Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Wilkinson, 19 April 1807

New Orleans April 19h 07


In the Hope Burr may have reached the City of Washington, I think proper to transmit you the inclosed—Every day unfolds something of the Plot & convinces me it is not abandoned—This was Burrs parting declaration to His followers, and if Adair is on his way hither, he is moved by objects of higher importance, than personal or legal reparation from me—He is more competent, to a desperate Effort than Burr, & is not deficient in organizing—Leary is no longer necessary to concert—His discharge of Bollman & Swartwout has palsied the friends of Government, & given confidence & vigour to its Enemies—It offers a species of Sanction to Rebellion & produces a strange confusion of Ideas, among the ancient Inhabitants, who have been habituated to behold the prevention as well as the punishment of crimes—

For me Sir I dare not after what has past, raise my Hand but in opposition to avert Acts & for self defence—a Skillful daring Antagonist will therefore always have the advantage, & will not strike but with a certainty of success–I can never regret what I have done, because it has been the means of saving the Country, & yet I behold attempts are making to turn my Conduct to your Injury, which excites my indignation & sorrow—Burrs associates hang about Natchez & this City, here hundreds may be reckoned, and Workman I find has the People of Colour with Him, notwithstanding the very opposite impression made on me pending the Winter—It is to this Body he alludes, when urging Governor Claiborne to attack me.

With truest respect & attachment I am Sir Your obliged & faithful

Ja: Wilkinson

DLC: Burr Conspiracy Collection.

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