Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John O’Neill, 23 July 1806

Upper Marlborough 23rd July 1806


Having past these two months with Mr. Oden near this place, who had made all the protestations of friendship in the power of a man toward me, & after bringing me daily to his Table as a member of his family and after enviting some of the most respectable personages in his Neighbourhood to dine at his house on my Acct, and honouring me with the privileges of a free Man by permitting me to dine with them, I know not however wither it had been by you or by the mandates of a certain Mr Lewell. On the last Sunday on the arrival of a great Mask, from Georgetown by the Sir name of Turner Other wise Divil. not with the view of insulting your Excellency, by making use of this allusion. he however came with two or three Other Curlews of fellows in a Hackney Coach to dine with Mr Oden, and in an unusual manner from his treatment of me for Six weeks before had ordered me to his Kitchen to dine with a Parcel of his Ragamuffins Otherwise Servants without having favoured me with any one of his family. The recollection of such a base insult to any individual having feelings Could not fail in the language of common Sense but to wretch them. You may therefore easily figure to yourself my feelings on that Occasion, but in violation of every Sense of delicacy I had told the whole tribe to go to hell & dine in the Kitchen themselves. Though had he told me in friendship that my Company was not acceptable I should have suppressed my feelings have been silent Which he did not but had actualy treated me so in the view to destroy my unfortunate feellings but I did not miss him, which hath led to the Cause of he & Myself parting the Occasion. So that I am again thru on the World dependent Dollarless as usual. I am therefore Compelled to Visit that friendly City of Baltimore Once more I do not know but that I Shall be glad to fly into some wretches Kitchen, which Should you Jenuine Americans Suffer this to be the case It no doubt Shall be very Hemiliating to you perhaps at some future Period to flatter me from the Kitchen of some Wretch who is not worthy to black my Shoes that is to say if God hath Any Share in me And to you I shall have this to be determined I am therefore about to Set out for Baltimore which Should no liberal fellow be disposed to give me bread if no more for my services I would rather accept of it than to yet abandon my freedom. But should I not be so fortuitous as to meet with any of this description the Plan you Shall hear from me Shall be from Baltimore. You to have under no Mystery as to the usual blockading System Carried on by Bishops Priest &C. as will only those of the Americans who disgrace their National character And my own dear Countrymen in legions with their universal prospects &C. If I am worthy of any attention or of any better asylum than a Kitchen, I enjoy the Idea that You Shall not on the receipt of this Paper Suffer it to be So, But do not conclude that I am fond of lazeness, but to take of Manual employs, am not capable and hence it is that the Priest & tenets &C &C, when I attempt to say any thing against them or with their hidden Communications & the disseminating of their fury, are for forcing me to hard labour what the know I am incapable of but untill the day of My death Shall not suffer myslf to be harassed by the nose by those of any of these descriptions whilst I am if no more able to [. . . .] my Sentiments in detestation of them, It will not in the Nature of things be right to defend liberty Much longer in this Country Should you not be disposed to give the unusual Dominion to Buonopate that he is Aiming at And any Man who is [. . . .] of taking a View of the relative situation of Europe at Present And afterwards be for facilitating the Prospects of that aspiring man May when it is too late be felt by those better off in the World than myself. I have the honor to be Your Excellencies Most Obt Servt

Jno: O Neill

MHi: Coolidge Collection.

Index Entries