Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Joel Barlow, 22 July 1811

To Joel Barlow

Monticello July 22. 11.

Dear Sir

I had not supposed a letter would still find you at Washington. yours by last post tells me otherwise. those of May 2. & 15 had been recieved in due time. with respect to my books, lodged at the President’s house, if you should see mr Coles, the President’s Secretary, and be so good as to mention it, he will be so kind as to have them put on board some vessel bound to Richmond, addressed to the care of Gibson & Jefferson there, whom he knows. your doubts whether any good can be effected with the Emperor of France are too well grounded. he has understanding enough, but it is confined to particular lines. of the principles and advantages of commerce he appears ignorant, and his domineering temper deafens him moreover1 to the dictates of interest, of honor & of morality. a nation like ours, recognising no arrogance of language or conduct can never enjoy the favor of such a character. the impression too which our public has been made to recieve from the different stiles of correspondence used by two of our foreign agents, has increased the difficulties of steering between the bristling pride of the two parties. it seems to point out the Quaker stile of plain reason, void of offence: the suppression of all passion, & chaste language of good sense.

heaven prosper your endeavors for our good, and preserve you in health and happiness.

Th: Jefferson

the grains recieved shall be duly attended to

RC (DLC: Breckenridge Long Papers); addressed: “Joel Barlow esquire Kalorama near Washington Col.”; franked; endorsed by Barlow. PoC (DLC); lacks postscript.

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Barlow, Joel; and TJ’s belongings in Washington search
  • Barlow, Joel; letters to search
  • Coles, Edward; as J. Madison’s secretary search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and books acquired by TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Napoleon search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Quakers, American search
  • Madison, James; and E. Coles search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; TJ on search
  • President’s House; TJ’s belongings at search
  • Quakers; TJ on search
  • religion; Quakers search