Politics

24 April 1796

Writing as a private citizen, Jefferson expresses his criticism of the Federalist party. The letter's subsequent unauthorized publication, often appearing out of context, haunts him for the rest of his life.

10 January 1801

Jefferson learns of the electoral tie between him and fellow Republican candidate Aaron Burr. The selection of the next president will be determined by vote in the House of Representatives.

12 February 1801

Jefferson updates his friends in Virginia on the suspenseful electoral impasse after repeated balloting in the House of Representatives. Not until the 36th ballot taken five days later did Jefferson know he had been selected the next president of the United States.

1 March 1801

A long-time friend freely communicates her sentiments, offers her opinions on John Adams, and congratulates Jefferson on his election as president.

18 June 1801

A Connecticut gentleman cautions Jefferson that both political parties expect to share in the plums of political appointment.

18 June 1801

Some Connecticut merchants challenge the removal of a Federalist collector at New Haven and the subsequent appointment of a Republican whom they deem inadequately qualified for the position. They interpret Jefferson's inaugural address as implying presidential appointments would be merit-based without regard to party.

12 July 1801

Jefferson clarifies misunderstandings over his removal policies, acknowledging the burden of presidential appointments and the reality of political parties.

26 August 1801

Jefferson comments on the "dreadful operation" he must perform in finding offices for members of his party who feel that they had been denied jobs and influence in previous administrations.

26 January 1804

Following a discussion with Aaron Burr about their political relationship, Jefferson makes a detailed record for his files.

3 March 1804

Jefferson informs Gerry that he will seek a second term as president to help consolidate his party's gains and resist the "unbounded calumnies" of diehard Federalists.

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