The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
PAINE, THOMAS / RIGHTS OF MAN
I received with great pleasure the present of your pamphlets, as well
for the thing itself as that it was a testimony of your recollection.
Would you believe it possible that in this country there should be
high and important characters who need your lessons in republicanism,
and who do not heed them? It is but too true that we have a sect
preaching up and pouting after an English constitution of king, lords
and commons, and whose heads are itching for crowns, coronets and
mitres. But our people, my good friend, are firm and unanimous in
their principles of republicanism and there is no better proof of it
than that they love what you write and read it with delight. The
printers season every newspaper with extracts from your last, as they
did before from your first part of the Rights of Man. They have both
served here to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to prove that
though the latter appears on the surface, it is on the surface only.
The bulk below is sound and pure. Go on then in doing with your pen
what in other times was done with the sword: show that reformation is
more practicable by operating on the mind than on the body of man, and
be assured that it has not a more sincere votary nor you a more ardent
well-wisher than ...
to Thomas Paine, 19 June 1792