Letter to William Pendleton on requirements for voting
August 26, 1776
[Voting for the Virginia house of representatives should be open to rich and poor alike. TGW]
Now as to the representative house, which ought to be so constructed as to answer that character truly: I was for extending the rights of suffrage (or in other words the rights of a citizen) to all who had a permanent intention of living in the country. Take what circumstances you please as evidence for this, either the having resided a certain time, or having a family, or having property, any or all of them. Whoever intends to live in a country must wish the country well, and has a natural right of assisting in the preservation of it.
[From Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), 1:504.]