Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Richard Bland Lee, 11 August 1819

To Richard Bland Lee

Aug. 11. 19.

I am indebted to you, dear Sir, for your excellent oration on the 4th of July, and still more for the indulgence with which you have been so good as to view what relates to myself. in a new government as ours was, and especially in one somewhat ambiguous in it’s form, it was to be expected that there would be differences1 of opinion as to the direction in which it should be administered. time seems to have given it it’s settled shape, and happily all our citizens have rallied to it. but what is to be the next subject of dispute? is it to be political, commercial, religious or what? for all free people must have some topic of division. this I shall leave to those now on the stage, who, from the advances in science will be wiser than their predecessors. I salute you with friendly esteem and respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ICN: Thomas Jefferson Letters); addressed: “Richard Bland Lee esq Washington Col.”; franked; endorsed by Lee. PoC (CSmH: JF-BA); on verso of a reused address cover from Thomas Jefferson Randolph to TJ; edge trimmed and torn at seal; endorsed by TJ.

1Manuscript: “diffences.”

Index Entries

  • An Oration, delivered July 5, 1819, In the Chamber of the House of Representatives (R. B. Lee) search
  • Fourth of July; orations search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books and Library; receives works search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; political divisions search
  • Lee, Richard Bland; An Oration, delivered July 5, 1819, In the Chamber of the House of Representatives search
  • Lee, Richard Bland; letter to search
  • politics; factionalism search