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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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7209. RELATIONS, Appointment to office.—
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7209. RELATIONS, Appointment to office.—

The public will never be made to believe that an appointment of a relative is
made on the ground of merit alone, uninfluenced
by family views; nor can they ever
see with approbation offices the disposal of
which they entrust to their Presidents for public
purposes, divided out as family property.
Mr. Adams degraded himself infinitely by his
conduct on this subject, as General Washington
had done himself the greatest honor.
With two such examples to proceed by, I
should be doubly inexcusable to err. It is
true that this places the relations of the President
in a worse situation than if he were a
stranger, but the public good, which cannot
be affected if its confidence be lost, requires
this sacrifice. Perhaps, too, it is compensated
by sharing in the public esteem.—
To George Jefferson. Washington ed. iv, 388. Ford ed., viii, 38.
(W. March. 1801)