Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO WILLIAM STEPHENS SMITH - The Works, vol. 5 (Correspondence 1786-1789)
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TO WILLIAM STEPHENS SMITH - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 5 (Correspondence 1786-1789) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 5.
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TO WILLIAM STEPHENS SMITH
Paris Feb. 2, 1788.
— * * * With respect to Mr. Adams’s picture I must again press it to be done by Brown,1 because Trumbul does not paint of the size of the life & could not be asked to hazard himself on it. I have sent to Florence for those of Columbus (if it exists) of Americus Vesputius, Magellan &c., and I must not be disappointed of Mr. Adams’s when done. Mr. Trumbul will receive & forward it to me. Be so good also as to let me know who undertook the Map of S. America, & even to get from him some acknowledgment in writing, of what he is to do. I am glad to learn by letters which come down to the 20th of December that the new Constitution will undoubtedly be received by a sufficiency of the States to set it a going. Were I in America, I would advocate it warmly till nine should have adopted & then as warmly take the other side to convince the remaining four that they ought not to come into it till the declaration of rights is annexed to it. By this means we should secure all the good of it, & procure so respectable an opposition as would induce the accepting states to offer a bill of rights. This would be the happiest turn the thing could take. I fear much the effects of the perpetual re-eligibility of the President. But it is not thought of in America, & have therefore no prospect of a change of that article. But I own it astonishes me to find such a change wrought in the opinions of our countrymen since I left them, as that three fourths of them should be contented to live under a system which leaves to their governors the power of taking from them the trial by jury in civil cases, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce, the habeas corpus laws, & of yoking them with a standing army. This is a degeneracy in the principles of liberty to which I had given four centuries instead of four years. But I hope it will all come about. We are now vibrating between too much and too little government, & the pendulum will rest finally in the middle. Adieu, yours affectionately.
[1 ]In his few weeks’ visit in England Jefferson had also been painted by this artist, being his earliest portrait. The original I have not been able to trace, but a replica was made for Adams, and is now at Quincy. It has been engraved for Appleton’s American Biography.