Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Peck to Thomas Jefferson, 10 April 1818

From William Peck

Post Office Raleigh N.C. 10 apl 1818

Dear Sir

Permit a plain stranger to thank you sincerely for lending your name in countenance of the Massachusetts Peace Society. Those men opposed your election to the presidency, I hope from good motives, tho: I thought they did wrong, especially in representing you as an enemy to the Christian Religion. They are now engaged in a work I ardently approbate, and sincerely rejoice to find “the sage of Monticello” so much influenced by the spirit of the “Prince of Peace.”

your very respectfull

Will: Peck

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 6 May 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Barnes, 28 June 1818, on verso; addressed: “Hon: Thomas Jefferson Montecello Va”; franked; postmarked Raleigh, 10 Apr.

William Peck (1772–1851), merchant and peace advocate, was born in Norfolk and grew up in Petersburg. In 1798 he relocated permanently to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he operated a banking and mercantile business for half a century and was postmaster, 1810–18. A Baptist, Peck also helped found the Raleigh Peace Society in 1819 and served as the organization’s first president. He owned six slaves in 1830 and real estate valued at $7,000 shortly before his death (Hope Summerell Chamberlain, History of Wake County North Carolina [1922], 148–9; Raleigh Register, and North-Carolina State Gazette, 20 Sept. 1810, 8 Jan. 1819; Marshall DeLancey Haywood, “An Early Peace Society in North Carolina 1819–1822,” North Carolina Booklet 7 [1908]: 290–300; DNA: RG 29, CS, N.C., Raleigh, 1830, 1850; Raleigh Register, 25 June 1851; gravestone inscription in City Cemetery, Raleigh).

Christians commonly identify the biblical prince of peace (Isaiah 9.6) as Jesus.

Index Entries

  • Bible; Isaiah referenced search
  • Christianity; and elections search
  • Jesus; mentioned search
  • Massachusetts Peace Society; TJ as honorary member of search
  • Massachusetts Peace Society; W. Peck on search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); mentioned search
  • peace advocacy; and Massachusetts Peace Society search
  • Peck, William; and Massachusetts Peace Society search
  • Peck, William; identified search
  • Peck, William; letter from search
  • politics; elections search
  • United States; elections in search