Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO WILLIAM SHORT - The Works, vol. 11 (Correspondence and Papers 1808-1816)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO WILLIAM SHORT - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 11 (Correspondence and Papers 1808-1816) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 11.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO WILLIAM SHORT
Washington, March 8, 1809
—It is with much concern I inform you that the Senate has negatived your appointment. We thought it best to keep back the nomination to the close of the session, that the mission might remain secret as long as possible, which you know was our purpose from the beginning. It was then sent in with an explanation of its object and motives. We took for granted, if any hesitation should arise, that the Senate would take time, and that our friends in that body would make inquiries of us, and give us the opportunity of explaining and removing objections. But to our great surprise, and with an unexampled precipitancy, they rejected it at once. This reception of the last of my official communications to them, could not be unfelt, nor were the causes of it spoken out by them. Under this uncertainty, Mr. Madison, on his entering into office, proposed another person, (John Q. Adams.) He also was negatived, and they adjourned sine die. Our subsequent information was that, on your nomination, your long absence from this country, and their idea that you do not intend to return to it, had very sensible weight; but that all other motives were superseded by an unwillingness to extend our diplomatic connections, and a desire even to recall the foreign ministers we already have. All were sensible of the great virtues, the high character, the powerful influence, and valuable friendship of the emperor. But riveted to the system of unentanglement with Europe, they declined the proposition. On this subject you will receive the official explanations from Mr. Smith, the Secretary of State. I pray you to place me rectus in curiâ in this business with the emperor, and to assure him that I carry into my retirement the highest veneration for his virtues, and fondly cherish the belief that his dispositions and power are destined by heaven to better, in some degree at least, the condition of oppressed man.
I have nothing new to inform you as to your private friends or acquaintances. Our embargo has worked hard. It has in fact federalized three of the New England States. Connecticut you know was so before. We have substituted for it a non-intercourse with France and England and their dependencies, and a trade to all other places. It is probable the belligerents will take our vessels under their edicts, in which case we shall probably declare war against them.
I write this in the midst of packing and preparing for my departure, of visits of leave, and interruptions of every kind. I must therefore conclude with my affectionate adieu to you, and assurances of my constant attachment and respect.