Lewis Henry Boutell, in his "Jefferson as a Man of Letters," says:
"That Jefferson, in justifying the action of the colonists, should have
thought more of the metaphysical rights than historical facts, illustrates
one of the marked features of his character. He was often more of a
doctrinaire than a practical statesman. He reminds us of the words which
Burke applied on a certain occasion to Chatham: 'For a wise man he seemed
to me at that time to be governed too much by general maxims.' "