Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GEORGE HAY - The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826)
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TO GEORGE HAY - 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 GEORGE HAY
Monticello Aug. 17. 23
—I recd. yesterday your favor of the 11th. It referred to something said to be inclosed, without saying what, and, in fact nothing was inclosed. But the preceding mail had brot me the Nat. Intell. of the 7th & 9th in which was a very able discussion on the mode of electing our President signed Phocion. This I suspect is what your letter refers to. If I am right in this conjecture, I have no hesitation in saying that I have ever considered the constitutional mode of election ultimately by the legislature voting by states as the most dangerous blot in our constn, and one which some unlucky chance will some day hit, and give us a pope & anti-pope. I looked therefore with anxiety to the amendment proposed by Colo. Taylor at the last session of Congress, which I thought would be a good substitute, if on an equal division of the electors after a 2d appeal to them the ultimate decision between the two highest had been given by it to the legislature voting per capita. But the states are now so numerous that I despair of ever seeing another amdmt to the constn, altho the innovns of time will certainly call and now already call for some, and especially the smaller states are so numerous as to render desperate every hope of obtaining a sufficient proportion of them in favor of Phocion’s proposition. Another general convention can alone relieve us. What then is the best palliative of the evil in the mean time? Another short question points to the answer. Would we rather the choice should be made by the legislature voting in Congress by states, or in Caucus per capita? The remedy is indeed bad, but the disease worse!
But I have long since withdrawn from attention to political affairs. Age & debility render me unequal and disinclined to them, and two crippled wrists to the use of the pen. Peace with all the world and a quiet descent thro’ the remainder of my time are now so necessary to my happiness that I am unwilling by the expression of any opinion before the public to rekindle antient animosities, covered under their ashes indeed but not extinguished. Yet altho’ weaned from politics, I am not so from the love of my friends, and to yourself particularly I can give assurance with truth of my constant, and cordial affection & respect.