To Thomas Sully
Monticello Jan. 25. 12.
My letter of Jan. 8. conveying my thanks to the Society of Artists of the US. for having thought me worthy of a place among their associates, could scarcely have reached your hands, when I recieved your second favor announcing the further honour of being named their President. the gratification of this mark of their partiality to me would have been high indeed, could it have been mixed with some hope of my being useful to them. it would have lessened the uneasiness of unmerited distinction. no one is more sensible than myself that it is to the lively fancies of it’s younger members, to their zeal & energy, and not to the languid imagination & wearied faculties of age, that the Society must owe it’s future successes. I can only give them the tribute of my thanks and best wishes, with the assurance of the readiness & pleasure with which I shall avail myself of any occasion which may occur of rendering them service. in communicating these sentiments to the society, I pray you to accept for yourself those of my great consideration & respect.
PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr Sully.” Printed in Richmond Enquirer, 25 Feb. 1812.