University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

collapse sectionA. 
77. ADAMS (John), Jefferson's Election and.—
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

77. ADAMS (John), Jefferson's Election and.—

The nation passed condemnation
on the political principles of the federalists,
by refusing to continue Mr. Adams in the
Presidency. On the day on which we learned
in Philadelphia the vote of the city of New
York, which it was well known would decide
the vote of the State, and that, again, the vote
of the Union, I called on Mr. Adams on some
official business. He was very seriously
affected, and accosted me with these words:
“Well, I understand that you are to beat me
in this contest, and I will only say that I
will be as faithful a subject as any you will
have.” “Mr. Adams,” said I, “this is no
personal contest between you and me. Two
systems of principles on the subject of government
divide our citizens into two parties.
With one of these you concur, and I with
the other. As we have been longer on the
public stage than most of those now living,
our names happen to be more generally
known. One of these parties, therefore, has
put your name at its head, the other mine.
Were we both to die to-day, to-morrow two
other names would be in the place of ours,
without any change in the motion of the
machinery. Its motion is from its principle,
and not from you or myself.” “I believe
you are right,” said he, “that we are but
passive instruments, and should not suffer
this matter to affect our personal dispositions.
” But he did long retain this just view
of the subject. I have always believed that the
thousand calumnies which the federalists, in
bitterness of heart, and mortification at their
ejection, daily invented against me, were carried
to him by their busy intriguers, and
made some impression.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 560. Ford ed., ix, 296.
(M. Jan. 1811)