The confidence of the whole union is centred in you. Your being at the helm, will be more than an answer to every argument which can be used to alarm & lead the people in any quarter into violence or secession. North & South will hang together, if they have you to hang on; and, if the first correction of a numerous representation should fail in its effect, your presence will give time for trying others not inconsistent with the union & peace of the states.
Source: To President Washington, May 23, 1792
Selected Writings of TJ, by Koch & Peden, Pages 468-474
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Supportive leaders encourage and exhort their superiors.
President Washington told Jefferson he planned on stepping down from office when his first term was over. In a lengthy letter, Jefferson built a case for why the President should serve a second term. He cited dangers from monetary speculation, North – South divisions, a growing interest in a monarchy, uneasy foreign relations, and Indian uprisings. Jefferson thought all would worsen in Washington’s absence.
No one but Washington, Jefferson believed, could keep the nation on an even keel.
Jefferson hoped for enough of a change in Congress that these pressures might be relieved by a more republican (small r) representation. If so, Washington need not serve out his entire second term. But if not, his steady hand and his alone was required at the nation’s helm.
Washington subsequently set aside his strong desire to return to private life and served that second term.
What are Mr. Jefferson’s Eight Presidential Principles of Leadership?
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The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.