Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Thomas B. Parker, 2 August 1819

To Thomas B. Parker

Poplar Forest near Lynchburg Aug. 2. 19.

I am truly thankful, Sir, for the discretion you hav[e] been so good as to exercise in consulting me before you gave publicity to my letter of May 15. nothing gives me more pain than to have letters, written in the carelessness1 & confidence of private correspondence, exposed to the public. this comprehends men of all opinions, and of all dispositions; and the sentimen[t] must be very insipid indeed which should find no contradictors in such a mass. at my time of life, tranquility is it’s summu[m] bonum. to preserve this, I wish to offend no man’s opinion. much less to take the maniac post of a religious controversialist. permit me therefore to retain my perfect confidence in the respect you have shewn for a private confidence, that not a tittle of my letter will get before the public.

I read your pamphlet with extraordinary satisfaction, and the moment I laid it out of my hand, some body gobbled it away, so that it is lost to me. as it is not to be had in this state (which I wish it were and in full circulation) if you will be so kind as to send me another, I shall certainly take better care of it, and render you my thanks for it beforehand with the assurances of my great respect & esteem.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of RC of Charles Johnston and Elizabeth Johnston to TJ, 21 July 1819; some text lost due to polygraph misalignment; at foot of text: “Mr Thos B. Parker”; endorsed by TJ.

1Manuscript: “carlessness.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books and Library; orders books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; publication of his letters search
  • Parker, Thomas B.; and publication of TJ’s letter search
  • Parker, Thomas B.; letters to search
  • Parker, Thomas B.; sends pamphlets to TJ search
  • Prentiss, Charles; purported author ofThe Trial: Calvin and Hopkins versus the Bible and Common Sense (“A Lover of the Truth”) search
  • The Trial: Calvin and Hopkins versus the Bible and Common Sense (“A Lover of the Truth” [C. Prentiss?]) search