Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Thomas B. Robertson, 7 November 1819

To Thomas B. Robertson

Monticello Nov. 7. 19.

Dear Sir

I have to thank you for the copy of your letters from Paris. I had read most of them in the newspapers, but have read them all again with additional pleasure. they contain the expressions of reason and of genuine Americanism, revolting at the servility of the European character, so degrade[d] by their slavish forms of government. accept my thanks also for the Campeachy chair which you have been so kind as t[o] [send] me, the arrival of which in Richmond is announced to me in a letter from your father. age, it’s infirmities and frequent i[lln]esses have rendered indulgence in that easy kind of chair truly acceptable.

I learned with great regret your intention of retiring from Congress. it is the department of our government which least of all can afford to part with talents and integrity. of verbiage they could spare much, and I have serious apprehensions that the cacoethes loquendi, rendering it impossible for them to do the necessary legislativ[e] business of the nation, so much of it must of necessity be turned over to the Executive as sensibly to adulterate the genuine republicanism of our government. I hope, dear Sir, you will return to your seat after a short rest. you are much too young as yet to decline the service of your country, to which every citizen is sacredly boun[d] to perform a tour proportioned to his powers of being useful to it. I salute you with great friendship & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; torn at seal and edge trimmed, with some missing text rewritten by TJ; at foot of text: “Thos B. Robertson esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

cacoethes loquendi: “compulsion to speak.”

Index Entries

  • books; of correspondence search
  • campeachy chairs search
  • Congress, U.S.; TJ on search
  • Europe; TJ on tyranny in search
  • furniture; campeachy chairs search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives works search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; aging search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; citizens, duties of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; congressional speeches search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; European society search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; U.S. Congress search
  • Letters from Paris, Written During the Period of the late Accession and Abdication of Napoleon (T. B. Robertson) search
  • Robertson, Thomas Bolling; Letters from Paris, Written During the Period of the late Accession and Abdication of Napoleon search
  • Robertson, Thomas Bolling; letters to search
  • Robertson, Thomas Bolling; public service of search
  • Robertson, William (1750–1829); and campeachy chairs search