Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Lancelot Minor, 7 August 1814

To Lancelot Minor

Monticello Aug. 7. 14.

Dear Sir

I am now so frequently and long in Bedford, & find such accumulations of letters on my return, that I am long answering them, and especially those which press least. yours of Jan. 20. had been recieved in February, that of June waited here till my last return from Bedford. both contained copies of your accounts. in the former you mention that the risks of the mail prevented your sending the vouchers by that conveyance. but, my dear Sir, no vouchers are necessary as to yourself, and as against those who might demand a second paiment, they are more convenient in their deposit with you. I therefore now return you one of the accounts forwarded, with an acknolegement at the foot of it which supersedes the removal of the vouchers from their present deposit. mr Buck lately presented an account against mr Marks. mrs Marks having been for some time absent on a visit to our brother, I could not recur to her for information; but told mr Buck that if you considered the account as right it should be placed among the debts of the estate, and paid as soon as we had funds. I must say the same as to Dr Meredith’s and mr Turner’s accounts, and indeed as to what is due to Colo Callis’s estate, to the settlement of which on the principles proposed by me and accepted by him, I agree and make final. we have some prospect of selling one of the negroes, which sale, or that of the land which we earnestly desire, would enable mrs Marks to pay up every thing now remaining due. indeed the estate should have been again aided from my own funds, but that my crop of the last year remains still unsold, having offered it in Richmd for 3¼ D. a barrel without success. should the sale of the negro take place, there shall be no further delay. one of them, the woman Isabel, died some time ago, so that only one remains able to work, except him we are endeavoring to sell. I duly recieved the volume of mr McCalla’s sermons. their style is remarkably good, and never I think did any compositions bear stronger internal proofs of the pure virtue and piety of their author. we are all here anxious for peace. and altho’ the late embarcation of 8000 men for America discourages some, it does not me. these are no more than such an additional force as England would chuse to place in her American possessions in a time of peace. I know that war would be congenial with her hatred of us: but her own interests, and the wishes of all mankind for peace will probably prevail. the two causes of war, blockade & impressment being at an end with the war, if neither party has new views, peace must follow, and I am very much persuaded it will. Accept the assurance of my great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (WHi); addressed: “Lancelot Minor esquire near Yanceyville Louisa”; franked; postmarked Milton, 10 Aug.; endorsed by Minor. Enclosure not found.

Missing letters from Minor of jan. 20, 9 june, and 8 Sept. 1814 are recorded in SJL as received from Louisa on 2 Feb., 26 June, and 16 Sept. 1814, respectively. A letter from TJ to Minor of 25 Oct. 1814, not found, is also recorded in SJL. our brother: Randolph Jefferson.

The sermons, The Works of the Rev. Daniel M’Calla, D.D., 2 vols. (Charleston, S.C., 1810; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 1713), included two vindications of TJ, both dated Aug. 1800 and signed “Amyntas.” The first, addressed to newspaper publishers Peter Freneau and Seth Paine, responds to criticisms of TJ’s character, politics, and religion; describes his role in promoting religious freedom; and concludes that “religious opinions have never been made among us, the test of qualification for civil offices. Whether in appointing governors, envoys, heads of departments, or even Presidents, we have never considered their religion, but their talents, and other qualifications necessary to discharge their respective offices to the public advantage. It is, therefore, most partial, and injurious, to demand of Mr. Jefferson, a qualification for public service, which we have never demanded of any other public officer” (2:428–9). The second claims that the uproar over TJ’s religious views was politically motivated and observes that his adversaries have “been wrought up, by the passion of party, the impatience of opposition, and the envy of superior merit, and reputation! while he, with the tranquility becoming a philosopher, and the patience worthy of a Christian, has borne it all! Such immobility of temper, amidst the outrage of injury, is neither compatible with profligacy of principle, nor the meanness of an ambitious mind. Whatever it be, Mr. Jefferson is in possession of some strong, coercive principle, which maintains his equanimity entire, where few men would be capable of less than retaliation” (2:433–4).

Index Entries

  • Buck, Mr.; and H. Marks’s estate search
  • Callis, William Overton; and H. Marks’s estate search
  • flour; price of search
  • flour; sale of search
  • Freneau, Peter; newspaper publisher search
  • Great Britain; TJ on war with search
  • Isabel (H. Marks’s slave); death of search
  • Jefferson, Randolph (TJ’s brother); and A. S. Marks search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and H. Marks’s estate search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; war with Great Britain search
  • Marks, Anne Scott Jefferson (TJ’s sister; Hastings Marks’s wife); and H. Marks’s estate search
  • Marks, Anne Scott Jefferson (TJ’s sister; Hastings Marks’s wife); visits R. Jefferson and family search
  • Marks, Hastings (TJ’s brother-in-law; Anne Scott Jefferson Marks’s husband); estate of search
  • Meredith, William; and H. Marks’s estate search
  • Minor, Lancelot; and H. Marks’s estate search
  • Minor, Lancelot; letters from accounted for search
  • Minor, Lancelot; letters to search
  • Minor, Lancelot; letters to accounted for search
  • M’Calla, Daniel; The Works of the Rev. Daniel M’Calla search
  • Paine, Seth; newspaper publisher search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • slaves; and H. Marks’s estate search
  • The Works of the Rev. Daniel M’Calla, D.D. (D. M’Calla) search
  • Turner, Mr.; and H. Marks’s estate search
  • War of1812; TJ on search