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Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) To Francois Barbede Marbois

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08029 Author/Creator: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) Place Written: Monticello, [V.A.] Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 March 1782 Pagination: 3 p. 23.2 cm x 18.7 cm

Summary of Content: The delay in transmitting to Marbois letters containing his notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson states that he: "...was obliged by the movements of the enemy to retire from my house at the same time, to which I did not return till the month of August." Further delay was due to a few articles that were part of the collection which had to be sent for from far away.

Full Transcript: Monticello Mar. 24. 1782
Sir

I am very sorry that the papers I had taken the liberty to trouble you with have been so unfortunately delayed. I retired from office in the ...month of June last, and was obliged by the movements of the enemy to retire from my house at the same time, to which I did not return till the month of August. I immediately engaged in the work of digesting the materials I had collected in answer to your quaeries, and supplying their defects. This I completed in a short time, except as to some few articles, which requiring information from very distant parts of the country, I referred forwarding the whole to you till our assembly should meet in October, when I hoped to get the information I wanted. that meeting was unexpectedly protracted, so that I did not go to Richmond till December. on leaving that place without having had a good opportunity of sending my letter to you I [illegible] that & some others into the hands of the honourable [sic] mr Ambler, a member of the council, desiring he would forward them by some of those safe conveyances which I supposed government would have. on receipt of your favour of January 1782. the came uneasy lest they should have miscarried, and wrote to mr Ambler to be informed of the channel of conveyance. I take the liberty of subjoining his answer, as it will explain to you the cause of the one letter's being delayed, while it's com- Extract of a letter from the honble Jacquelen Ambler to J. Jefferson dated Richmond Mar. 16. 1782.
'When you left the letters with me, you seemed desirous that more attention should be paid to safety than dispatch in the conveyance of the two larger ones. I was not [insert] so particular therefore in forwarding the smaller letters; but reserved those for the President of Congress and Mons. Marbois to be sent by some hand that would not fail to deliver them safely. several weeks elapsing, and none such casting up, I was exceedingly uneasy, and asked the favour of mr Jamieson, who is personally know to Count Rochambeau, to inclose & recommend them to him to be forwarded: not doubting but they would go with much greater certainly by one of the Count's couriers than by any of the express riders from hence. The Count politely wrote in answer that he had sent them by a trusty messenger. I assure you I was very unhappy for their long detention and lament that did not think of the Count sooner.'
-panion went on safely.
The trifle which has exposed you to this detail has not worth a thought on your part; and I trouble you with it merely to satisfy you of attention I pay to your wishes. I hope before this you will have received it safely, and that it will have effected the sole purpose I could expect, which was that of shewing you with how much respect I have the honour of considering whatever comes from you, & of the very profound regard with which I am sir

Your most Obedt
& most humble sevt

Th: Jefferson
See More

People: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Barbé-Marbois, François, marquis de, 1745-1837

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: PresidentFranceRefugeesMilitary HistoryRevolutionary WarGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsLiterature and Language Arts

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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