Thomas Jefferson Papers

Charles Clay to Thomas Jefferson, 8 February 1815

From Charles Clay

Bedford Feb. 8.—15

Dear Sir

I am pleased to find you viewed my letter in the light it was intended,—a Real Concern for your present peace & future Reputation alone dictated it, & Strongly impressed my mind to draw your attention to the probable Consequences Should your ultimate Views have been publication; in the1 brokn form of fragments & which must have been conected perhaps by some observations, or explanations, to preserve a concatination of Ideas, in these lay the difficulties & dangers I was apprehensive of;—& altho every one may, & every one has an undoubted Right to amuse himself sometimes, & even be playful in his Closet on any Subject,—yet an Idea Suggested itself, most possibly it might not be for yourself only the time was Spent, & from hence the inference of probable publication naturally occured.—I sincerely will your name may Remain in the Annals of America as the Cedar of Libanus, or the live Oak of America, & if any thing has escaped from me that would imply the Contrary, my Dear Sir Correct it, & make it Speak better things

your letter of the 29 ult. I Recieved yesterday with the packet &c but I apprehend you made a small mistake in putting them up & Sent your Own spectacles2 in place of the frames3 that Came with the glasses,—the glasses in the package papers, are Considerably too Small for their place in the frames4 Sent, & the glass in the Rims are quite too Young for my Eyes please inform me if you made no mistake in the frames sent, I am quite at a loss what to do with them till I hear from you.—and if you insist on my taking them on the terms mentioned in your letter it must be so, but it will opperate as a ban against my ever Soliciting your aid in procuring me any particular Hobby in future

accept assurance of profound Respect & high esteem

C. Clay

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 20 Feb. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Joseph Dougherty, 27 Feb. 1815, on verso; addressed: “Tho. Jefferson Esquire of Monticello Albemarle”; franked; postmarked Lynchburg, 11 Feb., and Charlottesville, 19 Feb.

In the Bible the cedar of Lebanon (libanus) symbolizes strength, power, prosperity, and majesty (Ezekiel 31.5–9, Psalms 92.12, 104.16–7).

1Manuscript: “in the in the.”

2Manuscript: “spectatles.”

3Manuscript: “fraims.”

4Manuscript: “fraims.”

Index Entries

  • cedar of Lebanon search
  • Christianity; TJ on search
  • Clay, Charles; and TJ’s religious beliefs search
  • Clay, Charles; eyeglasses for search
  • Clay, Charles; letters from search
  • eyeglasses search
  • household articles; eyeglasses search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Christianity search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; religion search
  • oak; American search
  • religion; TJ on search
  • trees; cedar of Lebanon search
  • trees; oak search