Thomas Jefferson Papers

Nathaniel Macon to Thomas Jefferson, 4 January 1819

From Nathaniel Macon

Washington 4 Jany 1819


I have received and read with great pleasure the proceedings and report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia; To improve the rising generation is a duty to God, the country & ourselves, those who do most toward it, deserve best of the nation; What man or what talents now in existence, can pretend to limit the progress of the human mind; Improvements in the united States have brought machines to do almost every thing but speak; and surely other branches of useful knowledge may be carried to the same perfection

Will you permit me, to take this opportunity to state to you, that I hav[e] for some time past, thought much of writing, to you, to ask you to inform me, for I know of no one else which could, how it happe[ns] that all the measures which turned the federalists out; have been & are now the fashion; I have not done so, because it mig[ht] be, that you were over done with letters, and did not wish to touch politics; I stop the pen & smother my inclination, to prevent an atte[mpt] which might be disagreeable

Accept my warm thanks for your kind remembrance, and my sincere wishes, that the remainder of your useful life, may be as easy and pleasant to yourself, as the past has been beneficial to our country, and believe me to be

Your friend

Nathl Macon

RC (DLC); edge chipped and trimmed; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Jan. 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); partial address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Simon Chaudron, 3 Mar. 1819, on verso; addressed (trimmed): “[. . .]s Jefferson Monticello Charlottesville Virginia”; franked.

Index Entries

  • Federalist party; electoral defeats search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Proceedings and Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia search
  • machines; improvement of search
  • Macon, Nathaniel; and politics search
  • Macon, Nathaniel; and University of Virginia commissioners’ report search
  • Macon, Nathaniel; letters from search
  • politics; state of in U.S. search
  • Proceedings and Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); distributed by TJ search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; commissioners’ report search