February 6th. 1807
Although I have not personally the Honour of being known to your Excellency, yet my Family Name is too much so. Extremely afflicted at what has passed and abhorring it as a Citizen as much as any man in the Country, yet I must feel Concern and Love for a Brother, with whose general Claims to both you are not unacquainted. To a Man of your Excellency’s Sensibility I need offer no further Apology for inclosing an Open Letter to Dr. Bollmann. Nor I am sure will your Excellency think it improper, since in your Hands ultimately lays the Power to mitigate the Harshness of the Law, if I implore your Interest for him, on the Grounds of my Brother Eric’s general Worth in every Respect, but the matter of his Offence. A Hope also remains in my Breast that my Brother was neither active in, nor acquainted with that Part of Burr’s Design which makes him guilty of Treason. Confident that as well with your Excellency, as the judicial Authorities which will take Cognizance of this Affair every Thing will have due Weight which could excuse or extenuate my Brother’s Offence I need say no more. Severity is so far from your Character and the generous Inclinations from which arise the Transgressions of noble Minds are I am sure so clear to your own Breast that I must hope your Sympathy will induce you to do every thing for him which is consistent with public safety.
In anxious Expectation of hearing of my Brother’s Fate I have the Honour to be
Sir Your Excellencys most obed Sev
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.