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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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6151. OFFICE-HOLDERS, Executive explanations and.—[further continued].
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6151. OFFICE-HOLDERS, Executive explanations and.—[further continued].

You complain that I did
not answer your letters applying for office.
But if you will reflect a moment you May
judge whether this ought to be expected. To
the successful applicant for an office the
commission is the answer. To the unsuccessful
multitude am I to go with every one into
the reasons for not appointing him? Besides
that this correspondence would literally engross
my whole time, into what controversies
would it lead me? Sensible of this dilemma,
from the moment of coming into office I laid
it down as a rule to leave the applicants to
collect their answer from the facts. To entitle
myself to the benefit of the rule in any
case it must be observed in every one; and
I never have departed from it in a single case,
not even for my bosom friends. You observe
that you are, or probably will be appointed
an elector. I have no doubt you will do your
duty with a conscientious regard to the public
good, and to that only. Your decision in
favor of another would not excite in my
mind the slightest dissatisfaction towards you.
On the contrary, I should honor the integrity
of your choice. In the nominations I
have to make, do the same justice to my
motives. Had you hundreds to nominate, instead
of one, be assured they would not compose
for you a bed of roses. You would
find yourself in most cases with one loaf and
ten wanting bread. Nine must be disappointed,
perhaps become secret, if not open
To Larkin Smith. Ford ed., viii, 336.
(W. Nov. 1804)