> I am a Highschool student, and I am writing to you because it has been > impossible for me to find certain key information > for my research. After reading your web-page with all the information > you have, I thought you might be able to help me. > I have not been able to find a letter written by Thomas > Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, in which he defends himself against charges > that there was nothing new in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson > here said he was not "aiming at originality of principles or sentiments." > The Declaration, he said, "was intended to be an expression of the American > mind." > I have only been able to find these quotes, but not the > entire letter which is essential for my work. I would really appreciate it if > you could help me with this research. I also happen to know that this letter > is in the book "The Writings of T. Jeffesron" (Ed. 1869) VII, 304 The letter you are seeking was not written to Richard Henry Lee, but to Henry Lee (apparently not the same) on May 8, 1825. It is included in the Library of America volume of Jefferson's writings on page 1500. That book should be available in any public library. In fact, it was Jefferson himself who asserts that the object of the Declaration was "not to find out new principles, or new arguments never before thought of...."
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