Thomas Jefferson Papers

Caleb Cross to Thomas Jefferson, 17 April 1809

From Caleb Cross

Post Office Newburyport, April 17. 1809

Venerable Sir,

That you may see by means the passions of the People of this town are worked up to such a mad pitch I now enclose you two sermons of Saml Spring DD last fast

I am with due respect Your humble Servant

Caleb Cross

RC (DLC); addressed (torn): “[Thom]as Jefferson Esq <Washington City> Monticello Milton, Virga”; franked; endorsed by TJ as received 26 Apr. 1809 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Samuel Spring, Two Sermons, Addressed to the Second Congregational Society in Newburyport, Fast Day, April 6, 1809 (Newburyport, Mass., 1809).

Caleb Cross (ca. 1777–1813), Republican postmaster and newspaper editor of Newburyport, Massachusetts, published its Merrimack Gazette, 1803–04, and Political Calendar, 1804–05 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:381, 382–3; Benjamin W. Labaree, Patriots and Partisans: The Merchants of Newburyport, 1764–1815 [1962], 140–2, 143–4; Newburyport Herald and Country Gazette, 23 July 1813).

The first of the two sermons by Samuel spring criticized TJ’s administration and the “adverse consequences” of the Embargo on shipping and commerce, lamented the moral decline of New England and the rise of poverty, and bemoaned the inadequate state of the army and navy. The second sermon, on “The Division of Service,” claimed Federalist administrations under George Washington and John Adams had prospered, that the Jefferson administration had lost millions of dollars, and that the nation shared some responsibility for the actions of its rulers and must repent its sins. In 1803 Spring, an evangelical Calvinist, had preached a Fast Day sermon condemning TJ as a deist (Princetonians description begins James McLachlan and others, eds., Princetonians: A Biographical Dictionary, 1976–90, 5 vols. description ends , 1769–1775, pp. 166–71).

Index Entries

  • Cross, Caleb; identified search
  • Cross, Caleb; letters from search
  • Cross, Caleb; sends pamphlet to TJ search
  • Embargo Act (1807); opposition to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; administration criticized search
  • New England; and criticism of TJ’s administration search
  • sermons; sent to TJ search
  • Spring, Samuel; Two Sermons, Addressed to the Second Congregational Society in Newburyport search
  • Two Sermons, Addressed to the Second Congregational Society in Newburyport (Spring) search