Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Jacob Franklin Heston, 29 January 1812

To Jacob Franklin Heston

Monticello Jan. 29. 12.


I recieved from you, not long since, a small volume on Moral & Political truth, for which be pleased to accept my thanks, but especially for the favorable opinions expressed towards myself in the dedication. so far as intentions faithfully directed to the public good may have merited approbation, I feel conscious that I have just claim to it. of all beyond that I have no right to judge.  It were much to be wished that the objects of poetry had generally been as praiseworthy as yours. had the Muses, instead of singing battles & bloodshed, & thus nourishing in weak, but ardent minds a thirst for murderous fame, employed their fascinations in the praise of probity, benevolence, moral virtues generally, & the freedom of man, millions of human lives would have been preserved, and an ambition kindled to excell in virtue, as now in arms.

Accept the assurance of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr Jacob Franklin Heston.”

Index Entries

  • Heston, Jacob Franklin; dedicates book to TJ search
  • Heston, Jacob Franklin; letters to search
  • Heston, Jacob Franklin; Moral & Political Truth; or Reflections Suggested by reading History and Biography search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives books search
  • Moral & Political Truth; or Reflections Suggested by reading History and Biography (Heston) search
  • poetry; TJ on search