The storm we have passed through proves our vessel indestructible.
Jefferson to Lafayette, March 1, 1801 1
Jefferson's emergence during the campaign of 1800 as a resolute, determined, and wily candidate for president can be charted, though with some difficulty, in his letters, where he shows himself to be politic, shrewd, restrained, and often secretive. He sent his most confidential letters by special messenger, often with instructions that the missives be burned. Only in his letters to his daughters did he express what he hid from everyone else, the complexity of his commitment to the capture of the presidency and his reaction to the unexpected crisis that threatened to deprive him of his victory. There was no more fretting about not challenging the man who "has always been my senior." Adams had now become a threat to the republic.
Unlike the campaign which made him vice-president, this one saw Jefferson's total participation. His letters show a constantly mounting exhilaration at the evidences of affection pouring in from his countrymen. A campaign biography, the first in American political history, was written and 5,000 copies distributed. Republicans at rallies sang the campaign song, a copy of which Jefferson clipped and pasted in his Monticello scrapbook:
Rejoice, Columbia's sons rejoice
To tyrants never bend the knee
But join with heart and soul and voice
For Jefferson and Liberty