Thomas Jefferson Papers

I. Preliminary Draft: Naturalization, [before 12 November 1801]

I. Preliminary Draft: Naturalization

[before 12 Nov. 1801]

recommend a revisal of the law respecting citizens.

every man has a right to live somewhere on the earth. and if somewhere, no one society has a greater right than another to exclude him.1 becoming indeed a member of any society, he is bound to conform to the rules formed by the majority. but has the majority a right to subject him to unequal rules, to rules from which they exempt themselves. I hazard these suggestions2 for the considn of Congress.

the only rightful line is between transient persons & bona fide citizens3

Dft (DLC: TJ Papers, 155:27102); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated.

1TJ first wrote “no one nation has a greater right to exclude him than” before altering the passage to read as above.

2Preceding three words interlined in place of “suggest these considns.”

3Above this word TJ interlined “residents” without canceling the original word.

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