University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
collapse sectionO. 
6098. OFFICES, Importunity for.—
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

6098. OFFICES, Importunity for.—

When I retired from the government four years ago; it was extremely my wish to
withdraw myself from all concern with public
affairs, and to enjoy with my fellow citizens
the protection of government, under the
auspices and direction of those to whom it
was so worthily committed. Solicitations
from my friends, however, to aid them in
their applications for office, drew from me
an unwary compliance, till at length these
became so numerous as to occupy a great
portion of my time in writing letters to the
President and heads of departments, and although
these were attended to by them with
great indulgence, yet I was sensible they
could not fail of being very embarrassing.
They kept me, at the same time, standing
forever in the attitude of a suppliant before
them, daily asking favors as humiliating and
afflicting to my own mind, as they were unreasonable
from their multitude. I was long
sensible of putting an end to these unceasing
importunities, when a change in the heads of
the two departments to which they were
chiefly addressed, presented me an opportunity.
I come to a resolution, therefore, on
that change, never to make another application.
I have adhered to it strictly, and find
that on its rigid observance, my own happiness
and the friendship of the government
too much depend, for me to swerve from it
in future.—
To Thomas Paine M'Matron. Washington ed. vi, 108.
(M. 1813)