Extract: Thomas Jefferson to the General Assembly of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 26 May 1801

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“It is a momentous truth, & happily of universal impression on the public mind, that our safety rests on the preservation of our union. our citizens have wisely formed themselves into one nation as to others, and several states as among themselves. to the United nation belongs our external & mutual relations:1 to each state severally the care of our persons, our property, our reputation, and religious freedom. this wise distribution, if carefully preserved, will prove I trust, from example, that while smaller governments are better adapted to the ordinary objects of society, larger confederations more effectually secure independance, and the preservation of republican government.”

 

Full transcript available at Founders Online.