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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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8813. VICE-PRESIDENCY, Jefferson and.—[continued].
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8813. VICE-PRESIDENCY, Jefferson and.—[continued].

I know not from what
source an idea has spread itself * * * that I would accept the office of President of
the United States, but not of Vice-President.
When I retired from the office I last held, no
man in the Union less expected than I did
ever to have come forward again; and, whatever
has been insinuated to the contrary, to
no man in the Union was the share which
my name bore in the late contest more unexpected
than it was to me. If I had contemplated
the thing beforehand, and suffered my
will to enter into action at all on it, it would
have been in a direction exactly the reverse
of what has been imputed to me; but I had
no right to a will on the subject, much less
to control that of the people of the United
States in arranging us according to our capacities.
Least of all could I have any feelings
which would revolt at taking a station secondary
to Mr. Adams. I have been secondary
to him in every situation in which we
ever acted together in public life for twenty
years past. A contrary position would have
been the novelty, and his the right of revolting
at it. Be assured, then, that if I had had
a fibre in my composition still looking after
public office, it would have been gratified precisely
by the very call you are pleased to announce
to me, and no other.—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. iv, 163. Ford ed., vii, 111.
(M. Jan. 1797)