Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Hempstead, 11 February 1809

At a meeting of the Republican young Men of the City of New London, Voted unanimously that the following Address be forwarded to the President of the United States—

February 11th 1809—


At a time when you are about retiring from an office the most dignified and respectable, as also the most arduous and engaging; we in obedience to our feelings & sentiments take the liberty to express to you our confidence & approbation in your past administration—

While the foes to our Republican Government particularly in this part of the Union have employed every means in their power to bring the Administration into disrepute, and to effect this have paid no regard to decency or truth, we have viewed with pleasure the firmness & steady conduct of our Executive & admired the patriotism which has seemed to govern its every action—

We have viewed with deep regret & anxiety, the opposition of a party actuated by principles unfriendly to our Government and cherrished by foreign influence, directing their forces at republican men & measures; at the same time sensible how large a proportion of their calumny & abuse has been levelled at yourself, it has excited our admiration on beholding your forbearance, discovering no disposition to retaliate, except upon the pinciple of requiting good for evil and endeavoring by conciliatory means to prove to the world that the existence of a free government does not depend on coercive measures, but the Knowledge & virtue of its members—

Amid all these commotions we still see our Government pursuing with steady and persevering steps the measures best suited to the honor & independence of our Country: We are confident that it has been the utmost endeavor of our Government to steer us clear of wars with other nations: and if all our exertions for peace prove ineffectual & our Country is called upon to defend its rights & injured honor by an appeal to arms; we, constituting a part of the young men who must expect to bear the weapons of defence, are ready for the contest & will meet our Enemies at the threshold of our Country-

May the same Almighty Being who has heretofore guarded our Councils, still continue his gracious benedictions towards our Country, and make the remainder of your life as happy as we believe the past to have been serviceable—

We are with sentiments of esteem and regard, Sir, Your assured friends and very humble Servants—Signed by order of the Meeting

Benjamin Hempstead Chairman

Lodowick Fosdick Secretary

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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