Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Reuben Hopkins, 27 December 1806

December 27th: 1806

We the undersigned, being appointed a Committee on behalf of the republican Citizens of Orange County in the State of New York, for the purpose of expressing their full and unequivocal approbation of your past official conduct, and likewise from the conviction they have of your earnest desire and successful endeavours to promote the harmony independence and interest of the United States, To solicit your consent to stand as a candidate for the Presidency at the next Election, with pleasure and satisfaction enter upon the discharge of this important trust.

We learn with regret, that you have had it in contemplation at the expiration of the term for which you was last elected to the Presidential Chair, to withdraw from public life, and close your long and useful carere of public duties. We can readily conceive the pleasing Anticipation of retirement from a station so highly responsible and critical, where integrity talents, and correct measures are no security against the shafts of malice and disaffection, and where the most unremitted and beneficial exertions for the public good are remunerated with ingratitude and illeberal imputations, and although there appears to be some individuals who have a disposition to carve for themselves and share in the bustle of war, and others who endeavour to fan the flames of discord, by stigmatizing the wisest and most prudent measures as pusillanimous and inenergitic, Yet we trust that such restless characters are comparatively few, nor can they be viewed in any other light, but as the froth of folly and faction, who will disappear upon the first appearance of danger.

We conceive that an experienced, wise and prudent administration is at this crisis peculiarly necessary, from the consideration of the versatile and fluctuating politics of many of our state Governments, which require undeviating rectitude and stability at the helm of our national affairs, and from the consideration of the distracted state of Europe, where violence and power usurp the place of right, where the dark and enigmatical counsels of the belligerent powers are spreading desolation and ruin over the earth, and where every change of Government is productive to the oppressed people of a Change of masters only, likewise our protracted negociations with Great Britain and Spain, and the unsettled limits and Government of the newly acquired territory of Louisiana cannot be prudently trusted to any whose inexperience and unacquaintance with those matters might lead them into imprudence and error.

We have the fullest confidence that the great mass of the people of the United States are firmly attached to the Government and Administration, and are highly pleased that the finances of Our nation are in so flourishing a state, and that they have not been lavished upon “every speck of War,” but are still in reserve for real and not imaginary dangers, but if foreign invasion or internal commotions should call forth the energies of Government, or render an Appeal to Arms unavoidable, we shall at all times consider it our indispensible duty to furnish that aid and support which the exigency of the case may require, and from the Confidence we repose in a disposition on your part, to serve your Country, we trust that should you again be called upon by the voice of your fellow Citizens to discharge the duties of the first office they can confer, your Patriotism will induce you to gratify their wishes.

We are Sir with the highest considerations of Esteem your republican fellow Citizens—

Reuben Hopkins, Chairman

Isaac Van Euzer

Hamilton Morrison

John Wood

Paul Howell

James Burt

Job Sayre

Edmund Griswold

William Elliott

John Kerr

James W. Wilkin

William Ross

D. M. Westcott

Nathan H. White

Anthony Davis

Joshua Brown

Isaac Belknap Junr.

John Chandler

John Barber

John Nicholson

John Thorne

Selah Strong

David Dill

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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