Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Robert Smith, 30 April 1811

To Robert Smith

Monticello Apr. 30. 11.

Dear Sir

I have learnt, with sincere concern, the circumstances which have taken place at Washington. some intimations had been quoted from federal papers, which I had supposed false, as usual.1 their first confirmation to me was from the National Intelligencer. still my hopes and confidence were that your retirement was purely a matter of choice on your part. a letter I have recieved from mr Hollins2 makes me suppose there was a more serious misunderstanding than I had apprehended. the newspapers indeed had said so, but I yield little faith to them.3 no one feels more painfully than I do the separation of friends, &4 especially when their sensibilities are to be daily harrowed up by Cannibal newspapers. suffering myself under whatever inflicts sufferance on them, I condole with them mutually, & ask the mutual permission to esteem all, as I ever did; not to know their differences, nor ask the causes of them. the harmony which made me happy while at Washington, is as dear to me now as it was then, & I should be equally afflicted were it by any circumstance to be impaired as to myself. I have so much confidence in the candor & liberality of both parties, as to trust that the misunderstanding will not be permitted to lead to any sinister effects, and my constant prayer will be for blessings on you all.

Th: Jefferson

RC (MdHi: Vertical Files); addressed: “Robert Smith esquire Baltimore”; franked and postmarked. PoC (DLC). Printed in Robert Smith’s Address to the People of the United States (Baltimore, 1811), 40, with omissions indicated below.

1Sentence omitted in Robert Smith’s Address.

2Preceding three words omitted in Robert Smith’s Address.

3Sentence omitted in Robert Smith’s Address.

4Remainder of sentence omitted in Robert Smith’s Address.

Index Entries

  • Address to the People of the United States (R. Smith) search
  • Hollins, John; and R. Smith’s dismissal search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Republican unity search
  • newspapers; politics of search
  • newspapers; TJ on search
  • Pennsylvania; politics in search
  • politics; in Penn. search
  • politics; newspaper search
  • politics; TJ on Republican party unity search
  • Republican party; unity within search
  • Robert Smith’s Address to the People of the United States (Smith) search
  • Smith, Robert; dismissed as secretary of state search
  • Smith, Robert; letters to search
  • Smith, Robert; Robert Smith’s Address to the People of the United States search