Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to David Bailie Warden, 25 February 1809

Washington Feb. 25. 09.


My last to you was of July 16. since which I have received your several favors of May 25. Jun. 12. July 22. 24. & Sep. 2. & as in the last you mention that you had never received mine of May 1. 1808. I inclose you a copy with the expression of my sincere regrets that the Acknolegements of your favors contained in it should have been so long unreceived. Mr. Humboldt’s work is also received & in answer to his question stated in yours of July 24. I will observe that the importation of Slaves into the United States is totally & rigorously prohibited. we are as impatient here, as the literati in Europe for the Appearance of Govr. Lewis’s work, but his being employed at St. Louis one thousand miles from Philadelphia where the work is going on doubtless Occasions the delay. I shall certainly forward Copies of it to Paris the moment it appears.

You will learn from Mr. Coles my late Secretary & friend all the news of our Country, & the general expectation here that we must engage in the war. so certainly is this expected that we have deemed it improper to propose to the Senate this Session any new Appointments of Consuls to France or England lest it should excite false doubts in those Nations whether we mean to meet their edicts with war if they are not repealed. On this ground no proposition has been made to the Senate as to the Consulship at Paris. I am sorry at the same time, tho’ bound from my respect for yourself, to inform you, that a competitor has made himself known to the Senate of such standing in the United States and peculiar qualifications for the Office as would from what I have heard, have preoccupied a majority of their votes, had not the reason before stated prevented your nomination. I mention this fact to you to prevent disappointment, altho I shall not be here when the state of things will render it proper to renew the appointment.

I shall within a few days divest myself of the anxieties and the labors with which I have been oppressed, & retire with inexpressible delight to my family, my friends, my farms & books. there I may indulge at length in that tranquility and those pursuits from which I have been divorced by the character of the times in which I have lived, & which have forced me into the line of political life under a sense of duty, and against a great and constant aversion to it. in my retirement I shall always be happy to hear from you & to execute any of your Orders which my position will admit, & shall continue to nourish towards you the sentiments of esteem and respect of which I now tender you the assurances.

Th: Jefferson


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