Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to William Wirt, 15 April 1811

To William Wirt

Monticello Apr. 15. 11.

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 10th was recieved yesterday. I should be unwilling that any use should be made of my letter which would shew my interference in the case in question, because I know how gladly the dogs of federalism would turn from Duane upon me and tranquility is now become the summum bonum with me. should Duane push his state-partyism against mr Gallatin to an opposition to the President, I should have no hesitation in abandoning him, as we have been obliged to abandon others who have apostatized. my sincere affections for mr Madison, as well as my devotion to the principles of republican administration would do away all doubt in such a case. but I still think Duane is more likely to be won by liberality, than to be forced from his direction by persecution. ever affectionately yours.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Wirt.”

By state-partyism TJ refers to Duane’s political struggle against Simon Snyder and his followers in Pennsylvania. In 1807 Snyderites undermined Duane’s bid to become a state senator, and in 1808 Snyder was elected governor. Gallatin had supported Snyder (TJ to Wirt, 3 May 1811 [second letter]; Andrew Shankman, Crucible of American Democracy: The Struggle to Fuse Egalitarianism & Capitalism in Jeffersonian Pennsylvania [2004], 173–81).

Index Entries

  • Duane, William; and S. Snyder search
  • Duane, William; TJ on search
  • Federalist party; TJ on search
  • Gallatin, Albert; newspaper attacks on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Federalist party search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Republican unity search
  • Madison, James; and W. Duane search
  • Pennsylvania; and S. Snyder search
  • Pennsylvania; politics in search
  • politics; TJ on Republican party unity search
  • Republican party; unity within search
  • Snyder, Simon; governor of Pa. search
  • Wirt, William; and W. Duane search
  • Wirt, William; letters to search