Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Stevens Thomson Mason, 28 October 1801

To Stevens Thomson Mason

Washington Oct. 28. 1801.

Dear Sir

Lest your rural tranquility should become insipid for want of a little seasoning, I have thought it might not be amiss to animate it from the pepper pots of the tories. their printers, when they have any thing very impudent, send it to me gratis. I will freely give therefore what I freely recieve. I this week send you a dish of the Monitor. the next perhaps it may be of the Palladium, or of Timothy of Charleston &c.

Our notice to mr Smith that we meant to discontinue the mission to Lisbon arrived opportunely two or three days before their minister was to have sailed for the U.S. it stopped him. Buonaparte’s ratification of our convention is with a ‘bien entendu toujours that the suppression of the 2d. article is considered as an abandonment by both parties of the objects it related to.’ tho’ this was perfectly so understood on our part, yet I shall send it to the Senate for acceptance that I may filch from them none of the popularity it gives them title to with the merchants. still we shall go on with the execution of it. we have reason to expect that the VIth. article of the British treaty has been amicably & not unconscionably adjusted. respects to mrs Mason, health & fraternity to yourself.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Genl. S. T. Mason.”

Thomas Collier published the monitor, a weekly newspaper, at Litchfield, Connecticut. TJ may have received the issue of 16 Sep., which implored voters in the upcoming elections to cast their ballots for Federalists and resist the “Jacobin” intention of making Connecticut follow the “late revolution in the general government.” Also in that issue, a long, unsigned address warned that the views of “leading Democrats,” if unchecked, would “turn the Universe of God into one common Brothel.” The French Revolution proved that unless the “spirit of Democracy” could be resisted, “you will find no asylum, short of Atheism.” For the Palladium, see Levi Lincoln to TJ, 5 July 1801. Benjamin F. Timothy directed the South-Carolina State Gazette (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, Worcester, Mass., 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:31; 2:1040).

Mrs Mason: Mary Elizabeth Armistead Mason, originally of Louisa County, Virginia (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ).

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