The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
CONSTITUTION / UNITED STATES / ORIGINAL INTENT
On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry
ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted,
recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying
what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it,
conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
to William Johnson, 12 June 1823