Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James T. Austin to Thomas Jefferson, 8 July 1815

From James T. Austin

Boston July 8. 1815

Sir,

One of the most gratifying circumstances attending the enclosed oration is the renewed opportunity which it allows me of presenting my most profound respects to the author of the declaration of American Independence1

James T Austin

RC (DLC); dateline beneath signature; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 July 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Austin, An Oration, Pronounced at Lexington, Mass. in commemoration of the Independence of the United States of America, and the Restoration of Peace. 4th July, 1815 (Boston, 1815; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 13 [no. 826]; TJ’s copy at ViU), praising the patriotic efforts of the statesmen, soldiers, and ordinary citizens who helped obtain American independence; extolling the “patriotism in arms” and the “ardent and generous enthusiasm among the people” during the late war with Great Britain (p. 6); lauding President James Madison for attempting to avoid war, leading the nation to victory once war was deemed unavoidable, and signing the recent peace treaty; blaming the war on “those, who in all preliminary discussions took side with the enemy” (p. 9); calling the Hartford Convention “the most ludicrous and lamentable monument of impotent menace, and party delusion” (p. 13); condemning Great Britain, whose “true character” has been revealed as “vain-glorious, haughty, mean, profligate, unjust; uniting the barbarities of savage life to the more refined cruelties of civilized life” (p. 17); describing Napoleon as “that wonderful Corsican, who was welcomed by the affections of his people from the rocks of Elba” (p. 19); and concluding that the United States “rises with renovated fame. Its destiny is great” (p. 21).

TJ had his copy of the enclosed speech bound with a group of miscellaneous orations that also included Christopher R. Greene, An Oration, delivered in St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, South-Carolina; on Tuesday, the Fourth of July, 1815; in commemoration of American Independence; by appointment of the South-Carolina State Society of Cincinnati, And published at the Request of that Society; and also of the American Revolution Society (Charleston, 1815; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 13 [no. 826]; TJ’s copy at ViU), which is inscribed to the “Hon. Tho. Jefferson From the Author.” The date of its receipt and mode of transmission to TJ are unknown.

1Manuscript: “Indepence.”

Index Entries

  • An Oration, delivered in St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, South-Carolina; on Tuesday, the Fourth of July, 1815 (C. R. Greene) search
  • An Oration, Pronounced at Lexington, Mass. (J. T. Austin) search
  • Austin, James Trecothick; An Oration, Pronounced at Lexington, Mass. search
  • Austin, James Trecothick; letters from search
  • books; of speeches search
  • Fourth of July; orations search
  • Greene, Christopher R.; An Oration, delivered in St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, South-Carolina; on Tuesday, the Fourth of July, 1815 search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search