"You say that I have been dished up to you as an anti-federalist, and ask me if it be just. My opinion was never worthy enough of notice to merit citing; but since you ask it, I will tell it to you. I am not a federalist. ... What I disapproved from the first moment also, was the want of a bill of rights, to guard liberty against the legislative as well as the executive branches of the government; that is to say, to secure freedom in religion, freedom of the press, freedom from monopolies, freedom from unlawful imprisonment, freedom from a permanent military, and a trial by jury, in all cases determinable by the laws of the land."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
March 13th 1789, Jefferson letter to Francis Hopkinson
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Reader comments about this quote:
I am confused by this one. Is Jefferson saying that he did not approve of a Bill of Rights?
 -- Howard, Bangkok     
    One by one our freedoms have been brought down by men who would monopolize and control the very water we drink.
     -- tim, cadillac     
    Howard, Jefferson was saying that he disapproved of the want, or lack of, a Bill of Rights. He was much in favor of a Bill of rights to protect citizens from the government.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    There was a general fear of many at the Constitutional Convention that a Bill of Rights would deter from the lawful concept and legal focus that if the Constitution did not give 'VERY SPECIFIC' authority to do something, it could not be done. (by way of example: the religious sacrament of marriage becoming an issue for unconstitutional benefits, Christians in general being attacked by a national establishment of religion - socialism. There is no provision in the Constitution for such but because the Bill of Rights doesn't address the arguments, extra Constitutional legislation by the Supreme Court and others are creating a despotic state of anti-freedom tyranny). I'm not quite sure how history would have played out without a Bill of Rights ? ? ?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary: begins like this: n. waunt. [Sax. wan, supra; wanian, to fail; Goth. wan, deficiency, want. This seems to be primarily a participle of wane.]
    1. Deficiency; defect; the absence of that which is necessary or useful; as a want of power or knowledge for any purpose; want of food and clothing. The want of money is a common want. 2Cor. viii, ix.
    From having wishes in consequence of our wants, we often feel wants in consequence of our wishes. Rambler. Vol.II
    2. Need; necessity; the effect of deficiency. Pride is as loud a beggar as want, *and more saucy. Franklin
    3. Poverty; penury indigence.
    Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want. Swift
    4. The state of not having. I cannot write a letter at present for want of time.
    5. That which is not possessed, but is desired or necessary for use or pleasure.
    Habitual superfluities become actual wants. Paley

    It is an old dictionary, re-published and might help.
     -- abby     
    Thanks Jim, makes perfect sense. I do have a copy of Webster's 1828 as well. I should have picked it up.
     -- Howard, Bangkok     
    Note that 'freedom from monopolies' did not make it into the Constitutional Amendments -- this gave rise to Hamilton's first central bank of the US, and even to the Federal Reserve of today -- all private monopolies protected by the federal government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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