Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Oliver Pollock, 4 May 1811

To Oliver Pollock

Monticello May.1 4. 11.


I have duly recieved your favor of Apr. 23d & with it a certificate by which it appears that the papers of the Executive office of Virga during the first year of my administration as Governor are lost, and particularly a letter of mine to you2 of Nov. 6. 1779. I am really sorry it is not in my power, by memory, to say what were the contents of that letter, of which I do not retain the smallest trace in my mind, nor have I any copy. it was usual for me to write rough draughts of letters & other important papers my self, of which the clerk of the council3 made fair copies for transmission & kept the rough draught for the use of the office. but the letter you speak of having been dated at the board of trade, must have been written by them & only ‘approved & signed’ by me. be this as it may I have not the least recollection respecting it, and indeed after a lapse of 32. years, & the diversified agencies I have borne during that period, all the particulars of the transactions concerning you while I was governor, are obliterated from my mind, I only recollect generally that we had considerable transactions with you. with my regret that my memory cannot serve you on this occasion accept the assurance of my respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Oliver Pollock esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

Archibald Blair was the clerk of the Virginia Council of State, 1776–1801 (DVB description begins John T. Kneebone and others, eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, 1998– , 3 vols. description ends ).

1Word interlined in place of “Apr.”

2Preceding two words interlined.

3Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Blair, Archibald search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; faulty memory search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as governor of Va. search
  • Pollock, Oliver; letters to search
  • Pollock, Oliver; seeks reimbursement from Va. search
  • Virginia; Council of State search