Front Page Titles (by Subject) to the postmaster-general (gideon granger.) - The Works, vol. 9 (1799-1803)
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to the postmaster-general (gideon granger.) - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 9 (1799-1803) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 9.
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to the postmaster-general (gideon granger.)
Washington Mar. 29. 1801.
—I have long been indebted to you a letter; but it has been because you desired me to write by Mr. Ervin the bearer of yours, who is not yet gone back. But in the meantime I trust that the post is become a safe channel to and from me. I have heard indeed of some extraordinary licenses practiced in the post offices of your state, & there is nothing I desire so much as information of facts on that subject, to rectify the office. If you can be the means of furnishing them to me they will be thankfully & usefully esteemed. Nothing presents such difficulties of administration as offices. About appointments to them the rule is simple enough. The federalists having been in exclusive possession of them from the first origin of the party among us, to the 3d of Mar. 9. o’clock p.m. of the evening, at 12 of which Mr. A. was to go out of office, their reason will acknolege the justice of giving vacancies as they happen to those who have been so long excluded, till the same general proportion prevails in office which exist out of it. But removals are more difficult. No one will say that all should be removed, or that none should. Yet no two scarcely draw the same lines. I consider as nullities all the appointments (of a removable character) crowded in by Mr. Adams when he knew he was appointing counsellors and agents for his successor and not for himself. Persons who have perverted their offices to the oppression of their fellow citizens, as marshals packing juries, attorneys grinding their legal victims, intolerants removing those under them for opinion’s sake, substitutes for honest men removed for their republican principles, will probably find few advocates even among their quondam party. But the freedom of opinion, and the reasonable maintenance of it, is not a crime, and ought not to occasion injury. These are as yet matters under consideration, our administration having never yet been assembled to decide finally on them. However some of them have in the meantime been acted on in cases which pressed. There is one in your state which calls for decision, and on which Judge Lincoln will ask yourself and some others to consult & advise us. It is the case of Mr. Goodrich,1 whose being a recent appointment, made a few days only before Mr. Adams went out of office, is liable to the general nullification I affix to them. Yet there might be reason for continuing him: or if that would do more harm than good, we should inquire who is the person in the state who, superseding Mr. Goodrich, would from his character & standing in society, most effectually silence clamor, and justify the executive in a comparison of the two characters. For though I consider Mr. G’s appointment as a nullity in effect, yet others may view it as a possession and removal, and ask if that removal has been made to put in a better man? I pray you to take a broad view of this subject, consider it in all its bearings, local and general, and communicate to me your opinion. And on all subjects and at all times I shall highly prize your own communications to me, and solicit them earnestly. The immense pressure of my other duties will not allow me to write letter for letter; but you must excuse that, and consider a sacrifice you ought to make to the public service; especially assured, as you may be, that your letters, though not acknowledged, will not be unattended to in their effect. I particularly ask your opinion of characters suitable for any office which becomes vacant in your knolege, and would rather receive your voluntary and spontaneous information, than that which is extorted by solicitation of parties interested. Accept assurances of my perfect esteem & high consideration & respect.
[1 ]Jefferson also wrote to Pierrepont Edwards as follows: