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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1562
AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to THOMAS JEFFERSON.—B. L. Rayner, Life of Thomas Jefferson, p. 356 (1834).

Rayner says the remark was made during a conversation in the president’s office with Baron Alexander von Humboldt, the celebrated naturalist and traveler.
SUBJECTS: Public service