The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


It cannot be denied that we have among us a sect who believe that to contain whatever is perfect in human institutions; that the members of this sect have, many of them, names and offices which stand high in the estimation of our countrymen. I still rely that the great mass of our community is untainted with these heresies, as is its head. On this I build my hope that we have not labored in vain, and that our experiment will still prove that men can be governed by reason. You have excited my curiosity in saying "there is a particular circumstance, little attended to, which is continually sapping the republicanism of the United States." What is it? What is said in our country of the fiscal arrangements now going on? I really fear their effect when I consider the present temper of the southern States. Whether these measures be right or wrong abstractly, more attention should be paid to the general opinion.

to Colonel Mason, 4 February 1791