To Elias Glover
Monticello Jan. 13. 10
Your letter of Dec. 10. is safely recieved as had been that of Nov. 1. I have not examined my papers to see if I have the letter from Matthew Nimmo of Nov. 28. 1806. which you ask for. I have no recollection whether I recieved such a letter. but it is not on that ground I decline looking for & communicating it. besides the general principles of law & reason which render correspondences even between private individuals sacredly secret, in my late official station they are peculiarly so. it was necessary for me to obtain information of every thing which could be used for any public service. to encourage this it was my duty to have it understood that those who gave me information should never be betrayed. it was also doubtless my duty, never on insufficient information, to form an injurious opinion even, of an individual accused, but to use the information merely to put me on the track of enquiry & verification. I have therefore regularly declined all communications of letters sent to me in order that they might be used against the writer: and I trust so much in your candor & good sense as to believe you will, on reflection, think I am right in so doing; assuring you at the same time of my esteem & respect.
PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Elias Glover”; endorsed by TJ.
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