Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas B. Parker to Thomas Jefferson, 27 November 1818

From Thomas B. Parker

Boston Nov 27th 1818


The Subscriber, altho’ a stranger to your person, takes the liberty of requesting your perusal of a few lines in the inclosed N. Paper respecting the state of your health—in order that you Dear Sir may percieve the change which, apparently so at least, has taken place in the opinions of some men who, if not at present were once your most bitter enemies and persecuters.

The Editor of the inclosed N. Paper has been, and probably is now, as warm a lover1 of the British system of Government as can be found in this Country. And tho’ his affections remain the same yet still he is obliged for his personal benefit to accommodate the sentiments of his columns to the opinions of the publick.

A few years since this man would, no doubt, have been much gratified at the opportunity of recording the decease of the “Opposer of Tyrany” And now, pressed on all sides by publick opinion, is necessitated for his own credit to announce to the people the restoration to health of the “Friend to and Supporter” of the Rights of Man.

The contrast is so great that I could not refrain from communicating to you on the subject,

I am a young man and on reflection cannot but shudder at the thoughts of the changes which may take place in the Government of our Country by the abilities of depraved and ambitious men while the founders of our Republick and our political quids are resting in their silent and dark abodes.

I beg of you Dear Sir to overlook my presumption and be assured that many very many of your Countrymen have a deep interest in your health and happiness

With great Respect Give me leave to Subscribe myself Your friend2

Thomas B Parker

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Honorable Thomas Jefferson Monticello Va”; endorsed by TJ as received 6 Dec. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Thomas B. Parker (ca. 1796–1822), clerk, was a native of Massachusetts. By 1812 he was an assistant in the Boston post office, where he eventually earned an annual salary of $500. Parker died in Boston (Boston Patriot, 4 Apr. 1812; A Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the service of the United States, on the Thirtieth day of September, 1816 [Washington, 1816], pt. 2, p. 71; The Boston Directory [1818]: 164; [1820]: 162; [1821]: 185; DNA: RG 29, CS, Boston, 1820; A Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the 30th of September, 1821 [Washington, 1822], pt. 2, p. 121; Independent Chronicle and Boston Patriot, 9 Feb. 1822; Boston Commercial Gazette, 11 Feb. 1822).

1Reworked from “friend.”

2Manuscript: “frind.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; illness of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; praised for search
  • newspapers; politics of search
  • Parker, Thomas B.; identified search
  • Parker, Thomas B.; letters from search
  • Parker, Thomas B.; sends newspaper to TJ search