Monticello May 27. 26.
Since the date of my last letter to you I am enabled to add a little informn to that then given. the revd mr Jared Sparks formerly pastor of the Unitarian church in Baltimore & lately editor of the N. A. Rev. passing to the South for his health from Northfolk that he contemplated a publicn on the American revoln, and should avail himself of the journey he was on to obtain meterials. he asked if I could furnish any or suggest any source for obtaing . I recommdd that on his return he shoud examine the Exve papers in Richmond. he did so & in a lre from that place of the 13th inst. he says ‘yesterday I passed in the Council chamber here reading the lres of the Exve, your letters on 1781. give a much full and minute acct of the state of events in Virga at that time than can be collected from all the histories that have been written. Such lres & parts of lres as are of a genl nature I have marked to be copied, as also those of Lafayette and Steuben written to the Exve. they have all been well arranged by the present clk of the council’ of complimt. I quote this paragraph merely as authorising a general inference that there is in the Council chamber a body of my lres safely preserved and arranged. that papers were saved I always but did not know of which , the cases to which I applied myself in those moments of pressure were 1. to an army 2. to save arms 3. to save the public . I remember each Clerk care of his own giving to Berkley of the H. of R. for impress waggons to carry off his to Blair of the Council the same for his instructing them to take the Hanover road along which I thought no pursuit of the enemy was to be apprehended. I nowx conclude that these saved and that the general records as the legislr did not rise till Tuesday the 2d it probably took the next day to pack & procure waggons that they Richmd on Thursday the day before the enemy entered . this causing them start with the early deflection from the principal road, probably saved those portions of the public papers, knowing myself to have been a laborious correspdt and learning that a body of my lres are safely preserved I trust that this deposit will be worth your examn, and troubling you with this informn adding the assurn of my great respect and esteem.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.