Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 26 May 1806

Monticello May 26. 06.

Dear Sir

Your favor of Apr. 21. came to hand at Washington while I was in the hurry of preparation for departure to this place on a visit of three or four weeks for recreation as well as private calls. the current of votes, after the date of your letter, set so favorably for republicanism that I thought it highly probable the final decision would be such. and so I still expect, for altho’ the issue is known with you before this, it is not so here. much indeed is this to be desired; as the undivided cooperation of Massachusets with her sister states would add to their confidence, and to the effect of their measures. however, if the issue has been against us, it must have been by so small a majority, as to ensure a more favorable one another year. were there an occasion, I do not know that it would be for the general good to withdraw you, even temporarily, from a scene where you are so necessary. for I presume the republicans would not consider this short success as a signal for throwing off their armour, but rather for renewed exertions. of this however it would not be my province to judge, if any opening could bring on the question. but the state of things decides for us the offices under the general government (not exerciseable within a particular state) are few, & full. the accident of vacancy by death or resignation is too rare to be taken into consideration; as to those which are permanent; and I have no immediate prospect of any temporary employ of sufficient importance to be undertaken by you. a little more time however will place you where you ought to be, and give your enemies leisure to repent of their useless wickedness.—our prospects of friendly settlement with England are favorable; and the fear of any immediate contest on our Spanish frontier, are much lessened by the retirement of the Spanish troops from the neighborhood of the Sabine. how we shall finally settle with them is not very certain after the irritating matter which has been thrown out here. Accept my friendly salutations & assurances of great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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