When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property, and justly liable to the inspection and vigilance of public opinion; and the more sensibly he is made to feel his dependence, the less danger will there be of his abuse of power.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Conversation with Baron Humboldt (1807)

In Seymour, A Winter in Washingtonm ch. 9 (1824), further identified in Raynor, Life of Jefferson (1832). As it is all anecdotal, the accuracy may be easily questioned, but its proximity to the events lends it a certain validity.

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 6-Jul-22
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