Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Galloway, 16 August 1816

To Benjamin Galloway

Monticello Aug. 16. 16.

Dear Sir

Your favor of July 30. came to hand on the 11th inst. I had already concluded that the clockmaker you had contemplated for us was not willing to displace himself, and had taken measures to obtain one from Philadelphia, in which we are like to succeed.1

On the subject of your letter2 to mrs Randolph I have only to say that generally I am averse to be quoted in the public papers,3 because there are bigots, religious and political always ready and disposed to make every word from me a text for perversions and ribaldry; and I am now at that time of life which asks repose and tranquility. but as the principles of the letter in question are those I have always avowed, and wished that every one should understand to be mine,4 and especially as you think it will remove imputations to which the transaction it relates to has given rise, I consent with chearfulness and approbation5 to [its] publication;6 and for this purpose I return the copy you sent with some [fin?]al corrections, to make it scrupulously what it professes to be.

Our family joins me in assurances of great esteem and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); torn at seal, with first missing word supplied from newspaper versions below; on verso of reused address cover to TJ; at foot of text: “Benjamin Galloway esq.”; endorsed by TJ. Reprinted from an unidentified issue of the Fredericktown (later Frederick), Md., Political Examiner & Public Advertiser in the 18 Sept. 1816 issues of the Richmond Enquirer and the Washington Daily National Intelligencer.

A version of the letter in question, TJ to Galloway, 2 Feb. 1812, was printed in the above newspapers, along with Galloway’s letter to “Philip [Thomas] Northmore, Esq. England,” 17 June 1812, in which Galloway enclosed TJ’s 2 Feb. 1812 letter, described TJ as “now in the enjoyment of otium cum dignitate,” and asserted that the United States wished to maintain peaceful relations with Great Britain.

1Sentence not in newspapers.

2Newspapers substitute “yours” for preceding two words.

3Newspapers substitute “newspapers” for preceding two words.

4Newspapers: “sincere.”

5PoC: “appobation.” Newspapers: “approbation.”

6Remainder of paragraph not in newspapers.

Index Entries

  • Charlottesville, Va.; watchmaker needed in search
  • clocks; repairman needed for search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; and publication of TJ’s correspondence search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; letters to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; privacy of correspondence search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; retirement search
  • Johnson, Arthur (clock maker) search
  • Northmore, Thomas; copy of TJ letter sent to search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); and B. Galloway search
  • watches; needing repair search