Thomas Jefferson Papers

II. Partial Draft: Appointments and Post Office, [before 12 November 1801]

II. Partial Draft: Appointments and Post Office

[before 12 Nov. 1801]

You are not unapprised, fel. cit, of the differences of opn which prevaild among our citizens as to the proceedings of the govmt, legislative & Exec; and that all offices were given exclusively to those who1 thought with the govmt. when I was called to administer the Exve functions,2 rigorous justice would have required that the proscribed party constituting in fact the bulk of the nation should have been restored to at least an equal participn of office. in the greater no of the states however, the desire to see3 harmony & the friendly affections restored to society prevailed over a sense of injury,4 & produced an acquiescence in the existing slate of office until the ordinary course of accidents might introduce them quietly into that participation of the honors & trusts of their country to which they were justly entitled. in these states few or no removals have taken place. in other parts of the union however where the conflict of opn had been higher, & the temperature of the public mind proportionably warmer, the claims of right were less yielding, & expediency as well as justice called on me to exercise this painful duty.5 in order that there might be the less to do, I thought it expedient to refuse6 office to the nominations made in the last moments7 of the preceding admn. these comprehended nearly the whole ground of our foreign affairs, an important portion of the judiciary, besides other important offices. most of these being8 to enter into office at the same time with the new admn. it was thought9 but reasonable that the admn should appoint for itself. this was accdly done with the greater part of those who10 depended on the Exve will. exclusive of these, the whole removals not to be dispensed with have been11 but of about   of the very numerous officers depending on the will of the Exve. moderate as this exercise of the power appmt has been, I know it has given uneasiness to some of12 our best intentioned citizens, who residing in the parts of the union where the passions had not

were not apprised that a different temperature of mind required in other states a different treatmt. this opern being once performed it is trusted that no other circumstance will arise to obstruct that conciliatory process which I am13 sincerely desirous to

one thing indeed is still to be noted. the complaints of abusive conduct in the subordinate departments of the post office, are too multiplied, too well founded, not to command attention. great changes must inevitably be made in that departmt. before the public confidce can be restored. as the regulns of that office will probably be before you; it will rest with you to consider whether

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 233:41779); entirely in TJ’s hand, with a wide margin for revisions; undated.

Fel. cit: “fellow citizens.” TJ addressed the Senate and House by this phrase in all but one of his annual messages, omitting it only in 1805 (annual messages of 15 Dec. 1802, 17 Oct. 1803, 8 Nov. 1804, 3 Dec. 1805, 2 Dec. 1806, 27 Oct. 1807, and 8 Nov. 1808; Document xiii below).

The emphasis on removals and on TJ’s refusal to carry through with Adams’s late nominations implies that this partial draft is from 1801.

It will rest with you to Consider: TJ repeatedly addressed Congress directly in the 1801 annual message, and the wording he used in this partial draft is resonant of such phrases as “that you may judge of the additions still requisite” and “as you shall think proper to adopt” (see Document xiii).

1TJ here canceled “concurred.”

2TJ here canceled “I was sensible.”

3TJ first wrote “however, such was the desire of our fel. cit. to see.”

4Above the preceding three words TJ interlined “the claim of right” without canceling the original phrase.

5TJ here canceled “it has been done to the least extent which circumstances admitted.”

6TJ here canceled “entrance into.”

7TJ first wrote “the last nominations of the preceding admn.” before altering the passage to read as above.

8Word interlined in place of “were.”

9TJ here canceled “therefore.”

10Word interlined in place of “nominns which.”

11TJ first wrote “removals have not been” before altering the clause to read as above.

12Preceding two words interlined.

13TJ here canceled “anxious to.”

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