Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO WILLIAM SHORT 1 - The Works, vol. 10 (Correspondence and Papers 1803-1807)
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TO WILLIAM SHORT 1 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 10 (Correspondence and Papers 1803-1807) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 10.
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TO WILLIAM SHORT1
May 19, 1807.
My determination to retire is the result of mature reflections, and on various considerations, not the least weighty of these, is that a consciousness that a decline of physical faculties can not leave those mental entirely unimpaired; and it will be happy for me if I am the first who shall become sensible of it. As to a successor there never will be a time when it will not produce some difficulty, and never less, I believe, than at present. That some of the Federalists should prefer my continuance to the uncertainty of a successor I can readily believe. There are among them men of candor who do not join in the clamor and condemnation of every thing, nor pretend that even chance never throws us on a right measure. There are some who know me personally and who give a credit to my intentions, which they deny my understanding. Some who may fear a successor, preferring a military glory of a nation to the prosperity and happiness of its individuals. But to the mass of that political sect, it is not the less true, the 4th of March, 1809, will be a day of Jubilee, but it will be a day of greater joy to me. I never did them an act of injustice nor failed in any duty to them imposed by my office. Out of about six hundred offices named by the President there were six Republicans only when I came into office, and these were chiefly half-breeds. Out of upwards of three hundred holding during pleasure, I removed about fifteen or those who had signalized themselves by their own intolerance in office, because the public voice called for it imperiously, and it was just that the Republicans should at length have some participation in the government. There never was another removal but for such delinquencies as removed the Republicans equally. In this horrid drudgery I always felt myself as a public executioner, an office which no one who knows me, I hope, supposes very grateful to my feelings. It was considerably alleviated, however, by the industry of their newspapers in endeavoring to excite resentment enough to enable me to meet the operation. However, I hail the day which is to relieve me from being viewed as an official enemy. In private life I never had above one or two; to the friendship of that situation I look with delight.
[1 ]From the Southern Bivouac, II., 635.