From James Monroe
Richmond Novr. 17. 1801.
The arrival of Mr. Purviance in the U States furnishes me with an occasion to make known to you his merit. He was a member of my family for sometime while I was in France, often present in my interviews with the French govt., and always in my confidence while I remain’d there, so that I speak of him without reserve, as a man of perfect integrity, excellent understanding & rare prudence. He is a man of delicacy & modesty, one with whom it is impossible to become acquainted & not interested in his fortune. What his views are I cannot say but whatever they may be I have felt it a duty I owed him to present him to you in the light in which he ought to be viewed.
You will not forget the answer I am to expect from you on my letter relative to the purchase of land for certain purposes. The legislature will expect a communication from me on that subject. with great respect
I am yr. fnd. & servant
RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 21 Nov. and so recorded in SJL.
Monroe’s letter relative to the purchase of land was the first letter from him printed at 15 June 1801 (Vol. 34:345–7). At the request of the Virginia legislature, Monroe consulted TJ about finding some location “without the limits of this state, to which persons obnoxious to the laws or dangerous to the peace of society may be removed.” When TJ answered that letter on 21 July, he thought he might be able to discuss that “difficult” subject with Monroe in person during his visit to Virginia later in the summer.