Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from R. Van Brunt, 3 January 1807

3 Jan. 1807


Attached to principles of civil liberty to the happiness of their Country and to the Chief Magistrate of its choice, the Republicans of the County of Kings have viewed with approbation the addresses which have been presented from various portions of the Union requesting a continuance of your great and emiment services—

They have considered it their duty to unite with their Republican Fellow Citizens, and to mingle in the general voice. We have been appointed a Committee to express to you their sentiments.

While so many Nations are rendered unhappy by war, while the blessings of peace and freedom are denied to Millions of the human race, the Citizens of these United States are destinguished for the enjoyment of social felicity, Commerce and agriculture equally floirsh, Industry receives the reward of its labours, and the hand of Goverment instead of imposing unnecessary burthens is only felt in the happiness it dispences and in the protection which it affords.—

For these preeminent and enviable priveleges we are indeed indebted to the beneficent dispensations of Providence Yet Sir we are equally sensible that under Heaven they are secured to us by the Wisdom of the general Government and the influence of your patriotic virtues.—

It is with the utmost regret we have heard a rumour of your intending to retire from Public life at the expiration of the period for which you are elected. While we properly appreciate the motives upon which such a wish might be founded and while we acknowledge that under ordinary circumstances the distinguished benefits you have rendered to your Country would have entitled you to have gratified a taste for retirement, permit us to state that the present situation of affairs requires the aid of your experience and talents; and suffer us to indulge the hope that you will yield your private inclinations to the general sentiment—

While our foreign relations are in an unsettled State and negotiations equally difficult and important are depending While domestic parties retain the present degree of violence, and while unhappy dissentions exist in several parts of the Union among those who bear the Republican name; every sincere and ardent Patriot must cherish the fond hope, that we shall retain a Chief Majistrate who inspires the respect of foreign nations and in attachment and confidence towards whom we are all united.

It cannot sir be necessary that we should enter into a detail of all the various reasons which induce the Republicans of your Country to desire your continuing to preside in our national Councils; Most of those reasons must be present to your mind and we are sensible that you must entertain a willingness to afford them their proper weight—Permit us therefore in the name of our Constituents and in their behalf as well as in our own respectfully to solicit your Consent again to receive the suffrages of your Country for the important Office which you at present fill—

We are sir with sincere attachment and with the greatest respect—

Your Republican fellow Citizens.

R. Van Brunt, Chairman

and 16 other signatures

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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