Thomas Jefferson Papers

New York State Legislature to Thomas Jefferson, 24 March 1809

From the New York State Legislature


The legislature of the state of New York, on the occasion of your voluntary retirement to the shades of private life, from the office of chief magistrate of the United States, cannot, without injustice to their feelings refrain from expressing their respect for your exalted character, their gratitude for your public services, and their best wishes for your personal happiness.

Like your great predecessor the immortal Washington, you have evinced to the world by the whole tenor of your political life, and more especially by your magnanimous determination to retire from office after having faithfully served the republic, that your only ambition was to promote the welfare of the people, and to perpetuate the principles of our republican institutions. Examples of such disinterested and distinguished patriotism are rarely found in the history of nations. They add a lustre to the American name and character.

While we look back with satisfaction on your administration of the general government, we look forward with confidence to that of your successor—May he be animated by your illustrious example, and under the auspices of the Almighty dispenser of all good, direct the destinies of our country in safety amidst the agitations and convulsions of a troubled world. And may the remainder of your days be spent in the enjoyment of all those blessings which flow from an honorable and virtuous life zealously devoted to the good of mankind.

By Order of the Senate
Jno Broome Presidt
By order of the Assembly,
Jas, W, Wilkin Speaker

MS (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Broome and Wilkin; at head of text: “To Thomas Jefferson late president of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as an “Address legislatre N. York” received 6 Apr. 1809 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in a brief undated covering letter from Broome and Wilkin to TJ (RC in DLC: TJ Papers, 187:33245; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Broome and Wilkin; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Late President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 6 Apr. 1809 and so recorded in SJL).

John Broome (ca. 1738–1810), merchant and politician, was a 1777 delegate to the New York state constitutional convention, a member of the New York state senate, 1803–04, and lieutenant governor of New York, 1804–10 (Francis S. Drake, Dictionary of American Biography, Including Men of the Time [1879], 128).

James Whitney Wilkin (1762–1845), speaker of the New York Assembly, was a 1785 graduate of the College of New Jersey who became an attorney in Goshen, New York. He served intermittently in both houses of the New York state legislature, 1800–14, and sat in the United States House of Representatives, 1815–19 (Princetonians description begins James McLachlan and others, eds., Princetonians: A Biographical Dictionary, 1976–90, 5 vols. description ends , 1784–1790, pp. 100–3).

Index Entries

  • Broome, John; and N.Y. state legislature search
  • Broome, John; identified search
  • Broome, John; letters from search
  • Broome, John; letters from accounted for search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of congratulation to search
  • New York (state); legislature of, addresses TJ search
  • Wilkin, James Whitney; and N.Y. state legislature search
  • Wilkin, James Whitney; identified search
  • Wilkin, James Whitney; letters from search
  • Wilkin, James Whitney; letters from accounted for search