11.06.2014

Sec'y of the Navy Jones to his wife


November 6, 1814

Letter from Secretary of the Navy Jones to his wife after the successful defense of Fort Mc Henry; Jones planned to resign on 1 December 1814

“May God preserve all things right at least till after the 1st of December…Though all is well and my reputation high I feel as if I was standing upon gunpowder with a slow match near it. Public expectation is so extravagant, opinion so capricious, and prejudice and ignorance so predominant, that millions would not tempt me to stay one year longer…Though I am laboring to smooth the way for my successor I commiserate him with all my heart whoever he may be I predict his ruin if the war continues….

After all I shall return to your arms a beggar with the proceeds of our surplus furniture carriage and horses and a few dollars scraped from the late savings in all perhaps sufficient to support us 12 or 18 months in retired economy. Well never mind it, I shall return with a pure heart and peace of mind as cheerful as a lark and with sufficient common sense to keep out of the snare of public life.”

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