From the Delaware Baptist Association
June 26th. 1801.
Friend and Fellow Citizen,
With emotions of Gratitude to the Almighty Ruler of the Universe, who manageth the affairs of the Terrestrial Globe, and under whose divine Auspices we taste the sweets of that liberty which thousands are destitute of, we lift up our hearts, and render the Tribute of Thankfulness to him who hath indulged us with worshiping according to the sacred Scriptures1 and the dictates of our Consciences, and none to make us afraid.
We not only think it our duty to obey those who rule the affairs of Government according to Justice and Equity, but, also, to pray for them, that God would give unto every one the spirit of his respective Station.
Accept, Sir, our Congratulation on your appointment to the chief Magistracy of the Nation.— While we view the happy Consequences of the American Revolution,— (viz.) Liberty2—Peace—equality of Birth—the destruction of created Titles—emancipation from brittish Tyrany—from establishment3 of ecclesiastical Dignities, and the preponderance of one Society over another, we unitedly adore the great Jehovah, for his kindness in confering on us such inestimable Priveledges.
May you, dear Sir, long continue to preside over the People thus Happy!—And may the God of Battle, who hath granted us the victory over our Enemies,4 who presideth over all worlds,5 preside over you.—May his munificent hand cover your head, and his counsel guide your heart in all those difficulties, which, by your exalted Station, you are naturally involved.—And when, like the grand Luminary of the Day, you shall have finished your course of service in this Stage of Action, may your immortal Spirit soar aloft into the heavenly world of unremitting Felicity.
Signed by order of the Association.
RC (DLC); in Joseph Flood’s hand, signed by Flood and John Boggs; at head of text: “The Delagates of the Delaware Baptist Association, convened in Bryn-Sion Meeting-house, Kent County and State of Delaware, To Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States of America”; endorsed by TJ as received 29 June and so recorded in SJL with notation “Address.” Dft (Christie’s, New York City, 2003); dated 8 June; same hand and signatures; at head of text: “An address from the Delaware Baptist Association, To Thomas Jefferson, president of the U.S.A.”; notation: “For the Mirror.” Dft printed in the Wilmington Mirror of the Times, & General Advertiser on 9 Sep., along with TJ’s reply of 2 July.
The Delaware Association, formed among the Baptist churches of Delaware about 1795 (including the Cow Marsh, Welsh Tract, Duck Creek, Wilmington, and Mispillion churches), consisted of five churches in 1801 and 293 members. Joseph Flood had served as minister at Baptist meetings both within and outside the association. John Boggs was raised Presbyterian but in 1771 became a Baptist and was ordained a minister in the denomination ten years later (Scharf, History of Delaware description begins J. Thomas Scharf, The History of Delaware, 1609–1888, Philadelphia, 1888, 2 vols. description ends , 2:854, 955, 1125, 1144–5, 1185, 1288; Richard B. Cook, The Early and Later Delaware Baptists [Philadelphia, 1880], 21, 30, 31, 74, 75).
1. Dft: “who hath given us leave to worship according to his revealed word.”
2. Word omitted in Mirror of the Times.
3. RC: “from” interlined in place of “non-.” Dft: “nonestablishment.”
4. Dft: “oppressors.”
5. Dft: “who presideth over heaven and all worlds.”