Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Littlejohn, 27 February 1809

At a meeting of the Republican Mechanicks of the Town of Leesburg & its vicinity, held in Leesburg on the 27th. of February, 1809, for the Purpose of tendering to the P. of the U.S. an address approbatory of his conduct as Chief Magistrate.—

John Littlejohn Esqr. was appointed to the Chair & John Newton Secy. whereupon Messrs John Littlejohn, John S Cranwell & John Newton, being chosen a Committee for that Purpose, Prepared the following Address, which was unanimously approved.

To Thos. Jefferson Esqr. President of the United States


In unison with our Republican Brethren who met in this Town on the 13th. Instt., we ask leave to Salute You upon the Close of Your Public Life; with them we revere the motives which Urge Your Retirement, while the event itself is accompanied with Painful Sensations.—

A contrariety of opinion has obtained respecting Your Public Agency, & more especially respecting the great measures that have recently suspended our Commerce, & exposed us to temporary Privations. On this Subject we Unequivocally declare our belief that the course You have Pursued was marked out by Your Country’s interest, and called for by her dearest Rights. We were Patient of all latitude of enquiry but we deem the embodied expressions of discontent, and the Open outrages of Law and Patriotism exhibited in Particular Places, as dishonourable as they are injurious. Had the Effort of Our Government (Struggling against the bold innovations and the unexampled tyranny of the Belligerents,) been unopposed by illtimed faction; our Rights might now have been established and Respected.—

You have been weakly or insidiously accused of undue Partiality for the tillers of the Earth; we Reject the Calumny. Ever watchful over the interests of this most useful class of Citizens, You have not neglected Commerce and the Arts: A friend to Agriculture, could You frown upon her handmaids’ Aiming at the Object, could You despise the means of attainment?—

In any event reprobating as we do the Resistance made or menaced against the Laws of our Country, we are Resolved to meet hostility to them in whatsoever Shape, with the energy & dignity of freemen; We now Sir, take our leave of You in the hope that the Spirit which Enlightened and moved our Public Councils will Still Preside; And that in Your Retirement You may enjoy a health & happiness Proportioned to the distinguished Usefulness of Your Previous Life.—

John Littlejohn

John Newton Secy

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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