Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Pseudonym: "A Native Citizen", 12 August 1807

[on or before 12 Aug. 1807]

Dr. Sir,

It has been reported here that you have said, that you believed the people of this country were ready for war with England—as I think it a great misfortune that you should act under such a mistaken opinion I take the liberty of saying to you that I have taken considerable pains to ascertain the public sentiment throughout a great extent of country and can declare to you that the prevailing opinion is directly opposed to war—Indeed, how can it be otherwise with the thinking part of the community when war would bring down ruin upon a great majority of the country—There are many no doubt whose passions are now much inflamed and cry out war but who would as soon as they felt the dreadfull effects of it, curse the men who brought it upon them—And certainly you would not wish to destroy the present people in power under whose administration we have enjoyed so much happiness. What could we gain by war? Can we carry our point by it? I think not in the present state of the British power for they the English no doubt truly think that the salvation of their country depends upon the right of impressment—then why should we go to war when we have nothing to gain but every thing to lose—particularly when we only contend for the right of protecting a few British seamen—You may rely upon the foregoing as the opinion of a vast majority of the country and who hope that you will seriously reflect ere it be too late—yours with regard

A native Citizen

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

Index Entries