Jefferson, in spite of his cherished retirement, took a renewed interest in politics. But it probably wasn’t obvious until he sent Ben Franklin Basche eight dollars for a subscription to Bashe’s Aurora (1) the day after Christmas, 1795. Word was out that Alexander Hamilton was resigning from the cabinet and that a rumor of an investigation into his accounting irregularities was afoot. Jefferson thought Hamilton had the books in such a state of confusion that nobody could make sense of them, not even Hamilton himself.
By May 1796 it was assumed that the presidential candidates would be Jefferson and Adams. Neither one was expected to physically campaign because in that early era of democracy it was not considered statesmanlike to appeal directly to the people.
The face of statesmanship has changed over the past 220 +/- years.
(1) Benjamin Franklin Basche was an American journalist who published Bashe’s Aurora six days each week, and not to be confused with our statesman Benjamin Franklin.