Thomas Jefferson Papers

Abner B. Hunt to Thomas Jefferson, 4 August 1820

From Abner B. Hunt

Lebanon Warren County Ohio Agt 4th 1820

Revd and D— Sir

It will no dout somewhat Surprise you when you cast your eyes blow and be hold their a strang signiture. but as surprising as it may be your goodness will not suffer you to cast it off without at least a slight reflection, particularly when you learn its contents.

Knowing it is the characteristic of great men not to be indifferent to the wants and necessities of those of an inferior grade, it is therefore most aged Sir, I thus attempt to intrude these lines upon you, to give you a short discription of the person who has assumed the liberty to address you. I will informe you I am a young man in low and indigent circumstanes, who has been unfortunate in business and on whom the oppression of the times has borne with great severity. My Father is an old man and has a large family to support and consiquently is not able to releave my necessities, I have been advised my friends to acquire an knowledge of the Law and have commenced the study, I therefore ask your charity for a small assistance in the way of furnishing me with a few Law books and that only. could your goodness procure for me and forward on to Cincinnati a small library of this discription of books, I trust I should feel ever greatfull, and I while you are sleeping in the caverns of the earth may reap the benifit of your kindness and think of those that once lived.

I must inform you my Father was three years in our revolutionary strugle and happy I am to say that ancient days record his servises and not withstanding he has received no pension

it was then he saw the immortal Jefferson and it was from him in my younger days I have learned in part your charactor

should I attempt to enumerate the various functions you have been call’d to discharge in the counsils of this mighty nation you might think I aimed at flattery but Sir—I cannot think of closing this without at least that I have some small knowledge of your charactor. I have beheld you legislating in states minester to foreign courts and also in the counsels of this great Nation, and to whom we are for ever bound for our indissoluble and hallowed Constitution upon which our great national superstructure is founded. and now you in your declining years can repose in peace and tranquility and behold the groing greatness of this vast and immesureable Empire, of which you have been so conspicuously instrumental in forming. you have now my aged Sir—almost terminated your mortal existance to leave this stage of tumult and take your flight to celestial region their to receive the reward due to the virtuous where you will meet your Brother the once mortal but now immortal Washington who their awaits your arrival

then no more will the person of Jefferson be seen or his voice heared. then memory alone will recount to us his mighty deeds and the latest posterity of the american people will be proud to mention his name as there country

Dear Sir In the hight Esteem and Regard I shall ever remain yours

Abner B. Hunt

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Aug. 1820 and so recorded in SJL.

Index Entries

  • Constitution, U.S.; mentioned search
  • Hunt, Abner B.; family of search
  • Hunt, Abner B.; financial situation of search
  • Hunt, Abner B.; letter from search
  • Hunt, Abner B.; on TJ search
  • Hunt, Abner B.; requests works from TJ search
  • law; books on search
  • law; study of search
  • Washington, George; TJ’s relationship with search