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In his last letter, written ten days before his death, Jefferson gave his final thoughts on the Declaration of Independence:
"May [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world, what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.
The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."
Thomas Jefferson (more quotes by Thomas Jefferson or books by/about Thomas Jefferson)
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
June 24, 1826
letter to Roger Weightman on June 24, 1826. It was his last letter, written ten days before his death - July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Constitution, Freedom, God, Grace, Ignorance, Independence, Individual Rights, Justice, Law, Liberty, President, Republic, Truth, Wisdom