Thomas Jefferson, June 12, 1816

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it … laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.

— Thomas Jefferson, June 12, 1816

Posted by Coy Barefoot, Executive Director, Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Foundation, The Charlottesville Museum for History and Culture: “Actually it’s an argument (Jefferson’s not mine) to delete the entire Constitution and REWRITE it as needed for newer generations — something Jefferson himself advocated be done every 19 years.”

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