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LETTER from THOMAS JEFFERSON, To Mr. WEIGHTMAN, late Mayor of Washington.
Complete Explanation:
An allegory of printing and liberty, illustrating a broadside of a June 24, 1826, letter from Thomas Jefferson on American democracy. The female figure of Liberty displays to the Four Continents the art of printing. Liberty stands to the right of a hand printing press over which hovers the figure of Fame. On the left stand female personifications of Asia and Europe; on the right are an Indian Queen (representing the Americas) and a kneeling black woman (Africa). In the foreground left is a pile of volumes and a scroll with the names of early printers Faustus, Caxton, and Bradford. In the right distance is a Temple of Liberty. In the left background a dark figure or demon falls from the sky. Jefferson's letter to the Mayor of Washington expresses his regret at not being able to attend the fiftieth anniversary celebration of American Independence in Washington. Jefferson describes the Declaration of Independence as "the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, . . . ." Jefferson died ten days after writing the letter.

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