Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 6 January 1812

From James Monroe

washington Jany 6. 1812

Dear Sir

A circumstance has occurr’d with which it may be useful for you to be made acquainted, merely to put you on your guard. you have doubtless seen a letter publish’d in the gazettes, which is imputed to Genl Wilkinson & said to be written from this place in 1803. to Mr Power at N. Orleans, requesting him to use the Genl’s influence with the Sph authority there to prevent the restoration of the Deposit. It is understood that the authenticity1 of the letter is admitted, & the explanation given of the measure, which I have recently & casually heard, is the circumstance with which I wish you to be acquainted. It is this, that the letter was written with yours & Genl Dearborne’s knowledge & approbation, & that a copy of it was at that time deposited in the war office. Knowing of this explanation you will be prepar’d, by reflection, for the answer which ought to be given to any application that may be made to you on the subject. You need not answer this—I write in haste for the mail—very respectfully yr friend

& servant

Jas Monroe

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 8 Jan. 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

A number of newspapers had recently quoted from an 1803 letter from Wilkinson to Thomas power that the latter presented as evidence when he testified at Wilkinson’s court-martial. Headed “Private and strictly Confidential,” the extract read “ Should a change of circumstances which are talked of, but not expected by me, produce a change of policy in the Councils of Spain and the opening of the port be contemplated, I beg you to interest yourself in my name (confidentially) to prevent the measure until I arrive near you. You can speak freely to the Marquis de Cassa Calvo or the Intendant for me. I have strong motives for this request” (Richmond Enquirer, 12 Dec. 1811).

1Manuscript: “authenticy.”

Index Entries

  • Casa Calvo, Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O’Farill, marqués de; and J. Wilkinson search
  • Dearborn, Henry; as secretary of war search
  • Monroe, James; letters from search
  • Monroe, James; on J. Wilkinson search
  • Power, Thomas; correspondence with J. Wilkinson search
  • Wilkinson, James; court-martial of search