Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Peter Freneau, 11 September 1801, 31 August 1801

From Peter Freneau

Charleston, September 11th. 1801.


I do myself the honor of inclosing you a letter from Col. David Hopkins, a citizen of this State who has been confined for a considerable time past in gaol, for the non-payment of a penalty incurred under one of the revenue laws of the United States.   Before Mr Pinckney left this for Spain, he was kind enough to write a letter in behalf of Hopkins to Mr Gallatin. Since his departure Mr Gallatin has informed me that he is precluded from granting relief, the case having been decided on by the late Secretary Mr Wolcott, but that he would transmit the papers to you who alone could extend it. In consequence of this information Col. Hopkins has written the inclosed letter and requested me to forward it to you, nothing but a wish to serve an unfortunate man, who I really believe has erred through ignorance, could induce me to trespass on your time, I trust Sir, that this plea will be a sufficient excuse for my intrusion.

With the most perfect respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient & Very humble Servant

Peter Freneau

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Oct. and so recorded in SJL with notation “Hopkins pardon”; also endorsed by TJ: “refd. to the Secy. of the Treasury. Th:J Oct. 3 1801”; notation by Gallatin: “A pardon has been signed by the President & transmitted to Mr Freneau—A.G.”

On 4 June, Charles Pinckney had written Gallatin in behalf of David Hopkins, enclosing correspondence between Hopkins and Freneau and requesting that the secretary exercise his “humane interference in favor of an aged sufferer under the excise” (Gallatin, Papers description begins Carl E. Prince and Helene E. Fineman, eds., The Papers of Albert Gallatin, microfilm edition in 46 reels, Philadelphia, 1969, and Supplement, Barbara B. Oberg, ed., reels 47–51, Wilmington, Del., 1985 description ends , 5:96).

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