Transcript for: Jefferson to Marc-Antoine Jullien


SIR,—Your favor of March 30th, 1817, came to my hands on the 1st of March, 1818. While the statement it contained of the many instances of your attention in sending to me your different writings was truly flattering, it was equally mortifying to perceive that two only of the eight it enumerates, had ever come to my hands; and that both of my acknowledgments of these had miscarried also. Your first favor of November 5th, 1809, was received by me on the 6th of May, 1810, and was answered on the 15th of July of the same year, with an acknowledgment of the receipt of your “Essai general d ‘education physique morale, et intellectuelle,” and of the high sense I entertained of its utility. I do not recollect through what channel I sent this answer, but have little doubt that it was through the office of our Secretary of State, and our minister then at the court of France.

In a letter from Mr. E. I. Dupont of August II, 1817, I received the favor of your “Esquisse d’un ouvrage sur l’education comparée, ” which he said had been received by his father a few days before his death ; and on the 9th of September, 1817 I answered his letter, in which was the following paragraph
” I duly received the pamphlet of M. Jullien on Education, to whom I had been indebted some years before for a valuable work on the same subject. Of this I expressed to him my high estimation in a letter of thanks, which I trust he received. The present pamphlet is an additional proof of his useful assiduities on this interesting subject, which, if the condition of man is to be progressively ameliorated, as we fondly hope and believe, is to be the chief instrument in effecting it.” I hoped that Mr. E. I. Dupont, in acknowledging to you the receipt of your letter to his father, would be the channel of conveying to you my thanks, as he was to me of the work for which they were rendered. Be assured, Sir, that not another scrip, either written or printed, ever came to me from you; and that I was incapable of omitting the acknowledgments they called for, and of the neglect which vou have had so much reason to imputeto me. I know well the uncertainty of transmissions across the Atlantic, but never before experienced such a train of them as has taken place in your favors and my acknowledgments of them. You will perceive that the letter I am now answering was eleven months on its passage to me.

The distance between the scenes of action of General Kosciusko and myself, during our Revolutionary war,—his in the military, mine in the civil department,—was such, that I could give no particulars of the part he acted in that war. But immediately on the receipt of your letter, I wrote to General Armstrong, who had been his companion in arms, and an aid to General Gates, with whom General Kosciusko mostly served, and requested him to give me all the details within his knowledge; informing him for whom, and for what purpose they were asked. I received, two days ago only, the paper of which the enclosed is a copy, and copied by myself, because the original is in such a handwriting as I am confident no foreigner could ever decypher. However heavily pressed by the hand of age, and unequal to the duties of punctual correspondence, of which my friends generally would have a right to complain, if the cause depended on myself, I am happy to find that in that with yourself there has been no ground of reproach. Least of all things could I have omitted any researches within my power which might do justice to the memory of General Kosciusko, the brave auxiliary of my country in its struggle for liberty, and, from the year 1797, when our particular acquaintance began, my most intimate and much beloved friend. On his last departure from the United States in 1798, he left in my hands an instrument appropriating after his death all the property he had in our public funds, the price of his military services here, to the education and emancipation of as many of the children of bondage in this country as it should be adequate to. I am now too old to undertake a business de si longue haleine; but I am taking measures to place it in such hands as will ensure a faithful discharge of the philanthropic intentions of the donor. I learn with pleasure your continued efforts for the instruction of the future generations of men, and, believing it the only means of effectuating their rights, I wish them all possible success, and to yourself the eternal gratitude of those who will feel their benefits, and beg leave to add the assurance of my high esteem and respect.