Convention of Statesmen

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Thomas Jefferson's Last Words to America

Respected Sir: 
The kind invitation I received from you, on the part of the citizens of the city of Washington, to be present with them at their celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of American Independence, as one of the surviving signers of an instru-ment, pregnant with our own and the fate of the world, is most flattering to myself, and heightened by the honorable accompaniment proposed for the comfort of such a journey. It adds sensibly to the sufferings of sickness, to be deprived by it of a personal participation in the rejoicings of that day; but acquiescence is a duty under circumstances not placed among those we are permitted to control.  
I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there congratulations, personally, with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make, for our country, between sub-mission and the sword; and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we made.
May it 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 them-selves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. The 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.
Nine days later, the father of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, took his final rest, leaving behind counsel that remains timeless and timely. May we all reflect and remember.

Source: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=968&sid=16202604

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.
Thomas Jefferson's Last Words to America Thomas Jefferson's Last Words to America Reviewed by Candace Salima on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 Rating: 5