From Thomas S. Cavender
Virg. Orange December 25. 1802
I still continue Traveling and preaching the unitarian doctrine in opposition to the Trinitarian System and all other political and Ecclesiastical impositions whatever. In all my public Orations I conclude in favour of your just administration teaching my Countrymen the necessity of Continuing you as their president so long as you Conduct our government as well as you have done and Sir notwithstanding all the political blood hounds, and ecclesiastical bulldogs that are barking at your political and religious economy and howling at the tree of liberty I still believe and publickly declare that I think that you will end your days in peace and in honour to your family and country: Sir after my departure from Charlottsville last summer was a year, I had the honour of conversing with you a few minutes the October following in the presidents house and would have seen you this fall had you have been in the city when I came throug it on my way from Baltimore to this State. Sir as a republican I hope you will pardon me in the liberty I have taken in inclosing this letter to you, as I was afraid that mr paines enemys might open or distroy it, althoug now sir I rest satisfied that it will come to his hands with safety. I have some hopes of having the honour to see you before I return the next summer to the ohio river. And Sir if I should be so unfortunate as never to see you in time may heaven smile upon you with matchless and endless blessings.
I am your real friend & humble Servant
Thomas Stett Cavender
RC (MHi); addressed: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson President of the US. Federal City”; franked; postmarked 27 Dec.; endorsed by TJ as received 31 Dec. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.
An itinerant Unitarian clergyman and Republican, Thomas S. Cavender wrote TJ several times during his first term. In his letters, Cavender claimed acquaintances with Thomas Paine and William Duane and asked TJ to forward pieces written under the pseudonym “Old Soldier” to Republican newspapers for publication. He suffered from a leg wound received during the Revolutionary War (Bardstown, Ky., Western American, 10 Nov. 1803; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767-1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1095; Cavender to TJ, 22 Mch. 1803, 17 Nov., 6 Dec. 1804).