Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Galloway to Thomas Jefferson, 2 June 1815

From Benjamin Galloway

Hagers Town June 2d 1815.

Dear Sir.

I was detained some weeks longer in Ann Arundel than I expected, when I wrote the letter to you and which was dated 9th of April last past. On my return homewards; I called at Washington: when I was told by mr Tench Ringgold, that he had forwarded to me at Hagers Town, your letter: supposing that I was still there. It afforded strong presumptive proof that you were in the enjoyment of good health, as you informed me that you should in a few weeks, commence a journey of 90 Miles to the Southward of Monticello. Of the “mens sana” I had before me a plain and positive proof: but, I was rendered doubly happy to learn, that the “in corpore sano” was not wanting: the two choicest blessings, that can attend any person: but more especially One, in So advanced a stage of life, as that, to which, you, Sir, have arrived—

The near approach of that ever-memorable day of the year, July 4th has induced me to postpone my intended visit to you: I now propose to leave home on the 22d or 23d of June: and will probably arrive at your Mansion on the 27th or 28th—I shall not travel more than about 35 miles per day: and as I am informed, that the distance from Hagers Town to Monti Cello is not more than 152½ miles: should the weather not be unfavourable, I shall probably accomplish my Journey in the time above mentioned.

To say, that I was well pleased to hear, that Napoleon had re-ascended the French Throne, would not be making use of language sufficiently strong, to convey an adequate idea of the feelings I experienced, on the receipt of the glorious Tidings.

The United States, were, at that very moment (I so declared my opinion; and I verily thought so) placed in as perilous a situation, as they had almost ever been at any period of the war of the revolutionThat, Napoleon, is ambitious: that, he may desire to extend his conquests; (tho he is said to have published a declaration in the most1 positive terms, counteracting the effects of such a suspicion) may be All true: but, nevertheless:2 I still rejoice de die in diem; and am exceeding glad that the Bourbon family have been obliged, once more, to retreat, pede cito—When peace was established among the european belligerents, I was greatly apprehensive least the Prince Regent of England, might possess that degree of influence in the French Councils, as to prevail on Lewis the 18th to assist him with a very formidable body of Land Forces, for the diabolical purpose of trying to subjugate our beloved Country; and, of re-annexing to the British Crown: nor, have I particle of doubt on my mind; that such a combined force, would be most cheerfully aided, and assisted, by a considerable body of that description of people among us, who have been pleased to nick-name themselves “The Friends of Peace.3 I hope, and pray, that I may have formed an erroneous judgment: but certain and very many appearances and notions to the Eastward, and elsewhere, have powerfully strengthened and amply justified a suspicion at Least;4 that so abominable, so infamous a line of conduct, would be pursued by the Hartford5 Convention Men, and Their Setters On: that I trust, and believe, it argues no want of charity to think, the Pickle Herrings and Co; would go all lengths, sooner than not wreck their vengeance on the now dominant Party. I presume that I shall pass thro Milton in my way to Monticello? I mean to travel the road from Hagers Town to Winchester, then to Woodstock where I am instructed that a road will present itself, which leads direct to Monticello, and abounding with good and convenient Stages. General Ringgold informs me, that he expects Mr Geo Hay, the father of Mrs R at fountain rock in a few days—

I am with great deference, respect and a lively regard

Dear Sir Yrs &

Benjamin Galloway

RC (DLC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire”; endorsed by TJ as received 14 June 1815 and so recorded in SJL.

de die in diem: “from day to day” (Black’s Law Dictionary description begins Bryan A. Garner and others, eds., Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed., 1999 description ends ). pede cito: “with swift foot.” pickle herrings: “clowns; buffoons” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ). Samuel ringgold had married George Hay’s daughter Maria A. Hay on 16 Feb. 1813 (Baltimore Patriot, 18 Feb. 1813).

1Word interlined.

2Manuscript: “neverthess.”

3Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

4Manuscript: “Eeast.”

5Manuscript: “Harford.”

Index Entries

  • aging; B. Galloway on search
  • Federalist party; partisans in search
  • Fountain Rock (Samuel Ringgold’s Md. estate) search
  • France; and Great Britain search
  • France; Bourbon dynasty restored search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; letters from search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; on aging search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; on European affairs search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; political opinions of search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; proposed visit to Monticello search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; travels of search
  • George, Prince Regent (later George IV, king of Great Britain); American perceptions of search
  • Great Britain; and France search
  • Hartford, Conn.; Federalist convention at search
  • Hay, George; family of search
  • Louis XVIII, king of France; American perceptions of search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); public roads to search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; returns to power search
  • New England; politics in search
  • politics; in New England search
  • Ringgold, Maria A. Hay (Samuel Ringgold’s wife) search
  • Ringgold, Samuel; estate of search
  • Ringgold, Samuel; family of search
  • Ringgold, Tench; forwards letter search
  • roads; in Va. search