Requests for Information Related to Thomas Jefferson



> Here's my question:  in the Jefferson memorial there is a quote about
> the developmental process that people's minds take and that the people
> of Jefferson's time had progressed cognitively to the point that they
> were now able to participate in a democracy.  He seems to be making the
> point that a society as a whole develops mentally and as this occurs,
> the society becomes able to make a democracy "work."  Do you have a
> suggestion as to where I could find this quote (the book, collection of
> letters, etc.)?  I'd like to read more on the subject as written by
> Jefferson.

The writings on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial are listed at the
following website:

The one you are referring to is probably this one:

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but
laws and institutions must
go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more
developed, more
enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and
manners and opinions change,
with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep
pace with the times. We
might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when
a boy as civilized society to
remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." Taken from a
letter to Samuel
Kercheval, July 12, 1816.

That letter is in the Library of America volume of Jefferson's Writings
(available in any public library), page 1395.


Table of Contents