Washington March 2. 09.
It is long, my very dear friend, since I have heard from you, but longer since I have written to you. the constant pressure of matters, which would not admit of delay, has, during my continuance in office, suspended almost entirely all my private correspondence. I am obliged to ask from the candor of my friends their attention to the imperiousness of the circumstances under which I have been placed, & their indulgence. be assured that I have never one moment ceased to cherish the sincere friendship I bear you, or to abate in my anxiety for your happiness. a safe opportunity occurring of renewing these assurances, & of recalling myself to your recollection, I cannot fail to avail myself of it. altho’ oppressed with the accumulation of business at the close of a session of Congress, & of my own term of service also. for I at length detach myself from public life, which I never loved to retire to the bosom of my family, my friends, my farms and books, which I have always loved. I retire in hearty affection with the world, because indeed the world has been kinder to me than I claimed. I will say nothing to you about politics, because they are not your concern, nor any longer mine. towards you the kind affections of the heart take place of every other topic. this will be handed you by my friend and eleve, mr Coles, who has lived with me several years, & is the bearer of public dispatches. he returns immediately, & I hope you will drop me a line by him to satisfy me that our friendship has not slept. tho’ our correspondence has. god bless you my dear friend and give you life, health & happiness. affectionately yours.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.