1840 Albemarle Resolution Thomas Jefferson Anti-religion 8 Pages Rives
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1840 Albemarle Resolution Thomas Jefferson Anti-religion 8 Pages Rives:
1840 Albemarle ResolutionThomas JeffersonAnti-Religion 8 Pages RivesHandwritten Alexander Rives Accusations JeffersonThis is a wonderful and important 8 page handwritten document.It is believed to have been written by Albemarle, Virginia judge Alexander Rives as it is noted as being written from Carlton, which was the name of Rives’ estate near Monticello.It was written to Thomas W Maury in Charlottesville in July of 1840.The document is dealing with accusations against Thomas Jefferson by the Rev Stephen Tyng, an Episcopal minister who called into question Jefferson’s religion even saying that Jefferson worked against the cause of Christianity.Tyng’s accusations were partially based on supposed interviews he did with residents of Charlottesville that resided near Jefferson.The document is written as a rebuttal to public comments by Tyng by a group from Charlottesville.A similar document is found in Randall’s The Life of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 3 676-678, but there is a different wording to the document and Randall references the dates of the meeting as later than this letter.Plus Thomas W Maury is listed in the committee that assembled.It is very possible that this document was formed from a preliminary meeting and then at the final meeting later in July they agreed on the document referenced by Randall, as there are significant differences in the two.The committee that was assembled included: William C Rives, Lucian Minor, Thomas Wood, Thomas W Maury, Terrell, Isaac A Coles, John T Brown John II Craven, John Timber, Robert H Carter, Allan W Magruder, Gen William F Gordon, Col Nimrod, Charles J Merriwether, Col Thomas Durrett, Walter Coles Reuben, Col George W Kinsolving, Thomas II Brown, Richard Gamble, and Alonzo Gooch.It is a wonderful original document dealing with the religious views of Jefferson even referencing his views on Religious Freedom.It is guaranteed original and in good condition.Here is a sample of what is contained in the document:The people here assembled have witnessed the appearance from the Public Print Press of a letter of an eminent Divine written on the occasion of his recent visit to the neighborhood containing disparaging reflections on the character of their late distinguishable countryman, Thomas Jefferson and imputing to them, sentiments of disrespect for his memory.The wide diffusion, which will be given to these injurious representations and the sanction they carry with them from the elevated reputation of their author whose ability and eloquence in the sacred desk could nowhere have made a more favorable impression than they did on this community…to demand of those now present some formal and public notice…Those whose cordial and approving welcome greeted Jefferson’s final return among them from the cares of public office…the touching terms in which he the more gratefully acknowledged their homage or as proceeding from eye witnesses and observers would be culpably indifferent if they did not interpose to shield his life…from unmerited censure.If Dr Tyng the author of the letter referred to had limited himself to the expression of his individual opinions concerning Mr Jefferson however the sensibilities of this community might have been wounded by his discovery.As he says, he had no respect for him while living and every view of his character and influence since his death, had increased his abhorrence, had he only indulged his fancy in seeking, to illustrate his character by the defacement of his monument and the desolation around it, and after dwelling upon these scenes of ruin, and decay found it in his heart unsoftened by the spectacle of human weakness and steeled for the moment by prejudice against the impressions of Christian charity to exclaim, so let all thine enemies perish, O Lord…To find him asserting before the world, that Mr Jefferson had spent his life in opposing the cause of Christianity, and again, I have never heard his name spoken with so little respect and so much aversion as in this very neighborhood in which he lived and died.I had never conceived his character so bad as I have found it here.It must necessarily kindle excitement and arouse indignation if indeed the representation be as we believe wholly unfounded.Under such circumstances to permit it to pass unnoticed would be to sanction it.We design no defence of Mr Jefferson’s views of Theology.He entertained and expressed them under the sanction of that Statute for Religious Freedom which constitutes one of the most important titles to fame and commands the gratitude of every pious Christian who contemplates the accelerated progress of his Holy Cause when freed from the clogs of secular power.To whatever just exception they are exposed they give no support to the idea that he spent his life in opposing Christianity.He had none of the spirit of Proselytism…He was in habits of regular attendance upon divine worship, liberal in his subscription to churches, and it is worthy of remark, he gave the largest donation towards building the very church in which the late Convention held its sittings in this place.These acts were surely singular modes of strengthening the opposition to which he is said to have devoted his life…We do not desire to tear off the veil which conceals those whose communications may have laid the foundation for this outrage upon the sensibilities of this community; their shame, consists in the secrecy of their attacks and their punishments, in an hourly and painfully dread of disclosure under the influence of these sentiments, it is, as the sense of this meeting that Dr Tyng in his recent letter published in the Episcopal Recorder of Philadelphia of the ? has most unjustly charged Mr Jefferson with spending his life in opposing the cause of committed equal violence against his memory and their reverential regard for that in the opinion of this meeting, Dr Tyng owes it to the cause of truth and his own high character to retract these offensive and unfounded charges and by such amends to prove his magnanimity and to show his error was venial and not the result of settled in the Episcopal Recorder and that copies also be sent to the Editor of the newspapers, published in this place, and the City of Richmond with a request for their early admission in their respective papers…Dear Maury, Carlton, 9thJuly 1840Above I hand you for your consideration according to promise, what seems to me compatible with the calmness and dignity of a public meeting, deliberating on Dr T’s libelous affrontBe sure to add me to your favorites list!