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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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2588. EMBARGO, The Union and.—[continued].
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2588. EMBARGO, The Union and.—[continued].

Far advanced in my eightythird
year, worn down with infirmities which
have confined me almost entirely to the house
for seven or eight months past, it afflicts me
much to receive appeals to my memory for
transactions so far back as that which is the
subject of your letter. My memory is, indeed,
become almost a blank, of which no better proof
can probably be given you than by my solemn
protestation, that I have not the least recollection
of your intervention between Mr. John Q.
Adams and myself, in what passed on the subject
of the Embargo. Not the slightest trace of
it remains in my mind. Yet I have no doubt of
the exactitude of the statement in your letter.
And the less, as I recollect the interview with
Mr. Adams, to which the previous communications
which had passed between him and yourself
were probably and naturally the preliminary.
That interview I remember well; not, indeed,
in the very words which passed between us,
but in their substance, which was of a character
too awful, too deeply engraved, in my mind,
and influencing too materially the course I had
to pursue, ever to be forgotten. * * * I cannot
too often repeat that this statement is not pretended
to be in the very words which passed;
that it only gives faithfully the impression remaining
on my mind. The very words of a conversation
are too transient and fugitive to be so
long retained in remembrance. But the substance
was too important to be forgotten, not only
from the revolution of measures it obliged me
to adopt, but also from the renewals of it in
my memory on the frequent occasions I have
had of doing justice to Mr. Adams, by repeating
this proof of his fidelity to his country,
and of his superiority over all ordinary considerations
when the safety of that was brought
into question.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. vii, 424. Ford ed., x, 351.
(M. 1825)