Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Isaac Briggs, 26 June 1802

From Isaac Briggs

Sharon, 26th. of the 6th. Month 1802

Respected Friend,

Wilt thou condescend to inform me, if a letter I wrote, dated 26th. of the 4th. Month 1802, ever reached thee? I meant it to be expressive of deference and respectful esteem; if I unfortunately used terms not adequate to that purpose, I have no other plea, in extenuation, than ignorance. I have not, nor have I had any views to office or emolument;—were I worthy, I think I know that I possess not the requisite qualifications to fill with dignity a political post: but some portion of thy esteem, as a lover of Science and of the useful and benevolent Arts, was indeed an object of my ambition. I have no claim upon thy attention which will bear the least competition with the momentous concerns of thy Country’s good, I only hoped for a small share of thy leisure; and even this claim, I confess, is the creature of my own presumption. May I still hope for a line in reply to this? I am incapable of continuing my correspondence beyond the slightest intimation of a wish on thy part that it should cease. Feeling the irksomeness of suspense respecting the reception or miscarriage of my letter, and being unwilling to rest upon mere implication, I have ventured to make the enquiry.

With unabated respect, I am thy friend,

Isaac Briggs.

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 June and so recorded in SJL.

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