Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 17 June 1813

To Richard Rush

Monticello June 17. 13.

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 12th came to hand yesterday and I thank you for the kind attention you are so good as to pay to the subject of my letters.1 my entire confidence in the family will render satisfactory to me your addressing any member of it you think proper on the subject of those letters. an occurrence since my letter to you has justified my anxiety to prevent their getting into unfriendly hands. on the 9th of Apr. 1803. having recieved from Dr Priestley his ‘Jesus & Socrates2 compared’ & returning my thanks to him for the work, I mentioned to him my promise of a letter to Dr Rush on a similar subject, but on a broader scale, and gave him the outlines of my views of the subject, which I pressed him to undertake, being so much better qualified for it. it was on this occasion he wrote his ‘Heathen Philosophy compared with revelation.’ Twelve days after this letter to him, the subject being in my mind I wrote the one to Dr Rush. the letter to Dr Priestley it seems he communicated to his friend Dr Lindsay in England, who dying, a mr Belsham has published memoirs of him, & in them my letters to Dr Priestley. of this mr Adams gave me the first notice in a letter recieved on the 9th inst. these will probably soon find their way into the newspapers, and the whole kennel of priests will open upon me. my letter to Dr Rush, written more in detail than that to Dr Priestley3 would much enlarge the field of their declamations, and that it should not get into their hands cannot but be a subject of some anxiety. tranquility is now my object, and that my mind may not be harrowed up by the renewal of contentions, which while I was young I met with the zeal of youth. I pray you to accept the assurance of my great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Richard Rush esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

1Preceding five words interlined in place of “it.”

2Superfluous closing quotation mark editorially omitted.

3Manuscript: “Priestly.”

Index Entries

  • Belsham, Thomas; Memoirs of the Late Reverend Theophilus Lindsey, M.A. search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; return of confidential letters to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; religion search
  • Lindsey, Theophilus; Memoirs of the Late Reverend Theophilus Lindsey search
  • Memoirs of the Late Reverend Theophilus Lindsey, M.A. (T. Belsham) search
  • Priestley, Joseph; Socrates and Jesus Compared search
  • Priestley, Joseph; The Doctrines of Heathen Philosophy, compared with those of Revelation search
  • Priestley, Joseph; TJ’s correspondence with search
  • religion; TJ on search
  • Rush, Benjamin; TJ’s confidential letters to search
  • Rush, Richard; and TJ’s confidential letters to B. Rush search
  • Rush, Richard; letters to search
  • Socrates and Jesus Compared (Priestley) search
  • The Doctrines of Heathen Philosophy, compared with those of Revelation (J. Priestley) search