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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.;

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2447. ELECTIONS (Presidential, 1796), Candidature of Jeferson.—[continued].
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2447. ELECTIONS (Presidential, 1796), Candidature of Jeferson.—[continued].

I had neither claims nor
wishes on the subject, though I know it will
be difficult to obtain belief of this. When I
retired from the office of Secretary of State,
it was in the firmest contemplation of never
more returning to Philadelphia. There had
indeed been suggestions in the public papers,
that I was looking towards a succession to the
President's chair, but feeling a consciousness of
their falsehood, and observing that the suggestions
came from hostile quarters, I considered
them as intended merely to excite public odium
against me. I never in my life exchanged a
word with any person on the subject, till I
found my name brought forward generally, in
competition with that of Mr. Adams. Those
with whom I then communicated could say, if
it were necessary, whether I met the call with
desire, or even with a ready acquiescence, and
whether from the moment of my first acquiescence,
I did not devoutly pray that the very
thing might happen which has happened.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 170. Ford ed., vii, 119.
(Pa., May. 1797)