The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
PUBLIC SERVICE / SECRETARY OF STATE
Behold me, my dear friend, elected Secretary of State, instead of
returning to the far more agreeable position which placed me in the
daily participation of your friendship. I found the appointment in the
newspapers the day of my arrival in Virginia. I had indeed been asked
while in France, whether I would accept of any appointment at home,
and I had answered that, not meaning to remain long where I was, I
meant it to be the last office I should ever act in. Unfortunately
this letter had not arrived at the time of arranging the new
Government. I expressed freely to the President my desire to return.
He left me free, but still showing his own desire. This, and the
concern of others, more general than I had a right to expect, induced,
after three months parleying, to sacrifice my own inclinations. I have
been here, then, ten days harnessed in new gear.
to Marquis de Lafayette, 2 April 1790