Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, 13 July 1806

Washington July 13. 06.

Dear Sir

Your letter of the 5th. came to hand on the 7th. & at the same time the Enquirer of the 4th. from the two together I derived inexpressible consolation: because while the Enquirer contained a piece which shewed that the other party did not propose, for any thing which had yet past to remove the question from before the tribunal of the public, your letter gave me confidence that if that piece contained any fact necessary to be set to rights, it would be done by a simple statement of the fact, without commentary or reflection. but indeed whatever that piece might contain of error, it’s contradiction is rendered unnecessary by general opinion. I find but one sentiment prevailing (and I have that from very many) that the thing may stop where it now is with entire honour to yourself and with no other diminution of it to the other party than shewing that he has not that ravenous appetite for unnecessary risk, which some had ascribed to him; and which indeed is the falsest of honour, as a mere compound of crime & folly. I hope therefore that the matter is at an end, and that great care will be taken not to revive it. I believe that will be the case on his side; for I think you have been mistaken in supposing he meant to try any experiment on your sensibility. of this he is acquitted I find by all who had opportunities of observing his selection of characters to be the subjects of his sarcasms. this termination however restores peace of mind and happiness to us all. the young ones indeed would have got over it; but to two persons at least it would have ended but with life. this period might have been long with one; with the other short, but unceasingly bitter, a sincere affection for you personally a reliance on you for succeeding to cares which age is unfitting me for, sympathies with a beloved survivor, and tender anxieties for those who would have had to embark in the world without guide or protection, would have filled with gloom my remaining time. God bless you & give you a long life

Th: Jefferson


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