ALS signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 8 x 9.75, May 12, 1822. Letter to James Madison, "Mr. Madison," written from Monticello. In full: "I thank you for the communication of Mr. Rush's letter which I now return. Mr. Bentham's character of Alexander is I believe just and that worse traits might still be added to it equally just. He is now certainly become the watchman of tyranny for Europe, as dear to its oppressors as detestable to the oppressed. If however he should engage in war with the Turks, as I expect, his employment there may give opportunities for the friends of liberty to proceed in their work. I set out for Bedford tomorrow to be absent three weeks. I salute you with constant and affectionate friendship and respect." In fine condition, with strips of light toning to the top and right edges.
In early March, Richard Rush had sent a letter to Madison discussing several significant subjects, one being the tense situation between Turkey and Russia, fomented by the Greek War of Independence. Rush related philosopher Jeremy Bentham's criticism of the Russian leader, Emperor Alexander I, writing: 'Mr. Bentham says, that Alexander, unhappily for the power which he wields, is both a fop and a hypocrite, the most so that Europe has seen for ages. He anticipates nothing advantageous, but much of harm, to human liberty, from his reign.' A keen observer of international affairs, Jefferson's expectation of war between Russia and the Turks would be proven correct at the end of the decade: though Alexander I died in 1825, his successor, Nicholas I, went to war with the Ottoman Empire in 1828. A fantastic letter connecting the great political minds and figures of the 18th and 19th centuries.
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