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Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State

By Daniel L. Dreisbach | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 7

Correspondence with the Citizens
of Cheshire, Massachusetts,
January 1802

Address of Cheshire Citizens to Jefferson

To Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States of America. SIR,

Notwithstanding we live remote from the seat of our national government, and in an extreme part of our own State, yet we humbly claim the right of judging for ourselves.

Our attachment to the National Constitution is strong and indissoluble. We consider it a description of those Powers which the people have submitted to their Magistrates, to be exercised for definite purposes; and not as a charter of favours granted by a sovereign to his subjects. Among its beautiful features, the right of free suffrage, to correct all abuses. The prohibition of religious tests, to prevent all hierarchy. The means of amendment, which it contains within itself to remove defects as fast as they are discovered, appear the most prominent. But for several years past, our apprehension has been, that the genius of the government was not attended to in sundry cases; and that the administration bordered upon monarchy: Our joy, of course, must have been great on your election to the first office in the nation. Having had good evidence, from your announced sentiments and uniform conduct that it would be your strife and glory to turn back the government to its virgin purity. The trust is great! The task is arduous! But we console ourselves, that the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, who raises up men to achieve great events, has raised up a JEFFERSON for this critical day, to defend Republicanism and to baffle all arts of Aristocracy.

-149-

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