Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Barron, September 1780

To James Barron

In Council September 1780


The inclosed deposition will inform you of the reason we have [to] believe that the inhabitants of the Tangier islands supply the enemy’s cruizers in the bay with provisions. We have therefore adopted the only legal method we have of drawing from them their surplus of provisions. We think it will be prudent to leave them no more than what is absolutely requisite for their own subsistance. You will of course be obliged to execute this business principally by deputy and as to the mode of getting their cattle which we are told are nearly wild we leave it to yourself to contrive. I suppose they must be slaughtered and salted there, for which reason I inclose you an order for salt. I really think the effecting this business immediately and fully an object of consequence. I write to the governor of Maryland on the same subject not doubting they will pay attention to their part of the same islands equally culpable with ours.

I am sir Your very hble servant,

Th: Jefferson

FC (Vi, photostat from Brit. Mus.: Add. MSS 38,650). Enclosures not further identified. The letter was probably written before 13 Sep. 1780, the date of the last letter in the Governor’s Letter Book in the British Museum.

The Tangier Islands: In Chesapeake Bay opposite and northward of the mouth of the Potomac, dividing Tangier Sound from the Bay; these islands lie partly in Virginia and partly in Maryland (Lippincott’s Gazetteer of the World, Phila., 1882). TJ’s letter to the Governor of Maryland on this subject is missing.

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