Extract from Thomas Jefferson to George Logan

I recieved last night a letter from mr Thomas Brannagan ... the cause in which he embarks is so holy, the sentiments he expresses in his letter so friendly that it is highly painful to me to hesitate on a compliance which appears so small. but that is not it’s true character, and it would be injurious, even to his views, for me to commit myself on paper by answering his letter. I have most carefully avoided every public act or manifestation on that subject. should an occasion ever occur in which I can interpose with decisive effect, I shall certainly know & do my duty with promptitude and zeal. but in the mean time it would only be disarming myself of influence to be taking small means.   the subscription to a book on this subject is one of those little irritating measures which, without advancing it's end at all, would, by lessening the confidence & good will of a description of friends composing a large body, only lessen my powers of doing them good in the other great relations in which I stand to the publick. yet I cannot be easy in not answering mr Brannagan's letter unless he can be made sensible that it is better I should not answer it; & I do not know how to effect this, unless you would have the goodness, the first time you go to Philadelphia, to see him and to enter into an explanation with him.

RC (PHi). PoC (DLC).
1Word interlined.
Author
Thomas Jefferson
Recipient
George Logan
Date Range
Date
May 11, 1805
Collection
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Quote Category