Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel McFetrich, 24 January 1803

From Samuel McFetrich

Philadelphia, Jan. 24 1803


With diffidence and respect I address a gentleman far superior in rank and understanding, well knowing that the person1 I write to is not fond of being flattered not wanting the applause of an individual, or a few, but to prove by his actions that he is worthy of the exalted situation which the true friends of the people have placed him in.

As the revilers of Republicanism, have hitherto held you as a non-promoter of Religion, you have here an opportunity of giving the Lie direct, to all their base insinuations, or assertions.

Should you have leisure, to give this scrawl a perusal and the work meet your approbation you will confer an honor by forwarding it in the course of a month; if otherwise, it will not have the least tendency to lessen, you in my esteem.

Accept Dear Sir, the assurance of my respect, And believe me to be Your friend & Serv’t,

Saml. H. McFetrich

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thos. Jefferson Esq.”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 Jan. and so recorded in SJL.

give this scrawl a perusal: McFetrich perhaps enclosed his 10 Jan. 1803 proposal to print, by subscription, “Tracts, or A Preservative against Unsettled Notions in Religion” by John Wesley, which included “The advantages of the members of the Church of England over those of the Church of Rome”; “The Scripture Doctrine on Predestination, Election, and Reprobation”; “Reasons against a separation from the Church of England”; the 1747 “letter to a person lately joined with the people denominated Quakers”; and nine other titles. The names of subscribers would be annexed to the work “as promoters of Christianity and Literature” (Kline’s Carlisle Weekly Gazette, 16 Mch. 1803). The same collection of tracts was published in Bristol, England, in 1758 and 1770, as Wesley’s A Preservative against Unsettled Notions in Religion.

1MS: “peron.”

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