Monticello May 30. 06.
Mrs. Stewart, widow of the late Genl. Stewart, proposing to go to France, in prosecution of a claim she has against that government, has asked of me a letter introductory to you, expressing my wish ‘that you should recognise her as an American lady, who has a claim to enforce, depending on it’s own merits, & recommending it, as far as it has merits, to your patronage.’ indispensable considerations have rendered it necessary that I should never give to any person letters of introduction or recommendation yet there are some cases, as the present, where peculiar circumstances compel me to say that I shall make a proper mention of the case in a private letter. I have done so in the present, altho’ without it I knew you would be urged by the duties of your office, as well as by your knowledge of the late General Stewart, of mrs Stewart, her connections & standing in this country, to give her all the aid which justice would permit, & more than that I could in no instance ask or approve. on this ground alone I write the present letter, & send it through the office of state.
The aspect of our affairs at the last meeting of Congress was gloomy. since that however they have brightened in other quarters. if a corresponding prospect can but take place in the matter with which you are charged, if a settlement with France & Spain can be effected, which shall secure indemnities for the spoliations formerly acknoledged by Spain, shall make the Floridas ours, & for a sum not too serious, it will secure to us a long prospect of peace and will render the next meeting of Congress a meeting of gladness, & conciliation, & produce ineffable satisfaction to the whole body of the American people. God send us this happiness, & to you health & success. Accept my friendly salutations, & assurances of continued satisfaction, esteem & respect.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.