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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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2802. EXECUTIVE, The Confederation and.—
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2802. EXECUTIVE, The Confederation and.—

As the Confederation had made no provision for a visible head of the government
during vacations of Congress, and such
a one was necessary to superintend the executive
business, to receive and communicate
with foreign ministers and nations, and to assemble
Congress on sudden and extraordinary
emergencies, I proposed early in April, 1784,
the appointment of a committee to be called
the “Committee of the States,” to consist
of a member from each State, who should
remain in session during the recess of Congress:
that the functions of Congress should
be divided into Executive and Legislative, the
latter to be reserved, and the former, by a
general resolution, to be delegated to that
Committee. This proposition was afterwards
agreed to; a Committee appointed, who entered
on duty on the subsequent adjournment
of Congress, quarrelled very soon, split
into two parties, abandoned their post, and
left the government without any visible head
until the next meeting in Congress. We have
since seen the same thing take place in the
Directory of France; and I believe it will forever
take place in any Executive consisting of
a plurality. Our plan, best, I believe, combines
wisdom and practicability, by providing
a plurality of counsellors, but a single Arbiter
for ultimate decision.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 54. Ford ed., i, 75.