Monticello Sep. 29. 06
On being informed by you that mr James P. Cocke was the person who had repeated from me the circumstance of the transaction between mr Washington, mr Strode & yourself which has given you uneasiness, I applied to mr Cocke to state what he had understood me to have said, perfectly satisfied of his correctness. I have this moment recieved from him the letter which I now inclose. you will see by that that I said to him, and he to Genl. Porterfield, exactly what mr Strode declares I heard from him, & he from mr Washington, & that I did not speak of it as of my own knowledge at all but named the persons from whom it came, which persons have justified me. altho’ this is all the world generally requires, yet it is so much out of my habit to repeat things of this description that I am far from being satisfied with myself at having been off my guard on this particular occasion; & still more regret it if it has been the source of any injury to you. mr Cocke told me he had heard the same thing from another person besides myself & named that other person also to Genl. P. and this is what he alludes to in the last paragraph of his letter. your original transaction with mr Washington having been a conditional one, but stated as without any condition, the error began where it was first defectively stated. I explained this to mr Cocke, whom I verily believe to be the only person I ever mentioned it to, and I have no doubt he will explain it to others should he have mentioned to others. I tender you my salutations & respect.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.