Stockbridge Octr 21. 1807
Permit me, so far to intrude on your attention to more important concerns, so to introduce to your ordinary acquaintance, my only son, a young man, who, by the kind partiality of our political friends in this district, has been elected a Representative in Congress. He will find himself placed in a situation to him, in some respects, novel. His opportunities for acquaintance with the wold of mankind have not been equal to those which many of his years and standing in life, have been favored with. You are sensible, he will be in the way of temptation. I hope he will be disposed to conduct with a tolerable degree of prudence, modesty, firmness, & integrity.—From your known, & habitual disposition to do good, I am induced, so far, to presume on your benevolence as to request for him, & for myself, one special favor;—it is no other than this; That if you should perceive him going astray, you would condescend, either immediately, by your Secretary, or, in some other way, to remind him of it. This is the most interesting request I wish to prefer to the man whom I so highly respect.—I am convinced that a hint from President Jefferson would, as it ought to, have a greater effect on the mind of my son, than a volume of lectures from almost any other sourse.—Not that I wish him to act as a meer machine, or, to believe implicitly in any man. The opinion which both he, & his father, first formed, and still retain, of the President of the US, is, I believe, grounded on his official, & private conduct, so far as one, or the other of these have come within their observation, respectively.
It appears, at present, that we have, in this Comonwealth, a decided, perhaps, suficient majority of professed Democratical Republicans; & of course, professed friends to most, if not all, those serious & important measures which have been adopted by the present Administration of the Genl Government. Had we equal evidence that our information, talents, integrity, & real patriotism, were in proportion to our numbers, I should, I confess, feel a greater degree of confidence & satisfaction in contemplating the prospects before us, than I now do. I will, however, hope for the best; &, while I continue to act at all, am determined to act the same part that I would do, were I assured of final & permanent success. That your distinguished services may long continue, your health & happiness be increased, is the sincere & ardent desire of
Your obedient humble Servant
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.