To your encouragements to take up the political pen, I must turn a deaf ear. my repugnance to that is insuperable, as the thing itself is unnecessary. the present generation will be as able, as that which preceded them to do for themselves what is necessary for their own happiness; and that which shall succeed them will do what they shall leave undone. constitutions & laws should change with the changes of times and circumstances. those made now may as little suit our descendants, as we should be suited by those of our Gothic ancestors. the concerns of each generation are their own care.
— Thomas Jefferson writes to William Short, 10 August 1816