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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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6177. OFFICE-HOLDERS, Removals.—[further continued].
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6177. OFFICE-HOLDERS, Removals.—[further continued].

The great stumbling
block will be removals, which, though made
on those just principles only on which my
predecessor ought to have removed the same
persons, will nevertheless be ascribed to removal
on party principles. 1st. I will expunge
the effects of Mr. Adams's indecent
conduct, in crowding nominations after he
knew they were not for himself, till 9 o'clock
of the night, at 12 o'clock of which he was
to go out of office. So far as they are during
pleasure, I shall not consider the persons
named, as even candidates for the office, nor
pay the respect of notifying them that I consider
what was done as a nullity. 2d. Some
removals must be made for misconduct. One
of these is of the marshal in your city, who
being an officer of justice, intrusted with the
function of choosing impartial judges for the
trial of his fellow citizens, placed at the awful
tribunal of God and their country, selected
judges who either avowed, or were known
to him to be predetermined to condemn;
and if the lives of the unfortunate persons
were not cut short by the sword of
the law, it was not for want of his good
will. In another State, I have to perform
the same act of justice on the dearest
connection of my dearest friend, for
similar conduct, in a case not capital. The
same practice of packing juries, and prosecuting
their fellow citizens with the bitterness
of party hatred, will probably involve several
other marshals and attorneys. Out of this
line, I see but very few instances where past
misconduct has been in a degree to call for
notice. Of the thousands of officers, therefore,
in the United States, a very few individuals
only, probably not twenty, will be removed;
and these only for doing what they ought not
to have done. Two or three instances, indeed,
where Mr. Adams removed men because
they would not sign addresses, &c., to him,
will be rectified—the persons restored. The
whole world will say this is just. I know that
in stopping thus short in the career of removal,
I shall give great offence to many of
my friends. That torrent has been pressing
me heavily, and will require all my force to
bear up against; but my maxim is, “fiat
justitia, ruat cœlum.”

To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 383. Ford ed., viii, 31.
(W. March. 1801)