Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours, 15 May 1815

To Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours

Monticello. May 15. 15

My dear friend

The newspapers tell us you are arrived in the US. I congratulate my country on this as a manifestation that you consider it’s civil advantages as more than equivalent to the physical comforts and social delights of a country which possesses both in the highest degree of any one on earth. you despair of your country, and so do I. a military despotism is now fixed upon it permanently, especially if the son of the tyrant should have virtues and talents. what a treat would it be to me, to be with you, and to learn from you all the intrigues, apostacies and treacheries which have produced this last death’s blow to the hopes of France. for altho’ not in the will, there was in the imbecility of the Bourbons a foundation of hope that the patriots of France might obtain a moderate representative government. here you will find rejoicings on this event, and by a strange qui pro quo1 not by the party hostile to liberty, but by it’s zealous friends. in this they see nothing but the scourge reproduced for the back of England. they do not permit themselves to see in it the blast of all the hopes of mankind, and that however it may jeopardize England, it gives to her self-defence the lying countenance2 again of being the sole champion of the rights of man, to which, in all other nations she is most adverse. I wrote to you on the 28th of February, by a mr Ticknor, then proposing to sail for France: but the conclusion of peace induced him to go first to England. I hope he will keep my letter out of the post offices of France; for it was not written for the inspection of those now in power; You will now be a witness of our deplorable ignorance in finance and political economy generally. I mentioned in my letter of Feb. that I was endeavoring to get your memoir on that subject printed. I have not yet succeeded: I am just setting out to a distant possession of mine and shall be absent three weeks. God bless you.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DeGH: Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours Papers, Winterthur Manuscripts); at foot of text: “M. Dupont de Nemours.” PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.

Du Pont arrived in the harbor of New York City on 1 May 1815 (New-York Evening Post, 2 May 1815; Alexandria Gazette, Commercial and Political, 5 May 1815). Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated on 22 June 1815 in favor of his namesake son, titled the king of Rome, who died in 1832 without ascending to the French throne (Connelly, Napoleonic France, 356, 359).

1Preceding seven words interlined.

2Word interlined in place of “appearance of.”

Index Entries

  • Du Pont de Nemours, Pierre Samuel; arrives in U.S. search
  • Du Pont de Nemours, Pierre Samuel; letters to search
  • France; and Great Britain search
  • France; Bourbon dynasty restored search
  • France; TJ on search
  • Great Britain; and France search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; France search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; government finance search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Great Britain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; living in U.S. search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Napoleon search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; U.S. as free society search
  • Napoleon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte, king of Rome (son of Napoleon I; later styled Napoleon II); and line of succession search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; abdicates search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; returns to power search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; TJ on search
  • political economy; as practiced in U.S. search
  • Ticknor, George; carries TJ’s letters to Europe search
  • Ticknor, George; travels of search