THE JEFFERSON PROPHECY
“Besides, the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt; our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecution, and better men be his victims. It can not too often be repeated that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long; will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.”—Thomas Jefferson1
1 Notes on Virginia, Query XVII.