Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Graham to Thomas Jefferson, 24 May 1810

From John Graham

Washington 24th May 1810

Dear Sir

I fear you will be greatly surprised when you hear that the Letter which you sent to me, some months since for General Kosciuzko, is yet in my possession. you stated it to be confidential, and directed it to be sent with our Despatches. Since it came to my hands, no Despatch vessel has been sent to France, nor have we had for our communications to General armstrong, any conveyance which could be depended on for safety. I do not understand that there is any probability that a Dispatch vessel will soon be sent out. I am therefore at a loss what to do; but unless you give directions to the contrary I shall run the risque of sending it by the vessel mentioned in the inclosed Letter from Genl Bailey, taking care to have it put under cover as you direct, and placed in the hands of some Gentleman who is going to Paris.

Understanding that Mr Short had passed over to England I sent the Letter for him under cover to Mr Pinkney per Mr Parish who sails from Phia on Sunday and has promised the Secretary of State to deliver in Person his Despatches to Mr Pinkn[ey.]

I beg you to beleive, Sir, that my anxiety to get a safe conveyance for these Letters has been the sole cause of my keeping them so long.

With Sentiments of the Highest Respect I have the Honor to be Si[r] your most obt S[ert]

John Graha[m]

RC (DLC); edge trimmed; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 May 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure:Theodorus Bailey to John Graham, [New York City] Post Office, 21 May 1810, advising that “the fast sailing Brig Wasp, owned by Messrs Perlatt & Phillon [Ferlatt & Peillon], respectable merchants of this City,” will be sailing for France with passengers “in the course of twelve or fourteen days”; that Fillietaz, its captain, is a naturalized citizen and an experienced officer who twice recaptured the Batavia cartel from the British last year; that Claudius G. Fontaine, an investor in the Wasp, intimates that it can carry “any dispatches which our Government may wish to send to France, free of Expence”; and that for some time to come this opportunity may be the safest conveyance for government dispatches, other than a public ship (RC in DLC; at foot of text: “John Graham Esq Department of State”).

Index Entries

  • Armstrong, John; dispatches mentioned search
  • Bailey, Theodorus; and dispatches to France search
  • Ferlatt & Peillon (N.Y. firm) search
  • Fillietaz, Capt.; master of brig Wasp search
  • Fontaine, Claudius G. search
  • Graham, John; letters from search
  • Graham, John; TJ sends letters through search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; letters to mentioned search
  • Parish, David; carries dispatches search
  • Pinkney, William; dispatches mentioned search
  • Short, William; returns to U.S. search
  • Wasp (brig); carries letters to and from Europe search