simply, in Lincoln
's phrase, one of “the standard maxims of free society” which no democracy can safely disregard.
's long life, so varied, so flexible, so responsive to the touch of popular forces, illustrates the process by which the Virginia
mind of 1743 became the nationalized, unionized mind of 1826.
It is needless here to dwell upon the traits of his personal character: his sweetness of spirit, his stout-heartedness in disaster, his scorn of money, his love for the intellectual life.
“I have no ambition to govern men,” he wrote to Edward Rutledge
He was far happier talking about Greek
with Daniel Webster before the fire-place of Monticello
than he ever was in the presidential chair.
His correspondence was enormous.
His writings fill twenty volumes.
In his theories of education he was fifty years ahead of his time; in his absolute trust in humanity he was generations ahead of it. “I am not one of those who fear the people,” he declared proudly.
It is because of this touching faith, this invincible and matchless ardor, that Jefferson
is today remembered.
He foreshadowed Lincoln
His belief in the inarticulate common people is rewarded by their obstinate fidelity to his name as a type and