Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Israel Israel, 22 February 1801

From Israel Israel

Philada. 22nd February 1801

Honored & much Esteemed Sir

Permit me to offer at this time my congratulations on the triumph of the principles of republicanism over the deep laid plans of monarchy and despotism, You Sir under the will of heaven is placed in a situation to be enabled to give new life and vigor to the drooping Cause of Liberty and the rights of Man in America, and to you do the People look up to for the opperation and true effects that is to be derived from the constitution—for as yet we have had no fair trial of that Instrument—

To you Sir doth the groaning republicans over the World look up to for relief, now do we expect under your administration that this Country will be an asylum for the oppressed of all nations, and to your adminstration we have a right to look for a stop being put to the venal system of speculation that has disgraced our Country and destroyed the Virtue of our Citizens;

but in obtaining those grand Objects I feel for you, knowing as I well do the power of our Political enemies, but trusting in that god that has brought us thus far through, I with confidence recommend you Dr Sir to his keeping and his direction, and pray that you may be supported through the ardious undertaking and preserved to the People,—

Trusting I shall be excused for thus troubling you I remain

Dear Sir, your sincere friend & huml Servt

Israel Israel

RC (MoSHi: Jefferson Papers); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr. Washington”; endorsed by TJ as received 25 Feb. and so recorded in SJL.

Israel Israel (1744?–1822), a Philadelphian of Jewish heritage, was an innkeeper, livery stabler, and member of the Democratic Society, who ran repeatedly and unsuccessfully for public office in the 1790s before his election as Republican sheriff in October 1800. His short-lived Pennsylvania senatorial victory over Benjamin R. Morgan in 1797 had been declared void and resulted in a special election and reversal in February 1798 (James Hardie, Philadelphia Directory and Register [Philadelphia, 1793], 71; Stafford, Philadelphia Directory for 1800, 67; Richard G. Miller, PhiladelphiaThe Federalist City: A Study of Urban Politics, 1789–1801 [Port Washington, N.Y., 1976], 94–95, 97–102; PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877-Preston, Catalogue Daniel Preston, A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe, Westport, Conn., 2001, 2 vols. description ends , 126 [2002], 400–1; Vol. 30:127n; Vol. 32:221–2).

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