Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Count Théodore Pahlen, 13 July 1810

To Count Théodore Pahlen

Monticello July 13. 10.


I have been honored with your letter of the 25th Ult. and have to return you my thanks for those of Made de Tessé, & Genl La Fayette, and for the print of Baron Humboldt, all of which are come safely to hand, & present to me the proofs & recollections of their much valued friendships. to these acknolegements permit me to add my congratulations on your safe arrival in the United states, after journies and voyages which, from their length, can not have been pleasant. if, after this, it shall be found that a change of twenty degrees of latitude shall have no unfavorable influence on your health, it will furnish double cause of felicitation.

I am much flattered by the kind notice of the Emperor, which you have been so obliging as to communicate to me. the approbation of the good is always consoling; but that of a sovereign whose station and endowments are so preeminent, is recieved with the sensibility which the veneration for his character inspires. among other motives of commiseration which the calamities of Europe cannot fail to excite in every virtuous mind, the interruption which these have given to the benevolent views of the emperor is prominent. the accession of a sovereign with the dispositions & qualifications to improve the condition of a great nation, and to place it’s happiness on a permanent basis, is a phaenomenon so rare in the Annals of mankind, that, when the blessing occurs, it is lamentable that any portion of it should be usurped by occurrences of the character of those we have seen. if, separated from these scenes by an ocean of a thousand leagues breadth, they have required all our cares to keep aloof from their desolating effects, I can readily concieve how much more they must occupy those to whose1 territories they are contiguous. that the Emperor may be able, whenever a pacification takes place, to shew himself the father & friend of the human race, to restore to nations the moral laws which have governed their intercourse, & to prevent for ever a repetition of those ravages by sea & land, which will distinguish the present as an age of Vandalism, I sincerely pray.

I consider as a happy augury the choice which the Emperor has made of a person to reside near our government, so distinguished by his dispositions & qualifications to cherish the friendship & the interests of both nations. with my best wishes that your residence among us may be rendered entirely agreeable, and be accompanied with the blessing of health, accept the assurances of my great respect and consideration.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of first page: “H. E. Count Pahlen. Envoy Extr. & M.P. of Russia.”

1TJ here canceled “states.”

Index Entries

  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; TJ on search
  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; TJ’s relationship with search
  • Humboldt, Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander, Baron von; engravings of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; European monarchs search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; morality in government search
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de; letters from mentioned search
  • Pahlen, Théodore, Count; letters to search
  • Pahlen, Théodore, Count; opinions of search
  • Tessé, Adrienne Catherine de Noailles de; letters from mentioned search