The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
PUBLIC SERVICE / HONORABLE NATURE OF
I will not say that public life is the line for making a fortune. But
it furnishes a decent and honorable support, and places one's children
on good grounds for public favor. The family of a beloved father will
stand with the public on the most favorable ground of competition. Had
General Washington left children, what would have been denied to them?
Perhaps I ought to apologize for the frankness of this communication.
It proceeds from an ardent zeal to see this government (the idol of my
soul) continue in good hands, and from a sincere desire to see you
whatever you wish to be.
to William Wirt, 10 January 1808