Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Page, 9 July 1807

Washington July 9. 07.

My dear Sir

Your’s of June 22. was recieved in due time. since that the Postmaster General has returned to this place, and I desired him to inform me what were the emoluments of the P.M.’s place at Richmond. he says those of the last year, ending Apr. 1. were 2098 D. 54C out of which the Postmaster pays Clerk’s hire, office rent Etc. this is not so much as I had expected, and possibly is not as good as the place you now hold. It can be exercised entirely by deputy, but still he observed that, to avoid the infidelities & errors of the deputy, a pretty exact superintendence is necessary, or great risk incurred. on all this you will decide for yourself.

I imagine the ardor of our fellow citizens is scarcely satisfied by our proclamation. yet I am certain that when the first irritation has subsided their good sense will approve our course. 1. the usage of civilized nations requires that an opportunity of reparation shall always be given. if a word & a blow were the practice there would never be peace. 2. we should procrastinate 3. or 4. months, were it only to give time to our merchants to get in their vessels, property & seamen, which are the identical materials with which the war is to be carried on. 3. it is our duty to do no act which may compromit the legislature to war, rather than non-intercourse or any other measure they may prefer. they will probably be called in time to recieve the answer of England. before that they would be acting in the dark. I salute mrs Page & yourself with affection and respect.

Th: Jefferson

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