The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


The public, and the public papers, have been much occupied lately in placing us in a point of opposition to each other. I confidently trust we have felt less of it ourselves. In the retired canton where I live, we know little of what is passing. Our last information from Philadelphia is of the 16th instant. At that date the issue of the late election seems not to have been known as a matter of fact. With me, however, its issue was never doubted. I knew the impossibility of your losing a single vote north of the Delaware; and even if you should lose that of Pennsylvania in the mass, you would get enough south of it to make your election sure. I never for a single moment expected any other issue; and though I shall not be believed, yet it is not the less true, that I never wished any other. My neighbors, as my compurgators, could aver this fact, as seeing my occupations and my attachment to them. It is possible, indeed, that even you may be cheated of your succession by a trick worthy the subtlety of your arch friend of New York, who has been able to make of your real friends tools for defeating their and your just wishes. Probably, however, he will be disappointed as to you; and my inclinations put me out of his reach. …And never since the day you signed the treaty of Paris, has our horizon been so overcast. I devoutly wish you may be able to shun for us this war, which will destroy our agriculture, commerce, and credit. If you do, the glory will be all your own. And that your administration may be filled with glory and happiness to yourself, and advantage to us, is the sincere prayer of one, who, though in the course of our voyage, various little incidents have happened or been contrived to separate us, yet retains for you the solid esteem of the times when we were working for our independence, and sentiments of sincere respect and attachment.

to John Adams, 28 December 1796