.—

When our strength shall permit
us to give the law of our hemisphere it
should be that the meridian of the mid-Atlantic
should be the line of demarcation between
peace and war, on this side of which
no act of hostility should be committed, and
the lion and the lamb lie down in peace together.—
To Dr. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 33.

8693. UNITED STATES, Destinies of.—

A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the
rich productions of their industry, engaged in
commerce with nations who feel power and
forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies
beyond the reach of mortal eye,—when I contemplate
these transcendent objects, and see
the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of
this beloved country committed to the issue
and the auspices of this day, I shrink from
the contemplation, and humble myself before
the magnitude of the undertaking.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 1. Ford ed., viii, 2.

8694. UNITED STATES, Disputed territory.—

Spain sets up a claim to possessions
within the State of Georgia founded on her
having rescued them by force from the British,
during the late war. The following view
of the subject seems to admit no reply: The
several States, now comprising the United
States of America, were, from their first establishment,
separate and distinct societies,
dependent on no other society of men whatever.
They continued at the head of their respective
governments the executive magistrate
who presided over the one they had left,
and thereby secured, in effect, a constant
amity with that nation. In this stage of their
government, their several boundaries were
fixed; and particularly the southern boundary
of Georgia, the only one now in question, was
established at the 31st degree of latitude from
the Apalachicola westwardly; and the western


Page 896
boundary, originally the Pacific Ocean, was, by the Treaty of Paris, reduced to the
middle of the Mississippi. The part which
our chief magistrate took in a war waged
against us by the nation among whom he resided,
obliged us to discontinue him, and to
name one within every State. In the course
of this war, we were joined by France as an
ally, and by Spain and Holland as associates
having a common enemy. Each sought that
common enemy wherever they could find him.
France, on our invitation, landed a large army
within our territories, continued it with us
two years, and aided us in recovering sundry
places from the possession of the enemy. But
she did not pretend to keep possession of
the places rescued. Spain entered into the remote
western part of our territory, dislodged
the common enemy from several of the posts
they held therein, to the annoyance of Spain;
and perhaps thought it necessary to remain in
some of them, as the only means of preventing
their return. We, in like manner, dislodged
them from several posts in the same western
territory, to wit: Vincennes, Cahokia, Kaskaskia,
&c., rescued the inhabitants, and retained
constantly afterwards both them and
the territory under our possession and government.
At the conclusion of the war, Great
Britain, on the 30th of November, 1782, by
treaty acknowledged our Independence, and
our boundary, to wit, the Mississippi to the
West, and the completion of the 31st degree,
&c., to the South. In her treaty with Spain,
concluded seven weeks afterwards, to wit,
January 20th, 1783, she ceded to her the two
Floridas (which had been defined in the proclamation
of 1763), and Minorca; and by the
eighth article of the treaty, Spain agreed to
restore without compensation, all the territories
conquered by her, and not included in
the treaty either under the head of cessions
or restitutions, that is to say, all except Minorca
and the Floridas. According to this stipulation,
Spain was expressly bound to have
delivered up the possessions she had taken
within the limits of Georgia, to Great Britain,
if they were conquests on Great Britain, who
was to deliver them over to the United States;
or rather she should have delivered them
over to the United States themselves, as standing,
quoad hoc, in the place of Great Britain.
And she was bound by natural right to
deliver them to the same United States on a
much stronger ground, as the real and only
proprietors of those places which she had
taken possession of, in a moment of danger,
without having had any cause of war with the
United States, to whom they belonged, and
without having declared any; but on the contrary,
conducting herself in other respects as
a friend and associate.—(Vattel, L. 3, 122.)—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 570. Ford ed., v, 461.

8695. UNITED STATES, Disputed territory.—[continued].

Should Spain pretend
* * * that there was a secret article of
treaty between the United States and Great
Britain, agreeing if, at the close of the [Revolutionary] war, the latter should retain the
Floridas, that then the southern boundary of
Georgia should be the completion of the 32d
degree of North latitude, the commissioners
[appointed to negotiate with Spain to secure
the free navigation of the Mississippi], May
safely deny all knowledge of the fact, and refuse
conference on any such postulatum. Or,
should they find it necessary to enter into any
argument on the subject, they will, of course,
do it hypothetically; and in that way May
justly say, on the part of the United States:
“Suppose that the United States, exhausted
by a bloody and expensive war with Great
Britain, might have been willing to have purchased
peace by relinquishing, under a particular
contingency, a small part of their territory,
it does not follow that the same United
States, recruited and better organized, must
relinquish the same territory to Spain without
striking a blow. The United States, too, have
irrevocably put it out of their power to do it,
by a new Constitution, which guarantees
every State against the invasion of its territory.
A disastrous war, indeed, might, by
necessity, supersede this stipulation (as necessity
is above all law), and oblige them to
abandon a part of a State; but nothing short
of this can justify, or obtain such an abandonment.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 572. Ford ed., v, 463.

8696. UNITED STATES, Disputed territory.—[further continued].

It is an established principle,
that conquest gives only an inchoate
right, which does not become perfect till confirmed
by the treaty of peace, and by a renunciation
or abandonment by the former
proprietor. Had Great Britain been that
former proprietor, she was so far from confirming
to Spain the right to the territory of
Georgia, invaded by Spain, that she expressly
relinquished to the United States any right
that might remain in her; and afterwards
completed that relinquishment by procuring
and consolidating with it the agreement of
Spain herself to restore such territory without
compensation. It is still more palpable that
a war existing between two nations, as Spain
and Great Britain, could give to neither the
right to seize and appropriate the territory
of a third, which is even neutral, much less
which is an associate in the war, as the
United States were with Spain. See, on this
subject, Grotius, L. 3, c. 6 § 26. Puffendorf,
L. 8, c. 6. § 17, 23. Vattel, L. 3 § 197,
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 572. Ford ed., v, 463.

8697. UNITED STATES, Disputed territory.—[further continued] .

A disastrous war might,
by necessity, supersede this stipulation [the
provision of the Constitution guaranteeing
every State against the invasion of its territory] (as necessity is above all law), and
oblige them to abandon a part of a State; but
nothing short of this can justify, or obtain
such an abandonment.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 573. Ford ed., v, 464.

8698. UNITED STATES, Enduring.—

When the General Government shall become
incompetent [to the objects of government
specially assigned to it] instead of flying to
monarchy or that tranquillity which it is the

No Page Number

No Page Number

No Page Number

Thomas Jefferson
Age unknown

Reproduced from an engraving by Neagle after the painting by Otis.

No Page Number


Page 897
nature of slavery to hold forth, the true
remedy would be a subdivision, as you observe.
But it is to be hoped that by a due
poise and partition of powers between the
General and particular governments we have
found the secret of extending the benign
blessing of Republicanism over still greater
tracts of country than we possess, and that a
subdivision may be avoided for ages, if not
To James Sullivan. Ford ed., v, 369.
(Pa., 1791)

8699. UNITED STATES, Enduring.—[continued].

I have much confidence that we shall proceed successfully for ages to
come, and that, contrary to the principle of
Montesquieu, it will be seen that the larger
the extent of country, the more firm its republican
structure, if founded, not on conquest,
but in principles of compact and equality.
My hope of its duration is built much
on the enlargement of the resources of life
going hand in hand with the enlargement of
territory, and the belief that men are disposed
to live honestly, if the means of doing so are
open to them.—
To M. de Marbois. Washington ed. vii, 77.
(M. 1817)

8700. UNITED STATES, England and.

—These two nations [the United States and England], holding cordially together, have
nothing to fear from the united world. They
will be the models for regenerating the condition
of man, the sources from which representative
government is to flow over the
whole earth.—
To J. Evelyn Denison. Washington ed. vii, 415.
(M. 1825)

8701. UNITED STATES, Esteemed.—

shall rejoin myself to my native country, with
new attachments, and with exaggerated esteem for its advantages; for though there is
less wealth there, there is more freedom,
more ease, and less misery.—
To Baron Geismer. Washington ed. i, 427.
(P. 1785)

8702. UNITED STATES, European powers and.—

While there are powers in Europe
which fear our views, or have views
on us, we should keep an eye on them, their
connections and oppositions, that in a moment
of need we may avail ourselves of their weakness
with respect to others as well as ourselves,
and calculate their designs and movements
on all the circumstances under which
they exist.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 335. Ford ed., iv, 483.
(P. 1787)

8703. UNITED STATES, Foreign policy.—

We must make the interest of every nation
stand surety for their justice, and their
own loss to follow injury to us, as effect follows
its cause. As to everything except commerce,
we ought to divorce ourselves from
them all.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 191. Ford ed., vii, 154.
(Pa., 1797)

8704. UNITED STATES, Foreign policy.—[continued].

The less we have to do
with the amities or enmities of Europe the
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 465. Ford ed., ix, 520.
(M. 1815)

See Alliance and Policy.

8705. UNITED STATES, Freedom from turmoil.—

How happy is it for us that we
are beyond the reach of those storms which
are eternally desolating Europe. We have
indeed a neighbor with whom misunderstandings
are possible; but they must be the
effect of interests ill calculated. Nothing is
more demonstrable than is the unity of their
and our interest for ages to come.—
To William Carmichael. Ford ed., v, 74.
(P. 1789)

8706. UNITED STATES, Freedom from turmoil.—[continued].

Our difficulties are indeed
great, if we consider ourselves alone. But when viewed in comparison to those of
Europe, they are the joys of Paradise. In
the eternal revolution of ages, the destinies
have placed our portion of existence amidst
such scenes of tumult and outrage, as no
other period, within our knowledge, had presented.
Every government but one on the
continent of Europe, demolished, a conqueror
roaming over the earth with havoc and destruction,
a pirate spreading misery and ruin
over the face of the ocean. Indeed, ours is
a bed of roses. And the system of government
which shall keep us afloat amidst the
wreck of the world, will be immortalized in
history. We have, to be sure, our petty
squabbles and heart burnings, and we have
something of the blue devils at times, as to
these Rawheads and Bloodybones who are
eating up other nations. But happily for us,
the Mammoth cannot swim, nor the Leviathan
move on dry land; and if we will keep
out of their way, they cannot get at us. If,
indeed, we choose to place ourselves within
the scope of their tether, a gripe of the paw,
or flounce of the tail, may be our fortune.
But a part of our nation chose to declare
against this, in such a way as to control the
wisdom of the government. I yielded with
others to avoid a greater evil. But from
that moment, I have seen no system which
could keep us entirely aloof from these agents
of destruction.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. v, 510. Ford ed., ix, 274.
(M. March. 1810)

8707. UNITED STATES, Future greatness.—

I do believe we shall continue to grow,
to multiply and prosper until we exhibit an
association, powerful, wise and happy beyond
what has yet been seen by men.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 37. Ford ed., ix, 333.
(M. 1812)

8708. UNITED STATES, Future greatness.—[continued].

Not in our day, but at
no distant one, we may shake a rod over the
heads of all [the European nations], which
may make the stoutest of them tremble. But
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power,
and teach us, that the less we use our power,
the greater will it be.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 465. Ford ed., ix, 520.
(M. 1815)

8709. UNITED STATES, Future greatness.—[further continued].

We are destined to be a
barrier against the returns of ignorance and
barbarism. Old Europe will have to lean on
our shoulders, and to hobble along by our
side, under the monkish trammels of priests
and kings, as she can. What a Colossus shall
we be when the southern continent comes up
to our mark! What a stand will it secure
as a ralliance for the reason and freedom of
the globe!—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 27.
(M. 1816)


Page 898

8710. UNITED STATES, Guardian of liberty.—

The eyes of the virtuous all over
the earth are turned with anxiety on us as
the only depositaries of the sacred fire of
To John Hollins. Washington ed. v, 597.
(M. 1811)

8711. UNITED STATES, Independence of.—

The several States, now comprising the
United States of America, were, from their
first establishment, separate and distinct societies,
dependent on no other society of men
whatever. They continued at the head of
their respective governments the executive
magistrate who presided over the one they
had left, and thereby secured in effect a constant
amity with that nation. * * * The
part which our chief magistrate took in a war,
waged against us by the nation among whom
he resided, obliged us to discontinue him, and
to name one within every State.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 571. Ford ed., v, 461.
(March. 1792)

— UNITED STATES, Inviolability of territory.—

See Territory, Alienation of.

8712. UNITED STATES, Manufacturing nation.—

Our enemy [Great Britain] has indeed the consolation of Satan on removing
our first parents from Paradise; from
a peaceable and agricultural nation, he makes
us a military and maufacturing one.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 400.
(M. 1814)
See Manufactures and Protection.

— UNITED STATES, National capital.—

See Washington City.

8713. UNITED STATES, Natural interests.—

The American hemisphere * * * is endowed by nature with a system of interests
and connections of its own.—
R. to A. Pittsburg Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 142.
See Monroe Doctrine and Policy.

8714. UNITED STATES, Permanence.

—Looking forward with anxiety to the future
destinies [of my countrymen] I trust that, in
their steady character unshaken by difficulties,
in their love of liberty, obedience to law, and
support of the public authorities, I see a sure
guarantee of the permanence of our Republic;
and retiring from the charge of their affairs,
I carry with me the consolation of a firm persuasion
that heaven has in store for our beloved
country long ages to come of prosperity
and happiness.—
Eighth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 110. Ford ed., ix, 225.
(Nov. 1808)

8715. UNITED STATES, Praise for.—

There is not a country on earth where there
is greater tranquillity; where the laws are
milder, or better obeyed; where every one is
more attentive to his own business or meddles
less with that of others; where strangers
are better received, more hospitably treated,
and with a more sacred respect.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 36. Ford ed., iv, 316.
(P. 1786)

8716. UNITED STATES, Prosperity.—

When you witnessed our first struggles in
the War of Independence, you little calculated,
more than we did, on the rapid growth
and prosperity of this country; on the practical
demonstration it was about to exhibit,
of the happy truth that man is capable of
self-government, and only rendered otherwise
by the moral degradation designedly superinduced
on him by the wicked acts of his
To M. de Marbois. Washington ed. vii, 77.
(M. 1817)

8717. UNITED STATES, Safety of.—

Our safety rests in the preservation of our
To the Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 397.
(W. May. 1801)

See Union.

8718. UNITED STATES, Slanders on.—

Nations, like individuals, wish to enjoy a
fair reputation. It is, therefore, desirable for
us that the slanders on our country, disseminated
by hired or prejudiced travellers,
should be corrected; but politics, like religion,
holds up the torches of martyrdom to the
reformers of error. Nor is it in the theatre
of Ephesus alone that tumults have been excited
when the crafts were in danger. You
must be cautious, therefore, in telling unacceptable
truths beyond the water.—
To Mr. Ogilvie. Washington ed. v, 605.
(M. 1811)

8719. UNITED STATES, Superiority over Europe.—

I sincerely wish you may find
it convenient to come here [Europe]; the
pleasure of the trip will be less than you expect,
but the utility greater. It will make
you adore your own country, its soil, its climate,
its equality, liberty, laws, people, and
manners. My God! how little do my countrymen
know what precious blessings they are
in possession of, and which no other people
on earth enjoy. I confess I had no idea of it
myself. While we shall see multiplied instances
of Europeans going to live in America,
I will venture to say, no man now living
will ever see an instance of an American removing
to settle in Europe, and continuing
there. Come, then, and see the proofs of this,
and on your return add your testimony to
that of every thinking American, in order to
satisfy our countrymen how much it is to
their interest to preserve, uninfected by contagion,
those peculiarities in their government
and manners, to which they are indebted for
those blessings.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 352. Ford ed., iv, 59.
(P. 1785)

8720. UNITED STATES, Supremacy.—

To the overwhelming power of England, I
see but two chances of limit. The first is
her bankruptcy, which will deprive her of
the golden instrument of all her successes.
The other is that ascendency which nature
destines for us by immutable laws. But to
hasten this consummation, we must exercise
patience and forbearance. For twenty years
to come we should consider peace as the
summum bonum of our country. At the end
of that period we shall be twenty millions in
number, and forty in energy, when encountering
the starved and rickety paupers and
dwarfs of English workshops.—
To M. Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 508.
(M. Dec. 1815)


Page 899

8721. UNITED STATES, Title of inhabitants.—

You have properly observed (in your book on the commerce of France and
the United States) that we can no longer be
called Anglo-Americans. That appellation
now describes only the inhabitants of Nova
Scotia, Canada, &c. I had applied that of
Federo-Americans to our citizens, as it would
not be so decent for us to assume to ourselves
the flattering appellation of free Americans.—
To M. de Warville. Washington ed. ii, 12. Ford ed., iv, 281.
(P. 1786)

8722. UNITED STATES, Troubles and triumphs.—

A letter from you calls up recollections
very dear to my mind. It carries
me back to the times when, beset with difficulties
and dangers, we were fellow-laborers in
the same cause, struggling for what is most
valuable to man, his right of self-government.
Laboring always at the same oar, with some
wave ever ahead, threatening to overwhelm
us, and yet passing harmless under our bark,
we knew not how we rode through the strom
with heart and hand, and made a happy port.
Still we did not expect to be without rubs
and difficulties; and we have had them,
First, the detention of the Western posts,
then the coalition of Pilnitz, outlawing our
commerce with France, and the British enforcement
of the outlawry. In your day,
French depredations; in mine, English, and
the Berlin and Milan decrees: now the English
orders of Council, and the piracies they
authorize. When these shall be over, it will
be the impressment of our seamen or something
else; and so we have gone on, and so
we shall go on, puzzled and prospering beyond
example in the history of man.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 36. Ford ed., ix, 333.
(M. Jan. 1812)

8723. UNITED STATES, Western territory.—

[The proposed new States of the
Western territory] shall forever remain a
part of the United States of America.—
Western Territory Report. Ford ed., iii, 409.

See Centralization, Confederation, Colonies, Constitution, Federal
Government and Union.

8724. UNITY, Duty of.—

Sole depositaries
of the remains of human liberty, our
duty to ourselves, to posterity, and to mankind,
calls on us by every motive which is
sacred or honorable, to watch over the safety
of our beloved country during the troubles
which agitate and convulse the residue of the
world, and to sacrifice to that all personal
and local considerations.—
R. To A. New York Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 167.

8725. UNITY, National.—

If we are
forced into a war we mus give up differences
of opinion and unite as one man to defend
our country.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 295.
(Pa., 1799)

8726. UNITY, National.—[continued].

The times do certainly
render it incumbent on all good citizens, attached
to the rights and honor of their country,
to bury in oblivion all internal differences,
and rally around the standard of their
country in opposition to the outrages of foreign
nations. All attempts to enfeeble and
destory the exertions of the General Government,
in vindication of our national rights,
or to loosen the bands of Union by alienating
the affections of the people, or opposing
the authority of the laws at so eventful a
period, merit the discountenance of all.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. viii, 153.
(Feb. 1809)

8727. UNITY, Strength in.—

If the well-known
energies and enterprise of our countrymen
* * * are embodied by an union
of will, and by a confidence in those who
direct it, our nation, so favored in its situation,
has nothing to fear from any quarter.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. v, 262.
(W. 1808)

8728. UNIVERSITY (National), Proposed establishment.—

Education is here
placed among the articles of public care, not
that it would be proposed to take its ordinary
branches out of the hands of private enterprise,
which manages so much better all the
concerns to which it is equal: but a public institution
can alone supply those sciences
which, though rarely called for, are yet necessary
to complete the circle, all the parts of
which contribute to the improvement of the
country, and some of them to its preservation.
The subject is now proposed for the
consideration of Congress, because, if approved
by the time the State Legislatures
shall have deliberated on this extension of
the Federal trusts, and the laws shall be
passed, and other arrangements made for
their execution, the necessary funds will be
on hand and without employment. I suppose
an amendment to the Constitution, by
consent of the States, necessary, because the
objects now recommended are not among
those enumerated in the Constitution, and to
which it permits the public moneys to be
applied. The present consideration of a
national establishment for education, particularly,
is rendered proper by the circumstance,
also, that if Congress, approving the
proposition, shall yet think it more eligible to
found it on a donation of lands, they have it
now in their power to endow it with those
which will be among the earliest to produce
the necessary income. This foundation would
have the advantage of being independent on
war, which may suspend other improvements
by requiring for its own purposes the resources
destined for them.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 68. Ford ed., viii, 494.
(Dec. 1806)

8729. UNIVERSITY (National), Proposed establishment.—[continued].

The desire of peace is
very much strengthened in me by that which
I feel in favor of the great subjects of your
and Mr. Fulton's letters. I had fondly hoped
to set those enterprises into motion with the
last Legislature I shall meet. But the chance
of war is an unfortunate check. I do not,
however, despair that the proposition of
amendment may be sent down this session to
the [State] Legislatures. But it is not certain.
There is a snail paced gait for the advance
of new ideas on the general mind, under


Page 900
which we must acquiesce. A forty years' experience of popular assemblies has taught
me that you must give them time for every
step you take. If too hard pushed, they
balk, and the machine retrogrades.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. v, 216. Ford ed., ix, 168.
(W. Dec. 1807)


Our aim [is] the securing to our
country a full and perpetual institution for all
the useful sciences; one which will restore us
to our former station in the confederacy. * * * Patience and perseverance on our part will secure
the blessed end. If we shrink, it is gone
To General Breckenridge. Washington ed. vii, 239.
(M. 1822)


This institution of my native
State, the hobby of my old age, will be based
on the illimitable freedom of the human mind,
to explore and to expose every subject susceptible
of its contemplation.—
To Destutt Tracy. Ford ed., x, 174.
(M. 1820)

8732. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Basis of.—[continued].

This institution ( University
of Virginia) will be based on the illimitable
freedom of the human mind. For here we
are not afraid to follow truth wherever it May
lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason
is left free to combat it.—
To Mr. Roscoe. Washington ed. vii, 196.
(M. 1820)

8733. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Discipline.—

The rock which I most dread is
the discipline of the institution, and it is that
on which most of our public schools labor. The
insubordination of our youth is now the greatest
obstacle to their education. We may lessen
the difficulty, perhaps, by avoiding too much
government, by requiring no useless observances,
none which shall merely multiply occasions
for dissatisfaction, disobedience and revolt
by referring to the more discreet of themselves
the minor discipline, the graver to the
civil magistrate, as in Edinburgh.—
To George Ticknor. Washington ed. vii, 301.
(M. 1823)

8734. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Elective studies.—

I am not fully informed
of the practices at Harvard, but there is one
from which we shall certainly vary, although
it has been copied, I believe, by nearly every
college and academy in the United States. That
is, the holding the students all to one prescribed
course of reading, and disallowing exclusive
application to those branches only which are
to qualify them for the particular vocations
to which they are destined. We shall, on the
contrary, allow them uncontrolled choice in
the lectures they shall choose to attend, and
require elementary qualification only, and sufficient
age. Our institution will proceed on
the principle of doing all the good it can without
consulting its own pride or ambition; of
letting every one come and listen to whatever
he thinks may improve the condition of his
To George Ticknor. Washington ed. vii, 300.
(M. 1823)


I contemplate the University of
Virginia as the future bulwark of the human
mind in this hemisphere.—
To Dr. Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vii, 172.
(M. 1820)

8736. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Future of.—[continued].

I had hoped that we
should open with the next year an institution
on which the fortunes of our country may de
pend more than may meet the general eye.—
To General Breckenridge. Washington ed. vii, 204.
(M. 1821)

8737. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Future of.—[further continued].

I hope the University of
Virginia will prove a blessing to my own State,
and not unuseful perhaps to some others.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 405.
(M. 1825)

8738. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Government and.—

I fear not to say that
within twelve or fifteen years from this time, a
majority of the rulers of our State will have
been educated here. They shall carry hence
the correct principles of our day, and you May
count assuredly that they will exhibit their country
in a degree of sound respectability it has
never known, either in our days, or those of
our forefathers.—
To W. B. Giles. Washington ed. vii, 429. Ford ed., x, 357.
(M. 1825)

8739. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Historical course.—

In modern history, there
are but two nations with whose course it is interesting
to us to be intimately acquainted, to
wit: France and England. For the former,
Millot's General History of France may be sufficient
to the period when I Davila commences.
He should be followed by Perefixe, Sully, Voltaire's
Louis XIV. and XV., Lacretelles
XVIIIme. Siècle, Marmontel's Regence, Foulongion's
French Revolution, and Madame de
Stael's, making up by a succession of particular
history, the general one which they want.—
To——. Washington ed. vii, 412.
(M. 1825)

8740. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Historical course.—[continued].

Hume, with Brodie,
should be the last histories of England to be
read [in the University of Virginia course].
If first read, Hume makes [his reader] an English
tory, whence it is an easy step to American
toryism. But there is a history by Baxter, in
which, abridging somewhat by leaving out some
entire incidents as less interesting now than
when Hume wrote, he has given the rest in
the identical words of Hume, except that when
he comes to a fact falsified, he states it truly,
and when to a suppression of truth, he supplies
it, never otherwise changing a word. It is,
in fact, an editic expurgation of Hume. Those
who shrink from the volume of Rapin, may read
this first, and from this lay a first foundation in
a basis of truth.—
To——. Washington ed. vii, 414.
(M. 1825)

8741. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Jefferson's last service.—

Our University is
the last of my mortal cares, and the last service
I can render my country.—
To J. Correa. Washington ed. vii, 183. Ford ed., x, 163.
(M. 1820)

8742. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Jefferson's last service.—[continued].

It is the last act of usefulness
I can render, and could I see it open
I would not ask an hour more of life.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 212. Ford ed., x, 189.
(M. 1821)

8743. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Jefferson's last service.—[further continued].

The University of Virginia
is the last object for which I shall obtrude
myself on the public observation.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 405.
(M. 1825)

8744. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Jefferson's last service.—[further continued] .

I am closing the last
scenes of my life by fashioning and fostering
an establishment for the instruction of those
who are to come after us. I hope its influence
on their virtue, freedom, fame, and happiness
will be salutary and permanent.—
To A. B. Woodward. Washington ed. vii, 406. Ford ed., x, 342.
(M. 1825)

8745. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Necessity for.—

I have wondered at the


Page 901
change of political principles which has taken
place in many in this State [Virginia], however
much less than in others. I am still more
alarmed to see, in the other States, the general
political dispositions of those to whom is confided
the education of the rising generation.
Nor are all the academies of this State free from
grounds of uneasiness. I have great confidence
in the common sense of mankind in general;
but it requires a great deal to get the better of
notions which our tutors have instilled into our
minds while incapable of questioning them,
and to rise superior to antipathies strongly
rooted. However, I suppose when the evil rises
to a certain height, a remedy will be found, if
the case admits any other than the prudence
of parents and guardians.—
To Jeremiah Moor. Ford ed., vii, 455.
(M. Aug. 1800)

8746. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Necessity for.—[continued].

How many of our youths Harvard now has, learning the lessons of antiMissourianism,
I know not; but a gentleman
lately from Princeton, told me he saw there the
list of the students at that place, and that more
than half were Virginians. These will return
home, no doubt, deeply impressed with the sacred
principles of our Holy Alliance of restrictionists.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vii, 202.
(M. 1821)

8747. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Necessity for.—[further continued].

The reflections that the boys of this age are to be the men of the next;
that they should be prepared to receive the holy
charge which we are cherishing to deliver over
to them; that in establishing an institution of
wisdom for them, we secure it to all our future
generations; that in fulfilling this duty, we
bring home to our own bosoms the sweet consolation
of seeing our sons rising under a
luminous tuition, to destinies of high promise;
these are considerations which will occur to
all; but all, I fear, do not see the speck in our
horizon which is to burst on us as a tornado,
sooner or later. The line of division lately
marked out between different portions of our
confederacy is such as will never, I fear, be obliterated,
and we are now trusting to those who
are against us in position and principle, to
fashion to their own form the minds and affections
of our youth. If, as has been estimated,
we send three hundred thousand dollars a year
to the northern seminaries, for the instruction
of our own sons, then we must have there five
hundred of our sons, imbibing opinions and
principles in discord with those of their own
country. This canker is eating on the vitals
of our existence, and if not arrested at once,
will be beyond remedy. We are now certainly
furnishing recruits to their school.—
To General Breckenridge. Washington ed. vii, 204.
(M. 1821)

8748. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Novelties in.—

There are some novelties in
[the University of Virginia]. Of that of a professorship
of the principles of government, you
express your approbation. They will be founded
in the rights of man. That of agriculture,
I am sure, you will approve; and that also of
Anglo-Saxon. As the histories and laws left
us in that type and dialect, must be the text
books of the reading of the learners, they will
imbibe with the language their free principles
of government.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 361.
(M. 1824)

8749. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Opposition to.—

An opposition [to the University] has been got up. That of our alma mater, William and Mary, is not of much
weight. She must descend into the secondary
rank of academies of preparation for the Uni
versity. The serious enemies are the priests
of the different religious sects, to whose spells
on the human mind its improvement is ominous.
Their pulpits are now resounding with denunciations
against the appointment of Dr. Cooper
whom they charge as a monetheist in opposition
to their tritheism.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 157.
(M. 1820)

See Cooper.

8750. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Opposition to.—[continued].

You say my “ handwriting
and my letters have great effect at Richmond ”. I am sensible of the kindness with
which this encouragement is held up to me. But
my views of their effect are very different.
When I retired from the administration of public
affairs, I thought I saw some evidence that I
retired with a good degree of public favor, and
that my conduct in office had been considered
by one party at least with approbation and with
acquiescence by the other. But the attempt
[University of Virginia], in which I have
embarked so earnestly to procure an improvement
in the moral condition of my native State,
although, perhaps, in other States in may have
strengthened good dispositions, it has assuredly
weakened them within our own. The attempt
ran foul of so many local interests, of so many
personal views, and so much ignorance, and I
have been considered as so particularly its promoter,
that I see evidently a great change of
sentiment towards myself. I cannot doubt its
having dissatisfied with myself a respectable
minority, if not a majority of the House of
Delegates. I feel it deeply and very discouragingly.
Yet I shall not give way. I have ever
found in my progress through life that, acting
for the public, if we do always what is right,
the approbation denied in the beginning will
surely follow us in the end. It is from posterity
we are to expect remuneration for the sacrifices
we are making for their service, of time, quiet
and good will. And I fear not the appeal. The
multitude of fine young men whom we shall
redeem from ignorance, who will feel that they
own to us the elevation of mind, of character
and station they will be able to attain from the
result of our efforts, will insure their remembering
us with gratitude.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vii, 394.
(M. 1825)

8751. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Personal sacrifices for.—

I know well your devotion to your country, and your foresight
of the awful scenes coming on her, sooner or
later. With this foresight, what service can we
ever render her equal to this? [Support of the
University of Virginia.] What object of our
lives can we propose so important? What interest
of our own which ought not to be postponed
to this? Health, time, labor, on what in
the single life which nature has given us, can
these be better bestowed than on this immortal
boon to our country? The exertions and the
mortifications are temporary; the benefit eternal.
If any member of our college of visitors could
justifiably withdraw from this sacred duty, it
would be myself, * * * but I will die
in the last ditch, and so, I hope, you will, my
friend, as well as our firm-breasted brothers
and colleagues, Mr. Johnson and General Breckenridge.
Nature will not give you a second life
wherein to atone for the omissions of this.
Pray then, dear and very dear Sir, do not think
of deserting us, but view the sacrifices which
seem to stand in your way, as the lesser duties,
and such as ought to be postponed to this, the
greatest of all. Continue with us in these holy
labors, until having seen their accomplishment,
we may say with old Simeon, “nunc dimittas,

To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vii, 202.
(M. 1821)


Page 902

8752. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Political principles.—

In the selection of our
law professor [for the University of Virginia],
we must be rigorously attentive to his political
principles. You will recollect that before the
Revolution Coke-Littleton was the universal
elementary book of law students, and a sounder
whig never wrote, nor of profounder learning
in the orthodox doctrines of the British constitution,
or in what were called English liberties.
You remember, also, that our lawyers were then
all whigs. But when his black-letter text, and
uncouth but cunning learning got out of fashion,
and the honied Mansfieldism of Blackstone
became the student's hornbook, from that moment,
that profession (the nursery of our Congress ),
began to slide into toryism, and nearly
all the young brood of lawyers now are of that
hue. They suppose themselves, indeed, to be
whigs because they no longer know what whigism
or republicanism means. It is in our seminary
that that vestal flame is to be kept alive;
it is thence it is to spread anew over our own
and the sister States. If we are true and vigilant
in our trust, within a dozen or twenty years
a majority of our own Legislature will be from
one school, and many disciples will have carried
its doctrines home with them to their several
States, and will have leavened thus the
whole mass.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. vii, 433. Ford ed., x, 376.
(M. 1826)

8753. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Proctorship.—

The establishment of a proctor
is taken from the practice of Europe, where
an equivalent officer is made a part, and is a
very essential one, of every such institution;
and as the nature of his functions requires that
he should always be a man of discretion, understanding,
and integrity, above the common
level, it was thought that he would never be
less worthy of being trusted with the powers
of a justice, within the limits of institution here,
than the neighboring justices generally are;
and the vesting him with the conservation of
the peace within that limit, was intended, while
it should equally secure its object, to shield the
young and unguarded student from the disgrace
of the common prison, except where the case
was an aggravated one. A confinement to his
own room was meant as an act of tenderness to
him, his parents and friends; in fine, it was to
give them a complete police of their own, tempered
by the paternal attentions of their tutors.
And, certainly, in no country is such a provision
more called for than in this, as has been proved
from times of old, from the regular annual riots
and battles between the students of William and
Mary with the town boys, before the Revolution,
quorum pars fui, and the many and more serious
affrays of later times. Observe, too, that our
bill proposes no exclusion of the ordinary magistrate,
if the one attached to the institution is
thought to execute his power either partially or
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vi, 537.
(M. 1816)

8754. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Professors.—

Our wish is to procure natives
[for professorships] where they can be found
* * * of the first order of requirement in
their respective lines; but, preferring foreigners
of the first order to natives of the second, we
shall certainly have to go for several of our
professors to countries more advanced in science
than we are.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 130. Ford ed., x, 139.
(M. 1819)

8755. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Professors.—[continued].

No secondary character
will be received among them. Either the ablest
which America or Europe can furnish or none
at all. They will give us the selected society
of a great city separated from the dissipations
and levities of its ephemeral insects.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 141. Ford ed., x, 145.
(M. 1819)

8756. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Professors.—[further continued].

Our intention is that its
professors shall be of the first order in their
respective lines which can be procured on
either side of the Atlantic.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., x, 236.
(M. 1822)

8757. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Professors.—[further continued] .

A man is not qualified for a professor, knowing nothing but merely
his own profession. He should be otherwise
well educated as to the sciences generally; able
to converse understandingly with the scientific
men with whom he is associated, and to assist
in the councils of the faculty on any subject of
science on which they may have occasion to deliberate.
Without this, he will incur their contempt,
and bring disreputation on the institution.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vii, 331.
(M. 1824)

8758. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Professors.—[further continued].

I have the most unlimited
confidence that in the appointment of
professors to our nursling institution, every
individual of my associates will look with a
single eye to the sublimation of its character,
and adopt, as our sacred motto, “detur digniori ”. In this way it will honor us, and bless
our country.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vii, 331.
(M. 1824)

8759. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Professors.—[further continued] .

In some departments of
science we believe Europe to be in advance
before us, and that it would advance ourselves
were we to draw from thence instructors in
these branches, and thus to improve our science,
as we have done our manufactures, by borrowed
skill. I have been much squibbed for this, perhaps
by disappointed applicants for professorships,
to which they were deemed incompetent.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 388.
(M. 1825)

8760. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Professors.—[further continued].

I have no reason to regret
the measure taken of procuring professors from abroad where science is so much ahead of
us. You witnessed some of the puny squibs
of which I was the butt on that account. They
were probably from disappointed candidates,
whose unworthiness had occasioned their applications
to be passed over. The measure has
been generally approved in the South and West;
and by all liberal minds in the North. It has
been peculiarly fortunate, too, that the professors
brought from abroad were as happy selections
as could have been hoped, as well for their
qualifications in science as correctness and
amiableness of character. I think the example
will be followed, and that it cannot fail to be
one of the efficacious means of promoting that
cordial good will, which it is so much the interest
of both nations to cherish. These teachers
can never utter an unfriendly sentiment
towards their native country; and those into
whom their instructions will be infused, are not
of ordinary significance only; they are exactly
the persons who are to succeed to the government
of our country, and to rule its future
enmities, its friendships and fortunes. As
it is our interest to receive instruction through
this channel, so I think it is yours to furnish it;
for these two nations holding cordially together,
have nothing to fear from the united world.
They will be the models for regenerating the
condition of man, the sources from which representative
government is to flow over the whole
To J. Evelyn Denison. Washington ed. vii, 415.
(M. 1825)


Page 903


Our views are catholic for the improvement
of our country by science.—
To George Ticknor. Washington ed. vii, 301.
(M. 1823)


A material question is what is the
whole term of time which the students can give
to the whole course of instruction? I should
say that three years should be allowed to general
education, and two, or rather three, to the
particular profession for which they are destined.
We [University of Virginia] receive
our students at the age of sixteen, expected to
be previously so far qualified in the languages,
ancient and modern, as that one year
in our schools shall suffice for their last
polish. A student then with us may give his
first year here to languages and mathematics;
his second to mathematics and physics; his third
to physics and chemistry, with the other objects
of that school. I particularize this distribution
merely for illustration, and not as that
which either is, or perhaps ought to be established.
This would ascribe one year to languages,
two to mathematics, two to physics,
and one to chemistry and its associates.—
To Dr. John P. Emmett. Washington ed. vii, 442.
(M. 1826)

8763. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Text books.—

In most public seminaries textbooks
are prescribed to each of the several
schools, as the norma docendi in that school;
and this is generally done by authority of the
trustees. I should not propose this generally
in our University, because I believe none of us
are so much at the heights of science in the
several branches, as to undertake this, and
therefore that it will be better left to the professors
until occasion of interference shall be
given. But there is one branch in which we are
the best judges, in which heresies may be
taught, of so interesting a character to our own
State and to the United States, as to make it a
duty in us to lay down the principles which are
to be taught. It is that of government. Mr.
Gilmer being withdrawn, we know not who his
successor may be. He may be a Richmond
lawyer, or one of that school of quondam federalism,
now consolidation. It is our duty to
guard against such principles being disseminated
among our youth, and the diffusion of that
poison, by a previous prescription of the texts
to be followed in their discourses.—
To——. Washington ed. vii, 397.
(M. 1825)


I agree with you that a professorship
of theology should have no place in our
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 389.
(M. 1814)

8765. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Theology.—[continued].

In our University there
is no professorship of divinity. A handle has
been made of this to disseminate an idea that
this is an nistitution, not merely of no religion,
but against all religion. Occasion was taken at
the last meeting of the Visitors, to bring forward
an idea that might silence this calumny,
which weighed on the minds of some honest
friends to the institution. In our annual report
to the Legislature, after stating the constitutional
reasons against a public establishment
of any religious instruction, we suggest the expediency
of encouraging the different religious
sects to establish, each for itself, a professorship
of their own tenets, on the confines of the
University, so near as that their students May
attend the lectures there, and have the free use
of our library, and every other accommodation
we can give them; preserving, however, their
independence of us and of each other. This
fills the chasm objected to ours, as a defect in
an institution professing to give instruction in
all useful sciences. I think the invitation will
be accepted, by some sects from candid intentions,
and by others from jealousy and rivalship.
And by bringing the sects together, and
mixing them with the mass of other students,
we shall soften their asperities, liberalize and
neutralize their prejudices, and make the general
religion a religion of peace, reason and
To Dr. Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vii, 267. Ford ed., x, 243.
(M. 1822)

See Education, Languages and Schools.

8766. USURPATION, Appeal against.

—We have appealed to their [British people] native justice and magnanimity, as well as to
the ties of our common kindred, to disavow
these usurpations which were likely to interrupt
our connection and correspondence.
They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice
and of consanguinity. [499]
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress changed so as to read: “We have appealed
to their native justice and magnanimity, and
we have conjured them, by the ties of our common
kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would
inevitably interrupt our connection and correspond.
ence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of
justice and of consanguinity.”—Editor.

8767. USURPATION, Parliamentary.

—The act passed in the 4th year of his Majesty's
reign [George III.], entitled “An Act
for granting certain duties in the British
Colonies and Plantations in America, &c.”;
one other act passed in the 5th year of his
reign, entitled, “An Act for granting and applying
certain stamp duties and other duties
in the British Colonies and Plantations in
America, &c.”; one other act passed in the
6th year of his reign, entitled, “An Act for
the better securing the dependency of his
Majesty's dominions in America upon the
Crown and Parliament of Great Britain”;
and one other act, passed in the 7th year of
his reign, entitled, “An Act for granting
duties on paper, tea, &c.”, form that connected
chain of parliamentary usurpation, which has
been the subject of frequent applications to
his Majesty, and the Houses of Lords and
Commons of Great Britain * * *.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 130. Ford ed., i, 435.