Letter to Henry Lee
Letter to Henry Lee 1
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
In his later years, Jefferson answered hundreds of letters, including, in this instance, a query about the Declaration of Independence, explaining that it drew upon a long political and philosophical tradition and reflected principles widely understood by Americans of the founding era.
May 8, 1825
...That George Mason was the author of the bill of rights, and of the constitution founded on it, the evidence of the day established fully in my mind. Of the paper you mention, purporting to be instructions to the Virginia delegation in Congress, I have no recollection. If it were anything more than a project of some private hand, that is to say, had any such instructions ...