my beloved neighbors and friends, . born and bred among your fathers, by their partiality into public life I labored in fellowship with them through that arduous struggle which us from foreign , established us in the rights of self govmt. in this contest all did our , and as none could do more, none has pretensions to superior merit.
I joy, my friends in your joy inspired by the visit of this our antient and distinguished leader and benefactor. his deeds in war you have heard and read. they are known to you and embalmed in your and in the pages of history. his deeds in the peace which followed are perhaps not known to you, but I can attest them. when I was stationed in his country cement friendship and of advancing our mutual interests. this friend of both was my most zealous and powerful auxiliary . he made our cause his own as it was in truth that of his native country also. his influence and connections were great. all doors of all departments were open to him at all times, to me only formally & at appointed times. in truth I only held the nail , he drove it. honor him then as our in peace as well as war.
My friends, I am old, long making speeches and without voice to utter them. in this feeble estate the exhausted powers of leave little within my competence . if with the aid of my younger and abler co-adjutors, I can still contribute any thing to the institution within whose we are now miing manifestatns of our affection to this our guest, it will be chearfully zealously bestowed and could I live to see it enjoy the patronage & of our public authorities I should die without a doubt of the future fortunes of my native state, , it’s virtue, prosperity and safety.
To these & land of my birth I add for our nation the aspirations of a heart warm with the love of country, whose will be while the pulse of life , and when that ceases it will expire in prayers for the eternal of it’s freedom and prosperity.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.