The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
PUBLIC SERVICE / APPOINTMENTS AS PRESIDENT
Officers who have been guilty of gross abuses of office, such as
marshals packing juries . . . I shall now remove, as my predecessor
ought in justice to have done. The instances will be few, and governed
by strict rule, and not party passion. The right of opinion shall
suffer no invasion from me. Those who have acted well have nothing to
fear, however they have differed from me in opinion: those who have
done ill, however, have nothing to hope; nor shall I fail to do
justice lest it should be ascribed to that difference of opinion.
In the first moments of quietude which have succeeded the election,
they seem to have aroused their lying faculties beyond their ordinary
state, to re-agitate the public mind. What appointments to office have
they detailed which had never been thought of, merely to found a text
for their calumniating commentaries. However, the steady character of
our countrymen is a rock to which we may safely moor; and
notwithstanding the efforts of the papers to disseminate early
discontents, I expect that a just, dispassionate and steady conduct,
will at length rally to a proper system the great body of our country.
Unequivocal in principle, reasonable in manner, we shall be able I
hope to do a great deal of good to the cause of freedom and harmony.
to Elbridge Gerry, 29 March 1801