To Thomas Sully
Monticello Jan. 8. 12.
I have duly recieved your favor of Dec. 22. informing me that the Society of Artists of the US. had made me an honorary member of their society. I am very justly sensible of the honor they have done me, & I pray you to return them my thanks for this mark of their distinction. I fear that I can be but a very useless associate. time, which withers the fancy, as the other faculties of the mind and body, presses on me with a heavy hand, and distance intercepts all personal intercourse. I can offer therefore but my zealous good wishes for the success of the institution, and that, embellishing with taste a country already overflowing with the useful productions, it may be able to give an innocent & pleasing direction to accumulations of wealth, which would otherwise be employed in the nourishment of coarse1 and vicious habits. with these I tender to the society & to yourself the assurance of my high respect & consideration.
PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Thomas Sully.” Tr (PPAFA: Minute Book of Society of Artists of the United States, p. 83). Printed in Richmond Enquirer, 25 Feb. 1812.
1. Tr: “course.”