A faded flower for a faithful friend!


Th: Jefferson presents his respectful salutations to mrs. Smith, and sends her the Geranium she expressed a willingness to receive. it is in very bad condition, having been neglected latterly, as not intended to be removed. he cannot give it his parting blessing more effectually than by consigning it to the nourishing hand of mrs. Smith. If plants have sensibility, as the analogy of their organisation with ours seems to indicate, it cannot but be proudly sensible of her fostering attentions. of his regrets at parting with the society of Washington, a very sensible portion attaches to mrs. Smith, whose friendship he has particularly valued. her promise to visit Monticello is some consolation; and he can assure her she will be received with open arms and hearts by the whole family.
he prays her to accept the homage of his affectionate attachment and respect.

Source: To mrs. Samuel H. Smith Washington, Mar. 6, 1809

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

(Re)Tired Leaders appreciate faithful friends.

A weary Thomas Jefferson had turned the Presidency over to James Madison two days earlier, ending a public career that spanned 40 years. He was packing up, more than ready to return to his beloved Monticello.

Margaret Bayard Smith
, 31, and her husband, Samuel Harrison Smith, 37, were close friends. A few years earlier, with Jefferson’s support, Mr. Smith founded the republican newspaper National Intelligencer in Washington City. Mrs. Smith was a noted author in her own right.

Mrs. Smith must have asked for this flower, and Jefferson honored that request. He confessed he had no plans to take the plant with him and had neglected it. No doubt, she could revive its flowering beauty.

Jefferson’s only regret at leaving Washington was separation from friends who lived there. He attached special significance to her friendship. (He especially enjoyed the company of intellectual women.) She promised to visit him, and he pledged his entire family would welcome her “with open arms and hearts.”

“We could not have asked for a better keynote presenter
to set the tone for our conference theme, “Prepared to Lead.” ” 
Nevada Association of Counties

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Self-Educated American Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

His business address is ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com.