Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Adams, 5 February 1795

From John Adams

Philadelphia Feb. 5. 1795

Dear Sir

The inclosed Pamphlet and Papers I have received this Week from the Author, with his request to transmit them to you. I have before transmitted in the Course of this Winter, another Packet from the same Writer; but have as yet no answer from you: so that I am uncertain whether you have received it.

Mr. Jays Treaty with Britain is not yet arrived at the Secretary of States office, though there is some reason to Suppose it is arrived at New York.

You will see by the Changes in the Executive Department that the Feelings of officers are in a Way to introduce Rotations enough, which are not contemplated by the Constitution. Those Republicans who delight in Rotations will be gratified in all Probability, till all the Ablest Men in the Nation are roted out. To me these Things indicate something to be amiss somewhere. If Public offices are to be made Punishment, will a People be well served? Not long I trow. I am Sir with great Regard your most obedient

John Adams

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Feb. 1795 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: François D’Ivernois to TJ, 11 Nov. 1794, and enclosures.

Changes in the executive department: following the resignations of Henry Knox and Alexander Hamilton, the Senate had confirmed President Washington’s nominations of Timothy Pickering, Postmaster General, as Secretary of War and Oliver Wolcott, Jr., Comptroller of the Treasury, as Secretary of the Treasury on 2 Jan. and 3 Feb. 1795, respectively. Pickering’s transfer resulted in the Senate’s confirmation of Joseph Habersham as Postmaster General on 25 Feb. 1795 (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , i, 168–9, 170, 171,173,174).

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