Fire bell in the night (Quotation)

"but this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. it is hushed indeed for the moment. but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence."
- Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes (discussing the Missouri question), Monticello, 22 April 1820[1]

Footnotes

  1. Ford XII:158. Polygraph copy at the Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/master/mss/mtj/mtj1/051/1200/1238.jpg.

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