Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Thomas Jefferson (17431826)
I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But 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 discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816.The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Paul L. Ford, vol. 10, pp. 4243 (1899).
Inscription on the southeast quadrant of the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C. The inscription omits some words without ellipses.