The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


I leave to others the sublime delights of riding in the storm, better pleased with sound sleep and a warmer berth below it, encircled with the society of my neighbors, friends, and fellow laborers of the earth, rather than with spies and sycophants. Still, I shall value highly the share I may have had in the late vote, as a measure of the share I hold in the esteem of my fellow citizens. In this point of view, a few votes less are but little sensible, while a few more would have been in their effect very sensible and oppressive to me. I have no ambition to govern men. It is a painful and thankless office.

to John Adams, 28 December 1796