Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Armistead T. Mason, 7 January 1809

Loudoun County 7th Janry. 1809.


The members, of the Troop of Cavalry, attached to the 57th Regiment of Virginia Militia, whose names are subjoined, have authorised me to tender their services to the United States, in the event of a War.

It is not a vain parade of Patriotism which induces them to make this Tender; they are influenced by no motive; and they have no object but to serve their Country in the time of need. They have heard the Call of an injured Country upon her Citizens to vindicate her rights. They obey it. They wish to be foremost in her defence. They feel that their Country has been injured & insulted; and they are ready, they are anxious to avenge her wrongs on those who have dared to practise them. They do not enquire, whether they are called upon to fight France, or England, and advance, or retire according to the answer which is given: they are ready, at the summons of their Country, to fight both.

Knowing that every honourable effort, which the sincerest love of peace, the most ardent patriotism, and the most enligthened wisdom could suggest, has been made, for the amicable accommodation of our differences with the Belligerents of Europe, with no other effect than to add insults to original injuries, it is with peculiar pleasure that I offer my services, and those, of the Gentlemen, whose names accompany this letter, in defence of our Country’s rights should there be an appeal to arms. Firmly convinced that their conduct if they are called into action will be honourable to themselves, and essentially useful to our Country I beg leave, earnestly, to request the President to accept the Tender of their services which I have just made. And for my own part to add, that animated by the same spirit, I feel as they do, not less impelled by strong inclination, than by sacred duty, to fight for my Country, when, as at the existing crisis, her bleeding honour, and violated rights must provoke the indignation of every patriot; while the formidable aspect of the enemy should concentrate all our force, and arouse all our energies into action.

I have the honour to be, Sir, With Sentiments of the highest respect, and most exalted friendship, Your very obedient Servant,

Armistead T. Mason,

Captain of the Troop of Cavalry,

attached to the 57th Regiment,

of Virginia Militia.

Names of the Volunteers.

William S. Gantt, First Lieutenant.

John Saunders, Second Lieutenant.

David Steuart, Cornet.

Presley Saunders, First Serjeant.

Thos. Kiphart, Second Serjeant.

Robert Minor, Third Serjeant.

Daniel Dawling, Fourth Serjeant.

Stoughton Gantt William McIntyre
Thomson Mason Fielden Brown
Benj: M. Mayfield Henry Milton
James Gardner Daniel Minor
George Firchester Thos: Johnson
John Woody Charles Hoskinson.
Henry S. Cooke Benjamin Spates.
Jonathan Nickson
Daniel Triplett.

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

Index Entries