Manuscript/Mixed Material Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Smith Barton, February 14, 1801

About this Item

TO DR. BENJAMIN SMITH BARTON1

1 From the original in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Washington, Feb. 14, 1801.

Dear Sir, —Your favor of Jan. 18 is duly received. The subject of it did not need apology. On the contrary, should I be placed in office, nothing would be more desirable to me than the recommendations of those in whom I have confidence, of persons fit for office; for if the good withhold their testimony, we shall be at the mercy of the bad. If the question relative to Mr. Zantzinger had been merely that of remaining in office, your letter would have placed him on very safe ground. Besides that, no man who has conducted himself according to his duties would have anything to fear from me, as those who have done ill would have nothing to hope, be their political principles what they might. The obtaining an appointment presents more difficulties. The republicans have been excluded from all offices from the first origin of the division into Republican and Federalist. They have a reasonable claim to vacancies till they occupy their due share. My hope however is that the distinction will be soon lost, or at most that it will be only of republican & monarchist: that the body of the nation, even that part which French excesses forced over to the federal side, will rejoin the republicans, leaving only those who were pure monarchists, and who will be too few to form a sect. This is the fourth day of the ballot, and nothing done; nor do I see any reason to suppose the six and a half States here will be less firm, as they call it, than your 13. Senators; if so, and the government should expire on the 3d of March by the loss of it's head, there is no regular provision for reorganizing it, nor any authority but in the people themselves. They may authorize a convention to reorganize & even to amend the machine. There are 10. individuals in the H of R, any one of whom changing his vote may save us this troublesome operation. Be pleased to present my friendly respects to Mrs. Barton, Mrs. Sarjeant, and Mrs. Waters, and to accept yourself my affectionate salutations.

About this Item

Title
Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Smith Barton, February 14, 1801
Created / Published
1801-02-14
Subject Headings
-  Correspondence
Genre
Correspondence
Call Number/Physical Location
series: Series 1: General Correspondence. 1651-1827
Microfilm Reel: 022
Source Collection
The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress
Repository
Manuscript Division
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib009643
Language
English
Online Format
image
online text
pdf

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is providing access to The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress for noncommercial, educational and research purposes. While the Library is not aware of any copyrights or other rights associated with this Collection, the written permission of any copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for reproduction, distribution, or other use of any protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with the persons desiring to use the item.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division.

The following items are included in this Collection with permission:

The essay "American Sphinx: The Contradictions of Thomas Jefferson" by Joseph J. Ellis was originally published in the November-December 1994 issue of Civilization: The Magazine of the Library of Congress and may not be reprinted in any other form or by any other source.

The essay "The Jamestown Records of the Virginia Company of London: A Conservator's Perspective" by Sylvia R. Albro and Holly H. Krueger was originally published in a slightly different form in Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of the Institute of Paper Conservation, 6-9 April 1997 and may not be reprinted in any other form or by any other source.

Rembrandt Peale's 1800 Thomas Jefferson portrait on the Thomas Jefferson Time Line is from the White House Collection, courtesy of the White House Historical Association.

The image of Thomas Jefferson on the home page is from a photomechanical print held in the Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division, Presidential File, and is a reproduction of the popular 1805 Rembrandt Peale portrait in the collection of the New-York Historical Society.

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Chicago citation style:

Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Smith Barton. -02-14, 1801. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/mtjbib009643/.

APA citation style:

(1801) Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Smith Barton. -02-14. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mtjbib009643/.

MLA citation style:

Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Smith Barton. -02-14, 1801. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mtjbib009643/>.