"In his first inaugural address in March 1801, Jefferson pleaded for national unity, insisting that differences of opinion were not differences of principle. Then he said, with much hope, "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." His landslide 1804 reelection suggested that his words were more prophetic than wishful. Largely due to a relatively peaceful first term on both the domestic and foreign scenes, along with prosperity, lower taxes, and a reduction in the national debt, it appeared to most astute observers on the eve of the election that Jefferson was unbeatable.

In February 1804, more than 100 Republican congressmen met in Washington and nominated Jefferson and George Clinton of New York by acclamation. It was the first official nominating caucus in the nation's history. The Federalists, demoralized and too disorganized to hold a caucus, agreed informally to back Charles C. Pinckney, the vice-presidential candidate in 1800, and Rufus King, the Federalist senator from New York.

Jefferson called the Federalists a prigarchy, a play on the words "prig" and "aristocracy," because of their unwillingness to open the party to populist elements. The Federalists denounced Jefferson's immensely popular Louisiana Purchase (see Foreign Affairs section) as unconstitutional. They also desperately exposed the President's alleged relations with his slave, Sally Hemings, as a national scandal. Jefferson kept a public silence on his relationship with Hemings.

The avalanche of presidential electors voting for Jefferson returned him to the White House with 162 votes to Pinckney's 14. Only Connecticut, Delaware, and two Maryland electors stood firm against the wave of republicanism. Jefferson was overjoyed. He wished only that George Washington had lived to see the day when the divisive factions of party had become a new unity of mind and politics for the nation."

Source: Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “Thomas Jefferson: Campaigns and Elections.” Accessed May 22, 2016.­/president/biography/jefferson-campaigns-and-elections.

James Akin. 1804. "The prairie dog sickened at the sting of the hornet or a diplomatic puppet exhibiting  his deceptions." Etching with Watercolor. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540.

James Akin. 1804. "A Philosophic Cock." Hand-colored Engraving with Aquatint. From the Charles Peirce Collection of the American Antiquity Society.  Accessed: May 22, 2016.