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Cato’s Letters

Cato the Minor

Cato’s letters could be found on the shelves of over 40% of the homes during the American revolution. This work was praised by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. It has been noted by historians that Cato’s Letters were more influential on the colonies than Locke’s Civil Government. The works of John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon list among the top works cited by the Founding Generation. This largely forgotten work is essential for understanding founding thought.

This collection was written by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon between October 1720 and July 1723, and were originally published in the London Journal under the pseudonym of “Cato”. The pseudonym was based on that of Cato the Minor who lived between 95-45 BC. Cato was a Roman statesman and politician known for his long running conflict with Julius Caesar. He has long been remembered for his moral integrity, immunity to bribes, and his vocal opposition to the rampant corruption of the day.

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