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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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2913. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[continued].
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2913. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[continued].

I think it very material
to separate in the hands of Congress the ex
ecutive and legislative powers, as the judiciary
already are in some degree. * * * The
want of it has been the source of more evil
than we have experienced from any other
cause. Nothing is so embarrassing nor so
mischievous in a great assembly as the details
of execution. The smallest trifle of that
kind occupies as long as the most important
act of legislation, and takes place of everything
else. Let any man recollect, or look over
the files of [the Confederation] Congress;
he will observe the most important propositions
hanging over, from week to week, and
month to month, till the occasions have passed
them, and the thing never done. I have ever
viewed the executive details as the greatest
cause of evil to us, because they, in fact, place
us as if we had no federal head, by diverting
the attention of that head from great to small
objects; and should this division of power
not be recommended by the convention, it is
my opinion Congress should make it itself,
by establishing an Executive Committee.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 218. Ford ed., iv, 424.
(P. Aug. 1787)