Amendment I (Religion)
William Bradford to James Madison4 Mar. 1774Madison Papers 1:109
I am sorry to hear that Persecution has got so much footing among you. The discription you give of your Country makes me more in love with mine. Indeed I have ever looked on America as the land of freedom when compared with the rest of the world, but compared with the rest of america Tis Pennsylvania that is so. Persecution is a weed that grows not in our happy soil: and I do no[t] remember that any Person was ever imprisoned here for his religious sentiments however heritical or unepiscopal they might be. Liberty (As Caspipina says in his Letters) [is] the Genius of Pennsylvania; and it[s] inhabitants think speak and act with a freedom unknow[n]--I do indeed pity you; & long to see you according to your own expression, "breathing our purer air." The Synod will meet here about the middle of may. You will then have an opportunity of seeing most of your Nassovian friends, and higthing the felicity that friends long seperated enjoy when they meet.
The Papers of John Marshall. Edited by Herbert A. Johnson et al. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, in association with the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1974--.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago