October 8 1816: New Constitution

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The question of a Convention is become a party one with which I shall not intermeddle. I am willing to live under the constitution, as it is, if a majority of my fellow-citizens prefer it; altho’ I think it might be made better, and, for the sake of future generations (when principles shall have become too relaxed to permit amendment, as experience proves to be the constant course of things) I wished to have availed them of the virtues of the present time to put into a chaste & secure form, the government to be handed down to them. but I repeat that if a majority of my fellow citizens are contented with what will last their time, I am so also, and with the more reason as mine is nearly out.

— Thomas Jefferson writes to Samuel Kercheval, October 8 1816.

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