Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Philip Freneau, 22 May 1809

To Philip Freneau

Monticello May 22. 09.

Dear Sir

I subscribe with pleasure to the publication of your volumes of poems. I anticipate the same pleasure from them which the perusal of those heretofore published has given me. I have not been able to circulate the paper because I have not been from home above once or twice since my return, and because in a country situation like mine, little can be done in that way. the inhabitants of the country are mostly industrious farmers employed in active life & reading little. they rarely buy a book of whose merit they can not1 judge by having it in their hand, & are less disposed to engage for those yet unknown to them. I am becoming like them myself in a preference of the healthy & chearful2 emploiments without doors, to the being immured within four brick walls. but under the shade of a tree one of3 your volumes will be a pleasant pocket companion. wishing you all possible success & happiness, I salute you with constant esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Freneau”; endorsed by TJ. Tr (NjP: General Manuscripts); posthumous copy.

1Word interlined.

2Preceding two words interlined.

3Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Freneau, Philip; letters to search
  • Freneau, Philip; Poems Written and Published during the American Revolutionary War search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; subscriptions search