Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Tench Coxe, 11 February 1801

To Tench Coxe

Washington Feb. 11. 1801.

Dear Sir

Your favor of Jan. 25. came to hand some days ago, and yesterday a gentleman put into my hand, at the door of the Senate chamber, the vol. of the Amer. Museum for 1798. as no letter accompanied it I took it for granted it was to bring under my eye some of it’s contents. I have gone over it with satisfaction. this is the morning of the election by the H. of R. for some time past a single individual [had] declared he would by his vote make up the 9th. state. on Saturday last he changed, and it stands at present 8. one way; 6 the other & 2. divided. which of the two will be elected & whether either I deem perfectly problematical: and my mind has long been equally made up for either of the three events. if I can find out the person who brought me the volume from you I shall return it by him, because I presume it makes one of a set. if not by him, I will find some other person who may carry it to Philadelphia if not to Lancaster. very possibly it may go by a different conveyance from this letter. very probably you will learn before the reciept of either the result, or the progress at least of the election. we see already at the threshold, that if it falls on me, I shall be embarrassed by finding the offices vacant, which cannot be even temporarily filled but with advice of Senate, and that body is called on the 4th. of March, when it is impossible for the new members of Kentucky, Georgia & S. Carolina to recieve notice in time to be here. the Summons for Kentucky dated as all were Jan. 31.1 could not go hence till the 5th. & that for Georgia did not go till the 6th. if the difficulties of the election therefore are got over, these are more & more behind, until new elections shall have regenerated the constituted authorities. the defects of our constitution under circumstances like the present, appear very great. accept assurances of the esteem & respect of Dear Sir

Your most obedt. servt

Th: Jefferson

RC (Carl H. Pforzheimer, Purchase, New York, 1944); stained, with word in brackets supplied from PrC; at foot of text: “Tench Coxe esq.”; endorsed by Coxe. PrC (DLC).

Amer. Museum: an essay by Coxe appeared in the first volume of the American Museum, published by Mathew Carey in 1787, and his articles continued to appear in subsequent volumes. In 1798 Carey’s publication included eight numbers by Coxe. Under the signature “An American Merchant” and dated between the 1st and 28th of March, the pieces examined neutral spoliations. When the series initially appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette and Aurora, TJ called the early numbers “excellent pieces” (The American Museum: or, Annual Register of Fugitive Pieces, Ancient and Modern. For the Year 1798 [Philadelphia, 1799], 226–60; Cooke, Coxe description begins Jacob E. Cooke, Tench Coxe and the Early Republic, Chapel Hill, 1978 description ends , 99, 202, 227–8; Vol. 30:125, 168–9).

1Passage from “dated” to this point interlined by TJ.

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