« ПредишнаНапред »
The letter of transmittal to Jefferson - headed : “[S] Department of State Washington 24 June 1824." and signed by John Quincy Adams — reads as follows: “In pursuance of a joint Resolution, of the two Houses of Congress, a copy of which is hereto annexed, and by direction of the President of the United States, I have the honour of transmitting to you two fac simile copies of the Declaration of Independence, engrossed on parchment... Of this Document, unparalleled in the annals of Mankind, the original deposited in this Department exhibits your name as one of the Subscribers — The rolls herewith transmitted are copies as exact as the art of engraving can present of the Instrument itself, as well as of the signatures to it. forming the duty thus assigned to me, permit me to felicitate you and the Country which is reaping the reward of your labours, as well that your hand was affixed to this record of glory, as that after the lapse of near half a century, you survive to receive this tribute of reverence and gratitude from your children, the present fathers of the Land.”
Jefferson (as shown by what is evidently the original draft formerly in the Department of State and now in the Library of Congress) answers him from Monticello, July 18th: “I have received the two copies of the fac simile of the Decln of Indepdce
have been so kind as to send me under a resoln of Congress, with due sense of respect for this mark of attention to myself I contemplate with pleasure the evidence afforded of reverence for that instrument, and view in it a pledge of adhesion to it's principles, and of a sacred determination to maintain and perpetuate them.”
# Jefferson and Adams both died on July 4, 1826.
Jefferson wrote (See The Writings of Thomas Jefferson by H. A. Washington) on June 24th to Mayor Roger C. Weightman : “ The kind invitation I receive from you, on the part of the
citizens of the city of Washington, to be present with them at their celebration on the fiftieth anniversary of American independence, as one of the surviving signers of an instrument pregnant with our own, and the fate of the world, is most flattering to myself, and heightened by the honorable accompaniment proposed for the comfort of such a journey. It adds sensibly to the sufferings of sickness, to be deprived by it of a personal participation in the rejoicings of that day. But acquiescence is a duty, under circumstances not placed among those we are permitted to control. I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there congratulations personally with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword; and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact, that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we made. May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are open, or opening, to the rights of man.
The general spread of the light of science has already Jaid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.”
Adams replied to a similar invitation from New York City: “[J] Not these United States alone, but a mighty continent, the
ing. If so and the statement is true, other drafts preceded what is now known (See between pp. 144 and 145) as Jefferson's rough draft ; but we know that no fair copy was made between the time when John Adams made his copy (See note 48, supra) and when the copy was made which was submitted to Congress. No such drafts have been preserved, however, nor is there any other mention of them ; and it will be remembered that Jefferson himself endorsed what is now known as the rough draft as follows : “ Independance Declaration of original Rough draught". Indeed, the fact shown in note 60, supra, would seem to prove that he did not always make a “ fair copy" “ whenever ... a copy became overcharged”; and we know that, in 1776, paper was quite expensive.
106 See note 104, supra.
106 This letter was evidently the result of a letter from Wallace, to Mrs. Randolph, dated Fauquier, Va., October 14th, which says :
[S] ... it would appear that the patriotism of Richard Henry Lee was spurious, involuntary and freckled, being the fruit of sour disappointments from unsuccessful attempts to procure offices under the Crown, hence his sudden change from the King to the people, however popular, was nevertheless from want of political principle and not from pure countries good and love of political principle and Liberty ... Being at the Lafayette dinner at Leesburg a toast was given which introduced a conversation anticipating the Biography of Richard Henry Lee, by his grandson : tis expected that nothing will be regarded if the fame of Lee can be raised : the old tale of his writing the declaration of Independence will be renewed . . . I beg, if consistent, after the view I have taken, that a full and general statement may reach me in your fathers hand writing, that I may Keep it in readiness to defeat the expected denunciations and pervertions of truth
107 On the contrary, they are to be found in the Appendix to the first volume.
108 These corrections were made very likely after a fair copy to send was made.
109 See Jefferson's letter to John Adams, note 4, chapter IV. 110 Another portion of this letter may be found in note 50, chapter VII.
111 Jefferson says (See pp. 144 and 345) that no change was made in committee, but that a fair copy was reported to them and (unchanged) by them to Congress. See also pp. 141 and 143. Of course, however, as we have seen, slight amendments were suggested by John Adams and Franklin ; and, indeed, see note 55, supra.
113 It will be noted that this language is not the same as that found in his letter of February 25, 1840. Indeed, he makes still different statements
16 See Appendix, p. 346. 17 Taken from the copy in the Department of State. 18 The Declaration was evidently one of these. 19 Taken from the original in the Department of the Interior,
20 For photograph, see The Declaration of Independence by Michael, between pp. 16 and 17, and The Ladies' Home Journal for July, 1898.
21 For photograph, see The Declaration of Independence by Michael, facing p. 16, and The Ladies' Home Journal for July, 1898.
22 On the door of the cabinet (referred to in the text) from which the Declaration was removed appears the following: “[S] The rapid fading of the text of the original Declaration of Independence and the deterioration of the parchment upon which it is engrossed, from exposure to the light and from lapse of time, render it impracticable for the Department longer to exhibit it or to handle it. For the secure preservation of its present condition, so far as may be possible, it has been carefully wrapped and placed fat in a steel case In lieu of the original a fac simile is placed here. By order of the Secretary of State.”
23 See facing p. 218.