Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Kosciuszko, 25 February 1809

Washington Feb. 25. 09—

My dear friend

This will be handed you by Mr. Coles the bearer of Public dispatches by an Aviso, who has lived with me as my Secretary, being one of my wealthy neighbors. I will say nothing to you on the Situation of our country, because his intimate knowledge of our Affairs, & the unreserved confidence you may repose in him, will enable you to learn from him whatever you desire. he is worthy your friendly attentions & I ask them for him. he will particularly state to you the difficulties to which we are reduced by the very trying measure of the embargo, rendered necessary by the edicts of the belligerents against our Commerce. the loss of fifty millions of exports annually is become more intolerable than War, which would not cost us the third of that, & we should take something from our enemies. if therefore these edicts are not repealed before the meeting of Congress in May, war must probably be declared. Can you by consultation with Bankers or merchants tell us how, in that event we are to remit your quarterly dividends from hence: perhaps it may be more easy for you to sell Bills on Mr. Barnes than for him to get bills in Europe. he is at present in a bad state from a fall which has entirely (tho’ I hope only temporarily) disabled his right arm, so that he will not be able to write to you by this Occasion. his life is precious to us both, as another Agent so faithful and so punctual could not be found. I am within a few days of retiring to the Shades of Monticello for which I have been long panting. there at length I hope I shall find rest and happiness among my family, my friends, my farm & books: you talked once of becoming a Neighbor. it would add more to my happiness than, I believe, to yours. persons long Accustomed to the Society and excitements of large Cities, languish under the Monotony of a Country life.—God bless you my Dear General and give you happiness as long as you have life, and life as long as you wish it

Th: Jefferson


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