Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Rhea to Thomas Jefferson, 5 August 1813

From John Rhea

Washington 5th August 1813

Dear Sir

With my sincere wishes for Your felicity please to accept the inclosed1 copy of a circular

with sincere Esteem Your obt st

John Rhea

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Late President U States”; endorsed by TJ as received 11 Aug. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Rhea to his constituents, Washington, D.C., 28 July 1813, suggesting that the present war between the United States and Great Britain originated from causes similar to those that sparked the American Revolution; asserting that Britain has actively defied the terms of two treaties with the United States by plundering its commerce, forcibly impressing its seamen, and inciting Indian tribes to break treaties and perpetrate acts of war; demonstrating that the expenditures required to execute the war have strained the treasury and caused the government to take out loans; asserting that the national financial situation now requires internal duties and taxes in order to avoid an increased debt; summarizing the acts of the recent congressional session, including authorization of internal duties and a direct tax to be apportioned among the states based on population; and noting that the internal duties will cease one year after a treaty ends the war (printed circular in DLC: Madison Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division; reprinted in Noble E. Cunningham Jr., ed., Circular Letters of Congressmen to Their Constituents, 1789–1829 [1978], 2:840–4).

This day Rhea also sent the enclosure to President James Madison (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols.  Congress. Ser., 17 vols.  Pres. Ser., 6 vols.  Sec. of State Ser., 8 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 6:501).

1Manuscript: “incosed.”

Index Entries

  • American Revolution; mentioned search
  • impressment; of American seamen search
  • Indians; and War of1812 search
  • Madison, James; constituent circulars sent to search
  • Rhea, John; letters from search
  • Rhea, John; sends constituent circulars to J. Madison search
  • Rhea, John; sends constituent circulars to TJ search
  • taxes; customs search
  • taxes; direct search
  • Tennessee; J. Rhea’s letters to constituents in search
  • War of1812; U.S. financing of search