Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith, 15 October 1806

Washington Oct. 15. 06.

Dear Sir

The selection of a successor to mr Purviance was made before the claims of other competitors were known. it was made without enquiry, because none was necessary where the person was so well known.

I return you mr Lowry’s letter. nothing can be more inveterate than the discord at St. Louis. if it were lawful to remove every officer that has been appointed, I believe it the only step which could cure the disease: but the tenure of office not permitting this in every case, would still keep in one at least of the bitterest partisans. in that place, as well as at New Orleans the feuds among our own adventurers who have emigrated thither have made a most unfavorable impression on the natives as to the character of our government.

By the brig Lucy, which sailed from Baltimore about the 1st. or 2d of Nov. last, for Nantz, I sent a box to mr Patterson our Consul there for a friend of mine at Paris, for which I inclose you Capt Peckham’s reciept. having never heard a word from my friend or mr Patterson, I suspect the box has miscarried, & perhaps the vessel herself. Could you have this matter enquired after for me? I imagine some of your young men could find at the Custom house who were the owners of the vessel, & from the owners whether she arrived at her destination, or was plundered or lost? & this without giving you personal trouble.

Our last letters from Natchitoches give us hopes that the Spaniards will confine themselves to Bayou Pierre & not attempt to take possession of Adais or any other new post. if so we shall have time to await the result of our negociation. Accept my friendly salutations & assurances of great esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson


Index Entries