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My loving and beloved Friend, Pickering, has been pleased to inform the World that I have “few Friends.” I wanted to whip the rogue, and I had it in my Power, if it had been in my Will to do it, till the blood came. But all my real Friends as I thought them, with Dexter and Gray at their Head insisted “that I Should not Say a Word.” “That nothing that Such a Person could write would do me the...
Lyman was mortified that he could not visit Monticello. He is gone to Europe a Second time. I regret that he did not See you, He would have executed any commission for you in the litterary line, at any pain or any expence. I have many Apprehensions for his health, which is very delicate and precarious. But he is Seized with the Mania of all our young etherial Spirits, for foreign travel. I...
Mr Leslie Combs of Kentucky has Sent me “a History of the late War, in the Western Country, by Mr Robert B. McAffee” And “The Phylosophy of Human Nature by Joseph Buchanan.” “The History,” I am glad to See: because it will preserve facts to the honour, and immortal glory of the Western people. Indeed I am not Sorry that “the Phylsophy” has been published, because it has been a Maxim with me...
I am impatient to See your Plan of a University and new System of Education. To assist you in your contemplations, I Send you, a Pamplet, “The Politicks of Connecticut.” By a federal Republican in the name of Hamilton. Was there ever Such a combination? Two Copies were Sent me from the Post on Saturday last: I know not from whence nor by whom. Now Sir! please to hear a modest Proposal. Let me...
I thank you for your kind congratulations on the return of my little family from Europe. To receive them all in fine hea l th and good Spirits, after so long an absence, was a greater Blessing, than at my time of Life when they went away I had any right to hope or reason to expect. If the Secretary of State can give Satisfaction to his fellow citizens in his new Office it well be a Source of...
Permit me to introduce to you Mr Horace Holley, who is on his Way to Kentucky where he has been invited to undertake the Superintendance of a University. This Gentleman was Settled very young at Greenfield as Successor to Dr Dwight; but having a Mind too inquisitive for Connecticut he removed to Boston where he has been Settled nine years and where his fame has erected one of the loftyest...
As Holly is a Diamond of a Superiour water it would be crushed to pouder by Mountainous oppression in any other country. Even in this, he is a light shining in a dark place. His System is founded in the hopes of Mankind, but they delight more in their Fears. When will man have juster notions of the Universal eternal cause? Then will rational Christianity prevail. I regrett Holly’s misfortune...
Will you accept a curious Piece of New England Antiquities. It was a tolerable Chatechism for the Education a Boy of 14 Years of Age, who was destined—in the future course of his Life to dabble in So many Revolutions in America, in Holland and in France. This Doctor Mayhew had two Sisters established in Families in this Village which he often visited and where I often Saw him. He was intimate...
One trouble never comes alone! At our Ages We may expect more and more of them every day in groups, and every day less fortitude to bear them. When I saw in Print that You was gone to the Springs, I anxiously Suspected that all was not healthy at Monticello. You may be Surprised to hear that your favour of the 7th has given me hopes. “Imposthume, general Eruptions Colliquative Sweats,”...
Your Letter of Nov. 15 gave me great delight not only by the divine Consolation it afforded me under my great Affliction: but as it gave me full Proof of your restoration to Health. While you live, I Seem to have a Bank at Monticello on which I can draw for a Letter of Friendship and entertainment when I please. I know not how to prove physically that We Shall meet and know each other in a...
Late last night I received Your Report and your translation of Tracy, for both of which, tho’ I have read neither I thank You. but the full proof of Your returning health has given me more Pleasure than both. I envy your Eyes and hands and Horse. Mine are too dim, too tremulous and my head is too dizzy for the Sovereign Doctor. All is now Still and tranquil. There is nothing to try Mens Souls...
If I am not humble I ought to be, when I find myself under the necessity of borrowing a juvenile hand to acknowledge your kind favour of the 19.th: I have read your university report throughout with great pleasure, and hearty approbation; Of Tracy’s report I have read as much as I could, the translation appears to me an original written with all the purity, accuracy, and elegance, of its...
As you was so well acquainted with the philosophers of France I presume the name and character of Mademoiselle De Lespinasse is not unknown to you. I have almost put out my eyes by reading two volumes of her letters which as they were printed in 1809 I presume you have read long ago. I confess I have never read any thing with more ennui, disgust and loathing. The eternal repitition of mon dieu...
As you know I have often been ambitious of introducing to your acquaintance some of our literary characters, I now send you in the same spirit, some mathematical papers by our Mr. Bowditch who has translated La Place’s mechanique coeliste & has written commentaries upon it as voluminous as the book—; which are thought by our scientific people to be one of the greatest astronomical productions...
I am diligently & laboriously occupied, in reading & hearing your “political economy”—I call it yours because I do not believe that Tracys is more of an original in point of purity, perspicuity or precission—I have read as yet only to the 90th page—it is a connected chain of ideas & propositions, of which I know not which link to strike out. His philosophy appears to me to be precisely that of...
I have taxed my eyes with a very heavy impost to read the senator Tracy’s Political Economy & been amply rewarded for the expense. When I first saw the volume I thought it was impossible I should get through, it, but when I had once made a beginning I found myself led on in so easy a train from proposition to proposition, every one of which appeared to me self evident, that I could not leave...
Your Letter of March 21st. I will Communicate to Mr Bowditch, and Pickering— You may put my Letters upon the Subject of Tracy’s Book into any hands you please, with or without any Verbal alterations, as you may think fitt—“what you would have them, make them.” Or as James Otis used to say to Samuel Adams—here take it. and “Quicu Wuicu” it— I am obliged to borrow the hand of a friend to write...
All the Literary Gentlemen of this part of the Country have an Ambitious Curiosity to see the Philosopher and Statesmen of Monticello—and they all apply to me for Introductions— and if I had ever received one introduction from you, I should have less scruple of Conscience in granting their requests—in the Stile of our New-England—the Reverend Mr Greenwood the Successor of Mr Thatcher and Dr...
I have transmitted you a letter to Samuel Adams Welles Esqr. in Boston as you desire This gentleman is a singular character he is I believe the only surviving male of his Grandfather the late govenor of Massachusetts Samuel Adams who never had but two children a son and a daughter; his son who bore his name died early a surgeon in the army of the Revolution—without issue; his daughter married...
May I inclose you one of the greatest curiositys and one of the deepest Mysterys that ever occoured to me—It is in the Essex Register of June the 5th. 1819.—it is entitled from the Raleigh Register Declaration of Independence—How is it possible that this paper should have been concealed from me to this day—had it been communicated to me in the time of it—I know, if you do not know that it...
I am greatly obliged to you for your Letter of the 9th. It has entirely convinced me that the Mecklengburg Resolutions are a fiction, when I first read them in the Essex Register, I was struct with astonishment— It appeared to me utterly incredible that they should be genuine; but there were so many circumstances calculated to impose on the public; that I thought it my duty to take measures...
I inclose you a National Register, to convince you that the Essex Register is not to blame for printing the Mecklingburg County Resolutions, on the Contrary I think it to be Commended—for if those Resolutions were genuine they ought to be published in every Gazette in the World—If they are one of those tricks which our fashionable Men in England call hoax’es and boares—they ought to be printed...
I congratulate you and myself on your recovery from the three Illnesses that have distressed you, the means that have been used to preserve you may, and I hope will have laid a foundation for good Health, and many more years of an already long Life. My Health is astonishing to myself, I can say, like Deborah Queen Ann Dutchess of Marlbourgh—who in one of her letters, after innumerating a...
I must answer your great question of the 10th in the Words of Dalembert to his Correspondent, who asked him what is Matter- “Je vous avoue que je n’en scais rien.” In some part of my Life I read a great Work of a Scotchmen on the Court of Augustus, in which with much learning, hard study, and fatiguing labour, he undertook to prove that had Brutus and Cassius been conqueror, they would have...
When Harris was returned a Member of Parliament a Friend introduced him to Chesterfield whom he had never seen—So Mr Harris said his Lordship you are a Member of the House of Commons—you have written upon Universal and scientifick Grammer! you have written upon Art, upon Musick, Painting and Poetry! and what has the House of Commons to do with Art, or Musick, or Painting, or Poetry, or Taste...
Was you ever acquainted with Dugald Stuart—before I left France I received a letter from Benjamin Vaughn Esqre. in London—Introducing, and recommending in strong terms two Gentlemen from Scotland, one by the name of Dugald Stuart and the other Lord———whose name and title I forget—as young Gentlemen of great talents and attainments sufficient to diminish our American prejudices against...
I have received with great pleasure your favour of March 14th. Mr Ticknor informes me that Dugald Stuart was not reduced to a state of Idiocy as I had been informed—but that he was in bad Health—and by the advice of his friends and Physicians to remove to Devenshire in England in hopes by the change of air tranquil repose and retirement from the irritation of society he might recover his...
I have just read a sketch of the life of Swedenborg, and a larger work in two huge volumes of Memoirs of John Westley by Southey, and your kind letter of January 22d came to hand in the nick of time to furnish me with a very rational exclamation, “What a bedlamite is man!” They are histories of Galvanism and Mesmerism thrown into hotch potch they say that these men were honest and sincere, so...
Must We, before We take our departure from this grand and beautiful World, Surrender all our pleasing hopes of the progres of Society? Of improvement of the intellectual and moral condition of the World? Of the reformation of mankind? The Piemontese Revolution Scarcely assumed a form; and the Neapolitan bubble is burst. And what Should hinder the Spanish and Portuguese Constitutions from...
There are on the Journals of Congress some early resolutions for establishing a Nursery for the Education of young men in military Science discipline and tactics; but paper money was so scarce that they never could afford to carry them into execution. When the idea was revived I do not remember; but it has been cherished under Jefferson Madison and Monroe and is now brought to a considerable...
I thank you for your favour of the 12 inst. Hope springs eternal. Eight Millions of Jews hope for a Messiah more powerful & glorious than Moses, David, or Solomon who is to make them as powerful as he pleases. Some hundreds of millions of Musslemen expect another Prophet more powerful than Mahomet who is to spread Islamism over the whole earth—Hundreds of millions of Christians expect and hope...
Half an hour ago I received, and this moment have heard read, for the 3d. or 4th. time, the best letter that ever was written by an Octogenarian, dated June the first. It is so excellent that I am under an almost invincible temptation to commit a breach of trust by lending it to a printer. My Son Thomas Boylston—says it would be worth $500—to any Newspaper in Boston—But I dare not betray your...
Yours of the 27th. June is received with pleasure, for the free air of it delights me. Your number of 1267. letters in a year, does not surprise me; I have no list of mine, and I could not make one without a weeks research, and I do not believe I ever received one quarter part of your number. And I very much doubt whether I received in the same year one twelfth part; There are reasons enough...
I have long entertained scruples about writing this letter, upon a subject of some delicacy. But old age has over-come at last. You remember the four Ships, ordered by Congress to be built, and the four Captains appointed by Washington—Talbot & Truxton & Barry & ca. to carry an Ambassador to Algiers and protect our Commerce in the Mediterranean. I have always imputed this measure to you; for...
I have been deeply afflicted with the account of your accident—At first your Leg was broke—I shuddered, I feared that I should have no more letters from Montecello—Next came the account that it was only a small bone in the Arm—My hopes revived the difference between the leg and the Arm was immense. To illustrate this difference, and for your consolation and amusement; I will give you an...
Your Virginia Ladies have always been represented to me, and I have always believed it, are among the most beautiful, virtuous, and accomplished of their Sex, One of them has given me a most luxurious entertainment in a narration of her Visit to your Domicil. Her discription of the Mountain, the Palace, the Gardens, the vast Prospect, The lofty Mountains at a distance. The Capacious Valley...
The sight of your well known hand writing in your favour of 25. Feb. last, gave me great pleasure, as it proved your arm to be restored and your pen still manageable—may it continue till you shall become as perfect a calvinist as I am in one particular. Poor Calvins infirmities his rheumatism his gouts and sciatics made him frequently cry out Mon dieu Jusque au quand Lord how long! Prat once...
Watchman! what of the night!? Is darkness that may be felt to prevail over the whole world? Or can you perceive any rays of a returning dawn? Is the devil to be the “Lords anointed” over the whole globe? Or do you forsee the fulfilment of the prophecies according to Dr. Priestly’s interpretation of them? I know not but I have in some of my familiar and frivolous letters to you told the story...
With much pleasure I have heard read the sure words of prophecy in your letter of Sep— 4th. It is melancholy to contemplate the cruel wars, dessolations of Countries, and ocians of blood which must occure, before rational principles, and rational systems of Government can prevail and be established—but as these are inevitable we must content ourselves with the consolations which you from sound...
Your last letter was brought to me from the Post office when at breakfast with my family. I bade one of the misses open the budget, she reported a letter from Mr. Jefferson and two or three newspapers. A letter from Mr. Jefferson says I, I know what the substance is before I open it; There is no secrets between Mr. Jefferson and me, And I cannot read it, therefore you may open and read it—When...
I return your letter at your request signified by Gen. Dearborn though it has been such a cordial to my heart—I feel much reluctance to release it. Since it has appeared in print it has been received with applause—great & universal. Our fellow citizens are determined to elect a President avec connaisance de cause—for the question has in discussion in every nook in the United States for seven...
Mr Benjamin Parker Richardson, a Grandson of a neighbour of mine, who has lived in harmony with me for almost eighty nine years, is very desirous of seeing the venerable Author of the Declaration of Independence, and as this is a virtuous curiosity which I always applaud and encourage in our young men, I have ventured to give him a line of introduction to you. A freedom which I have taken too...
Your friend Professor Ticknor is bound upon a Tour in Virginia, though he needs no introduction to you he has requested a letter from me, and I cannot deny him, he carries his Lady with him; who is rich enough, and handsome enough, & amiable enough, And what can one say more— Is the present calm in the Political World to continue long or not? Our controversy will all be settled in a short...
Your letter of the 8th. has revived me—It is true, that my hearing has been very good, but the last year it has decayed so much, that I am in a worse situation than you are, I cannot hear any of the common conversation of my family, without calling upon them to repeat in a louder tone. The presidential election has given me less anxiety than I, myself could have imagined, The next...
We think ourselves possessed or at least we boast that we are so of Liberty of Conscience on all subjects and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment, in all cases and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact. There exists I believe throughout the whole Christian world a law which makes it blasphemy to deny or to doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the...
Every line from you exhilarates my spirits and gives me a glow of pleasure—but your kind congratulations are a solid comfort to my heart. The good-natured and good-humoured acquiescence of the friends of all the candidates gives me a comfortable hope that your prediction may be fulfilled, that the ensuing administration will not be so difficult as in a former letter I had apprehended. Here we...
Mr. Charles Sigourney & Lady, a respectable pair in Hartford, Connecticut, the Husband a Son of my old friend in Amsterdam, and the Wife, a very conspicuous literary Lady, have requested a line to you, as they are bound on a journey to the seat of your University—and wish I suppose an apology for visiting Monticello—I have lost your last letter to me, the most consolatory letter I ever...
I ought not to have neglected so long to write you an account of the delightful visit I received from Mr. and Mrs. Cooledge, Mrs. C—— deserves all the high praises I have constantly heard concerning her, She entertained me with accounts of your sentiments of human life, which accorded so perfectly with mine that it gave me great delight—In one point however I could not agree—She said, she had...
Permit me to introduce to your acquaintance, a young Lawyer by the name of Josiah Quincy, and with the title of Coll. being an Aid to our Governor. The name of Coll. Quincy has never I believe been extinct for two hundred years. He is a Son of our excellent Mayor of the City of Boston and possesses a character unstained and irreproachable. I applaud his ambition to visit Monticello and its...
Your letter of March 25th. has been a cordial to me, and the more consoling as it was brought by your Grandsons Mr. Randolph and Mr. Coolidge, every body connected with you is snatched up, so that I cannot get any of them to dine with me, they are always engaged—how happens it that you Virginians are all sons of Anak, we New Englanders, are but Pygmies by the side of Mr. Randolph; I was very...