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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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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8442. THIRD TERM, Vermont and.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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8442. THIRD TERM, Vermont and.—

received the address of the Legislature of
Vermont, bearing date the 5th of November,
1806, in which, with their approbation of the
general course of my administration, they
were so good as to express their desire that
I would consent to be proposed again, to the
public voice, on the expiration of my present
term of office. Entertaining, as I do, for the
Legislature of Vermont those sentiments of
high respect which would have prompted an
immediate answer, I was certain, nevertheless,
they would approve a delay which had for
its object to avoid a premature agitation of
the public mind, on a subject so interesting
as the election of the Chief Magistrate. That
I should lay down my charge at a proper
period, is as much a duty as to have borne
it faithfully. If some termination to the services
of the Chief Magistrate be not fixed by
the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his
office, nominally for years, will, in fact, become
for life; and history shows how easily
that degenerates into an inheritance. Believing
that a representative government, responsible
at short intervals of election, is that
which produces the greatest sum of happiness
to mankind, I feel it a duty to do no act
which shall essentially impair that principle;
and I should unwillingly be the person who,
disregarding the sound precedent set by an
illustrious predecessor, should furnish the
first example of prolongation beyond the
second term of office. Truth, also, requires
me to add, that I am sensible of that decline
which advancing years bring on; and feeling
their physical, I ought not to doubt their
mental effect. Happy if I am the first to
perceive and to obey this admonition of nature,
and to solicit a retreat from cares too
great for the wearied faculties of age.—
R. to A. Vermont Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 121.
(Dec. 1807)