I shall now remain silent, unless …


you complain of my not writing to you, writing has become so irksome to me that I have withdrawn from all correspondence, and scarcely answer any body’s letter. you are young and it is one of the best exercises for you. I shall hope therefore to hear from you often; but can write to you myself only when I have something to communicate or advise.

Source: To Francis Eppes, January 1, 1819

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

For many years, Jefferson had been a prolific letter writer. If someone wrote to him, he felt an obligation to reply. At age 76, he was tired of writing and responded only when he wanted to. His grandson Francis was troubled by losing his constant correspondent.

Late in life, these were Jefferson’s thoughts on letter-writing:
– It was a great exercise for the young, helping one organize and express thoughts.
– He wanted letters frequently from his grandson.
– He was old and would no longer reply to every letter.
– He would write only when he had news or advice to offer.

Keeping silent unless there was something newsworthy or beneficial to convey … good advice for anyone.

“Thank you very much for your splendid presentation
at our 104th Annual Conference and Exhibit.”

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Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739


The Moral Liberal 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.