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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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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5348. MONARCHY, Imitation of.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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5348. MONARCHY, Imitation of.—

When on my return from Europe, I joined
the government in March, 1790, at New York,
I was much astonished, indeed, at the mimicry
I found established of royal forms and ceremonies,
and more alarmed at the unexpected
phenomenon, by the monarchical sentiments
I heard expressed and openly maintained in
every company, executive and judiciary ( General
Washington alone excepted), and by a
great part of the Legislature, save only some
members who had been of the old Congress,
and a very few of recent introduction. I took
occasion, at various times, of expressing to
General Washington my disappointment at
these symptoms of a change of principle, and
that I thought them encouraged by the forms
and ceremonies which I found prevailing, not
at all in character with the simplicity of republican
government, and looking as if wishfully
to those of European courts. His general explanations
to me were, that when he arrived at
New York to enter on the executive administration
of the new government, he observed to
those who were to assist him, that placed as
he was in an office entirely new to him, unacquainted
with the forms and ceremonies of
other governments, still less apprised of those
which might be properly established here, and
himself perfectly indifferent to all forms, he
wished them to consider and prescribe what
they should be; and the task was assigned particularly
to General Knox, a man of parade,
and to Colonel Humphreys, who had resided
sometime at a foreign court. They, he said,
were the authors of the present regulations,
and that others were proposed so highly


Page 570
strained that he absolutely rejected them. Attentive
to the difference of opinion prevailing
on this subject, when the term of his second
election arrived, he called the heads of Departments
together, observed to them the situation
in which he had been at the commencement of
the government, the advice he had taken and
the course he had observed in compliance with
it; that a proper occasion had now arrived of
revising that course, of correcting it in any particulars
not approved in experience; and he
desired us to consult together, agree on any
changes we should think for the better, and
that he should willingly conform to what we
should advise. We met at my office. Hamilton
and myself agreed at once that there was
too much ceremony for the character of our
government, and particularly that the parade
of the installation at New York ought not to
be copied on the present occasion, that the
President should desire the Chief Justice to
attend him at his chambers, that he should administer
the oath of office to him in the presence
of the higher officers of the government, and
that the certificate of the fact should be delivered
to the Secretary of State to be recorded.
Randolph and Knox differed from us, the latter
vehemently; they thought it not advisable to
change any of the established forms, and we
authorized Randolph to report our opinions to
the President. As these opinions were divided,
and no positive advice given as to any
change, no change was made.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 367. Ford ed., x, 310.
(M. 1824)