Thomas Jefferson Letter to Robert Walsh (1/22/1820)

Citation Information: Thomas Jefferson, “Thomas Jefferson Letter to Robert Walsh,” in Ford, Paul Leicester, ed. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson. 12 vols. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905. 156. January 22, 1820.

Monticello Feb. 6. 20.

  1. DEAR SIR,—Continual ill health for 18. months past had nearly ended the business of letter-writing with me. I cannot however but make an effort to thank you for your vindicia Americana against Gr. Britain. The malevolence and impertinence of her critics & writers really called for the rod, and I rejoiced when I heard it was in hands so able to wield it with strength and correctness. Your work will furnish the Ist volume of every future American history; the Ante-revolutionary part especially. The latter part will silence the libellists of the day, who finding refutation impossible, and that men in glass houses should not provoke a war of stones, will be glad of a truce, to hush and be done with it. I wish that, being placed on the vantage ground by these researches and expositions of facts, our own citizens and our antagonists would now bury the hatchet and join in a mutual amnesty. No two nations on earth can be so helpful to each other as friends, nor so hurtful as enemies. And, in spite of their insolence I have ever wished for an honorable and cordial amity with them as a nation. I think the looking glass you have held up to them will now so compleatly humble their pride as to dispose them also to wish and court it.
  2. Here I must lay down my pen with affectionate salutations to you, and on whichever side of the Styx I may be, with cordial wishes for your health, prosperity and happiness.