State of Kentucky Lexington 9th Janry. 1807
When you appointed me Marshal for this state you gave me a flattering proof not only of your friendly regard, but of your confidence in my integrity, which encourages me to hope that you will excuse the liberty I take in troubling you with this letter, and will impute its contents to no improper motive.
I have resided in this Country more than twenty two years, and in all that period have never known it so much divided and agitated as within the last six monthes.
This unhappy change has been introduced by the establishment of a news paper in Frankfort call’d the western World, edited by Wood and Street. But directed by a few strong Federalists amongst us, whoe give it all possible support—They have reprobated and condemn’d several of the leading characters in this Country, Col Nicholas & Mr Breckenridge being dead, they think they have nothing to fear Mr. Joseph H Daviess the Attorny for the United States lives in a remote part of this state 150 miles from Frankfort. I shall be silent as to his politicks, The members from this State in Congress know him very well.—The trial of Judge Sebastion and all the proof offered the committee you have before you. I would speak my mind more freely; but knowing our representatives from this state are more able to elucidate the subject than I am, I do not hesitate to declare it as my Opinion the press call’d the western World was set up in Frankfort, for the express purpose of changing the politics of this state from warm republicans to Federalists; and I belive they will effect their purpose if no change in public measures takes place soon.
The editors seem chiefly to aim their shaftes at Judge Innes and Mr Brown, of whos conduct you have full proof before you.
I had no Idea what effect a news paper set upon foot to answer certain purposes would have on the public mind until I was convinced by experience.
What we see in the public prints relative to Col. Burrs descending the River Mississippi alarms the people very much, his project (if any) is not known here as yet.
I hope the issue will not be as alarming as has been feared: The people in the Country are true friends to the Union, I be[lieve] I can venter to say there is not one man in twenty disaffected to the Federal Government.
I have the Honor to be Sir respectfully your Hble Servt.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.