Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14 — 1781
History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.
letter to John Adams — 1817
A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.
"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society." —James Madison (1788)