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Thomas Jefferson to [William Cabell] Rives, 28 November 1[819]

Dear Sir,

The distresses of our country, produc[ed first] by the flood, then by the ebb of bank paper are such [as cannot] fail to engage the interposition of the Legislature. [Many] propositions will of course be offered, from all of which [some]thing may probably be culled to make a good whole. I exp[lained] to you my project, when I had the pleasure of possessing yo[u] here; and I now send its outline in writing, as I believe I promised you. Altho' preferable things will I hope be offered, yet some twig of this may perhaps be thought worthy of being engrafted on a better stock. But I send it with no particular object or request, but to use it as you please. Suppress it, suggest it, soun[d] opinions, or any thing else at will, only keeping my name unmentioned, for which purpose it is copied in another hand, bein[g] ever solicitous to avoid all offence which is heavily felt when retired from the bustle and contention of the world. If we suffer the m[oral] of the present lesson to pass away without improvement, by the e[ternal] suppression of bank paper, then indeed is the condition of our coun[try] desperate, until the slow advance of public instruction shall give to [our] functionaries the wisdom of their station. Vale, et tibi pers[uade] carissimum te mihi esse.

Th: Jefferson

Mr Jeffersons

Bank notions

The original in the MVB Papers (DLC), seen in the first two images below, was damaged. A copy located in the Jefferson Papers (DLC), seen in the third image below, was used to complete the above transcription, as noted by the brackets. A printed copy of the letter also appears in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, vol. 15 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018), 249.

Thomas Jefferson to William Cabell Rives, 28 November 1819Thomas Jefferson to William Cabell Rives, 28 November 1819Thomas Jefferson to William Cabell Rives, 28 November 1819
Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 3 (17 February 1815-2 December 1821)