Manuscript/Mixed Material Image 1 of Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, February 14, 1815, with Postscript Dated February 26

About this Item

TO WILLIAM H. CRAWFORD J. MSS. (MINISTER TO FRANCE.)

Monticello, February 11, 1815.

Dear Sir, —I have to thank you for your letter of June 16th. It presents those special views of the state of things in Europe, for which we look in vain into newspapers. They tell us only of the downfall of Bonaparte, but nothing of the temper, the views, the secret workings of the high agents in these transactions. Although we neither expected, nor wished any act of friendship from Bonaparte, and always detested him as a tyrant, yet he gave employment to much of the force of the nation who was our common enemy. So far, his downfall was illy timed for us; it gave to England an opportunity to turn full-handed on us, when we were unprepared. No matter, we can beat her on our own soil, leaving the laws of the ocean to be settled by the maritime powers of Europe, who are equally oppressed and insulted by the usurpations of England on that element. Our particular and separate grievance is only the impressment of our citizens. We must sacrifice the last dollar and drop of blood to rid us of that badge of slavery; and it must rest with England alone to say whether it is worth eternal war, for eternal it must be if she holds to the wrong. She will probably find that the six thousand citizens she took from us by impressment have already cost her ten thousand guineas a man, and will cost her, in addition, the half of that annually, during the continuance of the war, besides the captures on the ocean, and the loss of our commerce. She might certainly find cheaper means of manning her fleet, or, if to be manned at this expense, her fleet will break her down. The first year of our warfare by land was disastrous. Detroit, Queenstown, Frenchtown, and Beaver Dam, witness that. But the second was generally successful, and the third entirely so, both by sea and land. For I set down the coup de main at Washington as more disgraceful to England than to us. The victories of the last year at Chippewa, Niagara, Fort Erie, Plattsburg, and New Orleans, the capture of their two fleets on Lakes Erie and Champlain, and repeated triumphs of our frigates over hers, whenever engaging with equal force,

About this Item

Title
Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, February 14, 1815, with Postscript Dated February 26
Created / Published
1815-02-14
Subject Headings
-  Correspondence
Genre
Correspondence
Notes
-  with Postscript Dated February 26
Call Number/Physical Location
series: Series 1: General Correspondence. 1651-1827
Microfilm Reel: 047
Source Collection
The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress
Repository
Manuscript Division
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib020990
Online Format
image
online text
pdf

Rights & Access

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

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.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, February 14, 1815, with Postscript Dated February 26. -02-14, 1815. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mtjbib020990/. (Accessed January 17, 2018.)

APA citation style:

(1815) Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, February 14, 1815, with Postscript Dated February 26. -02-14. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mtjbib020990/.

MLA citation style:

Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, February 14, 1815, with Postscript Dated February 26. -02-14, 1815. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/mtjbib020990/>.