Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William C. Rives, 28 November 1819

To William C. Rives

Monticello. Nov. 28. 19.

Dear Sir

The distresses of our country, produced first by the flood, then by the ebb of bank paper are such as cannot fail to engage the interposition of the legislature. many propositions will of course be offered, from all of which something may probably be culled to make a good whole. I explained to you my project, when I had the pleasure of possessing you here; and I now send it’s outline in writing, as I believe I promised you. altho’ preferable things will I hope be offered, yet some twig of this may perhaps be thought worthy of being engrafted on a better stock. but I send it with no particular object or request, but to use it as you please. suppress it, suggest it, sound opinions, or any thing else, at will, only keeping my name unmentioned, for which purpose it is copied in another hand, being ever solicitous to avoid all offence which is heavily felt when retired from the bustle & contentions of the world. if we suffer the moral of the present lesson to pass away without improvement, by the eternal suppression of bank paper, then indeed is the condition of our country desperate, until the slow advance of public instruction shall give to our functionaries the wisdom of their station. Vale, et tibi persuade carissimum te mihi esse.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Rives Papers); addressed: “William Rives esquire of the legislature of Virginia now in Richmond”; franked; endorsed by Rives, in part, as “on Banks &c.” PoC (DLC); edge trimmed. Tr (DLC: Martin Van Buren Papers); in an unidentified hand, signed by TJ; right edge torn away. Enclosure: TJ’s Plan for Reducing the Circulating Medium, [23 Nov. 1819].

vale, et tibi persuade carissimum te mihi esse: “Farewell, and be assured that you are most dear to me.”

Index Entries

  • banks; currency issued by search
  • banks; TJ on search
  • currency; amount of in circulation search
  • currency; paper search
  • currency; TJ’s plan for reducing circulating medium search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; banks search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; paper money search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Plan for Reducing the Circulating Medium search
  • Rives, William Cabell; as Va. legislator search
  • Rives, William Cabell; letters to search
  • United States; economy of search
  • Virginia; banks in search
  • Virginia; economy of search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search