Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas A. Pellet to Thomas Jefferson, 31 October 1814

From Thomas A. Pellet

Boston 31st Octr 1814


I perceive by the letter in which you offer your Library to Congress, you have indulged yourself in a tirade against the “Vandalism” of the British, in burning the public buildings at Washington.—I think with you, that it was a shameful proceeding—but please to look at the enclosed official statement (publish’d in the Boston Daily Advertiser of the 29th Inst) and I am sure you will agree with me, that the conduct of our Officiers towards the innocent inhabitants of Canada, has been most shameful.—

Thos A Pellet

RC (MHi); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson, Esquire Late President of the U.S. Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Boston, 2 Nov.; endorsed by TJ as received 15 Nov. 1814 from “Oellet Thos A.” and so recorded in SJL.

TJ offered his library to congress in his second letter to Samuel H. Smith of 21 Sept. 1814. On 29 Oct. 1814 the boston daily advertiser reprinted several pieces from the 8 Oct. issue of the Montreal Herald denouncing the burning of Canadian towns and villages by United States forces; commenting that, “having reduced Fire and Pillage into a uniform practice, on such a variety of occasions, it is adding insult to injury to pretend, that those cruelties were perpetrated without or against orders”; questioning whether President James Madison had the right to complain about the recent destruction of the public buildings at Washington; and calling that act “a most hallowed retaliation.”

Index Entries

  • Army, U.S.; atrocities of in Canada search
  • Boston, Mass.; newspapers search
  • Boston Daily Advertiser (newspaper) search
  • Canada; U.S. atrocities in search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; British destruction in Washington search
  • Library of Congress; TJ sells personal library to search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); on destruction in Washington search
  • Montreal Herald (newspaper) search
  • newspapers; Boston Daily Advertiser search
  • newspapers; Montreal Herald search
  • Pellet, Thomas A.; and U.S. atrocities in Canada search
  • Pellet, Thomas A.; letter from search
  • Pellet, Thomas A.; on British destruction in Washington search
  • War of1812; British destruction in Washington search
  • War of1812; U.S. atrocities in Canada search
  • Washington, D.C.; British destruction in search