Philadelphia, Feby. 24th. 1806.
Illustrious and revered fellow citizen,
Forgive us this intrusion. From that spirit of benevolence which animates your writings and your private and public life, we are convinced, that the melioration of wretchedness and the advancement of felicity in man, whether civilized or rude, engage your laborious and incessant exertions. Nor will such exertions lose their reward. By the merchant on the Ocean, the husbandman in the field and the Indian in the wilderness the name of Jefferson will be long and with pleasure repeated.
Could we suppose the flow of your philanthopy, susceptible of obstruction from the interference of continents or Oceans, we should not have ventured to address you. From the preceding pages you will learn that the beneficence of our citizens is solicited for the purpose of diminishing the miseries and improving the understandings of eastern Indians. The mission at Serampore is a baptist mission: supported chiefly by a denomination whose oppressions have made the pulse for civil liberty beat strong in their bosoms, and who in you, Sir, have found a faithful and generous friend.
From the publicity of your station, we cannot doubt but that solicitations for the exercise of your beneficence are frequent. We wish not to impose a burden on benevolence: but, Sir, if from the sources divine providence has placed under your controul, your convenience and friendship can spare a small sum towards the great design, it will be received with the liveliest gratitude. With the largest wishes for the increase of your temporal and everlasting felicity, We are, Yr obedient & very respectful fellow citizens
ViW: Jefferson Papers, Tucker-Coleman Collection.