Few die, none resign (Quotation)

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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<blockquote>"if a due participation of office is a matter of right, how are vacancies to be obtained? those by death are few. by resignation none."<ref>Jefferson to the New Haven Merchants, [[Washington, D.C.]], July 12, 1801, in [[Short Title List|''PTJ'']], 34:556. [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib010290 Press copy] available online from the Library of Congress.</ref></blockquote> <blockquote>"if a due participation of office is a matter of right, how are vacancies to be obtained? those by death are few. by resignation none."<ref>Jefferson to the New Haven Merchants, [[Washington, D.C.]], July 12, 1801, in [[Short Title List|''PTJ'']], 34:556. [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib010290 Press copy] available online from the Library of Congress.</ref></blockquote>
-It appears that this shortening of Jefferson's statement has been in use for quite some time. Jefferson's 1801 letter to the New Haven merchants was published in a number of newspapers within a matter of weeks after it was written. By 1836, the phrase was described in one journal as "that remarkable apothegm of Mr. Jefferson."<ref>http://books.google.com/books?id=ZKZLAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA41</ref>+It appears that this shortening of Jefferson's statement has been in use for quite some time. Jefferson's 1801 letter to the New Haven merchants was published in a number of newspapers within a matter of weeks after it was written, so potentially it could have entered public currency and been paraphrased almost immediately. By 1836, the phrase "few die, none resign" was described in one journal as "that remarkable apothegm of Mr. Jefferson."<ref>''Army and Navy Chronicle'' 3 (July-December 1836): [http://books.google.com/books?id=ZKZLAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA41 41].</ref> Jefferson's original version was quoted in a 1901 collection of "the world's best orations", listed under the title "Few Die, None Resign;"<ref>''The World's Best Orations: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time'' (St. Louis, Mo.: Kaiser, 1901), [http://books.google.com/books?id=C35ZAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA3945 10:3945].</ref> early twentieth-century textbooks even use the phrase in grammar exercises.<ref>Abram Royer Brubacher and Dorothy Ermina Snyder, ''High School English: Book One'' (New York: Merrill, 1911), [http://books.google.com/books?id=Q9IAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA40 40].</ref>
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==Footnotes== ==Footnotes==
<references/> <references/>
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==See Also== ==See Also==
*[[No duty the executive had to perform was so trying...(Quotation)]] *[[No duty the executive had to perform was so trying...(Quotation)]]
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 +==Further Sources==
 +*Cunningham, Noble E. [http://books.google.com/books?id=7mqHAAAAMAAJ ''The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power: Party Operations, 1801-1809.''] Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press, 1963. See especially Chapter Two, "The Party and the Patronage: The Initiation of Policy," which discusses at length the political context and meaning of the letter quoted above.
[[Category:Famous Quotations]] [[Category:Famous Quotations]]
[[Category:Spurious Quotations]] [[Category:Spurious Quotations]]

Current revision

"Few die, none resign", is a paraphrase of a statement Thomas Jefferson made in a letter to a group of New Haven, Connecticut merchants in 1801:

"if a due participation of office is a matter of right, how are vacancies to be obtained? those by death are few. by resignation none."[1]

It appears that this shortening of Jefferson's statement has been in use for quite some time. Jefferson's 1801 letter to the New Haven merchants was published in a number of newspapers within a matter of weeks after it was written, so potentially it could have entered public currency and been paraphrased almost immediately. By 1836, the phrase "few die, none resign" was described in one journal as "that remarkable apothegm of Mr. Jefferson."[2] Jefferson's original version was quoted in a 1901 collection of "the world's best orations", listed under the title "Few Die, None Resign;"[3] early twentieth-century textbooks even use the phrase in grammar exercises.[4]

Footnotes

  1. Jefferson to the New Haven Merchants, Washington, D.C., July 12, 1801, in PTJ, 34:556. Press copy available online from the Library of Congress.
  2. Army and Navy Chronicle 3 (July-December 1836): 41.
  3. The World's Best Orations: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time (St. Louis, Mo.: Kaiser, 1901), 10:3945.
  4. Abram Royer Brubacher and Dorothy Ermina Snyder, High School English: Book One (New York: Merrill, 1911), 40.

See Also

Further Sources