January 8 1812: Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Sully

On January 8, 1812, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Thomas Sully as follows:
I have duly received your favor of December 22d, informing me that the society of artists of the United States had made me an honorary member of their society.  I am very justly sensible of the honor they have done me, and I pray you to return them my thanks for this mark of their distinction. I fear that I can be but a very useless associate.  Time, which withers the fancy, as the other faculties of the mind and body, presses on me with a heavy hand, and distance intercepts all personal intercourse.  I can offer, therefore, but my zealous good wishes for the success of the institution, and that, embellishing with taste a country already overflowing with the useful productions, it may be able to give an innocent and pleasing direction to accumulations of wealth, which would otherwise be employed in the nourishment of coarse and vicious habits.  With these I tender to the society and to yourself the assurances of my high respect and consideration.

Sully was a portrait painter of some fame in America. He also painted most of the famous people of his time, including Thomas Jefferson.

                                                          Thomas Jefferson by Thomas Sully: Source

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