Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Circular to Customs Collectors

Circular to Customs Collectors

# The Law, having given to the Collectors, the Appointment of a number of inferior Officers, Subject to my Approbation, there is, on that Subject, on which we must act in Concert, but one Sentiment that I wish to communicate; it is, that the Door of Office, be no longer shut, against any man, merely on account of his political Opinions; but that, whether he shall differ or not, from those, avowed, either by You, or by myself, Integrity, and Capacity suitable to the Station, be the only Qualifications, that shall direct our Choice.—
# Permit me, since I have touched this topic, to add that, whilst freedom of opinion, & freedom of suffrage at public elections are considered by the President, as imperscriptible rights, which, possessing as citizens, you cannot have lost by becoming public officers; he will regard any exercise of official influence to restrain or controul the same rights in others as injurious to that part of the public administration which is confided to your care, and practically destructive of the fundamental principles of a republican Constitution—

Dft (NHi: Gallatin Papers); undated; final two paragraphs only, with the first being in a clerk’s hand and the second in Gallatin’s hand; torn away from first part of circular to collectors, perhaps that issued by the Treasury Department on 20 Aug. (see below).

These two paragraphs were not included in the Treasury Department circular of 20 Aug., which contained directions to the collectors on the submission of accounts. For the circular, see enclosure listed at Gallatin to TJ, 29 Aug.

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