Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Lehré, 8 August 1812

To Thomas Lehré

Monticello Aug. 8. 12.

Dear Sir

I duly recieved your favor of the 14th Ult. covering a paper containing proceedings of the patriots of S. Carolina. it adds another to the many proofs of their steady devotion to their own country. I can assure you the hearts of their fellow citizens in this state beat in perfect unison with them and with their government. of this their concurrence in the election of mr Madison & mr Gerry at the ensuing election will give sufficient proof. the schism in Massachusets, when brought to the chrisis of principle, will be found to be exactly the same as in the Revolutionary war. the monarchists will be left alone, and will appear to be exactly1 the tories of the last war. had the repeal of the orders of council which now seems probable, taken place earlier it might have prevented war; but much more is requisite to make peace. ‘indemnification for the past, & security for the future’ should be the motto of the war. 1000 ships taken, 6000. seamen impressed, savage butcheries of our citizens, and incendiary machinations against our union declare that they & their allies the Spaniards must retire from the Atlantic side of our continent as the only security or indemnification which will be effectual. Accept the assurance of my great esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Lehré esq.”

William Pitt declared on 25 Apr. 1793 that Great Britain had the right to repel French attacks and to obtain indemnification for the past, & security for the future (The Parliamentary History of England, from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803 [London, 1806–20], 30:715). On 6 July 1812 Secretary of State James Monroe reported to the United States House of Representatives that the British had taken 917 American ships, of which 389 had been captured after the November 1807 Orders in Council (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:583–4; New York Public Advertiser, 8 Aug. 1812). Earlier in 1812 newspapers cited “Reports from the Department of State” that 6,257 American seamen had been impressed into the British navy, when in fact this number pertained to the period 1803–10, with Monroe concluding in 1812 that “there is reason to believe that no precise or accurate view, is now or ever can be exhibited of the names or number of our seamen who are impressed into and detained in the British service” (Boston Patriot, 29 Feb. 1812; James Fulton Zimmerman, Impressment of American Seamen [1925], 263–7, 272–3).

1Word interlined.

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