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Feb 2 1812: Jefferson to Galloway


On February 2, 1812, Thomas Jefferson writes to Benjamin Galloway the following letter:
Monticello, February 2, 1812
SIR
I duly received your favor of the 1st instant, together with the volume accompanying it, for which I pray you to accept my thanks, and to be so kind as to convey them to Mrs. Debutts also, to whose obliging care I am indebted for its transmission.  But especially my thanks are due to the author himself for the honorable mention he has made of me.  With the exception of two or three characters of greater eminence in the revolution, we formed a group of fellow laborers in the common cause, animated by a common zeal, and claiming no distinction of one over another.
The spirit of freedom, breathed through the whole of Mr. Northmore’s composition, is really worthy of the purest times of Greece and Rome.  It would have been received in England, in the days of Hampden and Sidney, with more favor than at this time.  It marks a high and independent mind in the author, one capable of rising above the partialities of country, to have seen in the adversary cause that of justice and freedom, and to have estimated fairly the motives and actions of those engaged in its support.  I hope and firmly believe that the whole world will, sooner or later, feel benefit from the issue of our assertion of the rights of man.  Although the horrors of the French Revolution have damped for awhile the ardor of the patriots in every country, yet it is not extinguished—it will never die.  The sense of right has been excited in every breast, and the spark will be rekindled by the very oppressions of that detestable tyranny employed to quench it.  The errors of the honest patriots of France, and the crimes of her Dantons and Robespierres, will be forgotten in the more encouraging contemplation of our sober example, and steady March to our object.  Hope will strengthen the presumption that what has been done once may be done again.  As you have been the channel of my receiving this mark of attention from Mr. Northmore, I must pray you to be that of conveying to him my thanks, and an assurance of the high sense I have of the merit of his work, and of its tendency to cherish the noblest virtues of the human character.
On the political events of the day I have nothing to communicate. I have retired from them, and given up newspapers for more classical reading.  I add, therefore, only the assurances of my great esteem and respect.


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