Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Elijah Griffiths, 22 May 1813

To Elijah Griffiths

Monticello May 22. 13.

Dear Sir

On my return from a journey, after an absence of three weeks, I found here your favor of Apr. 19. but in the mean time had seen by the public papers that the office of Treasurer of the mint, had been given to the son of the late occupant, which of course precluded the application requested on your behalf.

Retirement from the busy walks of life has added much to my happiness, by relieving me from great labors, anxieties, and responsibilities; sweetened indeed by the hope that they had not been unuseful, nor unapproved by my fellow citizens. to this may be added the pleasing recollection of the worth with which we have been associated by the way, and which has virtuously cooperated in the same cause. in this view your letter recalls to my mind moments which I have spent with you with great satisfaction.

Peace is a sublime blessing to men & states. the prosperity it promotes among these is in strong contrast with the murders & devastations of War, the burthens & oppressions it heaps on the poor, and the destruction of liberty it so often superinduces. I am not without a hope that the mediation offered & accepted may produce a peace; not indeed of full justice & retribution; but giving some assurance against future wrong. but it would be a miserable perversion of this measure were it to relax our endeavors to enforce what may not be obtained through any other motive.

The death of Dr Rush is a subject of grief to all who knew him. no better man could have left us, nor one whose continuance in life was more valued. he was my junior by several years; & indeed, like a tree standing solitary in a field, I view myself almost singly surviving the multitude of cotemporaries who formerly occupied the space around me. Wishing you every good I tender you the assurance of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Dr Elijah Griffiths”; endorsed by TJ.

The office of treasurer of the mint had been filled by the appointment and subsequent confirmation of James Rush, son of the late occupant, Benjamin Rush (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:347, 350 [31 May, 3 June 1813]).

Index Entries

  • Griffiths, Elijah; desires appointment as treasurer of U.S. Mint search
  • Griffiths, Elijah; letters to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; B. Rush search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; death of old friends search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; peace with Great Britain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; retirement search
  • Mint, U.S.; treasurer of search
  • Rush, Benjamin; death of search
  • Rush, James; as treasurer of U.S. Mint search
  • War of1812; and peace negotiations search