Feb. 24. 09.
To the Republicans of the county of Niagara convened at Clarence on the 26th. of Jan. 1809.
The eventful crisis in our National Affairs so truly portrayed in your very friendly address, has justly excited your serious attention. the Nations of the earth prostrated at the foot of power, the Ocean submitted to the despotism of a Single Nation, the laws of nature and the usages which have hitherto regulated the intercourse of nations and interposed some restraint between power and right, now totally disregarded, such is the state of things when the United States are left single handed to maintain the rights of neutrals & the principles of public right Against a Warring World. Under these circumstances it is a great consolation to receive the assurances of our faithful Citizens that they will unite their destiny with their Government will rally under the banners of their Country, and with their lives & fortunes defend and support their Civil and religious rights. this declaration too is the more honorable from those whose frontier residence will expose them particularly to the inroads of a foe.
I recieve with great pleasure your Approbation of the impartial neutrality we have so invariably pursued, and of the trying measure of embargo rendered necessary by the belligerent edicts, which has saved our Seamen and our property has given us time to prepare for vindicating our honor & preserving our national independence & has excited the Spirit of manufacturing for ourselves those things, which tho’ we raised the raw material we have hitherto sought from other Countries at the risque of war & rapine.
I thank you for your kind wishes for my future happiness in retiring from public life to the bosom of my family. Nothing will contribute more to it than the Assurance that my fellow Citizens approve of my endeavors to serve them, and the hope that we shall be continued in the blessings we have enjoyed under the favor of Heaven.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.