Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Hillhouse, [2 March 1801]

From James Hillhouse

[2 Mch. 1801]


While we congratulate you on those expressions of the public will which called you to the first Office in the United States, we cannot but lament the loss of that intelligence, attention and impartiality with which you have presided over our deliberations. The Senate feel themselves much gratified by the sense you have been pleased to express of their support in the performance of your late duties. Be persuaded that it will never be withheld from a Chief Magistrate, who in the exercise of his Office shall be influenced by a due regard to the honor and interest of our Country. In the confidence that your official conduct will be directed to these great objects, a confidence derived from past events, we repeat to you, Sir, the assurance of our constitutional support in your future administration.

James Hillhouse

RC (DLC); undated; in clerk’s hand, signed by Hillhouse, with “President of the Senate pro Tempore” added below signature in another hand. FC (same); in same clerk’s hand; lacks signature; in TJ’s hand at foot of text: “James Hillhouse Presidt of the Senate pro tempore.”

As chair of the committee appointed to respond to TJ’s address upon retiring from the Senate on 28 Feb., Gouverneur Morris reported on 2 Mch. with the answer above under the signature of the Senate president pro tempore. A confidence derived from past events: a motion to strike out this phrase was defeated 19 to 9. The Senate then accepted the report and ordered Morris and the other two committee members, Jonathan Mason and Jonathan Dayton, to present it to the vice president (MS in DLC, being an order of the Senate of 2 Mch., in clerk’s hand, attested by Otis, on verso of order of the Senate of 28 Feb. 1801; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:136–7).

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