"And may that Infinite Power, which rules the
destinies of the universe, lead our councils to
what is best." (1801)
Thomas Jefferson was still serving in Paris during the summer of 1787 when fifty-five delegates (more or less) drafted a new frame of government; they then submitted it to a vote of the people, state by state, for their ratification or rejection. Since James Madison is generally given the honorary title of "father of the Constitution," one may assume that a Jeffersonian aura could now and then be detected in the Philadelphia State House — later Independence Hall. For Madison and Jefferson had during the previous dozen years shared their hopes, vented their mutual frustrations, and sharpened their wits against the whetstones of each other's minds. Nonetheless, Jefferson, who saw nothing as more important than the fixed foundation on which a government rested, played no direct part in the drafting of the United States Constitution.