Feb. 24. 09.
to the Republicans of Loudon county
convened at Leesburg Feb. 13. 1809.
I am much indebted fellow Citizens for your very friendly address, and read with great satisfaction the patriotic sentiments it expresses.
The measures lately pursued in preference either to War or an ignominious surrender of our rights as an independent people have undoubtedly produced the beneficial effects of saving our property & Seamen, of lengthening the term of our peace & of giving time for defensive preparations. Other efficacious results would probably have been produced in a much higher degree, had not the measures been counteracted by unworthy passions. it is still possible that the blessings of peace may be continued to us, should sounder calculations of interest induce a return to justice by the aggressing nations. but should we be disappointed in what ought to be so justly expected, the solemn pledge of life & fortune in vindication of our violated rights received from yourselves as well as from other citizens, leaves us without apprehension as to the issue of any contest into which we may be forced.
I thank you particularly for the approbation you manifest of my conduct and motives, and the kind concern you express for my future happiness, & I beg leave to tender you my best wishes & assurances of respect.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.