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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

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. 
expand sectionO. 
collapse sectionP. 
6386. PAPERS, Retention of.—
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

6386. PAPERS, Retention of.—

I enclose
you a copy of [General] Armstrong's letter,
covering the papers sent to Congress. The date
was blank, as in the copy; the letter was so
immaterial that I had really forgotten it altogether
when I spoke with you. I feel myself
much indebted to you for having given me this
private opportunity of showing that I have
kept back nothing material. That the federalists
and a few others should by their vote make
such a charge on me, is never unexpected. But
how can any join in it who call themselves
friends? The President sends papers to the
House, which he thinks the public interest requires
they should see. They immediately pass
a vote, implying irresistibly their belief that
he is capable of having kept back other papers
which the same interest requires they should
see. They pretend to no direct proof of this.
It must, then, be founded in presumption; and
on what act of my life or of my administration
is such a presumption founded? What interest
can I have in leading the Legislature to act on
false grounds? My wish is certainly to take
that course with the public affairs which the
body of the Legislature would prefer. It is
said, indeed, that such a vote is to satisfy the
federalists and their partisans. But were I
to send twenty letters, they would say, “You
have kept back the twenty-first; send us that”.
If I sent one hundred, they would say, “There
were one hundred and one”; and how could I
prove the negative? Their malice can be cured
by no conduct; it ought, therefore, to be disregarded,
instead of countenancing their imputations
by the sanction of a vote. Indeed I
should consider such a vote as a charge, in the
face of the nation calling for a serious and
public defence of myself. [377]
To Joseph B. Varnum. Washington ed. v, 249.
(W. Feb. 1808)


Mr. Varnum was then Speaker of the House of