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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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8437. THIRD TERM, Physical decline and.—
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8437. THIRD TERM, Physical decline and.—

My determination to retire is the result
of mature reflections, and on various considerations.
Not the least weighty of these
is that a consciousness that a decline of physical
faculties cannot leave those mental en
tirely unimpaired; and it will be happy for
me if I am the first who shall become sensible
of it. As to a successor, there never will be
a time when it will not produce some difficulty,
and never less, I believe, than at present.
That some of the federalists should prefer
my continuance to the uncertainty of a
successor, I can readily believe. There are
among them men of candor, who do not join
in the clamor and condemnation of everything,
nor pretend that even chance never
throws us on a right measure. There are
some who know me personally, and who give
a credit to my intentions, which they deny
to my understanding; some who may fear a
successor, preferring a military glory of a
nation to the prosperity and happiness of its
individuals. But to the mass of that political
sect, it is not the less true, the 4th of
March, 1809, will be a day of jubilee, but it
will be a day of greater joy to me. I never
did them an act of injustice, nor failed in
any duty to them imposed by my office.—
To William Short. Ford ed., ix, 50.
(W. May. 1807)