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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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3348. GALLATIN (Albert), Cabinet dissensions.—[continued].
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3348. GALLATIN (Albert), Cabinet dissensions.—[continued].

I have reflected much
and painfully on the change of dispositions
which has taken place among the members of
the cabinet * * *. It would be, indeed, a
great public calamity were it to fix you in the
purpose you seemed to think possible [resignation].
I consider the fortunes of our republic
as depending, in an eminent degree, on the
extinguishment of the public debt before we
engage in any war: because, that done, we shall
have revenue enough to improve our country
in peace and defend it in war, without recurring
either to new taxes or loans. But if the
debt should once more be swelled to a formidable
size, its entire discharge will be despaired
of, and we shall be committed to the English
career of debt, corruption and rottenness, closing
with revolution. The discharge of the
debt, therefore, is vital to the destinies of our
government, and it hangs on Mr. Madison and
yourself alone. We shall never see another
President and Secretary of the Treasury making
all other objects subordinate to this. Were
either of you to be lost to the public, that great
hope is lost. I had always cherished the idea
that you would fix on that object the measure
of your fame, and of the gratitude which our
country will owe you. Nor can I yield up this
prospect to the secondary considerations which
assail your tranquillity. For, sure I am, they
never can produce any other serious effect.
Your value is too justly estimated by our fellow
citizens at large, as well as their functionaries,
to admit any remissness in their support
of you. My opinion always was, that none
of us ever occupied stronger ground in the
esteem of Congress than yourself, and I am
satisfied there is no one who does not feel your
aid to be still as important for the future as
it has been for the past. You have nothing,
therefore, to apprehend in the dispositions of
Congress, and still less of the President, who,
above all men, is the most interested and affectionately
disposed to support you. I hope, then,
you will abandon entirely the idea you expressed
to me, and that you will consider the
eight years to come as essential to your political
career. I should certainly consider any
earlier day of your retirement, as the most
inauspicious day our new government has ever
seen. In addition to the common interest in
this question, I feel particularly for myself the
considerations of gratitude which I personally
owe you for your valuable aid during my administration
of public affairs, a just sense of
the large portion of the public approbation
which was earned by your labors and belongs
to you, and the sincere friendship and attachment
which grew out of our joint exertions to
promote the common good.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 477. Ford ed., ix, 264.
(M. Oct. 1809)