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TO JAMES HOCHIE, ESQ., PRESIDENT OF THE ANCIENT PLYMOUTH
SOCIETY OF NEW LONDON.
MONTICELLO, April 2, 1809. SIR,—I have duly received your favor of March 17th, covering resolutions of the Ancient Plymouth Society of New London, approving my conduct, as well during the period of my late administration, as the preceding portion of my public services.
Our lot has been cast in times which called for the best exertions of all our citizens to recover and preserve the rights which nature had given them; and we may say with truth, that the mass of our fellow citizens have performed with zeal and effect the duties called for. If I have been fortunate enough to give satisfaction in the performance of those allotted to me by our country, I find an ample reward in the assurances of that satisfaction. Possessed of the blessing of self-government, and of such a portion of civil liberty as no other civilized nation enjoys, it now behooves us to guard and preserve them by a continuance of the sacrifices and exertions by which they were acquired, and especially to nourish that union which is their sole guarantee. I pray you to accept for yourself and your associates the assurances of my high consideration and respect.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR WRIGHT.
MONTICELLO, April 3, 1809. DEAR SIR,—Your friendly note of March 3d, was delivered to me on that day. You know the pressure of the last moments of a session of Congress, and can judge of that of my own departure from Washington, and of my first attentions here. This must excuse my late acknowledgment of your note. surances of your approbation of the course I have observed are highly flattering, and the more so, as you have been sometimes an eye-witness and long of the vicinage of the public councils. The testimony of my fellow citizens, and especially of one who, having been himself in the high departments, to the means of
information united the qualifications to judge, is a consolation which will sweeten the residue of my life. The fog which arose in the east in the last moments of my service, will doubtless clear away and expose under a stronger light the rocks and shoals which have threatened us with danger. It is impossible the good citizens of the east should not see the agency of England, the tools she employs among them, and the criminal arts and falsehoods of which they have been the dupes. I still trust and pray that our union may be perpetual, and I beg you to accept the assurances of my high esteem and respect.
TO THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
MONTICELLO, April 12, 1809. I receive with respect and gratitude, from the Legislature of New York, on my retirement from the office of chief magistrate of the United States, the assurances of their esteem, and of their satisfaction with the services I have endeavored to render. The welfare of my fellow citizens, and the perpetuation of our republican institutions, having been the governing principles of my public life, the favorable testimony borne by the Legislature of a State so respectable as that of New York, gives me the highest consolation. And this is much strengthened by an intimate conviction that the same principles will govern the conduct of my successor, whose talents, and eminent services, are a certain pledge that the confidence in him expressed by the Legislature of New York, will never be disappointed.
Sole depositories of the remains of human liberty, our duty to ourselves, to posterity, and to mankind, call on us by every motive which is sacred or honorable, to watch over the safety of our beloved country during the troubles which agitate and convuse the residue of the world, and to sacrifice to that all personal and local considerations. While the boasted energies of monarchy have yielded to easy conquest the people they were to protect, should our fabric of freedom suffer no more than the slight agitations we have experienced, it will be an useful lesson
to the friends as well as the enemies of self-government. That it may stand the shocks of time and accident, and that your own may make a distinguished part of the mass of prosperity it may dispense, will be my latest prayer.
TO THE REPUBLICANS OF QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY.
Monticello, April 13, 1809. I have received, fellow citizens, your farewell address, with those sentiments of respect and satisfaction which its very friendly terms are calculated to inspire. With the consciousness of having endeavored to setve my fellow citizens according to their best interests, these testimonies of their good will are the sole and highest remuneration my heart has ever desired.
I am sensible of the indulgence with which you review the measures which have been pursued; and approving our sincere endeavors to observe a strict neutrality with respect to foreign powers. It is with reason you observe that, if hostilities must succeed, we shall have the consolation that justice will be on
War has been avoided from a due sense of the miseries, and the demoralization it produces, and of the superior blessings of a state of peace and friendship with all mankind. But peace on our part, and war from others, would neither be for our happiness or honor; and should the lawless violences of the belligerent powers render it necessary to return their hostilities, no nation has less to fear from a foreign enemy.
I thank you, fellow citizens, for your very kind wishes for my happiness, and pray you to accept the assurances of my cordial esteem, and grateful sense of your favor.
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAPTIST CHURCH OF BUCK MOUNTAIN IN
MONTICELLO, April 13, 1809. I thank you, my friends and neighbors, for your kind congratulations on my return to my native home, and on the op
portunities it will give me of enjoying, amidst your affections, the comforts of retirement and rest. Your approbation of my conduct is the more valued as you have best known me, and is an ample reward for any services I may have rendered. We have acted together from the origin to the end of a memorable revolution, and we have contributed, each in the line allotted us, our endeavors to render its issue a permanent blessing to our country. That our social intercourse may, to the evening of our days, be cheered and cemented by witnessing the freedom and happiness for which we have labored, will be my constant prayer. Accept the offering of my affectionate esteem and respect.
TO JONATHAN LOW, ESQ., HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT.
MONTICELLO, April 13, 1809. Sir,—I received on the 6th instant your favor covering the resolutions of the general meeting of the republicans of the State of Connecticut who had been convened at Hartford ; and I see with pleasure the spirit they breathe. They express with truth the wrongs we have sustained, the forbearance we have exercised, and the duty of rallying round the constituted authorities, for the protection of our Union. Surrounded by such difficulties and dangers, it is really deplorable that any should be found among ourselves vindicating the conduct of the aggressors; cooperating with them in multiplying embarrassments to their own country, and encouraging disobedience to the laws provided for its safety. But a spirit which should go further, and countenance the advocates for a dissolution of the Union, and for setting in hostile array one portion of our citizens against another, would require to be viewed under a more serious aspect. It would prove indeed that it is high time for every friend to his country, in a firm and decided manner, to express his sentiments of the measures which government has adopted to avert the impending evils, unhesitatingly to pledge himself for the support of the laws, liberties and independence of his country; and, with the general meeting of the republicans of Connecticut, to resolve that, for
the preservation of the Union, the support and enforcement of the laws, and for the resistance and repulsion of every enemy, they will hold themselves in readiness, and put at stake, if necessary, their lives and fortunes, on the pledge of their sacred honor.
With my thanks for the mark of attention in making this commumication, I pray you to accept for yourself and my respectable fellow citizens from whom it proceeds, the assurance of my high consideration, and my prayers for their welfare.
TO THE TAMMANY SOCIETY OF THE CITY OF BALTIMORE.
MONTICELLO, May 25, 1809. Your free and cordial salutations in my retirement are received, fellow citizens, with great pleasure, and the happiness of that retirement is much heightened by assurances of satisfaction with the course I have pursued in the transaction of the public affairs, and that the confidence my fellow citizens were pleased to repose in me, has not been disappointed.
Great sacrifices of interest have certainly been made by our nation under the difficulties latterly forced upon us by transatlantic powers. But every candid and reflecting mind must agree with you, that while these were temporary and bloodless, they were calculated to avoid permanent subjection to foreign law and tribute, relinquishment of independent rights, and the burthens, the havoc, and desolations of war. That these will be ultimately avoided, we have now some reason to hope ; and the successful example of recalling nations to the practice of justice by peaceable appeals to their interests, will doubtless have salutary effects on our future course. As a countervail, too, to our shortlived sacrifices, when these shall no longer be felt, we shall permanently retain the benefit they have prompted, of fabricating for our own use the materials of our own growth, heretofore carried to the work-houses of Europe, to be wrought and returned to us.
The hope you express that my successor will continue in the same system of measures, is guaranteed, as far as future circum