Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin O. Tyler, 26 March 1818

To Benjamin O. Tyler

Monticello Mar. 26. 18.


Your letter of the 14th is just now recieved, and I return you my thanks for the indulgence with which you are pleased to consider the part it has fallen to my lot to bear in the transactions of our country. the times in which I have happened to live placed the efforts of all under requisition, and mine have no claim but for a well intended zeal.   the Engraving you propose to publish of the Declaration of Independance will be an honorable monument to the memory of those who signed it, and with whom I was but a fellow-laborer. the sentiments it expresses were those of the whole body, and would have been better expressed by many of it’s members. the dedication to myself therefore of this consecrated act of a band of venerated patriots, will be accepted for them all, and as an honor equally belonging to all. for the few of us remaining can vouch, I am sure, on behalf of those who have gone before us, that notwithstanding the lowering aspect of the day, no hand trembled on affixing it’s signature to that paper, and we may add for them as well as for ourselves1 that next to the consciousness of a duty faithfully discharged, the testimonials so often, and in so many forms repeated that the signers of that instrument have deserved well of their country, are the highest rewards they or we could have recieved.   for myself personally be pleased to accept the assurance of my just sensibility and of the esteem and respect which I now tender you.

Th Jef[ferson]

PoC (CSmH: JF-BA); on verso of a reused address cover from Joseph C. Cabell to TJ; signature incomplete, probably due to polygraph malfunction; at foot of text: “Mr Benj O. Tyler”; endorsed by TJ. Printed in the City of Washington Gazette, 20 Apr. 1818, and elsewhere.

1Preceding ten words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Continental Congress, U.S.; and Declaration of Independence search
  • Declaration of Independence; published search
  • Declaration of Independence; signers of search
  • Declaration of Independence; TJ as author of search
  • Declaration of Independence; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Declaration of Independence search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Declaration of Independence search
  • Tyler, Benjamin Owen; engraving of Declaration of Independence by search
  • Tyler, Benjamin Owen; letter to search