Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Lomax, 11 January 1806

Washington Jan. 11. 1806.

Dear Sir

the question whether any more regular troops shall be raised has been some time depending before the house of representatives, & was yesterday determined in the negative on a hope, not ungrounded that our differences with Spain may yet be amicably settled. I deferred, till this decision, the acknoleging the reciept of your letter of Dec. 23. inasmuch as it would prove that when I do not fulfill your wishes, it is because the fulfillment is not within my powers.

What an awful spectacle does the world exhibit at this instant. one man bestriding the continent of Europe like a Colossus, and another roaming unbridled on the ocean. but even this is better than that one should rule both elements. our wish ought to be that he who has armies may not have the dominion of the sea, and that he who has dominion of the sea may be one who has no armies. in this way we may be quiet, at home at least. accept my affectionate salutations & assurances of continued esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson.

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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