Extract from Thomas Jefferson to James Currie
|Paris Jan. 28. 1786|
I observe by the public papers that he has brought on a very disagreeable altercation with mr Jay, in which he has given to the character of the latter a colouring which does not belong to it. these altercations, little thought of in America, make a great impression here. in truth it is afflicting that a man who has past his life in serving the public, who has served them in every the highest stations with universal approbation, & with a purity of conduct which has silenced even party opprobrium, who tho’ poor has never permitted himself to make a shilling in the public employ, should yet be liable to have his peace of mind so much disturbed by any individual who shall think proper to arraign him in a newspaper. it is however an evil for which there is no remedy. our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. to the sacrifice, of time, labor, fortune, a public servant must count upon adding that of peace of mind and even reputation.