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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.
TO CAPTAIN QUIN MORTON.
Washington, February 24, 1809. SIR,—I have duly received your favor tendering the service of fifty citizens of Tennessee as a company of volunteer rifle
There are two acts of Congress which regulate the acceptances of these tenders; that of the last year (1808) is for a service of six months, and authorizes the governors to accept ; and that of 1807, for a service of twelve months, authorizing the President to accept, who has delegated that power to the governors of the several States. Under whichever of these, therefore, your tender was meant to be made, I must pray you to repeat it to the governor of the State ; expressing, at the same time, my great satisfaction at the readiness and patriotism with which I see my fellow citizens resort to the standard of their country when danger threatens it. Accept for your company my thanks on the public behalf, and for yourself the assurances of my respect.
TO THE TAMMANY SOCIETY OR COLUMBIAN ORDER OF THE CITY OF
March 2, 1809. The observations are but too just which are made in your friendly address, on the origin and progress of those abuses of public confidence and power which have so often terminated in a suppression of the rights of the people, and the mere aggrandizement and emolument of their oppressors. Taught by these truths, and aware of the tendency of power to degenerate into abuse, the worthies of our own country have secured its independence by the establishment of a constitution and form of
government for our nation, calculated to prevent as well as to correct abuse.
Beyond the great water the torch of discord has been long lighted up, and long and unremitting have been the endeavors of the belligerents to immerge us in the evils they were inflicting on each other, and to make us parties in their quarrels. Whether it will be possible much longer to escape these evils, is difficult to decide; but you do me justice in believing that no efforts on my part have been spared to effect this purpose, and to preserve for our nation the blessings of peace.
I learn with sincere pleasure that the measures I have pursued in directing the affairs of our nation have met with approbation. Their sole object has certainly been the good of my fellow citizens, which sometimes may have been mistaken, but never intentionally disregarded. This approbation is the more valued as being the spontaneous effusion of the feelings of those who have lived in the same city with myself, and having examined carefully and even jealously my conduct through every passing day, bear testimony to their belief in its fidelity.
I am happy, in my retirement, to carry with me your esteem and your prayers for my health, peace and happiness; and I sincerely supplicate Heaven that your own personal welfare may long make a part of the general prosperity of a great, a free, and a happy people.
TO THE CITIZENS OF WASHINGTON.
March 4, 1809. I received with peculiar gratification the affectionate address of the citizens of Washington, and in the patriotic sentiments it expresses, I see the true character of the national metropolis.
The station which we occupy among the nations of the earth is honorable, but awful. Trusted with the destinies of this solitary republic of the world, the only monument of human rights, and the sole depository of the sacred fire of freedom and selfgovernment, from hence it is to be lighted up in other regions
of the earth, if other regions of the earth shall ever become susceptible of its benign influence. All mankind ought then, with us, to rejoice in its prosperous, and sympathize in its adverse fortunes, as involving everything dear to man. And to what sacrifices of interest, or convenience, ought not these considerations to animate us? To what compromises of opinion and inclination, to maintain harmony and union among ourselves, and to preserve from all danger this hallowed ark of human hope and happiness. That differences of opinion should arise among men, on politics, on religion, and on every other topic of human inquiry, and that these should be freely expressed in a country where all our faculties are free, is to be expected. But these valuable privileges are much prevented when permitted to disturb the harmony of social intercourse, and to lesson the tolerance of opinion. To the honor of society here, it has been characterized by a just and generous liberality, and an indulgence of those affections which, without regard to political creeds, constitute the happiness of life. That the improvement of this city must proceed with sure and steady steps, follows from its many obvious advantages, and from the enterprizing spirit of its inhabitants, which promises to render it the fairest seat of wealth and science.
It is very gratifying to me that the general course of my administration is approved by my fellow citizens, and particularly that the motives of my retirement are satisfactory. I part with the powers entrusted to me by my country, as with a burthen of heavy bearing ; but it is with sincere regret that I part with the society in which I have lived here. It has been the source of much happiness to me during my residence at the seat of government, and I owe it much for its kind dispositions. I shall ever feel a high interest in the prosperity of the city, and an affectionate attachment to its inhabitants.
TO THE REPUBLICANS OF GEORGETOWN.
March 8, 1809. The affectionate address of the republicans of Georgetown on my retirement from public duty, is received with sincere pleasure. In the review of my political life, which they so indulgently take, if it be found that I have done my duty as other faithful citizens have done, it is all the merit I claim. Our lot has been cast on an awful period of human history. The contest which began with us, which ushered in the dawn of our national existence and led us through various and trying scenes, was for everything dear to free-born man. The principles on which we engaged, of which the charter of our independence is the record, were sanctioned by the laws of our being, and we but obeyed them in pursuing undeviatingly the course they called for. It issued finally in that inestimable state of freedom which alone can ensure to man the enjoyment of his equal rights. From the moment which sealed our peace and independence, our nation has wisely pursued the paths of peace and justice. During the period in which I have been charged with its concerns, no effort has been spared to exempt us from the wrongs and the rapacity of foreign nations, and with you I feel assured that no American will hesitate to rally round the standard of his insulted country, in defence of that freedom and independence achieved by the wisdom of sages, and consecrated by the blood of heroes.
The favorable testimony of those among whom I have lived, and lived happily as a fellow citizen, as a neighbor, and in the various relations of social life, will enliven the days of my retirement, and be felt and cherished with affection and gratitude.
I thank you, fellow citizens, for your kind prayers for my future happiness. I shall ever retain a lively sense of your friendly attentions, and continue to pray for your prosperity and well being.
TO STEPHEN CROSS, ESQ., TOPSHAM.
MONTICELLO, March 28, 1809. To the delegates from the various towns in the county of Essex and commonwealth of Massachusetts, assembled on the 20th of February, at Topsham.
The receipt of your kind address in the last moments of the session of Congress, will, I trust, offer a just apology for this late acknowledgment of it. I am very sensible of the indulgence with which you are so good as to review the measures of my late administration, and I feel for that indulgence the sentiments of gratitude it so justly calls for. The stand which has been made on behalf of our seamen enslaved and incarcerated in foreign ships, and against the prostration of our rights on the ocean under laws of nature acknowledged by all civilized nations, was an effort due to the protection of our commerce, and to that portion of our fellow citizens engaged in the pursuits of navigation. The opposition of the same portion to the vindication of their peculiar rights, has been as wonderful as the loyalty of their agricultural brethren in the assertion of them has been disinterested and meritorious. If the honor of the nation can be forgotten, whether the abandonment of the right of navigating the ocean may not be compensated by exemption from the wars it would produce, may be a question for our future councils, which the disclaimer of our navigating citizens may, if continued, relieve from the embarrasment of their rights.
Sincerely and affectionately attached to our national constitution, as the ark of our safety, and grand palladium of our peace and happiness, I learn with pleasure that the number of those in the county of Essex, who read and think for themselves, is great, and constituted of men who will never surrender but with their lives, the invaluable liberties achieved by their fathers. Their elevated minds put all to the hazard for a three penny duty on tea, by the same nation which now exacts a tribute equal to the value of half our exported produce.
I thank you, fellow citizens, for the kind interest you take in my future happiness, and I sincerely supplicate that overruling