Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Lehré to Thomas Jefferson, 14 July 1812

From Thomas Lehré

Charleston July 14th 1812


I have taken the liberty to send you a paper which contains a continued Account of the Patriotic conduct of the people at all their public meetings throughout this State, since Congress have declared War against Great Britain.—

By it you will see we have not been ungrateful to you for the many Services you have rendered our dear and beloved Country.

I sincerely lament the ungrateful & factious disposition manifested by some of our Eastern Bretheren towards the Government of their Choice; they appear to be the same set of men who were so clamorous, when you were in office, against that salutary measure, the Embargo, which it is now admitted, if it had been rigidly adhered to, would have been the means of bringing the British Government to a sense of the injustice of her conduct to us long before this.

From all the information I have collected from the various parts of this State, I am fully persuaded that Mr Madison, will at the ensuing election, receive every vote of this State, as President, because your friends, the Republican party, are satisfied that he has pursued that system of Government you laid down, under which they enjoyed so much happiness.—

Your friends here felt very hurt, when they heard that great and good man Mr Gerrey, had lost his election as Governor of Massachusets, however they are now happy to find he will serve in the office of Vice President of the U. States, if elected, and will therefore support him as such—I have no doubt he will also get all the votes of this State.

I remain with the highest consideration Sir Your Obedt Humble Servt

Thomas Lehré

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson late President of the United States Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 July 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

Thomas Lehré (ca. 1761–1835) served as an assistant quartermaster during the Revolutionary War and was a lieutenant colonel and commissary general of issues in the South Carolina militia from about 1797 until his death. Living in Charleston, he amassed over 42,000 acres in outlying parishes. Lehré represented St. Philip and St. Michael parishes in the state House of Representatives for seven terms between 1794 and 1813. He held numerous local offices from early in the 1790s until 1824, including sheriff, city warden, justice of the peace, and city treasurer. Lehré was also a director of the state bank at intervals from about 1805 until 1827 and served three terms as president of the German Friendly Society. Having sought a federal appointment for years, Lehré visited TJ at Monticello in September 1805, bringing with him letters of introduction written by six prominent South Carolinians. In 1813 he became United States commissioner of loans in South Carolina. Lehré corresponded with TJ regularly, seeking office, championing the Republican cause, and praising TJ’s contributions to the nation (Walter B. Edgar and others, eds., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, 5 vols. [1974– ], 4:348–50; Charleston Columbian Herald, or the Patriotic Courier of North-America, 5 Aug. 1785; DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1797–1817, including Lehré to TJ, 18 Jan. 1806; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 34 vols. description ends , 33:333, 513–4; SJL, 24 Sept. 1805; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:396, 401 [24, 27 July 1813]; Lehré to TJ, 5 July 1823; ScHi: Records of Stateburg, S.C., Church of the Holy Cross, Burials, 8 June 1835).

The paper has not been identified, but Lehré applauded the patriotic conduct evidenced in such Fourth of July toasts as those given in upcountry Edgefield County, which supported the War of 1812 and the presidency of James Madison and praised TJ as “The votary of Liberty, the promoter of economy, and the darling of philosophy—he is entitled to the gratitude and admiration of all lovers of civil Liberty” (Charleston City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, 14 July 1812).

Index Entries

  • Gerry, Elbridge (1744–1814); defeated for reelection as governor search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Descriptions of; toasts to search
  • Lehré, Thomas; and S.C. politics search
  • Lehré, Thomas; identified search
  • Lehré, Thomas; letters from search
  • Lehré, Thomas; on Republicans search
  • Madison, James; T. Lehré on search
  • Republican party; in S.C. search