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Cm. I.]

JEFFERSON'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.

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of principle. We have called by dif- dations of the others; possessing a ferent naines brethren of the same chosen country, with room enough for principle. We are all republicans; we our descendants to the thousandth and are all federalists. If there be any thousandth generation; entertaining a among us who would wish to dissolve due sense of our equal right to the use this Union, or to change its republican of our own faculties, to the acquisitions form, let them stand undisturbed as of our own industry, to honor and conmonuments of the safety with which fidence from our fellow-citizens, resulterror of opinion may be tolerated, ing not from birth, but from our acwhere reason is left free to combat it. tions and their sense of them; enlightI know, indeed, that some honest men ened by a benign religion, professed fear that a republican government can- indeed and practised in various forms, not be strong; that this government yet all of them inculcating honesty, is not strong enough. But would the truth, temperance, gratitude, and the honest patriot, in the full tide of suc- love of man; acknowledging and adorcessful experiment, abandon a govern- ing an overruling Providence, which, ment which has so far kept us free and by all its dispensations, proves that it firm, on the theoretic and visionary delights in the happiness of man here, fear, that this government, the world's and his greater happiness hereafter ; best hope, may, by possibility, want with all these blessings, what more is cnergy to

preserve itself? I trust not necessary to make us a happy and I believe this, on the contrary, the prosperous people ?

prosperous people ? Still one thing strongest government on earth. I be more, fellow-citizens, a wise and frugal lieve it the only one, where every man, government, which shall restrain men at the call of the law, would fly to the from injuring one another, shall leave standard of the law, and would meet them otherwise free to regulate their invasions of the public order as his own own pursuits of industry and improvepersonal concern. Sometimes it is said, ment, and shall not take from the that man cannot be trusted with the mouth of labor the bread it has earned government of himself. Can he then This is the sum of good government be trusted with the government of and this is necessary to close the circle others? Or, have we found angels in of our felicities. the form of kings, to govern him? “ About to enter, fellow-citizens, on Let history answer this question.

the exercise of duties which compre“Let us, then, with courage and con- hend every thing dear and valuable to fidence, pursue our own federal and you, it is proper you should understand republican principles; our attachment what I deem the essential principles to union and representative govern- of our government, and consequently, ment. Kindly separated by nature those which ought to shape its adminand a wide ocean from the exterminat- istration. I will compress them within ing havoc of one quarter of the globe; the narrowest compass they will bear. too high-minded to endure the degra- stating the general principle, but not

With ex.

all its limitations. Equal and exact and guided our steps through an age justice to all men, of whatever state of revolution and reformation. The or persuasion, religious or political; wisdom of our sages, and blood of our peace, commerce, and honest friendship heroes, have been devoted to their atwith all nations, entangling alliances tainment: they should be the creed of with none; the support of the state our political faith, the text of civic ingovernments in all their rights, as the struction, the touchstone by which to most competent administrations for our try the services of those we trust; and domestic concerns, and the surest bul should we wander from them in mowarks against anti-republican tenden- ments of error or of alarm, let us bascies; the preservation of the general ten to retrace our steps, and to regain government in its whole constitutional the road which alone leads to peace, vigor, as the sheet-anchor of our peace liberty, and safety. at home, and safety abroad; a jealous “I repair, then, fellow-citizens, to the care of the right of election by the post you have assigned me. people, a mild and safe corrective of perience enough in subordinate offices abuses which are lopped by the sword to have seen the difficulties of this, the of revolution where peaceable remedies greatest of all, I have learned to exare unprovided; absolute acquiescence pect that it will rarely fall to the lot in the decisions of the majority, the of imperfect man, to retire from this vital principle of republics, from which station with the reputation and the fathere is no appeal but to force, the vor which bring him into it. Without vital principle and immediate parent pretensions to that high confidence you of despotism; a well-disciplined militia, reposed in our first and greatest revoour best reliance in peace, and for the lutionary character, whose pre-eminent first moments of war, till regulars may services had entitled him to the first relieve them; the supremacy of the place in his country's love, and descivil over the military authority ; econ- tined for him the fairest page in the omy in the public expense, that labor volume of faithful history, I ask so may be lightly burdened; the honest much confidence only as may give firmpayment of our debts and sacred pres- ness and effect to the legal administraervation of the public faith ; encour- tion of your affairs. I shall often go agement of agriculture, and of com- wrong through defect of judgment. merce as its handmaid; the diffusion | When right, I shall often be of information, and arraignment of all thought wrong by those whose abuses at the bar of public reason; positions will not command a view of freedom of religion ; freedom of the the whole ground. I ask your

indulpress; and freedom of person, under gence for my own errors, which will the protection of the habeas corpus;

never be intentional; and your support and trial by juries impartially selected. against the errors of others, who may These principles form the bright con- condemn what they would not, if seen stellation which has gone before us, I in all its parts. The approbation im

1801.

Co. I.]

THE CABINET OF JEFFERSON.

15

plied by your suffrage, is a great conso- and yet retain the currency of popular lation to me for the past; and my fu- maxims." ture solicitude will be, to retain the The next day, with the consent of the good opinion of those who haye be- Senate, the president appointed James stowed it in advance, to conciliate that Madison secretary of state ; Henry of others, by doing them all the good Dearborn, of Massachusetts, secretary in my power, and to be instrumental of war; and Levi Lincoln, of the same to the happiness and freedom of all. state, attorney-general. The secretaries

“Relying then on the patronage of of the treasury and of the navy, Samyour good-will, I advance with obedi- uel Dexter and Benjamin Stoddert, ence to the work, ready to retire from who had been appointed by John Adit whenever you become sensible how | ams, were continued in office a short much better choices it is in your power time; but in May, Albert Gallatin was to make. And may that Infinite Power placed over the treasury; and in July, which rules the destinies of the uni- Robert Smith, of Maryland, received verse, lead our councils to what is best, the secretaryship of the navy,

which and give them a favorable issue for Livingston, chancellor of New York, your prosperity.”

had first refused. Gideon Granger, a The oath of office was then adminis-Connecticut republican, was at the tered by the chief justice; and Thomas same time appointed postmaster-genJefferson, the third president of the eral,* in place of Habersham of GeorUnited States, and now, in the fifty- gia. And these nominations did not eighth year of his age, retired from the receive the confirmation of the Senate Senate-chamber with high hopes and till the 26th of January, 1802. sanguine expectations of the successful Two days after his inauguration, Jefprosecution of his responsible and im- ferson wrote to John Dickinson with portant duties. His Inaugural Address the utmost apparent fervor and exultahas been very highly lauded on the one tion. The pleasure of reading his lethand, and quite as severely criticised ter, he tells him," was like the on the other. The impartial reader joy we expect in the mansions of must judge for himself of its merits; the blessed, when, received with the emit will repay a careful examination. braces of our forefathers, we shall be Mr. Tucker says of it; “On the style, welcomed with their blessing as having it may be remarked, that though it is done our part not unworthily of them. somewhat ambitious and rhetorical for The storm through which we have

, it does no discredit to passed has been tremendous indeed. the pains which had been evidently be- The tough sides of our Argosie have stowed on it, and some of the princi- been thoroughly tried. Her strength ples it contained were expressed with a sententious and felicitous brevity, which made so lively an impression on

* The postmaster-general was not made a member

of the cabinet until the administration of Andrew the public mind, that they acquired | Jackson.

1801.

a state paper,

has stood the waves into which she was it was felt, would be unwise, and very steered with a view to sink her. We bad policy: while at the same time, it shall put her on the republican tack, was perfectly certain, that nothing and she will now show, by the beauty short of a very large excision would of her motion, the skill of her build- suffice to quiet the eager expectants ers. Figure apart, our fellow-citizens for office and power. Mr. Hale, notichave been led, hoodwinked, from their ing the fact that it was but natural principles, by a most extraordinary that Jefferson and the men who elected combination of circumstances. But him, should wish that their friends the band is removed; and they now should have a fair share in the offices see for themselves. I hope to see under government, states what is worth shortly a perfect consolidation; to ef- remembering in our political history: fect which, nothing shall be wanting “He set the first example of a president on my part, short of the abandonment removing men from office because their of the principles of the Revolution. political opinions differed from his own.” A just and solid republican govern- | It is worth remembering, too, that “by ment maintained here, will be a stand the frequent exercise of the power

of ing monument and example for the aim removal for this cause alone, more and imitation of the people of other strength must be given to the national countries; and I join with you in the government, and especially to the exhope and belief that they will see from ecutive—that branch which freemen our example, that a free government is should watch with most jealousy—than of all others the most energetic.” by the most latitudinarian construction

The new president, immediately on of the Constitution which any federalist his entrance upon office, found himself was ever disposed to give to it."* in a perplexing position. The party Writing to James Monroe, on the 7th who had placed him in his coveted of March, the president thus speaks • chair had got the idea, that they were “I suspect that an incorrect idea of my entitled to the rewards of exertion, and views has got abroad. I am in hopes that all the patronage of the govern- my Inaugural Address will in some ment was to be bestowed

upon
them ex-

measure set this to rights, as it will clusively. The present holders of of present the leading objects to be confice,- most of them, by the way, hav- ciliation, and adherence to sound prining been appointed by Washington, - ciple. This I know is impracticable were of course, to be removed, and the with the leaders of the late faction, many friends and supporters of the new whom I abandon as incurables, and dynasty were to be put in their places. will never turn an inch out of my way The democracy were clamorous for the to reconcile them. But with the main spoils; the federalists were anxiously body of the federalists, I believe it waiting the result which the president and dominant party had reached on

* Hale's “ History of the United States," vol. ii., p. this question. Indiscriminate removals, 140.

.

CH. I.]

JEFFERSON ON REMOVALS FROM OFFICE.

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1801

very practicable. These peo- the manner in which the present ad ple (I always exclude their leaders) ministration set the example, which has are now aggregated with us; they look | been only too faithfully copied ever with a certain degree of affection and since, demands the reader's thoughtconfidence to the administration, ready ful consideration. An extract or two to become attached to it, if it avoids more from Jefferson's letters will help in the outset, acts which might revolt to elucidate his views and the course and throw them off. To give time for he adopted. perfect consolidation seems prudent. I “I was not deluded,” he writes to have firmly refused to follow the coun- Elbridge Gerry,* “ by the eulogiums of sels of those who have desired the giv- the public papers in the first moing offices to some of their leaders, in ments of change. If they could order to reconcile. I have given, and have continued to get all the loaves and will give, only to republicans, under fishes, that is, if I would have gone over existing circumstances. But I believe, to them, they would have continued to with others, that deprivations of office, eulogize. But I well knew that the if made on the ground of political moment that such removals should take principles alone, would revolt our new place, as the justice of the preceding converts, and give a body to leaders | administration ought to have executed, who now stand alone. Some I know their hue and cry would be set up, and must be made. They must be as few they would take their old stand. I as possible, done gradually, and bot- shall disregard that also. Mr. Adams's tomed on some malversation or inherent last appointments, when he knew he disqualification. Where we shall draw was naming counsellors and aids for the line between retaining all, and me, and not for himself, I set aside as none, is not yet settled, and will not far as depends on me. Officers who be till we get our administration to have been guilty of gross abuses of of gether; and perhaps, even then we fice, such as marshals packing juries, shall proceed à tâtons, balancing our measures according to the impression * Notwithstanding the tone of Mr. Jefferson's re

marks in his Inaugural, upon the "benign religion" we perceive them to make."

which the American people, as a people, professed and To Mr. Giles, under date of the 23d

were guided by, he occupies a considerable portion of of March, Jefferson avowed his deter- his letter to Gerry in drawing out a sneering comparimination, 1. To remove all who had son between the printers of newspapers and the clergy.

The former find it to their interest to keep up and been appointed by Mr. Adams after

create party noise and disturbance: equally so, he asthe election was known. 2. All who serts of the latter. “The mild and simple principles had been guilty of misconduct: 3. Not

of the Christian philosophy would produce too much to remove those who merely differed disciples a support for a numerous priesthood, were

calm, too much regularity of good, to extract from its from the republican party, except the they not to sophisticate it

, ramify it, split it into hairs, attorneys and marshals of the federal and twist its texts, until they cover the divine morality

of its Author with mysteries, and require a priesthood courts.

to explain them." See Tucker's “ Life of Jefferson," The importance of this point, and | vol. ii., p. 98.

Vol. III.-3

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