Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from the Georgia Legislature, 4 December 1801

From the Georgia Legislature

Georgia. In the House of Representatives,
Friday the 4th. December 1801.


The Legislature of Georgia, reposing high confidence in the Executive of the Union, congratulates the President, on his elevation to the chief Magistracy.—They felicitate themselves, that an office of the first dignity in the Federal Republic, bearing the greatest responsibility, and embracing in its detail, various and complicated relations, on the judicious determination of which, essentially depends the prosperity of the Commonwealth; has been committed to the charge of him, in whose justice, integrity and patriotism, the Legislature of Georgia do confide—We have equal confidence in the Legislature of the Union. State rights, State sovereignty, as recognized by the Constitution, when respected by the General Government, will form the Ligament binding each political Fraction to the aggregate, by the indissoluble ties of reciprocal interest—Then Georgia, receiving justice for the past, and wishing no security for the future, will harmonize with the Legislature of the Union, and throw her feeble weight into the Federal scale.

Under an administration which has the public good for its end, and the Constitution for its rule, under the Federal Legislature, when the talents and virtues of the Republic are concentrated; we look forward to that ultimatum of political perfectability, from which we hope never to retrograde.

Receive Sir, this testimony of the Legislature’s confidence, together with our wishes, that your private walks may be as eminently happy, as your public life has been conspicuously virtuous.

The foregoing address being read, was unanimously agreed to.

David Meriwether Speaker


Hines Holt Clk

In Senate, the 5th. December, 1801.
Read & concurred

John Jones President
of the Senate pro tempore

Will Robertson Secy

RC (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by all including their offices; at head of text: “To Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 1 Jan. 1802 and so recorded in SJL.

David Meriwether (1755–1822), a native of Albemarle County, Virginia, settled in Wilkes County, Georgia, in 1785. A legislator and brigadier general of the state militia, he was chosen speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1797. He served in Congress from 1802 to 1807, and played an active role in negotiations with the Creeks and Cherokees from 1802 until his death (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; E. Merton Coulter, “David Meriwether of Virginia and Georgia,” Georgia Historical Quarterly, 54 [1970], 320–38). John Jones represented Montgomery County in the state senate (Journal of the Senate of the State of Georgia, for the Year 1801 [Louisville, Ga., 1802], 8, 34).

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