Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thomas Jefferson Chews Out End of Worlder:

With polite code.

From Thomas Jefferson to Reverend David Austin, January 21, 1802. The good Presbyterian Reverend convinced a following in New Jersey that Christ would return in May, 1776, the fourth sabbath. After he went bankrupt he "flooded" Jefferson's administration with requests for government jobs (see Lenni Brenner's book, p. 165).

To which TJ responded:

Having daily to read voluminous letters & documents for the dispatch of the public affairs, your letters have condemned a portion of my time which duty forbids me any longer to devote to them. Your talents as a divine I hold in due respect, but of their employment in a political line I must be allowed to judge for myself, bound as I am to select those which I suppose best suited to the public service. Of the special communications to you of his will by the supreme being, I can have no evidence and therefore must ascribe [all of] them to the false perceptions of your mind. It is with real pain that I find myself at length obliged to say in [common] terms what I had hoped you would have inferred from silence. Accept my respects & best wishes.

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