Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to José Corrêa da Serra, 28 June 1815

To José Corrêa da Serra

Monticello June 28. 15

Dear Sir

When I learned that you proposed to give a course of Botanical lectures in Philadelphia, I feared it would retard the promised visit to Monticello. on my return from Bedford however on the 4th inst. I recieved a letter from M. Dupont flattering me with the prospect that he and yourself would be with us so soon as my return should be known. I therefore in the instant wrote him of my return, and my hope of seeing you both shortly. I am still without that pleasure, but not without the hope. Europe has been a 2d time turned topsey-turvey since we were together, and so many strange things have happened there that I have lost my compass. as far as we can judge from appearances Bonaparte, from being a mere military Usurper, seems to have become the choice of his nation; and the allies, in their turn, the usurpers & spoliators of the European world. the right of nations to self government being my polar star, my partialities are steered by it, without asking whether it is a Bonaparte or an Alexander towards whom the helm is directed. believing that England has enough on her hands without us, and therefore has by this time settled the question of impressment with mr Adams, I look on this new conflict of the European gladiators, as from the higher forms of the Amphitheatre, wondering that Man, like the wild beasts of the forest, should permit himself to be led by his keeper into the Arena, the spectacle and sport of the lookers on. nor do I see the issue of this tragedy with the sanguine hopes of our friend M. Dupont. I fear, from the experience of the last 25. years that morals do not, of necessity, advance hand in hand with the sciences. these however are speculations which may be adjourned to our meeting at Monticello, where I will continue to hope that I may recieve you with our1 friend Dupont, and in the mean time repeat the assurances of my affectionate friendship and respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “M. Correa.” Tr (MHi); posthumous copy.

1Tr: “your.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; as peace negotiator search
  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; mentioned search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; botanical lectures of search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; letters to search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; proposed visit of search
  • Du Pont de Nemours, Pierre Samuel; plans visit to Monticello search
  • Du Pont de Nemours, Pierre Samuel; TJ on search
  • Great Britain; and U.S. search
  • impressment; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; British impressment of seamen search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; European affairs search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Great Britain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Napoleon search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); invitations to visit search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; returns to power search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; TJ on search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • United States; and Great Britain search