Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to the Republicans of Washington County, Maryland, 31 March 1809

To the Republicans of Washington County, Maryland

The affectionate sentiments you express on my retirement from the high office conferred on me by my country, are gratefully recieved, & acknoleged with thankfulness. your approbation of the various measures which have been pursued, cannot but be highly consolatory to myself, & encouraging to future functionaries, who will see that their honest endeavors for the public good will recieve due credit with their constituents. that the great & leading measure respecting our foreign intercourse was the most salutary alternative, & preferable to the submission of our rights as a free & independant republic, or to a war at that period, cannot be doubted by candid minds. great and good effects have certainly flowed from it, & greater would have been produced, had they not been, in some degree, frustrated by unfaithful citizens.

If in my retirement to the humble station of a private citizen, I am accompanied with the esteem & approbation of my fellow citizens, trophies obtained by the blood stained steel, or the tattered flags of the tented field, will never be envied. the care of human life & happiness, & not their destruction, is the first & only legitimate object of good government.

I salute you, fellow citizens, with every wish for your welfare, & the perpetual duration of our government, in all the purity of it’s republican principles.

Th: Jefferson

MS (CtY: Franklin Collection); at head of text: “To the republican citizens of Washington county Maryland, assembled at Hager’s town on the 6th instant.” PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Colo Nathaniel Rochester, Hager’s town.” Recorded in SJL as an “Answer” to “rep. cit. Washn cty Maryld Rochester.” Printed in Maryland Herald, and Hager’s-Town Weekly Advertiser, 14 Apr. 1809.

TJ’s answer to his supporters in Washington County, Maryland, as with other responses in this volume, borrows some of its language from the address to which he replied.

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Addresses to; Republicans of Washington Co., Md. search
  • Maryland; newspapers in search
  • Maryland; Washington Co. Republicans search
  • Maryland Herald, and Hagers-Town Weekly Advertiser (newspaper); prints TJ’s correspondence search
  • Republican party; of Washington Co., Md. search
  • Rochester, Nathaniel; chairs meeting of Washington Co. Republicans search
  • Washington County, Md.; TJ addresses Republicans of search