Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Nicholas Neef, 23 June 1806

Washington June 23. 06


I have duly recieved your letter of the 10th. inst. informing me of your arrival in Philadelphia with the intention of endeavoring to introduce into this country the method of instruction lately practised in Europe by Pestalozzi. a sincere friend to the enlightening the minds of the people at large, I recieve with pleasure every information which gives a hope of advancing that desirable object. and I have the greater pleasure in learning that the experiment will be tried in my own country. the place where you now are is well chosen for that purpose. the wealth & public spirit of Philadelphia will find in your institution a proper subject for their exercise, and their example, in the event of success, will have influence on the other parts of the union. theories may be doubted; perhaps ought always to be doubted till tried. but experience is irresistible. whilst the equal laws of our country extend their protection to every useful institution, I shall be happy to learn that it’s inhabitants meeting your good dispositions as they merit, should not be wanting in what is necessary on their part to give to the experiment a succesful issue. Accept my salutations & assurances of respect & good will.

Th: Jefferson

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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