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Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) to [Philip Mazzei] re: Virginia loan in Europe & British blockade of Charleston

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03735 Author/Creator: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) Place Written: Richmond Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 12 May 1780 Pagination: 1 p. 18.7 x 30.1 cm

Summary of Content: Written as Gov. of Virginia. Jefferson alludes at the end to his hopes that Gen. Benjamin Lincoln would hold Charleston, but his hopes were dashed in the event.

Background Information: Notes: Not in Boyd vol. 3. Contrary to Governor Jefferson's hopes, General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered Charleston with his entire army to the British on the very day Jefferson wrote this letter (...not in 1779, as DAB says).See More

Full Transcript: Richmond May 12. 1780.
Dear Sir
Your letter of Nov. 27. 1779 from Nantes came safely to hand on the 6th. of April last. The Fier Rodrigue being not yet sailed, enabled me to ...answer it. Three copies of your duplicates & instructions were sent by different conveyances since you left us; so that we have great hopes they have come safe to hand: the present however being a very safe conveyance, another set will accompany this letter. Mr. Penet's house acted very prudently in refusing to supply Moebal with money on our account as he [struck: had] was charged with no business whatever from us. He had been an officer in our state troops, and on occasion of some disgust had resigned and left the continent. It was found most expedient after your departure to relinquish the purpose of sending mr Smith to Europe, & to put on you the execution of his duties, as you will perceive by the instructions. I think in the course of some conversations I had with you I mentioned it as my private opinion that if you should succeed in obtaining the loan we desired, it would be better not to agree that [struck: the] interest should commence until the money be actually called for. I am still strongly of that opinion & am authorized to advise you to provide for this; as it is not our purpose to draw any part of the loan from Europe in the form of money. I hope mr. Penet's house found it convenient to furnish you the money expected from them, as no relief from hence subsequent to the receipt of your letter could reach you in time. We had been very attentive to the strengthening their hands as far as we have been able. Six hundred hogshead of tobacco were [struck: shipped] [inserted: consigned] them in two ships of mr. Haywood, and two hundred are consigned them by the Franklin which now goes under convoy of the Fier Rodrigue. Besides this we have paid here on orders from mr Penet between thirty & forty thousand pounds, our currency.
Since my last no great change in our military affairs has come to our knolege. The enemy have posted themselves on the neck of land behind Charlestown. The reinforcements under Woodford, Scott & Hagan had arrived there when our last advices came away (which was Apr. 15.) The movements of the enemy indicated an intention of proceeding by way of blockade. The town being well stored with provisions will give time for relief both by land & water. The latter would be a capital stroke as their fleet and army would both fall. I am Dr. Sir with much esteem
Your friend & servt.
Th: Jefferson

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People: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733-1810
Mazzei, Filippo, 1730-1816

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: PresidentRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyFinanceNavyBlockadeBattle

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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