Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Carlo Botta, 15 July 1810

To Carlo Botta

Monticello. Virginia. July 15. 10.


I am honoured with your letter of the 12th of January, and altho’ the work you therein mention is not yet come to hand, I avail myself of an occasion, now rendered rare & precarious between our two countries, of anticipating the obligation I shall owe for the pleasure I shall have in perusing it, and of travelling over with you the important1 scenes quorum pars minima fui. scenes which have given an impulsion to the world, which as to ourselves have been a great blessing, but whether to Europe or not, can only be estimated by him who sees the future as well as the present & past. we are certainly indebted to those who think our revolution worthy of their pen, and who will do justice to our actions and motives; and to yourself I have no doubt we shall owe this obligation, and I now make you my acknolegements with confidence and pleasure. it will be a worthy preface to the history of this age of revolutions to be ended, we know not when, nor how. I pray you to accept the assurances of my great respect & consideration.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NjP: Andre deCoppet Collection); addressed: “Monsr Charles Botta Deputé au corps legislatif rue de Bourgogne No 28. à Paris.” PoC (DLC). Enclosed in TJ to John Graham and TJ to David Bailie Warden, both 15 July 1810.

Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo Botta (1766–1837), an Italian-born physician, politician, and historian, took refuge in France in 1795 after being released from imprisonment for revolutionary sympathies by the king of Sardinia. Later he joined the provisional government of the Piedmont region, and following its annexation to France in 1803, he was elected to the Corps Legislatif. Botta chose to become a naturalized French citizen when Piedmont separated from France in 1815. He served as rector of the Academy of Nancy in the latter year and held the same post at the Academy of Rouen, 1817–22. Botta published several histories of Italy. His correspondence with TJ focused on his admiration of the United States (DBF description begins Dictionnaire de biographie française, 1933– , 19 vols. description ends ; Botta to TJ, 29 Nov. 1815, 15 Feb. 1824).

Botta’s missing letter was enclosed in William Short to TJ, 7 Feb. 1810. For his work on the American Revolution, see David Bailie Warden to TJ, 19 Jan. 1810. quorum pars minima fui: “in which I played an insignificant part.”

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • American Revolution; TJ on search
  • Botta, Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo; identified search
  • Botta, Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo; letters to search
  • Botta, Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo; Storia della guerra dell’Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America search
  • history; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; American Revolution search
  • Storia della guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America (C. G. G. Botta) search