Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Philip Williams, 11 February 1807

11th February ’07

His Excellency

The President of the United States,

Will be pleased to accept the very humble, but unbounded thanks of one whom he has released from the solitary gloom of a dungeon, & from the devouring jaws of a certain, tho’ lingering death.

Tho’ the act of Grace, by which the Executive has manumitted the writer of this, will be viewed by Omnipotence, as an act of Justice, yet as by the laws of the land it must be estimated, as a free gift of mercy—the writer must feel his obligations & his gratitude without limits—The conduct of his future life shall prove these professions to be sincere—He only regrets that pecuniary embarrassments, prevent a public exposure of facts, which would prove that the clemency of government towards him has not been intirely undeserved—But if life & health permit, this will be done at a future day—The writer of this has for two weeks delayed this expression of his feelings under an apprehension that there might be some impropriety, in using, this method to communicate the overflowings of his grateful sentiments to the Father & Saviour of his country & to the Greatest friend of man—

But if his gratitude has led him beyond the bounds of decorum in writing this—he hopes to be forgiven on an assurance that the knowledge of this note will be confined to the writer & the reader of it—

Most Respectfully,

Philip Williams

lately released from the prison

in Washington City

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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