Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Cooper to Thomas Jefferson, 21 September 1814

From Thomas Cooper

Carlisle Sep. 21. 1814

Dear Sir

I send you remarks on your letter to Mr Carr: not much differing from the spirit and substance of my former letter.

I do not disagree with you in the least as to the measure of national happiness in the two countries, but the worst government in other respects is certainly the most powerful. Your plan of a Militia, I and Genl John Steele took pains to recommend about the year 1802–3 but he was then in the Senate, & the suggestion cost him his popularity. The Romans and Greeks were an agriculture and a military people, by inclination, by necessity, by profession. They were not Nations bouticaires. You cannot make a set of Shopkeepers public Spirited, or brave, or energetic for the community. They exert no talent, they live to get money, and to eat and drink.

A military, or even a manufacturing nation is far superior both in energy and knowledge. But either your plan of Militia must be adopted, which there is not virtue and self denial among us suffict to accomplish, or we must have a standing Army; which I think may be so managed as to be less formidable than in times past.

As to Banks, I have laboured for years on yr Side of the question, to no avail. I am not sorry to observe the approaching Crisis.

My Emporium stops with the number now printing. My publishers are afraid of risking their capital these war times.

Adieu. May God bless you.

Thomas Cooper

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 30 Sept. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Cooper to TJ, 22 Sept. 1814.

Cooper’s former letter on university education was dated 15 Sept. 1814. nations bouticaires: “nations of shopkeepers.”

Index Entries

  • Albemarle Academy; TJ solicits planning advice search
  • Army, U.S.; opinions on standing army search
  • banks; distressed situation of search
  • banks; T. Cooper on search
  • Carr, Peter (TJ’s nephew); and Albemarle Academy search
  • Congress, U.S.; and militia bill search
  • Congress, U.S.; and standing army search
  • Cooper, Thomas; and Emporium of Arts & Sciences search
  • Cooper, Thomas; and university curriculum search
  • Cooper, Thomas; compares British and American society search
  • Cooper, Thomas; letters from search
  • Cooper, Thomas; sends TJ thoughts on education search
  • education; TJ solicits advice on search
  • Emporium of Arts & Sciences; publication ceases search
  • Great Britain; society in compared with U.S. search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; British versus American society search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as Albemarle Academy trustee search
  • militia; TJ on search
  • Steele, John; and TJ’s plan for militia search
  • United States; society in compared with Great Britain search
  • War of1812; and economy search