Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES MADISON - The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826)
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TO JAMES MADISON - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 12.
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TO JAMES MADISON
Poplar Forest, November 29, 1820
—The enclosed letter from our ancient friend Tenche Coxe, came unfortunately to Monticello after I had left it, and has had a dilatory passage to this place, where I received it yesterday, and obey its injunction of immediate transmission to you. We should have recognized the style even without a signature, and although so written as to be much of it indecipherable. This is a sample of the effects we may expect from the late mischievous law vacating every four years nearly all the executive offices of the government. It saps the constitutional and salutary functions of the President, and introduces a principle of intrigue and corruption, which will soon leaven the mass, not only of Senators, but of citizens. It is more baneful than the attempt which failed in the beginning of the government, to make all officers irremovable but with the consent of the Senate. This places, every four years, all appointments under their power, and even obliges them to act on every one nomination. It will keep in constant excitement all the hungry cormorants for office, render them, as well as those in place, sycophants to their Senators, engage these in eternal intrigue to turn out one and put in another, in cabals to swap work; and make of them what all executive directories become, mere sinks of corruption and faction. This must have been one of the midnight signatures of the President, when he had not time to consider, or even to read the law; and the more fatal as being irrepealable but with the consent of the Senate, which will never be obtained.
F. Gilmer has communicated to me Mr. Correa’s letter to him of adieux to his friends here, among whom he names most affectionately Mrs. Madison and yourself. No foreigner, I believe, has ever carried with him more friendly regrets. He was to sail the next day (November 10) in the British packet for England, and thence take his passage in January for Brazil. His present views are of course liable to be affected by the events of Portugal, and the possible effects of their example on Brazil. I expect to return to Monticello about the middle of the ensuing month, and salute you with constant affection and respect.